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Originally CircuitCAM has been developed by LKSoft in a partnership with LPKF Laser & Electronics AG to drive their milling, drilling and Laser machines. It was a replacement for the older PCB CAD System ColorCAM that was designed for 16 bit computers in the pre-windows area. Till the end of 2011 CircuitCAM has been exclusively sold by LPKF Laser & Electronics AG with more than 10 000 paid licenses.

In 2014 CircuitCAM is taken over by DCT Co.,Ltd in Tianjin, China and DCT continues to support the development. DCT Laser Solutions GmbH continues to sell the software in Europe and North America.

First generation

While Windows 3.11/3.2 was a pure 16-bit system, CircuitCAM had been from the beginning been implemented as a 32 bit system using the WATCOM C compiler. For internal data management the toolkit EdifPi from LKSoft together with the EDIF 2 0 0 data structure was chosen.

v 1 (1991/92): The initial release.

v 2.0 (1995): First release with complete functionality, including

  • available variants: DEMO, BASIS and PLUS
  • import Gerber, Excellon, Sieb & Meyer, HPGL
  • export: Gerber, Excellon, HPGL, PostScript, LMD
  • design rule check
  • editing of 2D objects
  • complex 2D operations (union, difference, intersection, oversize)
  • insulation with 1 or 2 tools

Second generation

Switching over to the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) for Windows 95 and introducing the new "CAM" data structure, replacing the EDIF 2 0 0 data structure.

v 3.0 (1997)

  • binary CAM format
  • undo/redo

v 4.0 (2001):

  • Wizard for typical prototyping processes
  • Aperture Template Editor (separate application) for Excellon and Gerber aperture/tool lists
  • Import ODB++
  • Import EESof from Aligent(HP) CAD system
  • Export Gerber, GerberX, Excellon, HP-GL
  • Text based on TTF (true type fonts) and ISO 3098 fonts
  • Check list of drill tools ad ensure that every diameter is covered
  • Big cross cursor
  • Sub-layer for different kind of tools
  • DRC (design rule check)
  • Step and Repeat
  • Batch prcessing
  • Direction and order of tool paths
  • Direct entering of coordinates during creation and modification
  • Combine to polygon
  • Stencil font
  • Laser Scanner DlgBox
  • Frame Generator
  • Stencil calulation
  • PCB Prototyping wizard

v4.1 (2002-11)

v4.2 (2004-01)

v4.3 + v5.0 (2004)

  • CAM calculation for StencilLasers

v 4.4 + v5.1 (2006-08)

  • ProtoLaser Rubout (only v5.1)
  • Compare shape
  • Import Barco DPF

v 5.2 (2007-04)

  • Print Preview and copy to EMF
  • Optimized Export sorting for shortest distances for huge data sets

Third generation

The development for version 6 started in early 2006. Main motivation was to update the whole GUI for actual Windows styles and to make the code more leaner and modular to support maintainability. As a result the overall stability of CircuitCAM was significantly improved.

v 6.0 (2007): Initial release with LITE and PCB variant

  • dockable views
  • generally improved import dialog

v 6.1 (2009): covering Stencil

v 6.2 (2010):

  • Footprint recognition
  • Library support

v 6.3 (2011-09): A parallel release of two configurations, one with specific functionality for LPKF Laser & Electronics AG and one without.

  • Generic batch job and tasks engine to generate any kind of CAM datafor milling, drilling and Laser cutting and structuring
  • subLayout instances, allowing multi-layer macros, e.g. for packages
  • BGA package recognition using comprehensive BGA library
  • BGA package editor

Fourth generation

With CircuitCAM v7.0 the fourth generation of this software started. The new software is no longer bound to LPKF and offers a complete new way of generating tool-pats for milling, drilling and Laser machining. See v7 Versus v6.x for the details of the differences and v7 Change Log for the details on the evolution of the fourth generation,