I’m using Fritzing for the first time for a project, and i’m amazed by how easy to use it is.
While designing my layout, I have one inconvenience though, and that is that many components are showed at an angle.
It makes for a nice visual presentation, but it makes closely spaced designing a little awkward.
I have found a threat from 4 years ago by someone who had the same issue: http://fritzing.org/forum/thread/1627/
And I was wondering if that was already taken care of.
Is there a user contributed library with upside down parts, or is there a mod or patch that makes it possible to show parts from above? I only really need it for the standard parts in TO-92 or TO-220 package, capacitors and heatsinks.
@Old_Grey I understand. I thought maybe two or more images were included in a part so that you can show different views, like in other PCB design programs. I found the LEDs and N BJT in TO-92 package in top view, but I still miss capacitors and other generic components. I can make them myself if I learn how to create them, but that’d be unnecessary if someone else has already made a library with top view components. So I thought i’d ask about that here, after I couldn’t find them on the site.
Some of the problem with top view parts is getting the connections in a reasonable place for breadboard (also part creation is probably a lot more complex than you are expecting). It isn’t impossible especially for things like the tO-92 and caps (and heatsinks have no connectors so they aren’t an issue), its on my (long ) list of things to do because I am often documenting projects built on perf board where such parts are valuable. By all means try parts creation (more people creating parts is a good thing) but if you can’t make it work I can probably do a few parts for you (part creation becomes easier with experience, it just has a long learning curve). As an example here is what I think you want for the generic pnp to-92. Note it is currently bendable leads so parts editor screws it up on export and you need to correct that in both the fzp file and the breadboard svg. With that done you get this:
Other EDAs can make parts easily because they are simple line drawings, but to have a breadboard view that looks realistic the drawings are complicated to make like a 3D CAD drawing. Also a lot of people know how to raster draw, but not many know vector drawing, and that is the steep learning curve.
@vanepp I read so in another thread yeah. Which is why I didn’t try to make them myself immediately…
But I know what vector drawing is, so if i have time left, maybe i’ll give it a shot, i’m a fast learner.
I have found the TO-92 and LED that old_grey already referred to, and they work fine for me, i only wish there were more. The leads drawing over the part that they are connected to is not really an issue for me, it doesn’t look so pretty but I care more for practicality.
I’d really like to have other generic packages in top view available, too. And with that i’m thinking about TO-220 with 2, 3, or 4 pins, standard size electrolytic and ceramic caps, heatsinks and the like. It’s a pity no single smallish heatsink is avalable yet. I use Fritzing mainly to just plan my PCB packaging, so with those things available, 95% of my issues would be gone. I hope it isn’t too hard to create those, I suppose it must be a lot simpler than the entire boards that are available within Fritzing. And i’d just have to make one capacitor and up- or downscale it to save lots of time.
And if it is hard, i’ll just use images to replace them for as long as only tilted parts are available.
And if you see a chance to create a few of those, that’d be awesome!
@Old_Grey I have the intention to learn about vector drawing for various reasons, but i can’t until time permits. I’m already used to CAD drawing in Inventor and SolidWorks, so that may help me. Maybe during the oncoming holidays, i have time to watch the vid to learn and try it myself.
In such a case you may be using the wrong view. Assuming I’m understanding correctly, you are trying to plan the layout of the components on the pcb. In that case I’d use pcb view (where the component’s silk screen should reflect real life) and move them around til they suit. Doesn’t help with the heatsink and capacitors in real life aren’t a standard size particularly, although I guess generic .2 in .3in and .4in round are possible. I’d need a size (height, width, shape or a spec sheet) of a suitable heatsink but it should be trivial to make (it would be breadboard and maybe pcb silkscreen only).
Will this do what you want for the TO-220s? This one is the two lead version and has no real schematic or pcb (although parts of what I cloned are showing at present). The dimensions match those listed for the TO-220AB package. The 3/4/5 lead versions are basically trivial if this works.
Yeah more people know CAD rather than vector, so I suggested FZ switch to CAD - it has the added bonus of 3D with not much more effort - but that would be mammoth and that FZ would have to start again.
There was no part making instructions when I started so it was very arduous, and that’s why I made the vid series. They are a bit long but a few hours will save you tens of hours latter, and either way you can speed it up with settings in Youtube.
@vanepp Yes I suppose that’s the view meant for that purpose, but I like the breadboard view so much. I tried the PCB view, but the visual representation of breadbord view gives me a much better insight how to put things. And it doesn’t help that if you place something in breadbord view, it’s location in PCB view(or other views) doesn’t match even close. Why is that?
The heatsinks i’m using now are 2915mm and 3010mm square, and 4717 and 1511mm and in H shape. But just squares would already do for a start!
The TO-220 looks exactly like I had in mind, but could it be that the dimensions are off? It’s a little wider than real life and the tilted versions it seems. But thanks so much for helping!
@Old_Grey It would be amazing if there’d be a 3D view for Fritzing! I guess much more people would (be able to) contribute parts, causing more people to use Fritzing, stimulating further development. It seems that development has stalled for some time now, and it’d be a huge waste of Fritzing’s potential if its development would get discontinued.
I agree the parts placement algorithm needs a lot of work (at least in my view). Once I finish the parts checking script (which the way its going, may be never ) I want to take a poke at development in the form of bug fixing and enhancement but I’m a ways away from that yet. I’ve already discovered development is going to be hard unless we can tempt some of the developers that already know the code to offer pointers on where to look.
I see no reason we can’t have our cake and eat it too. Here is an attempt (I suspect wrong, I think the H is probably the other way from shown here) of a 2915 heat sink. It conforms to the 29mm15 size while still tilting a little bit to provide at least the sense of how breadboard should look. I see no reason (other than finding someone to do the work of course) that we shouldn’t be able to do this for all the parts. We can leave the current parts like LEDs as is for folks that want to use them, but have a version that fits physically in to the space so it can be used successfully on perf board. I have interest and thus motivation to make them because most of what I do is either modules or perf board. Tell me if as I suspect the H is the wrong way and I’ll change it around and do the other ones. This one (unlike the TO220) is a full part with all three views present (I assume you may want to indicate where the heat sink is on schematic, that can be removed if not wanted).
edit replaced by part later in thread
The case as it stands is the middle of the range the jedic standard calls for for a TO220 case, and the vishay/siliconix data sheet for a TO220AB package, but I see you are correct it is bigger than the current one in core, I’ll have to dig up a physical part an measure it
and perhaps make changes.
At the same time I want to try the same trick I did on the heatsink and make a breadboard like representation in fake 3d that still fits within the physical constraints of the part. If that can be achieved, then the resulting svg file can be overlayed on standard parts in core with parts editor to make any TO-220 device that exists (and has reason able pin locations and numbers) in to a top view part easily. A way to share svg images already in core (which would require application code changes I expect) is another item on my list of interesting things to do later … That would allow standard pcb footprints and the reuse of breadboard images for things like ICs that are all identical (the part number changes via a label in the svg at render time). This would save work (not having to duplicate svgs) and disk space and network bandwidth for part downloads.
None of the other EDAs position parts similar to their other views. In KiCad you export parts from SCH and import to PCB, and they are all bundled in a blob of parts on the side that you pick-n-place on the PCB. Altium has the views connected, so no E and I, but even then they are blobbed in a group on the side for PnP. FZ scatters parts, which could be better, but random seams to be normal procedure.
OK, I dug up a real 7805 and measured it and it is .4 in wide and .18 in deep like the spec says (and thus the current Fritzing part appears to be incorrect). I have modified the one I posted earlier (now deleted), and in the processed learned sort of (although I really don’t know what I’m doing ) to edit paths in Inkscape. As a result this new part has a cut down copy of the TO220 case which fits in the physical space that the case occupies on the breadboard and the pins are in their physical position on the underlying board (which is in the middle of the heat sink tab on the part ). You should thus be able to use it on a perfboard without it obstructing pads it won’t physically obstruct. The part number (which currently over flows because of the internal label) loads from the label field of the part and should thus reflect whatever the part number of the underlying part is. In theory this svg can be substituted for the breadboard svg of any TO220 two lead part and it should convert that part to a perfboard friendly version. If it suits you I’ll do the same to the other pin sizes you wanted.
Edit: replaced with one that actually has terminals in schematic and pcb. Pcb is screwed up from the original cloned part and I haven’t fixed it …
The heatsink looks just like mine, and that little tilting doesn’t bother. And I can imagine it’s sometimes useful to see a little from the side that you can’t see from the the top. So it’s a good compromise to keep the part within boundaries but also give a little 3D impression like your heatsink. It’s mainly with large/high components like caps and TO packages that their excessive tilting obstructs the view.
The LED I got already from oldgrey is great, but it’d be neat if the core components themselves would have the presentation selectable from a dropdown list of course!
Unfortunately, I can’t import the new TO-220 in fritzing, it gives me an error message saying
"there is already a part with id prefix (long alphanumeric value) loaded into fritzing."
I removed the previously imported parts as far as i could, but it didn’t help. Any ideas?
I have to do a lot of work on this project before deadline falls,(it’s for a 4th year uni project) but after that I hope to find time to learn drawing parts myself!
@Old_Grey I see, but I don’t get why. I suppose you want your PCB/technical layout view identical to the breadboard view (or equivalent view in other EDA) because it is also the same in reality. For the schematic view, I get that things are different. Still, scattering is indeed better than placing everything on top of each other.
Fritzing (AFAIK) was originally aimed at kids just learning so having a part on breadboard look like the real thing is valuable. So as much as possible I want to preserve that. I’ll do the rest of the heatsinks and TO cases you wanted in a bit.
Unfortunatly that too would require a source change for now. I’d like to make that interface in to a plug in module so that we could do such things in a general way without having to change the source, but that’s a long way off I expect.
Ah yes, bug number 2 on my fix it list (number 1 is a seg fault that hangs Fritzing). It is failing to remove the fzp file from the mine parts bin even when it said it has. You need to manually delete the file from the bin and then it should load. On Windows that will be in
(where username is your windows id). On the Mac or Linux it is in a different place (which I can dig up if needed). Take a copy of the entire directory Fritzing before making changes for safety though (all your sketches and parts are in there and a loss could be a disaster). It should then let you reload the part. If not you may also need to delete the svg files, but usually the fzp is enough.
More parts makers are aways welcome, but I don’t suggest trying to do it with a deadline looming it took me about 8 months of close to full time (I’m retired and thus have time to spend) to become even reasonably competent starting from scratch (no experience with Inkscape or svg files).
Me either. I suspect there is a software/graphics based reason, that it is hard to do that placement across different views but until (and unless) I get to understand the code I won’t know for sure. That is another on my list of irritations I 'd like to fix (I have a lot of them ). Unless we can get people interested in helping with development I expect its not going to happen though.
Breadboard is very inefficient so placement on a PCB can probably make it half the size, and that means placement is very different, eg I have 100 parts on 100x100mm PCB, but I doubt you would get close to that size on BB.
I actually like shuffling parts around for hours converting Speeduino’s Arduino based 100 part double sided automotive EFI PCB to single sided, and trying to make it smaller than the DS original. It’s like Tetris for me.
OK here is a collection of top view parts. Ceramic and Electrolytic caps, 2, 3 and 4 pin TO220 cases and 15x11mm, 29x15mm, 30x10mm and 47x17mm heatsinks. If any of them don’t suit just post they are easy to change.
Hey Pete, you make a lot parts for people, and because they aren’t in Part Submit do you think they are going to be hard to find because they are buried in Part Help posts - the ones above are 15 posts down -
Basically do you think you should start a post to stack all your random parts so they are easier to find, because after all you are now Mr Part.
That’s why getting them properly in core would be a good bet. In this case git is only the tool to get them in to core. Nothing much from parts submit is making it in to core lately, only parts that have been submitted via a pull request against the parts repro have been. Google is also somewhat spotty at finding parts, a search on the fc-03 part just posted ran across a git repro with lots of parts (but not the fc-03 as far as I can see) that I’d never seen before, many of them interesting. Cleaning up what is in core and adding more is going to be an ongoing project. To some extent the poorly formed parts we are seeing is because a lot of the parts in core that people are cloning off of are poor. Fixing that may help overall parts quality.