From prototype to product
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 Arduino and Processing, 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.
Fritzing can be seen as an Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tool. The input metaphor is inspired by the environment of designers (the breadboard-based prototype), 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.
The software is created in the spirit of Processing and Arduino. Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animations, interactions and used by students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production; it is created to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context and to serve as a software sketchbook and professional production tool and it is an alternative to proprietary software tools in the same domain.
Arduino is a physical computing platform based on a I/O board and a development environment that uses the Wiring library to simplify writing C/C++ programs that run on the board. Arduino can be used to develop stand-alone interactive objects or can be connected to software running on a computerand allows a designer, artist, researcher, or hobbyist to document their Arduino-based prototype and create a PCB layout for manufacturing. The complimenting website helps to share and discuss drafts and experiences as well as to reduce manufacturing costs.
Some features are:
- User-friendly interface for a quick and easy workflow;
- Breadboard View: Easily build your virtual circuit exactly the way your real circuit looks like, avoiding mistakes that might occur transitioning from physical breadboard to circuit schematic;
- Schematic View: Shows the circuit you built in breadboard view as a circuit diagram, and is handy for those of you who are used to or wish to learn about standard circuit symbols;
- PCB View: Lets you design and export the necessary documents for producing a Printed Circuit Board. The pcb view features an Autoroute function, which is a great time saver;
- Palette Windows: provide parts, tools and information. These can be shown or hidden through the Window section of the menu bar;
- The Part Creator: a tool to modify parts or create new parts for Fritzing.
With Fritzing is possible, also, to create PCB layouts for turning your prototype into a robust PCB, either on your own, or with the help of a manufacturer. The output is offering nearly no options and is focussed on accessible means of production.
Fritzing is being developed by researchers in the Interaction Design Lab at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. You can contribute to the Fritzing project by creating parts, adding examples and working on the Fritzing code. Terms of license are GNU GPLv3. For more information click here.