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Documenting Circuits with Fritzing

I use Fritzing to document my Arduino projects for sharing with others, as well as sending out custom circuit board orders.

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A simple Fritzing workflow consists of the following steps:

1. Building a real circuit – it is very important that you first build a circuit in the real world and test it, before you rebuild it virtually in Fritzing.

2. Rebuilding the circuit in Fritzing – this is done by dragging parts from the Part Library to the Project View and making connections. If you cannot find a part in the library, Fritzing lets you create your own part using the Part Creator. Alternatively, you can use the Mystery Part (icon looks like a qustion mark – ?), that will let you quickly define a new part and its connectors. Parts are connected using the breadboard and wires. Wires are created instantly by clicking & dragging a part’s connector.

3. Editing a circuit – drag & drop, copy & paste, multiple selection, rotation, undo history and more, are all functions integrated in the Fritzing environment sections and the menu bar. You can bend a wire by creating bend points. Just drag them them out of the wire. You can also add Notes (bottom bar menu) or Labels (right click on a part) to your sketch.

Changing a part’s properties – properties of parts can be found and modified in the Part Inspector in the Palette Windows section. When a part in the Project View is selected, the relevant part information will show up in the Part inspector.

Switching between the Project Views – using the Navigator palette or the View Switcher, you can switch between the breadboard, schematic and pcb views. Any of these views can be used as the project’s main working environment, and can be selected at any time.

Designing a PCB – when the circuit is ready in Breadboard View, you can design a PCB layout in the PCB View. Fritzing features automatic routing and different export formats.

Documenting a Project – a project can be documented and shared using the Export function in the menu bar. “Save as shareable…” saves all necessary files and custom parts related to a project in one shareable folder.

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