Using Upverter to teach PCB design

Several organizations, from universities and independent workshops to maker/hackerspaces have used Upverter for teaching PCB design to aspiring hardware engineers.

They’ve emailed us with the reasons Upverter worked well + some tips they learned for making the teaching experience a success. Here they are:

Why Upverter is great for teaching

  • Realtime collaboration makes it easy for the teacher to demonstrate concepts on a single central design that all the students can watch in real-time and then fork afterwards.
  • Upverter works on any OS/browser so students can bring the laptop of their choice. There is nothing to download and install, making it easy to get started.
  • The central parts library makes it easy to share components among students
  • The instructor can easily markup a student’s design and give advice
  • Since Upverter runs in the browser, students can continue to work from home when the workshop is finished and share their work with other students.

Tips For Running a Successful Workshop

  • Create a team ahead of time so that all student projects are grouped in one place.
  • Create base designs under the team that students can fork and use as a starting point. The same goes for components and libraries. If you’re running regular workshops you’ll only need to do this once.
  • Create a fun place for students to embed their design (ie. on your website or blog).
  • Be sure to include manufacturing in your lesson. Have students submit their PCB to a manufacturer so they get something tangible in their hands – it’s a great feeling!

Do you have any other tips?


I’ve been teaching workshops using Upverter for about a year now, and I think that the best thing for me has been the ability to create base designs. This is super helpful if you’re teaching a multi-day workshop. I can create a new base design for each day of the workshop, that way if someone misses a day or gets confused, they can just start from the design that allows them to focus on that day’s topic. It also means if people get confused about something, there’s an easy way for them to catch up with the rest of the class.


What is required to learn PCB design?