CircuitMaker implements schematic capture and PCB design using the same engine as Altium Designer, providing an almost identical user experience. The schematic editor includes basic component placement and circuit design as well as advanced multi-channel design and hierarchical schematics. All schematics are uploaded to the Altium server and can be viewed by anyone with a CircuitMaker account, stimulating design re-use. CircuitMaker supports integration with the Octopart search engine and allows drag and drop placement of components from the Octopart search results if schematic models are attached to them. Users can build missing schematic symbols and commit them to the server, called the Community Vault, making them available for other users. The continuously growing part database eliminates the need for a custom schematic symbol or footprint design for common parts, increasing user-friendliness for beginners.
Concurrency editing was added in version 1.3
Transfer of schematics to a PCB is a straightforward process in CircuitMaker since PCB footprints are automatically attached to any component on the schematic that was picked from the Octopart library. PCB footprints may have simple 3D models or complex STEP models attached to them, enabling real time 3D rendering of the PCB during development. CircuitMaker supports design rule configuration and real time design rule checking. Some advanced features, including differential pair routing and polygon pour management, are also available. Production files can be exported directly, although an external Gerber viewer must be used to check the exports. The entire PCB can also be exported as a 3D STEP model for further use in mechanical 3D CAD software.