4 Best Free BRD File Viewer Software For Windows

Here is a list of best free BRD file viewer software for Windows. Using this software, you can view PCB layouts or circuit designs saved in a BRD file. To help you closely analyze the layout and small components, these viewers offers Zoom in functionality. In addition to that, you also get advanced 3D viewer feature in some software that allows you to view PCB layout from all directions and angles. In order to separately view individuals layers of a PCB layout, you can use the Layer Manager feature of these viewers. In most software, you can also highlight individual components of a PCB layout which is again a really good viewing feature. The common property among all these BRD viewers is that they all show components and connections in their predefined colors.

Apart from showing the layout of a BRD file, all of these viewers can also help you edit the layout. To edit circuit design, these software offer various tools like Frames, Layers, Add Routes, Add Vias, Route Tracks, Trace Editing, etc. After editing the design, you can check it using the Design Rule Check (DRC) feature which is present in a couple of software. The DRC feature ensures that the design is according to the PCB designing rules and also helps you find errors in the design. Just like DRC, you can find many other additional tools in these viewers like Statistics, Measure, Swap Layer, and more.

Through these BRD file viewer software, you can also view and edit PCB layout present in other similar files like PCB, SCH, FAB, EIS, etc. After editing, you can export or save the design or layout in DXF, IPC, STEP, VRML, SVG, etc., formats. Go through the list to know more about these software.

My Favorite BRD File Viewer Software For Windows:

KiCad is my favorite software because it offers all essential PCB layout viewing tools including an advanced 3D Viewer feature. Using it, you can also modify BRD file designs. Plus, it does not impose any type of restrictions as it is completely free and open-source software.

You can also check out lists of best free RW2 Viewer, RAF Viewer, and PDB Viewer software for Windows

KiCad



KiCad is a free open source BRD file viewer software for Windows, Linux, macOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and many other operating systems. It is primarily an electronics design automation suite through which you can also create and edit circuit designs and PCB layouts. To view and edit designs and PCB layout, it provides a dedicated PCB layout Editor section. Let’s take a look at some of the important features of this BRD viewer.

Main Features:

  • Viewer: When you open a BRD file in this software, you can view its PCB layout design on the main viewer of this software. To help you in viewing the layout, this viewer provides essential viewing tools in it such as zoom, auto-zoom, grid, etc.
  • Layer Manager: Through this feature, you can hide or show any layer of the PCB layout design. In addition to that, it also lets you manually enable or disable various items such as footprints front, footprints back, tracks, hidden text, anchors, worksheets, etc.
  • Inspect: It contains a List Nets feature that contains a list of connected components with a list of nodes with which they are connected to. By selecting a specific component name and its node, you can view its actual location in the viewing area.
  • 3D Viewer: Using it, you can inspect PCB layout and components overs an interactive canvas that you can easily rotate and pan around to look a component from every direction.

Additional Features:

  • Editing Tools: To edit PCB design layout, this software offers a lot of editing tools like Route (to add and tune single track, differential pair, track length, etc.), Add Footprints, Route Tracks, Add Vias, Add Filled Zones, Add Graphics Circle, and more.
  • Export: After viewing and editing the design, you can use this feature to export the design in VRML, STEP, SVG, GenCAD, etc., formats.

Final Thoughts:

It is a really good BRD file viewer software that offers some handy BRD file viewing as well as various PCB layout editing tools.

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PCB Artist



PCB Artist is another free BRD file viewer software for Windows. It is similar to other BRD viewer software in which you can view circuit or PCB layout present inside a BRD file. Plus, all necessary tools to edit the layout is also present in it. Some of the editing tools which it provides are Add Component, Add Pad, Add Route, Add Track, Add Board, Add Closed Shapes, Add Open Shapes, etc. Apart from BRD, you can also open and edit files of PRI, PCB, SCH, FAB, EIS, etc., formats.

Main Features:

  • Designing Area: In the main designing area of this software, you can view as well as edit PCB layout and circuit designs. To view the layout, it offers essential viewing tools like Zoom, View All, Grid, etc.
  • Layers: This feature allows you to show and hide individual layers of the PCB layout so that you can view a specific layer by removing all the distractions.
  • Go To: In it, you can find names of all the components present in a PCB layout. By selecting the name of a component, you can highlight it over the main viewing area.

Additional Features:

  • Colors: This feature enables you to change the default highlighting colors of the components and layers.
  • Swap Layers: It is a handy editing tool through which you can bring a layer forward or send it to the backword area by swapping it with another layer.
  • Design Rule Check: This feature analyzes the input circuit design or PCB layout design to check whether it meets the PCB designing rules or not. It also helps you find out the shortcomings of the design.
  • Measure: It is a simple measuring tool through which you can measure the distance between any two components.

Final Thoughts:

It is another feature-rich BRD file viewer through which you can easily view and edit designs of a BRD file.

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PCB Layout



PCB Layout is a free PCB board designing software that can also be used as a BRD file viewer. It works on Windows and macOS. This designing software comes with a lot of PCB design viewing and editing tools. Another good thing about this software is its ability to support files of DXF, Gerber, KiCAD, P-CAD, Autorouter SES, etc., formats. Now, let’s take a look at some of the main features of this software.

Main Features:

  • Viewing Tools: In this software, you get many PCB layout viewing tools like Zoom, Top Side, Bottom Side, Objects (to view specific objects like pads, vias, holes, etc.), Colors, Display Titles, and more.
  • Layers: It is another important viewing tool as it allows you to manually hide or show specific layers of a PCB design like top assay, top mask, bottom, VDD, etc.
  • Properties: In it, you can view properties of any PCB layout component like chip name, value, marking, pattern, etc.
  • 3D Preview: You can use this feature to view a PCB layout in a 3D space where you can easily rotate the design to view it from all angles and directions.

Additional Features:

  • Editing Tools: To edit PCB layout, this software offers many editing tools such as Place Component, Free Trace Editing, Place Copper Pour, Place Mounting Holes, Delete Board, etc.
  • Auto Router: It is an advanced tool that can automatically create routes by analyzing the components of a PCB design.
  • Check Design Rules: Using it, you can check whether a PCB layout is following the PCB designing rules or not. It also helps in finding out the designing mistakes.

Final Thoughts:

This BRD file viewer offers all essential viewing and designing tools through which you can view a PCB layout and also make adjustments to it.

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EAGLE



EAGLE is the next free BRD file viewer software for Windows, Linux, and macOS. Through this software, you can view a PCB board layout with ease. It also offers a lot of PCB layout editing features which you can use to edit circuit designs, replace components, etc. In this software, you can also import PCB designs contained by a schematic file (.sch) that you can also view and edit. To edit PCB designs, it offers multiple tools like Airwire, Frame, Shapes (polygon edge, rectangle, line, etc.), Layers, Routes, Fanout, Via, etc. After viewing and editing, you can save the PCB layout in the same BRD format or export it in DXF, Fabmaster, IPC, STEP, and other formats.

Main Features:

  • Main Viewer: It is the main viewing section, in which you can view the PCB board schematic of the input BRD file.
  • Design Manager: Using it, you can view device set and footprint information of Devices, Signals, and Groups Components of a PCB layout.
  • Inspector: It shows essential PCB board Information like number of air wires, number of pads, number of vias, width of the board, height of the board, etc.
  • Selection Filter: Using it, you can highlight any board component (device, hole, wire, via, etc.) to view the exact location of components over the PCB layout.

Additional Features:

  • DRC (Design Rule Checking): It is a handy feature that analyzes the input PCB layout and shows all the shortcomings and errors of a PCB layout.
  • Autorouter: It is a useful feature for PCB layout designers as it can automatically route or create paths for the PCB layout according to the components used in the layout.
  • Statistics: It shows various statistics regarding the PCB layout like Layers, Class (Signal), Polygon, Pad, Drill/Hole, etc.

Limitations:

  • In this free version EAGLE, you will face certain limitations like the availability of only 2 signal layers and 2 usable schematic sheets. Plus, you will not be able to work on a PCB board of size larger than 80 cm square.

Final Thoughts:

It is one of the most feature-rich BRD file viewer software in which you view as well as edit both simple and complex PCB layouts present in a BRD file.

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