Update on Upverter and its Development

The May update to Upverter is now live. This update represents a significant milestone that brings a number of important new capabilities and enhancements to users. In addition to major infrastructure work, it brings true 3D design, fast and beautiful graphics rendering, PCB capabilities, and a vastly improved project gallery which are among the changes we are confident users will be excited to find. You can read more about Upverter’s May update in this blog post from our R&D team, but what I’d like to provide is an update on Altium’s vision for Upverter.

When Altium acquired Upverter in 2017, it was with the intent to bring the power of desktop CAD and combine it with the lightweight, collaborative capabilities of a true, native cloud application. Upverter is fundamentally a new kind of PCB design platform, created to support users who are native to the world of online apps and community based sharing and collaboration. A new breed of PCB design tool for a new breed of users who want easy to use, easy to access, collaborative, powerful tools that help to turn their ideas into real products.

Upverter is a pure cloud solution for PCB design, making collaboration natural and effortless. By nature it’s easily accessible, requiring only a web browser to use. Altium will keep Upverter true to these fundamental characteristics – collaborative and accessible – now and in the future. Over time, leveraging and building upon the modular design concepts pioneered by solutions like Gumstix Gepetto, Upverter will also make it possible to create real, working electronics even for those with limited or no experience in PCB design.

Simplicity and ease of use won’t come at the expense of capability, however. We’ll continue to make Upverter more functional, bringing over powerful capabilities and features from our industry leading desktop PCB solutions. And while the user types may be different, we’ll ensure that Upverter will be able to share design content with those more traditional desktop design applications, particularly CircuitMaker.

One more thing that I would like to say, is about our previous communication related to merging of Upverter and CircuitMaker.  While we still believe that Upverter and CircuitMaker are closely connected, we see them remaining as unique products as each offers a unique set of capabilities that would be compromised if the two products were to be fully merged.

Our vision for Upverter and CircuitMaker has evolved and can best be explained by considering how Google Docs and Microsoft Word can share documents. Microsoft Office file types are already compatible with G-Suite and can be uploaded, downloaded, stored, viewed, and shared within the interface. It can also be done in reverse. Simply download a Google Doc to your computer and open it in Microsoft Word as you would any document.

They are not merged as a single product, and with good reason. Microsoft Word has more advanced capabilities than Google Docs – for those who need them. And as a native cloud application, Google Docs is more accessible, and natural for collaboration (no setup required). In many businesses and homes, around the world, users choose to use one or the other based on what’s most important to them, and yet both are used within the same places and documents can be shared between them. That’s the same way we see Upverter and CircuitMaker working together.

This latest update is the first of a series towards the realization of a powerful, collaborative, and accessible platform for the democratization of electronic design or in other words, “PCB Design For Anyone and Everyone” – so stay tuned, because we’re just getting started.

Ted Pawela – Chief Operating Officer, Altium

Upverter Tour Update – Vancouver Hack Space

Our next stop on the tour was Vancouver!  First I want to thank VHS (Vancouver Hack Space) for hosting our 4th meetup, the space is great and the people are even better, if you are ever in town you should swing by and check it out. I think Tuesday is open house night.

For this one I was flying solo with the goals to connect with our users, get feedback on the future of Upverter and Circuit Maker, and find the words that best describe what we are working on.  I hope everyone had as good a time, I could not have had a better and more engaging time talking about what people are working on and Upverter’s future plans.

So what did we talk about? well we started with what people are working on, like this pump controller for a sail boat! And being a fire thrower on weekends!  As a side note, I love boats and electronics, so I was jealous.  The people that came and the projects that they are making made this event a great time.  Thank you everyone for coming out and sharing.


I got to talk with people about what Upverter is are working on right now, how our engineering team is busy working night and day bringing Upverter and Circuit Maker communities together.  It was exciting to talk to people that had used both, what drew them to try both and how they see bringing our families together to make a better place to build electronics.  I am excited to keep this ball rolling and get the new look Upverter + Circuit Maker joint community live by the end of the year!

Together we we also talked about the future, what we are thinking and discuss what we are cooking up in the lab.  I got the chance to get feedback on the Upverter all in one solution that helps take Ideas and deliver them to your door.  What does that mean?  Well this is were it go tricky, I will need more ink to fully explain, but let me give you an idea of the high level what we talked about.

The first idea we talked about is “automated system design to pcb”, “modular design” or “drag and drop electronics”.  This is making a tool that connects templates together at a functional level, not at the IC level, making it easier and faster to get from your idea to a manufacturable PCB layout.  One aspect that I am excited about it having a fully syncronized System design, schematic and PCB layout!

The next idea that we talked about is integrated manufacturing, having a “print button” that checked the design for errors ahead of ordering, and when it passes, have a fully assembled PCB at your door.  This solves a real problem that I have personally, I cannot wait to make this a reality!

Finally we talked about integrated enclosure design.  Is it be better to auto-generate an enclosure from the PCB design? or should we make the enclosure and generate a board outline from the created enclosure?  both?  we need to start somewhere and we need your help on building what makes sense for you


We are doing the next meetups in the Bay Area, if you are around you need to join us!  I would love to get your thoughts on what future and get to know what kinds of projects you are working on, thinking about or dreaming of making.  Check out when and where we are going next on the Upverter Events Page.

Michael and the Upverter Team!