How SnapEDA Saves You Money, Time, and Headaches

PCB123 provides THE largest out-of-the-box parts library maintained by a CAD tool on the market – hands down. 750,000 parts all professionally created by Accelerated Designs, and available since 2008. But this is a HUGE library to try to maintain. Over the years, specific parts in the library have gone obsolete, and other parts have evolved into slightly different flavors of packaging. How does a parts librarian keep up with all these daily changes to the library? How does a librarian get notified of each part change? Historically, there just haven’t been systems to so such work.

Let’s just do the math on a scenario here. You’re a full-time parts librarian whose job it is to review all the parts and update/delete them to keep all 750,000 parts current. If you work 40 hours a week, and you can process one part in 3 minutes (without fail), then to do a single pass of the library will take more than 18 years to complete one touch to every part. Just maintaining the typical design team’s in-house library of about 10,000 parts in this manner would take you three months uninterrupted. As you can see, this whole exercise is like painting the Golden Gate Bridge; once you’re done you have to start over. So it’s no wonder that our parts library – much like YOUR parts library – drifts out of relevance over time. Naturally, if we could simply get notified that a part needed to be changed, we could concentrate our efforts. But where, oh, where to find that kind of information? It just wasn’t very easy to keep everything up-to-date and accurate.

And yet, that – THAT! – is the power of the SnapEDA model. SnapEDA posts parts to their library that are verified accurate. And they also report current information on the part’s availability. So you’ll know if you’re using a part that’s hard to find, on restriction, or obsoleted. Plus, if you find a problem with a part definition, all you have to do is report the discrepancy to SnapEDA, and they fix the part. Once that revised part is released back into the SnapEDA library, its fixed for EVERYONE. Instead of having thousands of individuals manually update their part, SnapEDA makes the change once and it’s updated for all.

So not only does SnapEDA save you time in making parts, but it saves you time in updating/fixing parts.

This whole model came under scrutiny just recently here in the PCB123 Layout Services team. Our long-standing part library had a connector defined that had a counterpart in SnapEDA. The Layout Designers compared to the two and determined that they were not identical. The part in SnapEDA was more accurate, so we went with the SnapEDA part.

A little while later, we found that a component part in our library was defined in such a way as to be a bit more manufacturable than the SnapEDA definition. The Layout Engineer reported the issues with the SnapEDA part using the “leave feedback” function on SnapEDA. We received notice that the part had been corrected within a few hours.

PCB123 sees the SnapEDA model as a much more powerful way to distribute parts definitions. As more of our users give us feedback on their experiences with SnapEDA, we expect to see some significant increases in accuracy and efficiency from the PCB123 user community.

So let us hear from you! How’s SnapEDA working for you?