RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, the global distributor for engineers, has announced that its DesignSpark online electronics engineering community has now reached a total of 500,000 members.
Launched in 2010, the DesignSpark ecosystem offers online design resources and free downloadable tools: DesignSpark PCB, a professional-grade schematic-capture and PCB design tool; DesignSpark Mechanical, an advanced 3D CAD tool based on direct modelling techniques; and DesignSpark Electrical, a fully specified electrical CAD package for the design of control panel, machinery and electrical systems. DesignSpark also offers a huge library of PCB schematics, components footprints and 3D models, as well as the new Obsolescence Manager tool created to enable engineers and purchasing professionals avoid risk due to product obsolescence.
In addition to the half million registered members, the suite of free-for-download DesignSpark software tools has received hundreds of thousands of user activations since their respective launches, including: over 225,000 for DesignSpark PCB from 2010; 200,000 for DesignSpark Mechanical from 2013; and almost 35,000 for DesignSpark Electrical from 2015. Other highly popular tools available via DesignSpark include RS Toolbox, which has 48,000 users.
“For DesignSpark to reach half a million members is a significant landmark,” said Alex Von Schirmeister, chief innovation officer at RS. “Today, in conjunction with the empowerment and democratisation of electronics design technology, there is a new way of working in our industry that involves greater collaboration. This offers something highly valuable not only to professional electronics, mechanical and electrical engineers from traditional electronics markets, but also to other industries interested in design, as well as the maker community and students at school and university. Our data shows that members are not only downloading information and free software tools, but are also using the DesignSpark community to share design know-how and create new content.”
RS has continued to improve the functionality of the DesignSpark website, which now offers easy navigation, enabling users to find content more easily, and providing fast purchasing options via the local RS website. The site is also harnessing user-generated content for a wide range of electronics and automation/industrial applications.