Working on the PCB designing software can be tedious if you want repetitive updates, modifications, while simultaneously sharing the project with your teammates or your manufacturer. Is there a way to version control your PCB designs and collaborate with teammates while keeping the workflow simple?
PCB Schematic in CADLAB
CADLAB.io makes it happen for you!
CADLAB: The Hardware Version Control Platform
CADLAB.io is a cloud-based hardware version control platform that provides engineers with:
- an enhanced version control system,
- collaboration tools for hardware design,
- allows you to keep native PCB design files in a repository, without any requirement of import and export of designs, and
- view, compare and comment on any part of a Schematic/PCB Layout in a browser.
This visual version control hardware development platform has a lot to offer to its users. Some of its key highlights are:
- Based on Git Version Control: Since Cad Lab is based on Git, it makes it more reliable, flexible and secure. Also if you are already have experience using GitHub or Gitlab, it would be much easier to switch
- Optimized Designing: No hassle of imports and exports of PCB projects between systems or teammates.
- Makes PCB Designing Organized: Rather than creating folders multiple times, it allows modifications to be stored in a repository. This allows commenting, tags for more specific changes highlights, and maintenance of healthy history. Hence, knowledge of last version update is known to the users.
History Maintenance of all Modifications
- Design Iterations: The backups of all your original as well as modified designs are easily navigable.
- Cloud-based Version: This prevents repetitive downloading of different versions.
- Team Alignment: Seamless communication and synchronized working allowing changes simultaneously by all the members. This brings the whole team virtually to the same table.
- Branching of Designing: Once the main design is visualized, the other additions or modifications can be done on a separate branch and added to the main if satisfactory else can be easily chopped off.
Branching of Design Modifications
- Documentation: Using a lightweight markup language Markdown you can document your projects with multiple features like headings, links, embed images, etc.
- Native EDA File Support: Seamlessly integrates with popular EDA software like Autodesk Eagle, KiCad, and Altium among others. It doesn’t require you to switch to new tools. Just upload your schematics and board layouts to CADLAB’s repository and start collaborating on your design.
- Integrate with Other Platforms: By connecting GitHub, GitLab or BitBucket hardware design directly with CadLab you can view PCB design files right in a browser, visually compare board layout and schematic revisions, and run design reviews with interactive annotations.
- Visual Diff: It allows reviewing visual changes in PCB design and schematics and comparing them.
- Access Control: It gives agency to the user to decide whether to keep access private or share with the organization.
- Open Source Projects: The users can access the open source projects created by others and contact them, take ideas from them and connect.
How to Use CADLAB?
After going to CADLAB.io you have to sign up to their platform by creating your own profile using a valid email id and a strong password (no other details required).
Once signed in, you will be redirected to your profile portal where you can create projects, communicate with our organization, modify profile settings and keep a track of billing.
My Account Portal
When you click on “create project”, there will be some access settings that will crop up. Apart from ‘Project Name’ and ‘About’ there will be options relating to ownership, access and repository.
The ownership can be personal for self-use only or organizational for a team. In the case of the latter, you will be asked to create the organization as well.
The access can be private or public. While in the case of the former, the right to view and commit changes is reserved to you only, in the case of the latter viewing right is open to all.
The repository can be created on CADLAB.io or can be imported from a third party like GitHub or Git on CADLAB.io or it can be an integration of the two.
These are the only prerequisites for creating a project in CADLAB.
You can watch complete version control tutorial here :
Using CADLAB ushers away the cost of faulty prototypes, the cost involved in the wastage of time gone in designing and the team burnouts. Thus, it reduces the manufacturing cost subsequently and reduces the time bygone.
There are two kinds of plans available on CADLAB: Individual and Team plans
The individual plan is further subdivided into:
- Open Source: This is just one person plan and the level of support provided is standard.
- Pro: Along with you a collaborator is also allowed to join and the level of support provided is the priority.
The team plan is subdivided into:
- Team: This allows the user to choose their team and this plan is available on a monthly and annual basis.
- Self-Hosted: For this plan, you will have to contact the sales and host CADLAB on your own server for maximum control and privacy.
- Enterprise: Visual PCB version control and collaboration integrated into your organization.
One of the first aversions that come from an engineer or a firmware developer is when they sit down to design using any EDA. This is because of complex nature of modification and sharing features. CADLAB has acknowledged this shortcoming and has created this version control cloud-based hardware developer. It almost takes away all those troublesome designing updates and brings the whole project in virtual space. Thus, navigation becomes seamless between teammates and between designers and manufacturers.
Taking various EDA and popular platforms like GitHub and Git on board they have widened their scope of use even further. Unlike other platforms that ask for various personal credentials to sign up, CADLAB requires the bare minimum. Therefore, signing-up process becomes a second’s job.
Thus, to sum it all, as a beginner it allows creating cooperation between teammates. Collaboration and open source project give useful insights. CADLAB is a must-use platform to get reinforced experience in designing and getting your hand trained for it.