DIY Layout Creator

DIY Layout Creator (DIYLC in short) is freeware drawing tool developed with help of a large online community of DIY electronics enthusiasts. It incorporates many ideas that came from people using older versions of the application. The goal is to provide a simple interface and enough power to let the user draw schematics, board/chassis layouts and guitar wiring diagrams quickly and without a steep learning curve. Also, it is build around the flexible open source framework that may be used to draw pretty much anything. Below is a sample board layout drawn in DIYLC3.

DIY Layout Creator 3.x

The latest and greatest multi-platform Java version. Works on Windows, Linux, MacOS…anything that can run Java JRE. Mostly backwards compatible with the previous two versions and offers better performance, improved stability and higher flexibility due to the open source API. It’s got it’s own site now where you can grab the latest version report a bug or suggest new feature. The address is bancika.github.io/diy-layout-creator/.

To get the latest build, visit Download Page
To file a bug report or issue request visit Issue Page

DIY Layout Creator 2.x beta

Multi-platform Java version. At this point, I would NOT encourage anyone to download or use 2.x beta because it’s just too buggy and slow compared to 3.x. Once I add all the components into 3.x, version 2.x will be officially retired.

DIY Layout Creator 1.18

The very first version of DIYLC, written in Delphi and runs only on Windows. At this time I do not support or update this version, it’s been almost a decade since I last played with it. You can still find a bunch of layouts online drawn with this version of the software. It’s pretty easy to use and can draw smaller PCBs, Perfboards or Stripboards quickly. It has simple yet very effective interface which makes job much easier. Placing a component on board takes only 2-3 mouse clicks. You need to click on source and destination hole and program will place component between them. Placing polarized components is the same, but then you need to take care about hole order because program takes source hole for positive and destination hole for negative side. It’s similar with IC: pin 1 goes in source hole and last pin goes to destination hole. When working with PCB layouts you can set width of each trace and solder pad! Also, there’s “Print PnP” which gives printout ready for transfer on blank board (laser printer required). However, it’s not very flexible and it’s written poorly, I keep it here because it’s kind of retro cool, but I don’t use it anymore these days.

Download version 1.18
Download complete layout collection for version 1.x

v1 Layout Collection (works with v3 too)

Right click on a file and click “Save Target As…” to save a layout.

DIYLC 3 is profiled with YourKit!
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Comments
127 Responses to “DIY Layout Creator”
  1. DocJoe says:

    I have your Layout designer on my PC (which is at work). I have converted all my computers over to the MAC. When I tried to load your V3 on my MAC, it says it is for Windows. Do you have a MAC version. I love your simple, yet complex, program. I made a decent donation after having such success on my PC. I would make an even larger donation if I could get the program to run on my MAC here at home.

    Thanks

    • Bancika says:

      v3 will run on mac, just unpack the archive, open the terminal, change the directory to diylc3 (cd ) and type ./run.sh
      Cheers

      • Paul says:

        Hello Bancika,

        I tried to change the directory to diylc3 and terminal said “no such directory” I unpacked the archive and terminal did not find it. Can you please tell me if I am doing something wrong?

        Thanks!

        • Bancika says:

          it doesn’t create diylc3 automatically, extracts everything wherever you extracted the archive. You can create a folder named like that and extract the archive there
          Cheers

  2. Andrea says:

    Hi,

    I worked with DIYLC v3 for a while on my Linux machine, then had to switch back to v1 because v3 has some features that are very annoying.
    First, let me tell you that the v3 is a very nice piece of software, with many options and is also much faster. My intent with this post is to give my “contribution”, not to destroy your (very good) job.

    V1 is wonderful: very very very easy to use, minimal (that’s what we should expect), clear. Sure it had to be speeded up a bit, because some things really took too long. But that way… was the right way.

    In V3 i think you lost the focus on what DIYLC was (is) loved for: easy to use. V3 is messed up with graphics, nice looking resistors, caps etc… but… they stretch when we resize them (?!?!). V1 didn’t do that, a resistor has “standard” size and that size remains even if the resistor spans over 7 holes. Was it really necessary to give the ability to set component size by hand? Why not giving standard sizes (as it was on V1) maybe depending on voltage/power rating? Specifiying sizes by hand should be made a customization, rather than the standard? e.g. resistors:
    blue–>1%, beige–>5%,
    1/4W, 1/2W –> fixed size: 8mm x 2 mm
    1W –> …
    5W –> …
    + “Use custom size” –> if checked the user inserts the size he wants to use.

    When printing a vero with V3… how can we know a component name/value if it is vertical? e.g. resistor that spans 2 holes. While soldering, V1 output was way easier to read/follow … don’t you think?

    What is missing is a nice connectivity checker. Something easy that highlights the path connected to the hole you wich to check.

    What is way better in v3: selection/moving tools, speed, choose component by existing type names (e.g. DPDT, 3PDT etc…), cables as editable splines,

    Thank you!

    Andrea

  3. Chris says:

    Hey
    I’ve been using v.1 and when I load my projects into v.3 they won’t print to correct size.
    Is this because I’m going from v.1 to v.3 or is it something I am overlooking?
    I am really loving the new version , if only I could figure this out.

    thanks
    Chris

  4. Esteban says:

    Hi Bancika. Amazing job about the DIY Layout. I found a bug it´s quite anoying but at same time I found a solution, sometimes for no reason some parts are blocked and is impossible to select. Doesn´t matter if the block selects are unchecked. The solution is to go to the Edit Panel and make a “Select all”. I saw that one of your task list is to make a submini amp, and I want to know if you have the socket component drawing, because I was doing by hand but is really hard to do in that way.

  5. Owen says:

    Hey,
    Can you make it so that it opens the 2.x files?

    Thanks,
    Owen

  6. David says:

    Hi Bancika,

    I’ve been working on a board with beta version 3.0.6. When I try opening my saved file with version 3.0.8 the layout looks squished. I think the components are all placed closer together in the new version. Originally the board was 3″ high, now it is more like 2.25″. Is there anyway to preserve the layout in the new version, or do I need to keep using 3.0.6 beta for the rest of this project? Thanks!

    David

    • Bancika says:

      Hi,
      I have increased screen resolution between 3.0.6 and 3.0.7 to allow more details. The problem is that versions up to 3.0.7 store coordinates as pixels, so resolution increase made everything squishy when opened in the new one. This shouldn’t happen with layouts made in newer versions because I’m storing everything in inches since 3.0.8. One way to fix it would be to open the file in notepad and update coordinates (XML nodes named x and y) manually bu multiplying them with 200/96=2.08333

      I could make you a small util that does it, but probably not before Monday.

      Sorry for inconvenience 🙁

      Cheers,
      Bane

      • David says:

        I don’t know anything about XML, but I can probably write a perl script to munch a text file and scale the coordinates without too much trouble. Thanks explaining the work-around.

    • Kagliostro says:

      From my part I’m not able to use the new version seems the program response is very very slow on my PC

      AMD Atlon 64 X2 dual – processor 6000+ – 3 GHz – 2 GB ram

      however I would like you give the program a feature that I used in Autocad

      the ability to load an image as background so is very easy to put a .jpg or .bmp with a layout and to redraw it in few time

      Kagliostro

      • Bancika says:

        It should run smooth on your machine. My laptop is 2GHz dual core and it runs smoothly. What kind of OS are you using and what java?
        You can load an image, just go to Misc tab in the toolbox.
        Cheers

  7. mr uproar says:

    i would like to see something like this combined with synthedit or synthmaker and an inbuilt graphic package in the creation of vst instruments and dll files , so i could use the schematics layouts see in old synthesizer manuals and make the whole thing a lot easier to understand..

  8. David says:

    I’m using your diylc v3 for turret board layout and it’s a great help. Not as quirky as v2. Thanks so much for providing this very useful software. Keep up the good work.

  9. demym says:

    Hi, i just downloaded DIYLC 3.06 from diylc site… But the executable inside is 3.05, and more, a get very few components on the component bar (only main.jar in the library dir)… Am i doing something wrong ? (no tube socket, for example, nor enclosures from version 2).. thanks in advance.. anyway, very cool

  10. boblob says:

    @Bancika:

    Been a longtime user of V2 and it has served me well. Aside from performance issues it suited my needs almost perfectly…

    Just tried V3 beta and am very impressed with how quick and responsive it is, it has almost all of the old features I’m used to and more. I’d just like to add a couple of suggestions to the list:

    – When doing stripboard layouts in V2 I found having the board holes numbered across the top very useful – I tend to think in holes rather than cm/in as I know how may holes/rows will fit comfortably into a given enclosure. Would be nice to have that option again.

    – Rotary switches. I can see that this may be tricky to implement, but would be nice. It is still easy enough to use the regular switches to stand in for rotaries, but requires some extra annotation (especially if you want to post your layout online) .

    Anyway, this all sounds too much like nitpicking already, and I should really just say thanks for this great bit of development.

  11. Paul says:

    @Axel I think this software is great (on Ubuntu), but it is a bit too slow for me, although it speeds up a bit if you remove the stripboard.

    Thanks for the tip about Sun Java, I tried to download and install Java from the Oracle website, but DIYLC wouldn’t run. Have you any useful hints – is there a pointer missing to the Java interpreter or something?

    I have had a quick look at V3 – this is also slow, but ok if you remove the stripboard!

    • Bancika says:

      V3 should be much quicker than V2. I’m running a test with a perf board across half the screen and 128 capacitors scattered across the screen and it’s fast enough. And that’s on the laptop.
      Cheers

  12. Doug says:

    What about power supplies at least give us a battery clip where we can edit the voltages

  13. Axel says:

    Great piece of software!
    For those who experience speed problem when running under Linux, I have found out that DiyLC runs faster with Sun Java than with OpenJDK… I tested on several machines and with Sun, DiyLC runs as fast as under windows…

    Also, under Linux, the component library doesn’t appear unless you start DiyLC with the command:
    java -jar DIYLC.jar -javaagent:jarpath=lib/

    Cheers

  14. Dave says:

    Having problems running .. Installed 1x and got error message “no data set” and “no active doccument”.. Running Vista Home Premium 64bit.. is that the problem? Version 2x just froze when I opened it :(..

    Thanks… Dave

    • Bart says:

      Just get into folder and set the compatibility mode for Win XP and thats all.

  15. Adrien says:

    i’ve just opened the diy layout creator beta 2, and the first things that come to my mind is : i’ve got to get close to my screen, to see what’s written ( project, settings, etc, tools … ) i’d love this to be editable, to have bigger letters, and i think i liked the first version of the soft, for the presentation, but i just wished some different evolutions than this one, although , it might be cool too, i didn’t test it really yet.

    and really, the most cool feature, unique among all these pcb software, please add the ability to insert some jpegs, just like in photoshop. a layer, then some magnetic points that i’d place myself , from this layer, and then the components would hook onto these points, the way i’d want. this would be so cool.
    Cause imagine, if you have a scan of an old pcb, you have the traces, the dimensions of the original board, and you’d like to make a presentation, adding these symbolic components that you have, to make some corrections, and communicate this between diyers you know. you’d see the traces by transparency, and the components on the top. different layers. and the transparency /opacity of the different layers could be aditable.

    really also the zoom. too static. more like into photoshop.

    yeah, and white components, on a black screen, instad of on a white screen , just an option added.

    but i love the principle for all the rest, keep this the way it is ! ; )
    so fast : having a board , a circuit, click and drag some components, some connections, and the feeling that you’re quite free, simple, best.

    I really hope to see such evolutions, if you think you can, and want to do it. i’d use only this soft then.
    thanks again,
    Adrien

  16. Adrien says:

    Hi !

    Well, diy layout creator is the best soft, very simple, an dit looks like a real board. I love it. But, please, may I ask you if you could perhaps add some other features ?

    I’d be very interested to have a zoom in an out included ( some are more comfortable than some others. Maybe photoshop like, maybe shortcut with it too, to have the choice, maybe a slide , maybe a shortcut and a move of the mouse … you know … )

    AND, the possibility to insert some jpegs, witth a scale somewhere, so that, I could insert some vintage pcb drawings, in black and white, synchronised with a rule , visible in the working area, ( the picture would be scaled previously at the 1/1 scale, into photoshop for example, then inserted at scale one, into diy layout creator , see what I mean ? ) , in the background, and editable a little bit.

    Then, pure pleasure to add these components, moding them etc …

    And about the points of the pcb inserted, than won’t fit the diy layout creator orthogonal frame, well, then a simple feature would be cool : adding the magnetised points by ourself, following the pcb inserted in jpeg. Then the components would be added, and would recognize these points.

    I hope that you’re reading me, and I’d be glad to discuss about it with you.

    This would make this layout creator the absolute ultimate layout creator for effects. ( by the way, the old plexi amps, or fender amps, would be glad to have some boards that would look the way they are : just one more cool feature that could be added I think. ).

    I know that sometimes, echoes from the public can stimulate the ideas, and make the soft to evolve in a cool way.

    Oh, another cool feature would be to have a negative visual stuff , you know, instead of black on white, white on black, so it doesn’t hurt the eyes.

    My screen , in my room, is a 2 meters wide screen, from a full hd videoprojector. Lot of light ; )

    I hope that you noted all my requests, for all these features I’d love to see into this software.

    One more : a feature that would allow the user to create , or import his own components drawing, from dwg or dxf, or even from some psd ( photoshop ) layers, or png or I don’t know .

    The other way would be to add every components into photoshop, onto my pcb drawing, with it’s traces ( seen with a transparency, from the components side )

    All the best, and thanks for this cool software.

    Adrien

  17. Brett says:

    Great software Bancika,

    I do have a couple of small suggestions.
    *I would like to be able to rotate the schematic valve symbols.
    *I notice when I “ctrl Z” it resets the page size to default.
    *I am unable to change page size in “Page Edit”
    *Is it possible to edit the symbols or create your own?

    Thanks for taking the time to write this software. Paul is right This is neither too complex nor too crude.

    • Bancika says:

      Thanks for comments. I’ll include them in the new version. And yes, you can create your own symbols. Library contains XML files that define symbols. Start with the one that’s close to what you need, copy it and customize.
      Cheers

  18. LeftyX says:

    Please add a breadboard layout, a way to cut a range of traces [instead of 1 at a time], jumper a range of holes [likewise], and a way to always skip the “non-standard IC size” message. Great program – thanks!

  19. Roberto Barrios says:

    please update your layout collection of files !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and where I send a circuit with version 1.x?

    • Bancika says:

      layout collection is for version 1.x, there’s no official collection for 2.x
      I can include your circuits if you send them to stormbringer [at] mail.com
      cheers

  20. Paul says:

    I think I am going to be using this, as all the other packages I have looked at are either too complex, too crude, won’t do stripboards or won’t run properly on Linux! That said, I hope you will welcome a couple of constructive comments in order of importance:
    -There is no check that you have saved before exiting.
    -If I open another package DIYLC disappears.
    -It’s a bit slow – I assume that is just because it’s Java.
    -The ‘check for update’ and ‘update library’ options result in a Java.io.ioexception error.

    I have more – I can put them on here or you can email me if you prefer.

    • Bancika says:

      thanks for comments Paul. I know that it has many annoyances and version 3 is on its way. Unfortunately, it goes very slowly as I don’t have much time. Feel free to post your comments here, I’ll take them into account when making the new one.
      Cheers

      • Paul says:

        @Bancika: OK, more comments then!
        If you are not used to this sort of software it might not occur to you to lock the circuit board layer, perhaps ‘locked’ should be the default. The locking doesn’t work reliably. It’s possible to put a circuit board underneath the ruler.
        The speed is the biggest problem, it can get so slow that you get confused about what you have clicked and what you are waiting for. My 1.7GHz PC is fast enough for everything else I do.

        Some more ‘Likes’
        Easy to use.
        Easy to add to library by editing XML of a similar component.
        Good graphics.
        Can show the enclosure to keep a check on size and position of off-board components.

  • About

    The idea behind this site is to share my experience with Do It Yourself approach to guitars, amplifiers and pedals. Whether you want to save a couple of bucks by performing a mod or upgrade yourself instead of paying a tech, or want to build your own piece of gear from scratch, I'm sure you will find something interesting here. Also, this is the home of DIY Layout Creator, a free piece of software for drawing circuit layouts and schematics, written with DIY enthusiasts in mind.