Happy New Year! Thank you very much for all your help, support and feedback in the last few months. I am very proud of what we have achieved 2015 and I am really looking forward to bring Copper to a new level in 2016. Our goal remains the same: Developing a full EDA suite for the Mac, with modern, state of the art User Interface focusing on efficiency and the Crowd and Cloud to make this vision a reality.
What do I mean with Crowd and Cloud? The Cloud is the place to store data, that is and should be the same for everyone using Copper. I think of 3D models of parts, part specifications, prices and availability as we provide today. But once we allow to build Schematics and Layouts with Copper these features will be even more important. It does not make sense everyone needs to hack in the same pin names for a 200 pin MCU and assign the correct numbers. Leaving efforts for building the footprint even left behind. This is where we think will be a Crowd and Cloud feature. But we don’t want to build another island with only few people using it and adding a social network ;-). Instead, we’ll do it differently. More on that later when we are able to talk in detail about this topic.
The next few steps will be boring for some, but they are necessary as we don’t want to build new features leaving already available features in a somewhat unfinished state. One of these features left in an unfinished state will be addressed in the next release: Through Hole 3D parts. Today we already added a lot of PTH components like capacitors and LEDs to the library (have a look), but there are PTH parts left, like resistors, diodes and other axial through hole parts.
As these parts share the same basic shape, we have built a procedural parts system for these components, like we did with QFNs, QFPs, SOICs, and a few others. Procedural parts describe a system where Copper creates geometry based on a few basic attributes. These attributes include width, body diameter, body width, color, corner radius and wire diameter. A few values will be determined from your footprint (like width of the part which is the distance between the two holes forming the pads), others will be set by our cloud as we predefine a few parts for you. But if you go into detail you will be able to adjust these parts in every fine detail. Resistors will even show the correct color codes if the assigned part has a value set. Copper supports all known ways to declare resistor values like 4.7K, 4K7, 47R, etc.
Of course this is just another step to a (more) complete 3D parts library. We are constantly adding parts, and every time we receive a .brd file from you we add every part we can find.
We have created a 3D model of the Bare Bones Arduino Project from Sparkfun, you can see a few images featuring procedural, axial resistors in this Gallery.
The next release is scheduled for January 21, 2016 and will have version number 1.2.
We need your help: As we are used to SMD we just don’t have any PTH designs. I could build a few from scratch and did so for testing, but if you have a project you can share (or know an open source project) I would love to receive a few of your .brd files. This way we can make sure our system really works with real world projects. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much for your help.