Autodesk Moves EAGLE To Subscription Only Pricing

EAGLE user? We hope you like subscription fees.

Autodesk has announced that EAGLE is now only available for purchase as a subscription. Previous, users purchased EAGLE once, and used the software indefinitely (often for years) before deciding to move to a new version with another one-time purchase. Now, they’ll be paying Autodesk on a monthly or yearly basis.

Lets break down the costs. Before Autodesk purchased EAGLE from CadSoft, a Standard license would run you $69, paid once. The next level up was Premium, at $820, paid once. The new pricing tiers from Autodesk are a bit different. Standard will cost $15/month or $100/year, and gives similar functionality to the old Premium level, but with only 2 signal layers. If you need more layers, or more than 160 cm^2 of board space, you’ll need the new Premium level, at $65/month or $500/year.

New Subscription Pricing Table for Eagle
New Pricing Table for EAGLE

This is a bad deal for the pocket book of many users. If you could have made do with the old Standard option, you’re now paying $100/year instead of the one-time $69 payment. If you need more space or layers, you’ll likely be up to $500/year. Autodesk also killed the lower cost options for non-commercial use, what used to be a $169 version that was positioned for hobbyists.

The free version still exists, but for anyone using Eagle for commercial purposes (from Tindie sellers to engineering firms) this is a big change. Even if you agree with the new pricing, a subscription model means you never actually own the software. This model will require licensing software that needs to phone home periodically and can be killed remotely. If you need to look back at a design a few years from now, you better hope that your subscription is valid, that Autodesk is still running the license server, and that you have an active internet connection.

On the flip side of the coin, we can assume that Eagle was sold partly because the existing pricing model wasn’t doing all it should. Autodesk is justifying these changes with a promise of more frequent updates and features which will be included in all subscriptions. But sadly, Autodesk couldn’t admit that the new pricing has downsides for users:

“We know it’s not easy paying a lump sum for software updates every few years. It can be hard on your budget, and you never know when you need to have funds ready for the next upgrade.”

In their press release, they claim the move is only good for customers. Their marketing speak even makes the cliche comparison to the price of a coffee every day. Seriously.

[Garrett Mace] summarized his view on this nicely on Twitter: “previously paid $1591.21 for 88 months == $18.08/mo. Moving to $65/mo? KICAD looks better.”

We agree [Garrett]. KiCad has been improving steadily in the past years, and now is definitely a good time for EAGLE users to consider it before signing on to the Autodesk Subscription Plan™.

410 thoughts on “Autodesk Moves EAGLE To Subscription Only Pricing

  1. Bye Bye Eagle, I started getting acquainted with KiCAD recently but still used Eagle because of familiarity. Subscription based software is a great incentive for me to stop being lazy and learn KiCAD properly.

      1. That cost is equivalent to over a dozen Pi3 boards every year, and they can also run KiCAD too.

        Theses guys never understood why many moved from Autodesk to SolidWorks…

        I’d rather give my entire team a $2k bonus to learn KiCAD, and make a tax deductible donation to the FOSS community.

        1. I moved from Eagle to Kicad last year and I think Kicad is actually better in many respects. Maybe the new routing stuff in Eagle brings it up to scratch, but Kicad has better library management. And of course, free forever, unlimited everything.

          Everyone in the EE/maker community should discourage others from using Eagle. It’s not open or free and subscription models have to be seen to fail utterly or we will just get more of them.

      1. I HIGHLY recommend Chris’s Getting to Blinky series. Good for anyone familiar you with PCB work already as well as total newbs.
        To be fair, yes KiCAD takes time to master. As does any software. If done mountains of research since and learning by doing a LOT of boards
        But that series will get anyone familiar with it in a hurry. Including lots of tips ttoset you on your way of actual master, which is something most other tutorials lack.

      2. I followed that tutorial a while ago. Learnt a lot! Ended up with some nice boards from OSHpark. If I’ve had such good tools in school some 25 years ago…
        Been a Eagle-user for 10+ years. Have already migrated half way to Kicad. Now I definately will move.

      3. I downloaded the free Eagle years ago… Never used it.
        I downloaded KiCAD years ago… Same story.

        The problem was, that I simply can’t learn stuff from a manual, i need to get out and DO it. What you have here… It sounds AWESOME, and I’m gonna give it a shot!

        Well, If I can ever give up wirewrappnig on protoboard and hand drawn, home etched boards! :P

        1. Took about a year for me to finally get around to it, but I FINALLY learned how to use KiCAD! Best of all, I got paid to learn it and design a tester for my employer! It’s a rather simple device, but it proved to be a great starting point to learn with! I even learned how to create a custom footprint for a part I needed to use. I’m quite happy with the results.

          What really stands out for me, is I wanted to learn Eagle, or any free PC board tool for a solid decade and a half, maybe more. I have wanted to mark this check on my skill list, but kept passing it off to “some other time”. I had a copy of Eagle before they had a Mac version. I eventually downloaded KiCAD as well… But both tools sat for years. Any time I thought about it, I just let myself be intimidated by everything there was to learn, and I went back to etching hand routed or toner transferred patterns, or to wire wrap.

          I already know what my first personal board design will be. I’m working on a Kerbal Space Program instrument/control panel. One of my instruments is an FDAI (Flight Director / Attitude Indicator)… aka, the navball. It requires a reference 120 volt, 400 Hz sine wave (doubles as power), and 9 total (three triplets) of 28 volt 400 Hz inputs that are basically attenuated from the reference. Their phase can flip 180° as well. This is basically, the signals that would normally come from a synchro transformer on a gyro. I’m trying to reproduce them electronically.

          To do this, I will generate a 400 Hz sine wave, and feed it through an inverting and a non inverting op-amp to get the normal and flipped signal. that feeds into a set of analog switch chips (to select the inverted or non-inverted signal), and that then feeds to an attenuating DAC. Since I need three axes, I’ll design the board with one axis, enough configuration to set each board to it’s function, and then take advantage of the fact that companies like OSH Park basically give you three identical copies of the board you order. Doing it that way, means I’ll get three boards… One for each axis. I’ll only populate the 400 Hz sine gen and the two op-amps on one board, and wire that to all three. Best use of my bucks!

          My first PC board designed in KiCAD

      1. Please HaD, do a DipTrace review! I only tried it once (before settling on KiCad) but it seemed like a nice piece of software. It seems like it should get more mindshare than the near-total silence it receives.

        1. No. Now is the time to go with KiCAD. Why should we adopt another proprietary tool in the open source community again when it clearly lead to us being screwed over?

          KiCAD is a GPL’d multi platform tool that is good enough for LHC team at CERN.

          1. Good enough for CERN? So it’s good enough for 1970s era electronic design that emphasises function, accessibility and repairability over form?

            So KiCAD is just not good enough for today’s standards.

          2. Garbz obviously know that he is spewing bullshit. I sense DipTrace marketing guy at work.

            If you do something more complex than what CERN do, maybe KiCAD isn’t for you, but then again you would probably go with Cadence, Mentor or possibly Altiums offerings rather than an obscure CAD package [1].

            KiCAD is an adequate replacement for Eagle feature-wise. Eagles strength isn’t the the powerful features anyway, it is the libraries and open source projects. If we as a community is going to rebuild this library it doesn’t make sense to do it in a proprietary product that will end up getting bought by a big CAD/EDA house that only want to capitalize on the time that the open source community has invested.


          3. @Garbz

            Wait.. emphasizing function, accessibility and reparability over form is a bad thing? The ability to do that is a huge part of why I am interested in developing my ability to design and build my own stuff vs just buying the pretty crap that corporations ruled by their marketing departments produce.

            I’m confused, are you a troll?

      2. and another ditto, would love to see a true and honest review as it has improved greatly in the past ~2 years.
        Use DipTrace personally and professionally. Been very happy with it for years

    1. I have used DipTrace for a few simple boards.Very good for that but it’s a proprietary software and because of that it’s impossible to know how hit futures will be. Today Eagle new just confirm that fact. I have tried KiCad almost every year and found it not good enough until last year. Last version of KiCad made a big advance. It’s now my default choice and I suspect that this will be for a long long time.

      1. I sort of agree here. For the record I have been using it in a professional environment.
        I was using the previous version just because there was nothing else free that did boards bigger than credit cards (company was still in start-up status so expensive software for a few boards was not a welcomed option). It had a lot of issues.
        Nightly builds solved some issues and introduced others.
        Current version is still missing major features but what it does it now does well. It’s readyy to overtake the likes of Eagle and gaining traction on “professional” tools.
        End of the day all you need is to input schematics and design boards. Any software should be able to accomplish that. All the excess that “professional” tools offer is fluff. Including KiCAD. More fluff is helpful but not NECESSARY. Thus far kicad has focused on the most useful key features fluff. It’s a very solid direction.

    2. Ive been toying with diptrace for some time now, and the only thing holding me up is the pricing. I keep thinking that i could probably get away with a standard license and then i try to drop a bga and a pair of sodimm sockets.
      I just need to justify not eating out for a few weeks and buy the full version.

      1. I’ve been using DipTrace commercially for quite some time (the lowest licence, though). Be careful – it counts vias as pads! I was truly pissed off, when I got stuck suddenly with my PCB just when I tried to add another via :)

        And my overall feelings about DipTrace are average – counter-intuitive at times, no significant updates for the last few years, etc. There’s a lot to be done.

        To be frank, I wish there was a better choice in the low-end market. Unfortunately KiCAD’s UI a show-stopper for me. Software developers should not design UIs. And Eagle is no better (disclaimer: I used OrCAD and Protel a lot in the past, so I might be biased).

    3. I was using Diptrace and went to KiCAD, which is OK now that I am used to it. Diptrace at the time was weak on footprints and easy making of parts.

      Diptrace is a lot like Protel, which can only be a good thing, and worth looking at again.

    4. About a year and a half ago I decided it was time to leave Eagle. Their licensing model for commercial was just not realistic. If you want to do small 2 layer boards the lowest paid version was too bad. If you wanted to do just a little bit bigger board, it was a big jump in price. The board sized got a relatively small increase. The big upgrade is that your schematic didn’t have to be on a single sheet. You now got 99 sheets. Big deal, as if you would ever need that many schematic for such a small board.

      The final straw was when I needed to do a 12” X 12” single sided board with maybe 15 components. I would have to upgrade to the $1200 package. I started looking at DipTrace and KiCAD. I liked DipTrace better, but could have lived with KiCAD. I went with DipTrace.

      I find DipTrace one of the easiest PCB CAD programs I have used, which numbers around 8 or 10. Commercial use of DipTrace is not free, but it is not outrageous. The different versions are limited by component pin count which I like. I don’t have to pay a lot extra to make a larger board with just a few components.

    5. I use dip trace too and love it. The pricing isn’t bad and they give away a pretty nice student version. Power and ground planes don’t count for layers so you can effectively do most 4 layer boards with the layer licence.

      Really easy to use.

      1. Same here, I felt betrayed to the bones when Adobe switched to subscription based release (before that I happily paid my 300€ for the 18-month upgrades on a shiny disc). I never liked the idea of using a free version of a proprietary closed software for my (OpenSource/Hardware) creations and, in petto, I hate myself for using Sketchup for my 3D printing.
        The only good news is that now I am super-motivated to learn to use KiCad efficiently.

        1. I recommend OpenSCAD for 3d modeling. Parametric designs are wonderful, and it’s very easy to use. If you need more sculpting than precision, Blender is good at that, or FreeCAD is a nice choice as well.

    1. Don’t forget to stick the knife in by withdrawing all user to user support and forum participation, they want to charge out the ass, they can bear all support costs 100%…. especially as they’re probably going to badmouth any open source alternatives as “having no support.” Lend your time and experience to products/projects that deserve it or pay you.

  2. If you pay yearly it’s $41.67 per month as opposed to the $65 in my quote above, but still an increase from the rate I was paying before. However, my main concern is not with the pricing (though irritating), my concern is with the dependency on an internet connection and Autodesk continuing to run servers for it. I’ve seen too many products come and go to trust my tools to this paradigm.

    I have downloaded the latest version that works with my license (Eagle 7.7) for all three operating systems and am keeping it in a safe place. And starting learning KiCAD today, successfully creating PCB for the first time due to the added motivation.

    1. Don’t let any Autodesk reps act surprised by backlash, either. They didn’t ask anyone for feedback or mention their plans because they knew we wouldn’t like it. I asked if Eagle would go subscription model during the Eagle Hack Chat last week and received silence, though the internet-connected-license was mentioned and people were not happy about it.

      1. This is exactly the point I’ve made to my kids:
        “listen and learn from what people are saying, but also be attentive to what they are NOT saying”

        a bigger point than that is what journalism USED to do, “always follow the money”.

    2. Ditto this, all the great places I can sit down with my laptop and not be disturbed while working don’t have Internet. (and probably rightly so, bad habit of getting distracted on the Internet)

      Subscription based software is terrible.

    3. If you ever upgrade to Eagle 8.0, you cannot legally let your subscription lapse and go back to your previously purchased Eagle 7.7.0 license:

      “1.2.1 Effect of Upgrades. If Autodesk or a Reseller provides Licensee with an Upgrade to other Licensed Materials previously licensed to Licensee, the Licensed Materials previously licensed to Licensee and any other Autodesk Materials relating thereto will thereafter be deemed to be a “Previous Version.” Except as set forth in Section 1.2.2 (Exception for Relationship Program Licensees), the license grant and other rights with respect to any Previous Version will terminate one hundred twenty (120) days after Installation of the Upgrade. Within such one hundred twenty (120) day period, except as set forth in Section 1.2.2 (Exception for Relationship Program Licensees), (a) Licensee must cease all use of any Previous Version and Uninstall all copies of the Previous Version, and (b) upon expiration of such period, such Previous Version will no longer constitute Licensed Materials but rather will be deemed to be Excluded Materials and Licensee will no longer have a license for any such Previous Version. At Autodesk’s request, Licensee agrees to destroy or return to Autodesk or the Reseller from which they were acquired all copies of the Previous Version. Autodesk reserves the right to require Licensee to show satisfactory proof that all copies of any Previous Version have been Uninstalled and, if so requested by Autodesk, destroyed or returned to Autodesk or the Reseller from which they were acquired.”

      1. This clause of the contract *really* makes me wary of upgrading my Eagle Pro license. I often straddle between old & new versions of apps for a long time. Sometimes the new versions leave out needed features, have new crippling bugs, or break existing needed workflow. I can’t throw out old versions on a whim. Previously, you could either opt to upgrade a previous version of Eagle or buy a whole new versions. There doesn’t seem to be a way to do this with Eagle 8. No thanks, Autodesk. Fix your licensing or your pricing and I’ll consider buying a new license.

        1. I think “buy a whole new version” can not be covered by the above absurd license terms, if it is not an upgrade. It would be really absurd if you are not allowed to own two licenses. But who knows what strange things software license lawyers invent.

      2. This is completely inaccurate but I appreciate you bringing it up, so we can tease out just what this means. When you purchased a previous license, you did so under a Cadsoft license agreement. We have no authority or interest in doing anything to that license as it was a different legal framework by which you made that agreement. Under subscription, there is no “major” release and thus that clause would never apply …i.e. version 8.0 of EAGLE is only a version number for convenience…as we move forward, this is just EAGLE and there is no major “Upgrade” like there was in the past, thus nothing to force anyone to stop using an older license.

        It can be confusing, so I understand why you’d point it out, but it’s not an accurate assessment of what that entails. What’s more, it’s not in our interest to stop you from using your previous Cadsoft product. This would apply to a scenario in which the users were trying to get two licenses, effectively for the price of one, by installing a new version and then utilizing the old license for “second seat”.

    1. I bet Altium is going to pick up a whole pile of new subscribers from people fleeing Eagle because of the subscription model. Clearly their problem is that Eagle’s prices are too low!

      1. Correct. Eagle is dead.

        Altium’s FREE Circuit Maker is more capable than most of Eable’s offerings and although KiCAD can’t compare to CS’s capabilities, it’s much easier to learn for HaD’s hobbyist (I just want to say I laid out a PCB) crowd.

        Even Eagle’s highest end offering is more expensive and less capable than Altium’s Circuit Studio after 12 months.

        Other than legacy users, can’t think of a reason to go with Eagle anymore.

        1. Most? Altium CircuitMaker is basically all of Altium Designer, minus length tuning, rigid flex, and xSignals. Even so, that’s way more than Eagle ever offered, and it’s free!

      1. Not a valid comparison, but yeah, KiCAD is OK once you learn all the keyboard shortcuts. You would save enough time with Altium to pay for a major Windows work station every month. Or do work an order of magnitude more complicated. If you have never seen a good Altium user work, it is a rare pleasure.

        1. Exactly. I hate Windows 10 more than everyone here combined, but Windows is a necessary evil for most tasks. There’s just no drop-in replacements for things like Altium, Solidworks, everything Adobe, MS Office, etc. I really wish I could switch to Linux but that means losing 95% of the tools I need and love.

          1. I somehow survived without MS Office and Adobe products, but then, I am no professional. For my use gimp and libreoffice were enough.
            Solidworks – agree on that, at least haven’t seen proper replacement.
            Eagle was good enough for my use (and I am mostly programmer, occasionally doing some electronics, not the reverse).
            KiCAD – it was built by martians for martians. IMO. No, really. (Starting from the add component to schematic interface). I am counting the “how many times do I have to click/type to do anything”

      2. I can’t fault you there. When it’s just a hobby, you need to minimize time invested learning something you’ll only use a couple times. That’s primarily why I don’t use Linux, ever.

    2. Exactly. Most people designing simple stuff will probably move to kicad which is arguably better, and a large part of the others will move to altium. Maybe a few to circuit studio too. Everybody wins! :)

    1. Their free Circuit Maker is slightly different and requires internet access and public publishing of projects. Otherwise, it is pretty much all of Altium and crushes Eagle in capabilities.

      1. You can have two private (called “sandbox”) projects, and unlike the free version of Eagle, there’s no restriction on using the designs commercially. It’s also an all-around better package, in my opinion.

        1. I hope they’ve got a 100 Million advertising budget, it’s gonna take at least that to replace all the free word of mouth and goodwill they just threw out the window from those guys.

    1. I have a suspicion there was a meeting somewhere which went “this Eagle thing isn’t really working for us – let’s stick a fork in it and see it either jump right up or bleed out for good and be rid of it once and for all, either way we win”. I guess the second is just more likely…

      1. guys, this is a good stratigic move for Autodesk. We all hate subscriptions but Autodesk had most of the elements needed to offer a ‘maker suite’ or an integrated ‘EDI’ product except for the PCB design area. Now they have a decent offering.
        Just like Fusion 360 is not a direct threat to Solidworks but is getting there, Eagle is a looooong way off from competing against Altium or Orcad but if they put the same effort into Eagle as they did to Solidworks (and the fix the totally non-intuitive UI), I will come back to Eagle.

  3. Been using and paying for Eagle Cad since the 90’s. I’ve always defended it as a good cad software package for users of Linux. I’ve done several 8 layer boards including DDR3, PCIe with Eagle on Linux. Now I have to figure out how to support all these designs. Hopefully Eagle 7.6 will keep working well enough until I can get moved to KiCad. I should have converted to KiCad earlier. This is not going to be fun.

    1. :) yup, grumble grumble but I went through exactly the same feelings though now it’s fine, you quckly learn to lvie with it and quickly forget jsut how bloody hard it was to start.

    1. MS Word used to have a WordPerfect mode (never used it, but it was there)
      MS Excel used to support Lotus 123 commands (from memory)
      Even GIMP supposedly has a Photoshop mode…

      My point: if you love Eagle so much, help develop an Eagle mode for KiCAD. (But send some money, too)

      1. Yep, I’d donate actual money to that cause. The Kicad UI is so jarring to me and most other EAGLE users. I liken it to playing KWOP or Surgeon Simulator. The controls are comically horrible, but if you play it for hundreds of hours, you can accomplish a menial task very poorly.

        I don’t think that it will happen though, and I’m not sure that it should. The KICAD codebase is pretty poor and this would just make it worse. It would need a pretty insane refactor before it could handle such a thing.

  4. Autodesk is actually doing the community a favor (not their intention of course). We finally have a solid reason to overcome our laziness and switch to something more reasonable.

    1. That’s about right – I haven’t changed from eagle because that’s what I’ve used for years but now there is a greeter motivation – the future availability of MY schematics and PCBs

  5. That is pretty expensive coffee.

    The decision to go to a subscription model without tying in the functionality to their other CAD offerings is poorly timed and involved a lot of wishful thinking by the marketing department.

    Goodbye Eagle, hello KiCad.

    1. Yeah, I’d be buying enough coffee daily to float the Titanic if all the “Only one coffee a day” people added their “highly affordable” fees/products/subscription scams together.

      Probably take their ideas about household economics from those big newspaper financial pages “30 ways you’re wasting money” fluff articles, that if you add up all the claims, mean everyone of age in North America “really” has a 500,000 a year income that they didn’t know about that they’re only managing to get 40,000 or so benefit out of. Stuff like “Fly commercial instead of renting a business jet, Buy your next Ferrari used, …. ” WTF???

      Listen up pocket pickers, the total amount of coffee I drink in a day totals about 50 cents.

      Then they want to direct debit it or charge your card monthly, and one month comes and they “accidentally” bill you 10 times, or with a decimal in the wrong place, and nobody is responsible, it was the computer, and unless you’re willing to spend HOURS of your life on the phone they’ll hope you let it go at that… no fuck you, somewhere you’re employing a miserable excuse for an employee who screwed up royally, either that or a psychopathic manager or exec who introduces deliberate mistakes to improve the bottom line, knowing few people can be assed to chase them. So nobody gets to direct debit or monthly charge me automatically any more. … and the latest dodge, employ a 3rd party payment processor to make mistakes on your behalf and charge the customer for the privilege, triple hell no with a barrel of AIDs infected used needles on top, because apparently getting through to just one company’s only understandably English speaking Indian call center customer service employee is too easy any more.

      Yeah, I think I’d rather lather myself in BBQ sauce and jump in a tank of piranhas than expose myself to TWELVE times the risk of screw up yearly.

      And I’ve come to these conclusions dealing with only a small handful of companies, can you even imagine when you’ve got every penny ante, 2 bit operation demanding to do business like this, dozens of them, you’d literally be spending the rest of your life on hold to one or another waiting to demand to know why too much money “accidentally” disappeared from your account.

      1. Did you read my thoughts almost too perfectly?!?!?

        I prefer to keep my banking footprint to a minimum.
        So far just my rent goes out on a fixed standing order setup.
        That way the rent office can’t “accidentally transfer” any more money as the money to be sent is set by agreement between the bank and I.

        I forecast a worse year for 2017 for some reason (at least a bad start to this year).

        तो, आपको हिनदी अच्छा है, न?

        1. should of been, हिन्दी.

          I have trouble proof reading my native language (English) let alone simple sentences in Hindi. LOL

          A good argument for an edit button (though registration would be required to enable IMHO)

      1. Starbucks non-customer :-) and non-user of Nespresso or similar rip-off schemes says: 1kg of coffee beans cost from $4/kg up to $40 or up. Lets assume $10, so 50ct is about 50g, 1 cup of coffee uses 7g on average so 50g gives 7 cups of Espresso per day. There are days when I drink that much, but not every day.

  6. Cadkey got expensive a long while back and I stuck with it and $helled out. Was a $ gamble but it paid off. Eagle Standard is still at an acceptable price and covers the bulk of what I do so will continue using it. $65/mo for an occasional special project isn’t too bad. Then again, maybe KiCAD has improved, will definitely be taking a look first.

    Vote with your feet.

  7. Time for Altium to offer a 2-layer / constraint board-size free version.
    Heck, just make it the same price as Eagle for 4 and unlimited space, but constrain in other features only pros need.

  8. well fuck.
    i tried kicad some years ago when it was not stable..

    i gave it another try 2 weeks ago and it crashed when i tried to paint a dimension outline and assign fixed positions to that line later.
    i tried it several times and it crashed every single time.
    than i tried it again without any components in the design and that worked.
    the kind of problem that is hard to report and hard to look up for a solution..

    i tought to myself: “well kicad.. i will give you another shot in a year or so..”
    .. but now i HAVE to switch.

    i am sure kiCAD and I will get along over time..

    good bye eagle.
    you were my first EDA, i spent enough time with you.
    thanks for everything, time to let go.

    1. I found that the *nix versions are rock solid.
      Try Linux Mint OS and the KiCAD PPA.

      Most open source stuff is super old by the time someone bothers back-porting it to Windows.
      Not to mention the way Windows leaks your data now…

      It will be like quitting smoking at first, but after a year or two you will find it is a liberating experience.

          1. It’s interesting how people will give plenty of money to corporations making proprietary software (that also spies on you and threatens to disable parts of your system or even the whole thing), but the same people expect Free Software projects to deliver the goods for precisely nothing in return. And even worse, to do so for those closed systems. They should at least have the decency of sharing some of that cash they’re throwing around if they can’t be bothered to embrace sustainable computing choices and want others to pander to their own questionable choices instead.

    2. Even the Windows versions are pretty solid. I would love to understand what’s going on here. KiCad does use a lot more of the GPU accelerated features now, maybe something’s not quite right on your computer? I honestly can’t remember the last time KiCad has crashed on me (probably at least six months) and I’ve used it for probably 60 designs in that time.

    1. Well, no. Your old license is still valid. You can still use the version that the license belongs to – updates to the next major version was never included in any eagle packages ( except when the next major release was just a month or so after your purchase).
      So I really don’t see what you’re complaining about.

      I don’t say I like the subscription model, but calling it a betrayal of the old license holders is simply ridiculous.

      1. Eagle 7.7 and any associated release notes have been removed. The obtuse “contact support” trail on their bloated web site leads only to the “system requirements” article. I’ve been chasing down these materials for days — with zero response or progress.

        I’d say it’s a fairly large betrayal of the old license holders.

        1. There are numerous posts on the Autodesk forums regarding where to get 7.7 downloads and the resources section of the page has all of the content. This has been there since day one.

          1. Where is this “resources section”? As of the removal of it’s not on the Eagle product page. The required materials have been hidden away on an obscure FTP site, and you’re suggesting that users hunt and peck through forum posts to find the installation files. The release notes are not with the executables — I have still not found them, although I did finally find the installers.

            Don’t you see how these changes alienate your customers? Combined with tone of superiority (“this has been there since day one” — really?) and unpalatable license changes with zero notice… Anyways, if you can point me to the latest V7 release notes that’d be great.

  9. Adobe has to begin to realize Eagle was only popular because it was free. It’s not like people love its clunky interface and unusable autorouter. Nobody will be using it a few years from now.

  10. It’s a huge risk to use a subscription package for anything commercial that needs long-term accessibility – who knows where pricing will go in future ?
    And a sub model effectively forces you to use the current version – what if you have a design that is affected by an obscure bug in a newer release?
    They’ll have to make features way, way better than the competition to have any chance of not majorly losing customers to Kicad, Diptrace, Circuit maker et al.

    1. long-term accessibility and the time invested in getting libraries etc. just right makes a subscription based license like building a house on a piece of land you have to rent a year at a time

  11. I’ve been using and buying/rebuying Eagle for years. pcb_gcode was a great, quick tool for turning out rapid prototypes.

    No more. Too bad.

    Was just getting ready to shell out for the intermediate version for the makerspace. Oh well.

    Does KiCAD have a decent way to create gcode to mill PCBs?

    1. Yeah, some experience. It didn’t fare well with custom parts…

      Unless you have to, I’d avoid them. You’ll end up having to go over every square mm of your board with a fine tooth comb, and I’d still suggest that you spend the time and money to do a run of 1-5 boards before committing to a large run. It’s not a ‘press the button and done’ kind of thing.

    2. I did find that recent KiCad versions could load .brd files, at least, and this did work for one thing I wanted to look at. Of course, not being familiar with Eagle, I don’t have any expectations about what the result should be, but having searched for converters myself, it didn’t occur to me to try the obvious thing: just see if one of the KiCad applications can open the file.

      Just looking at this now, the trick is to run pcbnew separately, use the “File -> Open” option to locate and load the .brd file, save the board, then open the .pro file that also gets created somehow with KiCad. Creating a project in KiCad first and then opening the PCB editor (pcbnew) won’t work because the “Open” option is removed unless there’s a .kicad_pcb file already.

      I appreciate that the Eagle and KiCad data is multifaceted (or whatever the term is) and thus a board layout might look great but actually be missing schematic or footprint details. The .brd file must be only one part of a number of other files Eagle uses (I wouldn’t know), so there would need to be a way of getting the component and netlist data out into a form usable by the schematic editor if you had nothing else. For my quick inspection of an actual board design, however, this wasn’t a priority for me.

      I hope this didn’t tell you things you already knew.

    1. Afaik, this is exactly, what they promised not to do. Look at the original Blog post:

      It’s a Q&A regarding the acquisition. One of the questions is:

      “Will I be required to pay ‘maintenance’?”
      Answer: “Simply put, no. ”

      To be fair, maintenance is not subscription so a clever marketing guy did his job juuuuust right.

      1. Logging in and using root is still nowhere as bad as someone who managed to ftp their HDD to the world (probably accidentally).

        ftp: // /

        (remove the spaces).

        What an epic fail.
        Worse than being a 24/7 Root user.

  12. Wow. I saw this news for this pop up in my inbox this morning, and was angry all day over it.

    “The Eagle has landed..” blah blah blah. Right in a pile of crap.

    I’ve been considering going to Kicad for about a year now, so I guess this is what I’m going to do.

    I’ll bet the Kicad folks are jumping for joy over this – Autodesk just killed off Eagle pretty much.

    On a side note to Autodesk. Make it $9.99 a month for the full version ($120 per year) and watch the cash flood in. $65 per month? Nope. Your done. Stick a fork in you…

  13. Thanks to Brian Benchoff’s series, and the uncertainty around the Eagle acquisition, I decided to use KiCad for my current project. It turns out, I really like KiCad, especially the push and shove routing and the separation of schematic library and PCB footprints. I thought I would probably go back to eagle, just because I have a large library of customized parts in eagle, but it looks like I’ll be looking to convert the Eagle libraries to KiCad.

    Just wish I could get back the $69 dollars I paid for Eagle last year.

    1. I’m a longtime EAGLE user, but have been meaning to move to KiCad “when I get some free time” for a couple years now.

      But with this latest news about EAGLE, plus that KiCad demo video showing off its awesome push-and-shove routing, I think I finally have the motivation to actually go through with it!

      1. This is how you lure the young people in, so that when they have a job they buy their products. You guys should consider using Open-Source solutions instead. I am sure you know that Autodesk is benefiting long term by sponsoring you.

  14. I find it really strange when companies do things like this – unless they are really trying to kill of a product. Having the hacker community using your product would directly translate to corporates using it (where they want to make the money) so not having a version that could easily used by them and education is silly on top of all the other silliness..
    Just ask Apple, they put a lot of effort getting their products in schools ie catch their intended audience young…

  15. Subscription model is a reaction to piracy as is advert laden apps on mobiles. Blame all the freetards pirating the software that has forced them to try a different model to make it profitable. I have an app on the Google play store, free version, 1.5 million downloads. Paid version, 1200 downloads. I would expect the ratio to pirate version of eagle to paid versions is similar.

    The thieves have won.

    1. richard,

      there was no need to pirate Eagle. for those that needed basic support the download was free. now, like myself and many others we were happy to pay either the $600 or $1200 dollars for a real license. it was a reasonable amount of money for the features and support we were getting. i don’t buy the idea that piracy made this happen…

    2. I guess your “free version” is sucking as much data and infos as it can to resell those info for advertisement, so it´s not free. If you got 1200 paid version users vs 1.5Mio free version it´s just that your app is not worth paying anything, that´s it.

      1. Could be right, I do alright out of the ad money. Happens to a lot of much better apps, even award winning ones! No one wants to pay for anything so they either take the free version or steal it of the internet. This is why the industry is moving to the always connected to the internet subscription model. That way some of the code base can be locked away to stop it being stolen.

    3. You seem to be conflating “free version” and “pirated version”. I’ll chalk that down to bitterness towards the 1.49 million “freetards” (what are you, 12?) who decided the app wasn’t worth spending money on and probably regretted spending even time and bandwidth on it.

      Fact: if you offer a free version of software, you’d best make sure that (1) it’s worth using as-is, and (2) there are many good incentives to convince people to upgrade to the paid version. EAGLE passed the first hurdle but failed the second, and now their new owners are looking at income forecasts and are unable to resist the siren song of replacing one-off purchases with a continuous revenue stream.

      1. Yes, maybe that was not a good term to use. Soz.

        The abuse thrown at game developers is at epidemic levels. It’s why most dev house never answer emails, they just send the to a big empty hole. One game I worked on uses a server to validate in app purchases. Majority of the traffic is fake store certificates. iOS and Android.

        The pay for model on mobile is dead. Every man, woman, child and their dogs thinks it’s ok to steal, and because of this a new module was needed. And now you have it, a subscription model.

        You reap what you sow. (and everyone else suffers)

        1. Ironic, because I know people who only started “stealing” in response to the ‘software renting’ model.

          At some point the devs need to realize that doubling down on stupidity, instead of making it more attractive and flexible to go legit without shafting the user on a regular basis, is a bad idea

    4. Eagle hasn’t had a reasonable crack since Kronuz made his “that’s it, proved the point that Eagle isn’t uncrackable, bye” post back in the — what was that, the 4.x days?
      The heady days when Cadsoft had that massive hard-on about “dealing with pirates with the utmost vengeance”?

      Cadsoft and their successors aren’t exactly the poster children for “good business decisions”.

      1. Yes it was around the 4.x days. The cracked versions and “freeagle” ran really well but later versions recorgnized you have been using a bad version and broke the files for you. mean thing was your files would break on updating to a new version if someone just opened and saved your files with a pirated version.
        Been runing my legal eagle versions on VMs since then in case one of my students uses a cracked version again and cadsoft destroys all my legal work because of that.
        Kicad then, finally

    5. It’s more likely about a corporation looking to squeeze more out of it’s users by moving the the MRR model rather than a one off payment.
      You might have noticed an awful lot of Cloud / IoT (buzzword) products use this model. It’s a smaller pill to swallow up front and it’s human nature to forget about the cost. Or for a business it’s sometimes easier to budget these monthly expenditures than the internal bun fight to get a “one off” PO signed off every 12 months or so when you need the upgrade.

      Currently working for a large corporate that is moving all it’s software to the MRR model for the next releases.
      The exercise is entirely being run by the finance side of the business looking for a regular revenue to be able to rely on for the share price.

      1. Some of that is turn, but it came about because the software is not profitable anymore with the piracy. People think it is ok to steal £69 software. That is the same as filling up your car with petrol and driving off without paying. And it seems from some comments above, people have done just that.

        This subscription model is a reaction to software theft. Simple as that.

        1. I’m willing to bet my balls that once the “phone home” licensing part has been cracked, Eagle will be pirated way more than it ever was before.

          Piracy usually occurs more often the more unreasonable the licensing and pricing is.

          They’re directly linked.

    6. Subscription is a way for companies to try to force a revenue stream. The biggest problems isn’t piracy, it’s that the product market is getting saturated with products that are good enough and the new versions aren’t seen as being worth the upgrade price. Once on a subscription, many people will just accept the situation and continue without long-term evaluation; especially when there is no alternative left to evaluate against.

    1. AFAIK that is only useful for perfboard prototypes. I don’t really liked that ever. I preferred even to make one-off PCBs with etch resist pen over using perforated board in times where there were no useful PCB software packages (mid 80ies, when I have been in school).

    1. I don’t use Design Spark myself due to it being internet tied, but now that Eagle (including the free version) is also locked to anAutoCAD account there seems no reason to use Eagle with all its limitations when Design Spark isn’t crippled. For me I’d rather go for KiCAD for a proper stand alone package I can use how I like.

      1. Well, this way you can only generate a portion of code strictly related to parsing XML described by DTD, however, the published DTD is not entirely complete plus some conversions like mirroring and rotation are not described by DTD at all as they made on top of it. Range checking is also not in DTD as a valid piece of code. Finally, I really doubt that both coding style and naming conventions and intent for further developments would be respected by automatic code generator. At the present time this library implements only a small set of planned features, so significant part of its code is about interfacing with XML, but at least it works well for I/O.

      2. p.s. I’ve checked out ‘e2b’ generated by ‘kode’. This approach is OK for just parsing XMLs, but this is not the kind of code I’d like to use unless I’m truly desperate since converting it to what it should look like would take almost as long as rewriting it by hand. :)

    1. If you agree to their software license, all of your data is usable by Autodesk in some fashion. It doesn’t allow them to say, copy your design and distribute it, but it does allow them to upload your data in the background to their servers, and for them, or certain third parties, to “audit” it. Which means that they’ll be monetizing your design in some fashion, at least in my reading of the terms.

      This may be the biggest reason to walk away from Eagle. This is really egregious.

      4. Privacy; Use of Information; Connectivity

      4.1 Privacy and Use of Information. Licensee acknowledges and agrees that Licensee (and third parties acting on Licensee’s behalf) may provide, and Autodesk and its Resellers (and third parties acting on behalf of Autodesk and its Resellers) may obtain, certain information and data with respect to Licensee (including, without limitation, personal information) and Licensee’s business in connection with this Agreement, including, without limitation, information and data provided to or obtained by Autodesk and its Resellers (or third parties acting on behalf of Autodesk and its Resellers) through the Customer Information Form and otherwise, in connection with ordering, registration, activation, updating, validating entitlement to, auditing, monitoring Installation of and Access to Autodesk Materials, Relationship Programs and Services and managing the relationship with Licensee. Licensee hereby consents to Autodesk maintaining, using, storing and disclosing such information and data (including, without limitation, personal information, if any) in conformity with Autodesk’s policies on privacy and data protection, as such policies may be updated from time to time, including without limitation Autodesk’s Privacy Statement, as currently located at Without limitation of the generality of the foregoing, Licensee acknowledges and agrees that: (a) Autodesk may from time to time prompt Licensee (and third parties acting on Licensee’s behalf) to provide express agreement to the terms of Autodesk’s Privacy Statement and/or express agreement to specific uses of information and data (including, without limitation, personal information); (b) Autodesk may provide information and data, including, without limitation, information and data about Licensee’s use of Autodesk Materials, Relationship Programs, and Licensee’s support requests, to Autodesk subsidiaries and affiliates, Resellers and other third parties in connection with the provision, maintenance, administration or usage of Licensed Materials, Relationship Programs or Services or in connection with enforcement of any agreements relating to Licensed Materials, Relationship Programs or Services; and (c) Autodesk may make cross-border transfers of such information and data, including to jurisdictions with privacy or data protection laws that are less protective of Licensee than the jurisdiction in which Licensee is domiciled. Licensee acknowledges and agrees that such policies may be changed from time to time by Autodesk and that, effective upon posting on Autodesk’s website or other written notice from Autodesk, Licensee will be subject to such changes.

      4.2 Connectivity. Certain Licensed Materials may facilitate or require Licensee’s access to and use of content and services that are hosted on websites maintained by Autodesk or by third parties. In some cases, such content and services may appear to be a feature or function within, or extension of, the Licensed Materials on Licensee’s Computer even though hosted on such websites. Accessing such content or services and use of Licensed Materials may cause Licensee’s Computer, without additional notice, to connect automatically to the Internet (transitorily, intermittently or on a regular basis) and to communicate with an Autodesk or third-party website—for example, for purposes of providing Licensee with additional information, features and functionality or to validate that the Licensed Materials and/or content or services are being used as permitted under this Agreement or other applicable terms. Such connectivity to Autodesk websites is governed by Autodesk’s policies on privacy and data protection described in this Section 4 (Privacy; Use of Information; Connectivity). Such connectivity to websites of third parties is governed by the terms (including the disclaimers and notices) found on such sites or otherwise associated with the third-party content or services. Autodesk does not control, endorse, or accept responsibility for any such third-party content or services, and any dealings between Licensee and any third party in connection with such content or services, including, without limitation, such third party’s privacy policies, use of personal information, delivery of and payment for goods and services, and any other terms associated with such dealings, are solely between Licensee and such third party. Autodesk may at any time, for any reason, modify or discontinue the availability of any third-party content or services. Access to and use of certain content and services (whether of Autodesk or third parties) may require assent to separate terms and/or payment of additional fees.

  16. Well, this kinda sucks. I use Inventor and Eagle, as well as autocad, and all are now ‘transitioned’. I, unfortunately, don’t have a choice, but the autocad license isn’t out of my pocket.

    The other two are, but are tied to work, as well (different venue). I would like to move away, but the industry penetration (carefully chosen word) is too deep (again) to get away from it. I like the support provided by autodesk. I like Inventor and tolerate autocad, but I miss Unix suport (where Autocad started), and preferred cadkey back in the day.

    I also have several installs of each, based on the license and use. It is a real pain. I have the educational install for the teaching gig, paid install at one level for another, and different paid install for a third. If I use the wrong one, I am liable. I would love to just use the education install (the most featurefull) for everything, but, no, I have to do things the hard way sometimes. Over the years, I have rewritten many features of the more expensive versions in autolisp.

    I guess now I need to add eagle to the list of which-install-am-I-using

  17. Finally switched to KiCad for good when I noticed that the new versions of EAGLE Lite (kept it on all the workstations that didn’t have a real license) came with ads. I guess now I’ll also be converting my legacy EAGLE designs to KiCad…

  18. Already blacklisted Adobe for doing the subscription-only thing and generally being crap (I have the free Adobe Reader and the free Flash Player because there are too many files out there that I cant otherwise read and the FOSS alternatives for Windows just aren’t there yet but I dont have any other Adobe stuff installed) and now I will be blacklisting Autodesk and all their products too and wont give them a cent.

  19. looking at it, other than being a bit more expensive in the long run, the main gripe is the lower cost paid version isn’t four layer. that’s something you use to get. I’ll also have to look to see what the license on the educational version is. Autodesk’s licensing portal kind of sucks as it doesn’t tell you when things are going to expire out which license you have for that matter.

  20. With this, comes a reminder that the ‘hacking community’, and the unprofessional inquisitive amateur is generally still viewed as being messing with things that they should not. So it was, and so it will ever be. For better and for worse. It should not come as any surprise to anyone that once Autodesk aquired Eagle, that sooner or later, a more professional pricing model would come around, from this there will be an increase in development, improvements, a better tool.. It just isn’t any longer a tool the tiniest of joes can get hold of and run with. Education, learning, and self improvement sadly isn’t free. every aspect of these cost in some way. Kicad, with it’s idiosyncracies gets a boost. It’s all fine, everyone still wins eventually.

    1. Well, that reasoning has one flaw – with those prices and licensing scheme no sane professional will buy it because there are much better options there for the same or not much more expensive price. And the small scale hobbyists and small companies that used it are now being priced out of the market.

      Eagle is not 3DS Max or Maya. AutoDesk has bought those as well and their users have put up with AutoDesk’s crap, license cost hikes and what not because simply there isn’t anything else similarly capable on the market. Eagle? People used it only because it was either free for them or cheap, not because it is a really good product. There is Diptrace, Design Spark or Altium products which are orders of magnitude better and more capable.

      I think AutoDesk will either quickly backtrack on this or Eagle is pretty much dead. Altium has tried the subscription pricing and always online/cloud only licensing with their CircuitMaker or what is it called and it was a fiasco. Nobody wants to be held hostage to the whims of the company like that.

      1. “there are much better options there for [similar] price.”
        Really? At $500/y? Such as?
        My impression has always been that there were a bunch of “similar overall quality and similarly priced” CAD packages, and then there was a BIG GAP before you got to the $5k+ packages that “everybody” agreed were significantly better (OrCAD, Mentor, Altium.) (Altium is about $8k + $1750/y for the (non-mandatory) update subscription (after the first year) While I don’t like a subscription-based model, this is actually a price decrease compared to many of the competitors.
        I’ve got a lot of existing EAGLE designs that aren’t worth translating (plus ULPs and such), and a “permanent” 7.x license that will last me for a while in my non-profit status. It will take more than this change to make me move. (The interesting question is whether there WILL be additional changes. Sigh. The fear that prices will go up so I wouldn’t be able to continue to upgrade, while my old versions stop working, is pretty substantial…)

        1. westfw:
          Altium Circuti MAKER is free and has better capability than any Eagle package. The only issue is that it’s online only, which is an issue for some people.
          Altium’s Circuit Studio is $995. It has better performance and capabilities than any Eagle package. After 13months it’s $5 cheaper than Eagle. Each year after that it’s $500 less expensive than Eagle.
          Altium Designer is their top of the line. It’s a one-time cost of $8k (you can get it for less depending on the season). It blows all versions of Eagle out of the water. You can pay for a yearly subscription if you want (I don’t), but it only really keeps you at the latest version. Their 2009 version has 99.99999% of the features and capabilities of their 2016 version.

        2. The risk of using a previous perpetual license is that the OS will be deprecated in time and you can no longer install on the latest Windows (though VMs may help a bit here) and the risk of going for subscriptions is that the format can be changed yet again (normally to a secret proprietary binary form to ransom your designs).

  21. I’ve paid CADSoft thousands over the years. KiCad still doesn’t do basic things at the heart of why people love Eagle (real-time forward/back annotating for one!). But Eagle officially died today. People already revolted against CADSoft’s initial license model change with version 7.0. Now this. I’m not opposed to subscription models, but this is just way overpriced considering what the average CADSoft customer has paid in cost of ownership. Time to (unfortunately) learn KiCAD….

    1. ” KiCad still doesn’t do basic things at the heart of why people love Eagle (real-time forward/back annotating for one!)”

      Actually this is one of the very reasons why I dropped Eagle and never got back to it – annotation happening without your knowledge/any intervention means (in particular for complex designs) risk of introducing severe errors. Also older versions of Eagle used to suddenly break the sync between SCH and PCB without possibility of recovery.

      BTW. Recent versions of Kicad (dev builds) let you annotate SCH->PCB by pressing a single button. You’ll also see immediately if anything went wrong and needs your attention.


      1. There are even scripts out there that you can run in PCBnew (layout part of KiCAD) that let you create a new annotation based on position of devices on your board and backports this to EEschema.
        Currently EEschema is undergoing a major rewrite to get some features working the devs/community wanted for years but wasn’t possible.

    2. Don’t worry – even we devs curse kicad all the time, but it works, is still evolving, and you can work around most of its limitations. The developer version even has STEP export and you don’t have to pay some third party for the privilege.

  22. I have not now, nor have I ever approved of a “subscription” software pricing plan. One you pay for something, whether real or digital, then it should be yours to do with as you see fit.

    1. The key phrase these days is “recurring revenue”. Companies aren’t interested in selling you anything anymore – they want to lease or rent their products to you. Soon it will be difficult to find ANY programs that aren’t ‘software as a service’ – unless you’re in the Linux world, that is.

  23. I’d never yuse KiCAD in a ‘proper’ engineering comapny (one man band shows are a good exception here).

    Circuit Studio at $1k (you don’t have to have support) is a life time purchase and runs rings around KiCAD and Eagle (in terms of usability).

    Bye Eagle….

  24. I have only known Eagle my whole life! (hobbyist)

    Now all that time/effort was for naught? :(

    I will never go ‘subscription based’ (software) anything in my life.
    Its shame they would pay all that money to acquire Eagle, just to make this folly. They are going to lose 50% of their target audience.

      1. Not sure where your logic went…

        KiCAD is open source and has a large community behind it. If the original authors get sick of it, run out of time\money etc, someone else can always pick it up and carry on – and there are no licence issues, no copyrights etc to prevent that. That’s the beauty of open source software.

        What do you deem “financially stable” anyway? Who says Autodesk will be here in another 10 years?
        Sure, Autodesk IS a huge company and going bankrupt is very unlikely. But strange things happen!
        Who expected TI to buy National? Who expected Microchip to buy Atmel? We have no guarantee that either TI or Microchip will continue the product line of National and Atmel. Would you have said that National or Atmel were “Financially unstable” ?
        Who says Eagle will live forever just because Autodesk is (currently) a big corporation? You just can’t be sure of that.

        Say someone buys Autodesk and decides Eagle is not worth keeping. Maybe Cadsoft might say “Hey, we’ll have it back” or maybe some other company will offer to buy it. What’s the chance Autodesk\whoever would just hand it over?

        Many times a company has been bought out or gone bankrupt and some software has been left in legal limbo because half the project is licensed to the original developers, while the other half licensed to the company that bought theirs. Nobody can come to an agreement, so the whole thing just ends up dead.

        I’m not saying everything should be open source in case something bad happens. That doesn’t make much sense either.

        But if risk avoidance is your top priority because you want peace of mind over whether or not your software will be around in the future, find something open source and keep your own personal and updated copies of all the code.

      2. Yah! I invested all that time writing up documents in Star Office only to have to re-type them in OpenOffice and again in LibreOffice! And then there are all those applications I had to port from XFree to XOrg. I lost soooo much data when I tried to convert my old MySQL databases to MariaDB! How could I ever again trust an open source program to be around in the future?

        For the Windows users… that was all sarcasm and those are examples of what really happens when a popular open source program goes away. Somebody picks it up under a new name and you get to happily go on as though nothing changed… because nothing did.

        1. Agreed. And as there is going to be another 50,000 new KiCad users after the changes with Eagle… Well I think there will be enough of a user base that no one should worry about KiCad disappearing. But then I wasn’t worried before. I had bailed out of Eagle after I just got sick of abnormal user interface and the manual trace routing becase so easy and quick in KiCad.

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