Fritzing – free tool to create interactive electronics

Fritzing is an open source software tool to support designers, artists and hobbyists to work creatively with interactive electronics.

It is designed to help one transition from a prototype to a finished project. Aimed at users who want to produce or document circuits and experiments, one starts by building a physical prototype, then recreating it with Fritzing’s graphical editor. From there one can generate a schematic, PCB artwork, and PCB production files.

Fritzing is essentially Electronic Design Automation software suited to the needs of designers and artists. It uses the metaphor of the breadboard, so that it is easy to transfer a hardware sketch to the software by using a drag-and-drop-based GUI to copy your sketch. From there it is possible to create PCB layouts for turning your prototype into a robust PCB, either on your own, or with the help of a manufacturer.

It was developed at the University of Applied Sciences of Potsdam.

Features include:

  • User-friendly interface for a quick and easy workflow:
    • Project View – where a virtual electronic circuit is built and edited in breadboard, schematic or pcb view.
    • Palette Windows – consisting of the Part Library, Part Inspector, Undo History and Navigator.
    • Part Creator – a tool to modify parts or create new parts for Fritzing.
    • Bottom Bar provides quick access to a few of Fritzing’s commands and options.
  • Represents electronic parts realistically and takes an intuitive approach to make complex technology usable by non-technologists.
  • Breadboard View – looks like a real-life breadboard prototype.
  • Schematic View – a more abstract way to look at components and connections than the Breadboard view. This representation is similar to the traditional diagrams used by engineers.
  • PCB View – design how the components will appear on a physical Printed Circuit Board. PCBs can be made at home or in a small lab using DIY etching processes.
  • Parts Library.
  • Several bins. The main bins are “Core” and “Mine”. The Core bin contains all standard parts, where families of similar parts are aggregated into one (e.g., the red LED stands for all the other colors). The Mine bin will contain your custom created parts.
  • Autoroute – automatically generate the connection traces between parts.
  • Hand-routing.
  • Design Rules Check – checks there are no connectors or traces that overlap or are too close together.
  • Configurable Design Rules Keepout.
  • Ground Fill.
  • Zoom in/out.
  • Variety of export options:
    • Image: PNG, JPG, SVG, PDF, PostScript.
    • Production: Etchable (PDF), Etchable (SVG), Extended Gerber. Etchable PDF option exports only the necessary design for etching.
    • List of Parts (HTML) – generates a list of all parts in the circuit.
    • XML Netlist.
  • Internationalization support.

Website: fritzing.org
Support: FAQ, GitHub Code Repository
Developer: Interaction Design Lab at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Germany
License: GNU General Public License v3.0


Fritzing is written in C++. Learn C++ with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Return to Electronic Design Automation

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