SnapEDA Harnesses Technology in Providing Verified Parts

Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine | 03-28-2018

Like many young entrepreneurs, Natasha Baker knew she wanted to run her own company years before she finally pulled the trigger. But she waited until the time was right, developed a business plan, and stuck to it. Now, five years after SnapEDA was launched, the company continues to expand its library parts and symbol creation services, with the help of some of today’s most cutting-edge technology. I recently caught up with Natasha, and we discussed how her team utilizes technology that has helped SnapEDA to become a major player in this space.

Andy Shaughnessy: Tell us a little about your company, Natasha.

Natasha Baker: Sure. SnapEDA is a website used by half a million hardware designers globally to build their circuit boards faster. We provide the building blocks needed to bring designs to life, such as the symbols, footprints, and 3D models.

When we launched in 2013, the problem we set out to solve was, “How can we remove barriers in the design flow so that designers can innovate faster?” We saw that content was a huge opportunity for this, since designers spend days making models for each component on their circuit board from scratch, or were skipping potentially beneficial aspects of design, such as simulation, due to an ability to find simulation models.

The problem came to a head when I was making a circuit board for a tradeshow that ended up taking triple the amount of time it should have due to a lack of content in my design tool.

I thought, “What if we could create Google for circuit board design? It would be a place that provides designers with ready-to-use content, and transparency into the quality of that content.” And that’s how the idea for SnapEDA was born.

Since we first raised funding for the company two-and-a-half years ago, our community of electronics designers has grown over 4,000%, and our monthly growth continues to accelerate. Our users love it because it’s high quality, fast, and easy-to-use.

It's also entirely free for designers. We don’t limit the downloads, and there’s no prompts to upgrade. This is because, as a team of over 20 passionate engineers, we built the product we would have wanted. We’re able to do this by working with component vendor and distributors. 

Shaughnessy: What is your latest news?

Baker: Our latest news is that we’ve collaborated with TE Connectivity, a $13 billion leader in connectivity and sensors. In February, we launched over 25,000 new CAD files for their products on SnapEDA, including connectors, relays, switches, sensors, and more.

I’m also excited to announce here that TE Connectivity will be sponsoring our InstaPart service for a limited time. For those who are unfamiliar, InstaPart is our 24-hour symbol and footprint request service. Although SnapEDA is free, sometimes engineers need parts quickly that aren’t yet in our library. Once we add the part, it’s made available to the entire community to download for free.

To read this entire interview, which appeared in the March 2018 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.