I’ll be running a hands-on Arduino workshop this Saturday, where the attendees will be assembling simple circuits and connecting them to an Arduino board. Recently I’ve been trying to write up clear wiring instructions for a handout. This is one of those situations where a picture is worth a thousand words. I’ve seen circuit diagrams in other people’s projects on the internet, but assumed I’d have to purchase some expensive CAD software to create my own diagrams, or just take really good photos of my circuits. Fortunately, I was browsing an Arduino tutorial on Push Buttons when I noticed that their circuit diagram caption said “image developed using Fritzing“.
It turns out that Fritzing (available at fritzing.org) is open source software for producing professional looking circuit diagrams, breadboard layouts and blueprints for PCBs (printed circuit boards). You can start with a breadboard layout of your project and use Fritzing to turn it into file for PCB production (see tutorial here). It’s easy to use, and includes a large number of standard parts (including all of the Arduino boards) to drag and drop into your breadboard layouts.
I downloaded the Windows version of the software and spent last night playing around with it. It’s very easy to produce great looking breadboard layouts and circuit diagrams. For educators, designers or anyone who’d like to be able to share their electronics projects with others, Fritzing is a great tool to have.