Ask any engineer how they feel about their autorouter, and you might get a look of disgust, confusion, or maybe both at the same time. This technology gets a bad wrap in the world of PCB design. Is this because it’s misunderstood, or is it really terrible? Truth be told, autorouting can be a blessing in disguise when used in the right situations.
It’s not meant to entirely replace your job as a PCB designer, but it can certainly augment it, providing new insights into challenging routing situations that you might have needed a new perspective. So are you ready to make peace with your autorouter? Join us for a free webinar, and we’ll show you the path of autorouting wisdom and design rule checking.
Remember, It’s Just a Tool
The autorouter is a tool like any other in your PCB design toolbox. Maybe it’s the name that gives it such a bad rap, with many designers expecting an autorouter to do it all, and do it just like they expected. The only problem is, this never happens! The way we route a PCB layout as a human is very different from how a computer will do it. It’s an entirely different way of looking at a circuit board, and actual engineering wisdom comes from understanding both sides of the story.
I remember when I first discovered the autorouter in Autodesk EAGLE. I was working on my first design that had an IC with over 30 pins and didn’t want to deal with the hassle of connecting all of those wires together. So here was a shortcut, the autorouter! I spun it up, dialed in some settings, and gave it a run. Well, the results it came back with were not what I had in mind.
Where was all the beauty, all of the elegance that I was expecting in my traces?
I had made a beginner mistake, like many designers do, of assuming that an autorouter is supposed to do my job for me. Autorouting is an augmentation to your abilities, not a replacement. Sometimes I’ll run the autorouter just to see how it will route my board layout, and then erase everything with the new insights I gained. Think of it as a second pair of eyes. When using your autorouter, you need to keep several things in mind:
- They aren’t useless just because they didn’t route your board correctly. They were never meant to replace designer-driven routing.
- An autorouter can be amazing to understand how well you’ve placed your components. If your autorouter completion rating is > 85%, then you’re on the right track.
- And most importantly, use an autorouter to gain insight and understanding into your design. If there’s a tight space, you can’t figure out, autoroute it to gain a new perspective.
So what do you say? Let’s make peace with your autorouter already and use it correctly. We’ll show you how to be friendly with your autorouter in a free webinar.
Join the Autorouting Flock
There are two misconceptions about autorouters that need to be dispelled. The first is that they are terrible, and the second is that they take too long to set up. Both depend on your perspective, and the first lesson to learn is that an autorouter isn’t here to replace your job but to make you better at it. Imagine being able to make an even better PCB layout by first understanding how an autorouter would do it. That’s the wisdom of using the power of your tools. Join us for our EAGLE First Flights webinar where we’ll show you the real power of autorouting, including:
- Set It Up, Right. You’ll learn how to set the most optimal settings for your autorouter to give you the results you expect. That’ll lead to way less frustration all the way around between you and your autorouter.
- Clean Up. Autorouters aren’t human, and the elegance you see in PCBs has to be crafted by hand. Once your autorouter is done routing, you’ll learn how to carefully clean up any quirky looking traces to get your board just as you like it.
- Staying True to Your Manufacturer. Your autorouter works hand in hand with your design rules and your manufacturing guidelines. You’ll learn how to customize your design rules to keep yourself and your autorouter in check during your PCB layout.
Ready to join the autorouting flock? We’ll be hosting this webinar live on June 12th at 2 pm EST for 30 minutes. That’s more than enough time to autoroute your design, and do some post-routing cleanup.