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 GPL v3

Fritzing

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

Return to Electronic Design Automation Home Page


Ongoing series
Linux for StartersNew to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series.
Free and Open Source SoftwareThe largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Supplied with our legendary ratings charts.
Linux ReviewsHundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software.
Alternatives to GoogleAlternatives to Google's Products and Services examines your options to migrate from the Google ecosystem with open source Linux alternatives.
MicrosoftAlternatives to Microsoft's Products and Services recommends open source Linux software.
Linux System ToolsEssential Linux system tools looks at small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.
Linux ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
Home Computer EmulatorsHome computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
Now and ThenNow and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years.
Linux at HomeLinux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.
Linux CandyLinux Candy opens up to the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun!
Best Free Android AppsBest Free Android Apps. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series
Programming BooksThese best free books accelerate your learning of every programming language
Programming TutorialsThese free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to the free programming books series
Stars and StripesStars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA
Share this article

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.