PCB Libraries was started in 2003 as a sole proprietorship and was based on a couple of decades worth of work. We developed simple scripts to automate the creation of PCB libraries. Our scripts caught on very quickly, and we incorporated in 2004. The LP Wizard we developed over 12 years ago has for the most part remained unchanged after getting acquired in 2008 by Valor. Valor was later acquired by Mentor Graphics.
Since the acquisition, support for most CAD formats other than (understandably) Mentor Graphics' own was either dropped or significantly reduced. The original PCB Libraries team regrouped in 2011, with bigger and more ambitious goals. We rewrote the IPC Calculator code from scratch, keeping it more agile and easy to upgrade. We also developed new PCB library creation features to improve ways of calculating and generating PCB libraries.
In addition to the PCB Footprint Expert, we are also pursuing goals to develop a much more comprehensive online database of all component manufacturer part numbers for creation of high quality PCB libraries, in every major CAD tool format.
Below is the history of the footprint software, listed by major revisions.
|1st||LandCalc V2001 with Metric Environment Spreadsheets (IPC-SM-782)|
|2nd||LandCalc & LandWiz for PADS V2003 (IPC-7351 3-Tier)|
|3rd||PCB Navigator – First calculator software GUI with PADS export V2004|
|4th||LP Calculator & LP Wizard using PADS .p file format for library + new GUI V2005 (added Expedition, Board Station, Allegro)|
|5th||LP Viewer, LP Calculator, LP Librarian, LP Wizard with new .plb file format for library + new GUI V2007 (added PCBL-STARTER content)(added PCAD, Pantheon, CADSTAR, Ultiboard, CR-5000 & OrCAD Layout)|
|6th||LP Calculator & LP Wizard with new .plb09 file format for library + new GUI V2009 (added different units for mils, inch, millimeters and micrometers and through-hole component families)(added Eagle & McCAD)|
|7th||PCB Footprint Expert with new .fpx file format for component dimension library V2012 (with support for all major CAD tools!)|
|8th||"PCB Library Expert" now creates 3D STEP models; footprints for non-standard components supported as well!|
|9th||PCB Library Expert Suite & Parts on Demand (POD) - integration with a dynamic online database, allowing unprecedented flexibility in CAD Library management.|
|10th||Version 2021 was a complete rewrite to improve efficiency and user interface - renamed to "Footprint Expert".|
|11th||Planned - Schematic Symbols, subscriptions, and more!|