Fritzing vs.

From a pure hobbyist point ov view, would you recommend Fritzing or

Or something else altogether?


Both appear to do virtual breadboard layout and pcb layout however 123d appears to support arduino program emulation while Fritzing apparently has stronger PCB layout tools. I’ve personally seen more Fritzing breadboard layouts around the web than 123d circuits ones.

It’s a plug for a product I work on - but give the community edition of Upverter a try. Its substantially more powerful than both the options you mentioned, its been built specifically for doing community, hobbyist and open source hardware, and its supported by a huge community of other users.


I’ve been intrigued by 123d, Fritzing and Upverter but have not personally spent much time with 123d and Upverter. I’ve put quite a lot of time into Frizing though, and I’ll say that it’s magical for creating beautifully artistic breadboard style schematics. I have not spent much time with the schematic and layout views, but there seems to be some limitations there as compared to other CAD packages I’ve used.

I’ve used OrCAD for probably 20 years, and it always got the job done… and quickly, especially if you learn the keyboard shortcuts. This is not a cheap solution though, so I would advise against it.

Over the last few years I’ve been getting into EAGLE from Cadsoft which has a freeware version: EAGLE is what we used to design the Spark Core, Photon, Electron and all of the shields. At first I wasn’t use to it coming from OrCAD, and another open CAD package called KiCAD had a more familiar workflow to OrCAD which I was digging. However, EAGLE has such a large community and following, it’s hard to not gravitate towards it. EAGLE seems to be the CAD package of choice by most open source and maker oriented companies. Sparkfun and Adafruit are very well known for using EAGLE, creating tutorials for it, and sharing their part libraries.

The best advice I can give here is to practice practice practice with whatever you end up with, and you WILL get good at it, no matter what flaws it has in it’s workflow. You learn to overcome obstacles. In EAGLE, I like to create shortcut keys for things, so I don’t have to use the mouse to click on menu items that often. I also made a piece of paper that tells me what the function keys on my keyboard do. Pretty soon you memorize it all and then you can just focus on creating the best design possible :smile:


It’s still in ‘alpha’ but you might want to try MeowCAD. It’s a free and open source EDA that runs in your browser. MeowCAD is meant for hobbyists graduating from breadboarding and wanting something more substantial to create circuits with.

I’ve successfully pushed a board through by developing it completely in MeowCAD and sending the Gerbers off to OSHPark. You can take a look at the schematic and board on the project page. Here’s a short video of the board in action.

Source is on GitHub (the web app is also on GitHub called ‘bleepsix’).

DISCLAIMER: I developed MeowCAD.

Never liked an online schematic tool :wink: That’s my feedback :smiley:

@vivid are you working for EasyEDA? If you are, kindly place a disclaimer or i will have to flag this as adversiting.