Global distributor RS will charge an annual fee for engineers to access its online community, DesignSpark.

DesignSpark offers a suite of design tools including DesignSpark Mechanical and DesignSpark PCB, as well as 2D/3D and electronics part libraries, a range of design resources that include articles, projects and community forums.

“Since the introduction of Explorer, Creator and Engineer, earlier this year, it quickly became clear that many users wanted the option of an annual subscription. Right at the beginning, flexibility was built into our vision and approach for DesignSpark, so we have introduced this new option for businesses, organisations and individuals to make life easier for them to gain access to the advanced, yet low-cost tooling offered by DesignSpark,” said said Mike Bray, Vice-President of Innovation and DesignSpark at RS. “As always, we listen very carefully and react positively to customer feedback.”

There will be several subscpriton options to choose from, which RS states “will deliver more choice for businesses to decide how they want to pay to gain access to DesignSpark’s advanced suite of design tools and resources”.

Last April , RS introduced three subscription levels for DesignSpark payable via monthly subscription, which offered even more benefits to users at very low cost. ‘DesignSpark Explorer’, ‘DesignSpark Creator’ and ‘DesignSpark Engineer’ provide different levels of access to tools and design resources enabling members to select the best option according to their requirements.

Introduced this month, the newly-available annual fee will be £119.88 for Creator and £179.88 for Engineer, while Explorer remains free to users. In addition, DesignSpark is offering a 5% discount to any user or business that signs up for a 12-month period, an offer that is available from now until the end of December 2023.