Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Fritzing

In Hardware on Jan 9, 2012 at 00:01

The quickest way to describe what Fritzing is about, is to quote the first paragraph on their site:

Fritzing is an open-source initiative to support designers, artists, researchers and hobbyists to work creatively with interactive electronics. We are creating a software and website in the spirit of Processing and Arduino, developing a tool that allows users to document their prototypes, share them with others, teach electronics in a classroom, and to create a pcb layout for professional manufacturing.

It has been around for a while, evolving and improving at a steady pace. Here’s a screen shot of the main window:

Medium getting started 1

The neat bit is that support has now been added for the JeeNode, as well as support for the main two prototyping / extension mechanisms, the JeePlug and the Carrier Card. Just search for the “JeeLabs” keyword:

Fritzed jee

So now you can use Fritzing to design and document projects, and create printed circuit boards for them!

  1. Cool! Fritzing is in Debian (unstable and testing only for now), so it’s super easy to install. Unfortunately, it’s now two releases behind at version 0.6.3b from August, not the just-released 0.6.5b that includes JeeNodes.

  2. Great, I was waiting for JeeNode on Fritzing.

  3. Excellent news – I’ve been using fritzing for designing little plugs for a couple of months.

  4. I’ve tried last week to use fritzing but I was not very enjoyed… In my opinion, goods points are : - jeenodes / arduino PCB templates - “read-to-produce” PCB through their website

    bad points: - software interface are not ergonomic : schematic and PCB are awful to use. I’ve spend hours trying to move vias, reconnect hundred times wires that mysteriously disconnect, editing parts with wring pinout…

    fritzing is great for very small PCB (less than ten components), in the other case, it’s more efficient to use more “advanced” software (free too) like Kicad for instance.

    I hope that fritzing will improve their softwares, because i think that their philosophy is interesting for producing quickly small ‘clean’ PCB for hobbyist.

    PS : i’m used with other PCB software (Cadence, Cadstar, Proteus/Ares, Kicad, …) on my job (electronic engineering). ;-)

  5. @Rzbo:

    …i’m used with other PCB software (Cadence, Cadstar…)

    Then, I do not think Fritzing is for you. It wasn’t really meant for people who are already familiar / comfortable with the professional layout/PCB design tools. The target audience of Fritzing is the Arduino/Processing community as the introduction says, which includes very large number of people who are not electronic engineers, but artists, visualizers, hobbyists etc.

    Having used Fritzing several times in the past, however, I think it certainly has some pain-points and warts. Also it’s documentation (in form of tutorial videos) has only recently improved, but I’d say is still not enough. However, I am happy to note that, with enough care and practise (and some good luck), you can get a professional looking PCB without knowing much of PCB design.

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