Altium Designer Pricing, Features, Reviews & Comparison of Alternatives

Altium Designer

Cloud-based printed circuit board (PCB) design software

4.39/5 (31 reviews)

Altium Designer overview

What is Altium Designer?

Altium Designer is a cloud-based printed circuit board (PCB) design software that helps businesses in aerospace, consumer electronics, automotive, and other sectors manage operations related to schematic capture, assembly drawing, simulation, 3D modeling, and more. It enables mechanical designers to share live designs and snapshots with team members or clients and obtain real-time feedback through comments.

Features of Altium Designer include stackup planning, anonymous sharing, data management, 3D visualization, multi-board assembly, documentation, output configuration, and more. It allows stakeholders to review and maintain design history in a unified platform, including component changes, layer stack modifications, previous versions. It offers a routing engine, which lets employees design PCB layouts using routing alternatives such as walk around, hug and push, ignore obstacle, and differential pairs.

Altium Designer provides an API, which lets businesses integrate the system with several third-party platforms such as SOLIDWORKS, Creo, Inventor, and more. It provides ActiveBOM module, which enables administrators to manage bill of materials and track price, availability, and lead time of manufacturer parts across various suppliers on a unified dashboard.
www.altium.com

Pricing

Starting from
$3000/year
Pricing options
Subscription
Free trial
Value for money
View Pricing Plans

Devices

Business size

S
M
L

Markets

United States

Supported languages

English
Altium Designer screenshot: Altium Designer PCB design propertiesOverview of Altium Designer 20Altium Designer screenshot: Altium Designer track layersAltium Designer screenshot: Altium Designer PCB generic modelAltium Designer screenshot: Altium Designer bills of materials

Altium Designer user reviews

Value for money
Features
Ease of use
Customer support
  4.1
  4.5
  3.9
  4.0
Shamal Jayathilake

Altium Designer for an Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering Undergraduate

Used weekly for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2019-06-14
Review Source: Capterra

Pros
As an engineering undergraduate we have to design lots of printed circuit boards. When I am using Altium designer I could easily design foot print according to the component I chose to use. In altium designer we can easily import the changes we made on the schematic . If we did any changes on the PCB design layout which are not on the schematic those changes also can be export to the schematic. We can customize the design rules such as track width, pad sizes, clearance and etc as we needed. That will help us to have the perfect PCB. When its comes to routing, auto-routing option in the altium is perfect. We only need to adjust routing rules according to our work then altium will do the routing part. We can easily generate files that are need to print PCB for an example if need to generate gerber files we only need to go the option that let us create gerber files and select the required layers and formats.

Cons
If you are new to PCB designing it will be little bit difficult to learn altium at the first place with the time we will get familiar to the altium designer. If you looking for footprint for free in online sources it will little bit difficult.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Stuart Snow

Great all-round circuit and PCB design package

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2019-05-19
Review Source: Capterra

As part of an electronic design team, Altium is an invaluable tool for cooperatively developing our designs. The robust library and project management features mean it is easy to have multiple engineers working on a design, and have everyone contributing to the company's library of components and templates. We can easily export 3D models of the PCBs for the mechanical team to check against physical constraints and the wide range of design file export formats keeps board houses happy. The ability to import designs and libraries from almost any other PCB package has been very useful and is worth mentioning.

Pros
Creating and editing library components is straightforward and mostly works without error. The library and project management features are very powerful and suited to working in a corporate environment with large libraries. PCB layout editor is excellent with intelligent and relatively intuitive controls and behaviour. The view of the PCB layers can easily be customised to provide the clearest image of the user's desired section of the design. The 3D PCB view is great for easily visualising the board being worked on and can be used for basic fit-checking for enclosure and housings. If the company regularly designs PCBs for a certain enclosure or package space, a custom project template can be created, meaning when a new design is started the board area and any keep-outs and other restrictions are already loaded, saving time and mistakes.

Cons
As a relatively heavyweight piece of software, startup times are slow and file access can be sluggish, especially if working on a network. Many of the default settings are not helpful, for example the connection matrix which determines which combinations of IC pin types on a net will cause an error. The default settings generate dozens of spurious warnings for a moderate-size schematic. The Bill of Materials feature, while useful, can be painful to use as it takes several minutes to generate the component table for a moderately complex design. This must be repeated if a mistake is found and a change must be made to the schematic.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features

Likelihood to recommend: 8/10

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Nicholas Datyner

Usefulness for small companies

Used weekly for 2+ years
Reviewed 2020-12-10
Review Source: Capterra

Overall it has been possible to get designs completed but has taken much more time because of the massive user interface and poor documentation of the program.

Pros
Altium DXP is a sophisticated program which would work for larger organizations where there are many people working on a product.

Cons
Altium Designer is a complex program really intended for large enterprises with many collaborators working on projects. Also integrating all areas of manufacturing from sourcing components to mechanical integration. Much of this is not useful for a small company and even a hindrance. The cost of a subscription is high so if you don't subscribe and update every few years you may end up with a version which has bugs or only partly implemented new features. Also using their database is partly dependent on having a subscription so you may be cut off from this at any time in the future since they are moving to a cloud based setup. So safer to copy the components to your own local component library. Also there are many newer components (eg. microcontrollers) which are not in the database and also not necessarily available from manufacturers and setting up new components correctly along with 3D models takes time and skill. Also for example if you wanted a 3 pin right angle header with 3D model you would need CAD software to take say a 10pin header and cut down. Not so simple. Overall it is a very capable piece of software but probably not the best choice if you are designing a few PCB's per year. Also for two sided mixed analog digital boards the autorouting isn't capable of routing. Probably works fine for complex digital multilayer boards but the constraints of two sided are beyond its capabilities.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 6/10

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Thushara Sampath

Altium Designer is advanced PCB designing tool.

Used weekly for 2+ years
Reviewed 2019-09-21
Review Source: Capterra

Overall Altium is one of best PCB design software I've ever used.

Pros
Altium Designer has thousand of advanced features to design PCBs. I really like the ability to make files of the PCB to send online PCB manufacturing service . Altium supports 3D view and we can clearly see how to fit PCB on my CAD design. Altium has thousands of flexible design rules and auto routing options.

Cons
Altium has few bugs when exporting designs. instead of that default components library has only very few essential components. Even I find component footprints or library from internet I have to go through number of steps to add them to Altium every time.

Rating breakdown

Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 7/10

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Anonymous

Altium - defacto standard, pricing inflation

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2020-09-23
Review Source: Capterra

Overall, Altium has helped push the industry forward. At it's core, it's a tool that does the job. However, as they've become more prevalent, the actual value they provide relative to competitors has leveled off.

Pros
Altium has become a defacto standard in embedded electronics design. Every vendor, customer, and partner of ours has Altium Designer in their toolset. The product functions well enough for most required ee cad tasks.

Cons
the suite of products that you can buy beyond the standard schematic capture, layout, and routing, creates ala carte options that nickel and dime you to an annoying degree.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features

Likelihood to recommend: 7/10

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Altium Designer pricing

Starting from
$3000/year
Pricing options
Subscription
Free trial
View Pricing Plans

Altium offers a 15-day free trial for new users. Please contact Altium directly for pricing information.

Altium Designer features

API
Activity Dashboard
Activity Tracking
Data Import/Export
Search Functionality

Accounting Integration (105 other apps)
Automatic Notifications (140 other apps)
Billing & Invoicing (158 other apps)
Calendar Management (116 other apps)
Customer Database (112 other apps)
Customizable Reporting (136 other apps)
Document Management (131 other apps)
Document Storage (100 other apps)
Electronic Payments (132 other apps)
Inventory Management (158 other apps)
Inventory Tracking (119 other apps)
Invoice Management (149 other apps)
Reminders (113 other apps)
Reporting & Statistics (243 other apps)
Third Party Integration (166 other apps)

Videos and tutorials

Additional information for Altium Designer

Key features of Altium Designer

  • 3-Axis Milling
  • 3D Modelling
  • 4-Axis Milling
  • 5-Axis Milling
  • Arc Output
  • Assembly Drawing
  • Cam Designs
  • Machine Simulation
  • Multiboard Assembly
  • PCB Layouts
  • Printed Circuit Board Design
  • Schematic Capture
  • Test
  • User Defined Cycles
View All Features