Over recent months I’ve experimented with so many open source tools including Arduino, Processing, MeshLab, and FreeCAD. The latest one on my list is called Fritzing, and with many of my recent posts featuring experiments with Arduino (or specifically the Freetronics Eleven), this is a fantastic tool to begin clearly documenting the schematics of these.
Fritzing includes a library of standard electronic components, along with of course Arduino boards and blank breadboards, replicating the physical hardware in a graphical ‘sketch.’ It’s a simple matter of dragging and dropping components, and then drawing wires to connect everything together. In a matter of seconds you have a clear record of your layout to come back to at any time. The images above start with a photograph of the simple potentiometer circuit I used for a previous post combining the Arduino + Rhino + Grasshopper + Firefly, followed by a diagram from Fritzing (called ‘breadboard’ view), and finally another automatically generated view of the schematic. That’s the great thing about Fritzing – everything you do in one view translates across to all the others. You can even design your own PCB’s from scratch ready for manufacture!
It also looks like there is a section to add your Arduino code and upload directly, although according to the website this is a new experimental feature. But looking into the future it seems a fantastic tool to combine everything you need to both program and digitally test your project in one place, along with just sharing your design with others. I’ll use this for any future posts detailing Arduino experiments so you can also replicate them easily, or at least understand what’s been done.
– Posted by James Novak