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I want to design a schematic and board pair (e.g. 'submodule.sch' and 'submodule.brd'), and then use multiple instances of 'submodule' to make a new design: '8submodules' (which contains 8 instances of 'submodule'). Yes, you can copy and paste, but I desire the ability to change the 'submodule' and it automatically updating all the instances.

Eagle 6 now declares:

Design Reuse (available for EAGLE Professional and EAGLE Standard)

Merge board/schematic pairs using the PASTE function with full consistency You can copy an already finished design consisting of a consistent pair of Schematic and Layout into another project. Enumeration of components and signals will be exactly the same in board and schematic, so that consistency between schematic and board will be maintained. This supports easy design, for example, of multi-channel devices. You only have to design schematic and layout for one channel and can copy it easily.

How do I do this?


Edit: After looking into this further, I came to the conclusion that @Dave_Tweed is correct - this is not possible with Eagle. However, I am now using the open source KiCad which does support 'Hierarchical Blocks'. IMHO Kicad is generally an excellent EDA, much better than EAGLE.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I have been using Eagle for 3 years. I am now using KiCad (4.0+). KiCad is a superior EDA tool. \$\endgroup\$ – Anton Sep 16 '16 at 15:59
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I didn't know it could do this, but I've just tried it out, and it works. Here's how I did it.

  1. Open a new schematic, or whichever schematic you want to add an existing design to.
  2. File->Import
  3. Select the schematic of the design you want to add to the open schematic.
  4. Make sure the nets are named the way you want (identically named nets will merge)

That's it, I get a new sheet for the added schematic and the completed layout added next to the existing layout.

If this doesn't work for you, it's likely because you're using the Eagle Freeware, not Eagle Standard or Professional. The hobbyist/non-commercial version is not too much if that is the problem and it counts as Eagle Standard. It's what I have.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Does Eagle show ports on the outside of the hierarchical blocks or just "quietly" connects the nets on the background? Just curious. I'm using freeware Eagle occasionally. (My main tool is OrCAD, which has a pretty good hierarchical blocks for schematics.) \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Nov 16 '12 at 1:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ Eagle does not have true hierarchical schematics, just the ability to copy-and-paste subsections of a design. In other words, you can't have N "instances" of a subcircuit, then edit that subcircuit and have the changes show up on all N copies. You have to finalize the subcircuit first, then copy it. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Nov 16 '12 at 2:15

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