RS Group plc, a global omni-channel provider of product and service solutions, today announced the launch of the next phase of DesignSpark, RS’ fast-growing online community for engineers. It offers a suite of design tools including DesignSpark Mechanical and DesignSpark PCB, plus comprehensive 2D/3D and electronics part libraries, and a host of design resources such as technology articles, projects and community forums.
Unveiled today, this next phase in the DesignSpark engineering community has
been designed to present an enhanced and increasingly personalised experience for
members. The new DesignSpark will offer three subscription levels, respectively
called: ‘DesignSpark Explorer’, ‘DesignSpark Creator’ and ‘DesignSpark Engineer’,
which will enable members to select their own level of access according to their
requirements for design tools and resources.
Likely to suit students, makers, and designers, DesignSpark Explorer will enable members to retain the same community access and award-winning tools and design resources that they enjoy today – completely free – enabling them to quickly make the leap from concept to prototype.
Key tools available in DesignSpark Explorer include: DesignSpark PCB, the award-
winning rapid-prototyping tool for circuit design that allows the creation of
schematics, transfer to a PCB layout and preparation for production, all backed by
pre-built component libraries and tools to ensure error-free PCBs; and DesignSpark
Mechanical, a direct modeller that requires no prior experience with 3D CAD
software and enables users to freely create and modify geometry. Excellent for
prototyping and conveying requirements to the engineering team, DesignSpark
Mechanical enables the rapid prototyping or reverse engineering of any physical
In addition to engineering support and public forums within the DesignSpark
engineering community, DesignSpark Explorer subscribers will continue to have
access to more than 100 million 3D models and 2D symbols for circuit design, and
the ability to perform searches on one billion parts, accessing data sheets and part
lifecycle status information.
For users looking for even more advanced tools and resources, further DesignSpark
options are now available featuring design tools with enhanced features. For
example, and ideal for serious makers, pro-makers and SMEs, DesignSpark Creator,
at a price of £9.99 per month, will offer the same tools and resources available in
Explorer, but will also provide an enhanced version of DesignSpark Mechanical. This
will include a 3D Mirror tool and detailing tools to annotate parts and create
manufacturing drawings, and enhanced part libraries that provide further intelligence
on component capabilities and status. In addition, there will be skills and learning
videos, tutorials and tips contributed by experts from the DesignSpark community.
Additionally, DesignSpark Engineer, at a price of £14.99 per month, brings the
ultimate in design creativity and flexibility for the most demanding users, making it
ideal for professional-level design engineers. DesignSpark Engineer offers the same
enhanced features of DesignSpark Mechanical available in DesignSpark Creator and
expands significantly on DesignSpark PCB with a new advanced feature set,
including the use of blind and buried vias for high-density PCB design, custom pad
shapes, differential pair routing for high-speed signals, a panels editor, and
hierarchical schematic block capability. As well as the high support levels available in
Creator, DesignSpark Engineer also provides even more parts intelligence data,
including export compliance data and PCN/EOL notifications, plus aid with
The full suite of capabilities available to paying subscribers would be typically worth
an estimated £1000. Through the subscription model, RS is now able to offer these
at an entry price level equivalent to a Netflix subscription per month.
Free Trial Period
In addition, as part of the launch, RS is introducing a free trial period to allow all
DesignSpark members to try out the ‘Creator’ and ‘Engineer’ subscription options
with their more advanced and fully featured versions of the DesignSpark tools,
enabling them to assess these additional capabilities before deciding which option
will best suit their needs. The free trial period begins today – 24 January 2023 – and
will run until 31 March 2023.
“Today’s launch is the next phase in the lifecycle for our award-winning suite of
design tools and design engineering resources”, said Mike Bray, Vice-President of
Innovation and DesignSpark at RS. “RS is continually aiming to enhance and
personalise the design experience for engineers and through engagement with the
DesignSpark community and extensive research into the needs of its members, we
have recognised that one size does not fit all. Therefore, we are looking to bring the
right level of resources suitable for the DesignSpark community from students and
hobbyists to super makers to professional design engineers in companies of all sizes
and industries. And, importantly, we are offering a solution that puts DesignSpark
members in control of what and when they use a higher level of capability.”
DesignSpark Explorer, Creator and Engineer – and access to the free trial – are
available at rs-online.com/designspark/home, enabling members to discover for
themselves which subscription can best meet their needs. The DesignSpark tools
are supported by the DesignSpark software team and by the online DesignSpark
engineering community, which now has 1.3 million members.