Fritzing: creating your own part

A 3 minute guide, as well as a "from scratch" guide

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Want the tutorial? Scroll to the description!

So, the bounty that Benchoff has put on a tutorial like this would help me move my projects forward and pay some bills. Since I'm currently unemployed, I put on my robe and a wizard hat - and dive into a vat of something smelling of frustration and bad UX, hoping that this goal is not located too deep and my tank of patience will not run out at the wrong moment. I hope to get better at Inkscape along the way, too.

Update: it wasn't that bad, and I learned a lot about Inkscape, Fritzing and SVGs along the way. A day and a half well-spent!

This tutorial is a tutorial from scratch - I'm not referring to any existing tutorials. Just downloading Fritzing, understanding how the parts work and creating my own part from zero.

Want to make a simple part quickly? Here's a 3 minute guide!

This guide doesn't fit your requirements and you need to draw a part from the scratch? Follow this:

  • 7) Combining everything into a .fzp

    Arya12/14/2016 at 01:23 0 comments

    If you want to create your very new part, here's the short way to do it:

    1. Copy a part from the stock library to "My parts" library
      1. Place the part you want to copy on breadboard/PCB/schematic
      2. While it's selected, go Part->Edit
      3. Go to File and use Save as new part
    2. Locate the part in your Documents folder
      1. It'll be in Documents/Fritzing/parts/user
      2. Throw in your svgs in parts/svgs/user
    3. In Parts editor, use the File->Load image for view to load new SVGs for the currently selected view (Breadboard/Schematic/PCB/Icon)
      1. You can also map pins to SVG elements there, though I didn't try it out myself.
      2. You can also edit pin descriptions, metadata and any XML fields
      3. Basically, Part Editor is a powerful thing.
    Read more »

  • 6) Simple guide - making the PCB footprint

    Arya12/14/2016 at 00:12 1 comment

    A very simple footprint. Fritzing generates those automatically, again, and this is how it looks:

    Couldn't have done it simpler.

    Read more »

  • 5) Simple guide: Making a schematic

    Arya12/13/2016 at 18:43 0 comments

    We're aiming for a simple schematic symbol - a rectangle, pins from both sides matching the physical pinout and text labels with those.

    New Inkscape document:

    Canvas dimensions:

    • Width: 1 inch
    • Height: (number of pins from one side + 1 )*0.1, for our ATtiny it's 5*0.1 = 0.5

    IC body:

    Draw a rectangle, no fill, black outline with 1px stroke width. Dimension it to 0.5x0.5in and center.

    IC pins:

    Draw a straight line, set width to 0.25 in and height to something like 0.012. Move first row of lines to X:0.0in and Y:(0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4)in. Second row goes to X:0.75in and same Y.

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  • 4) The simplest guide - DIP/SIP/SMD in 2 minutes!

    Arya12/13/2016 at 17:03 0 comments

    1. Open Fritzing
    2. Part window is on the right of Fritzing window, go to Core parts
    3. In "ICs" section, select the first one - with "IC" on it
    4. Inspector window is right under the Parts window (if not, go to Window->Inspector), we need the Properties section
    5. In that section, you can select your package type (DIP/SIP/various SMD options), variant, number of pins and even label your IC any way you want.
    6. Edit the pin labels.

    Everything is autogenerated. For even better effect, select the part and go Part->Edit . I didn't even need that to make an ATTiny.

    Read more »

  • 3) Simple guide: breadboard footprint and Inkscape crash course

    Arya12/13/2016 at 16:09 2 comments


    Measurements and preparations:

    • IC dimensions (with pins) - 0.36x0.30in
    • IC body dimensions - 0.36x0.23in
    • Dimensions between pin centers - 0.1in

    The SVG we'll need to draw will be a little larger though to look nice and be perfectly aligned with the grid. Let's say pin rectangle height will be 0.035.


    • IC dimensions (with pins): add 0.04 to width amd height
    • IC body dimensions - multiply pin rectangle height by 2 and subtract that from IC body height, body width stays the same

    Resulting dimensions for ATtiny85:

    • IC dimensions (with pins) - 0.38x0.34in
    • IC body dimensions - 0.38x0.27in

    Read more »

  • 2) Making a footprint from scratch

    Arya12/13/2016 at 02:54 2 comments

    The footprint I got minified is a good template. I could just put "ATtiny85" into "ic_text"... come to think of it, it's already there. However, let's make it from scratch! There'll be issues like grid sizes and dimensions and it would be unfair not to get those sorted out.

    Woke up, continuing work. Does the size even matter? I measured the real Tiny's dimensions and they weren't to scale with the SVG. Let's scale our ATtiny85 in Inkscape to those dimensions and find out:

    Well. First of all, I enlarged that footprint but it shrinked. Second thing - Inkscape fucks up the SVG, making it unreadable:

    Read more »

  • 1) See how the existing parts look like

    Arya12/12/2016 at 23:50 4 comments

    Nothing's better than reverse-engineering, right?
    Well, maybe I can actually learn something from the existing parts, especially provided there are so many DIP-8 ICs shipped with Fritzing. I'm creating everything from scratch, but this saves my frustration for me and time for readers.

    Fritzing is huge - 182MB archived, 360MB unpacked. I can go make hot chocolate while the archive is unpacking.

    Read more »

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