One of the most commonly used phrases when writing software is “reusable code.” From the Wikipedia article on “Code Reuse”. Reusable code is:
the use of existing software, or software knowledge, to build new software.
Software coders have been sharing and re-using code since they first start programming. So why can’t this same idea be applied to hardware design? Doesn’t it seem silly to redraw the ATmega328 for an Arduino based project or even the really simple linear regulator circuit? Well, it can thanks to HackEDA you can start using reusable code to save time (and from creating mistakes).
The service is in beta and relatively feature sparse. However, it is functional enough to understand the goal. It isn’t meant to be a tool for a completely original design. Instead, it is meant to provide a start to a larger design by handing you the reusable parts in a ready to go EAGLE file. This tool is an awesome example of how EAGLE moving to openly readable XML files really extends its functionality.
HackEDA’s concept is pretty simple. Select the type of processor you are going to use, how it is powered, and then click Generate Design.
Once the design is generated, you have the option to download the schematic for EAGLE 6 as well as a complete BOM.
My only real compliant with the BOM is it defaults to (and only uses) DigiKey. Personally, I prefer Mouser. So it would be nice if there was an option to select your preferred distributor. I imagine when the tool supports international distributors, this will be necessary.
Again the service is still in Beta. But I think it is great start to something that could be very useful. Stop wasting time re-drawing the same circuits and start using HackEDA with reusable circuits.