Seetrax XL Designer
After a few button clicks, the block diagram is ready for converting into a pcb design. Key components like connectors, switches and input sensors are manually placed into appropriate positions. For example, edge mounting slide switches are put on the edge of the pcb.
The main components can be automatically placed by a very smart algorithm that checks net lengths. Parts are rotated and translated into position to give the shortest net lengths. This makes the wiring problem for the autorouter easier to solve. This aspect, of smart part placement is one that students have most difficulty with and can lead to over complex routing. (This facility has, thus far, not been available to us in Ranger but is in XLD.)
Most of the student design input occurs at this part placement stage. It affects how the pcb will fit the enclosure and the user and also how well it routes the tracking.
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