ExpressPCB is very easy to use and one of the features I like most is that it is very easy to make new footprints. You don't even need to leave the current PCB design window. You just draw the footprint using predefined pads and shapes then group all elements into a component footprint. That is all. If you want this to be available in other projects, you just add it to library.
There are also some downsides. The export dialog is quite limited and you can't directly export mirrored layouts. However there is a workaround that I will show you.
We started to design a dark activated switch for which we now have a schematic. In order to make the PCB we need pinout and footprint information for some of the parts: the opamp and the relay. While the opamp uses a standard DIP-8 capsule that we can find in the library, for the relay I will draw the footprint according to the datasheet.
|Setting the grid units and snapping|
|Making PCB component|
We can add all the remaining components to the project now. For the LDR we will use a simple two pin connector footprint or even a 5 mm LED footprint works. I recommend switching back to the default grid of 0.050".
|Finished project in ExpressPCB|
Now let's see how we can export this project. There are only two options in the File menu. One for DXF output and the other with bitmap output. This is what the bitmap renders.
|ExpressPCB print dialog|
|Importing PCB into GIMP|
Have you ever used ExpressPCB? I forgot to mention it features a PCB manufacturing service and you can order PCBs directly from it.