As part of the Enchanted Objects Design Challenge I wanted to draw up some circuit diagrams. Given that I was planning to mostly use modules I chose Fritzing rather than Eagle as it's good sketch like diagrams.


As I was hoping to use the RGB LED Shield, I needed to make a new part. That was my first problem I could not work out how to create a one. I found out that it was possible to edit an existing part and save it as a new part so I took that approach. I saved a Arduino prototype shield as my starting point and edited it. I tried loading up JPG and PNG files but that simply did not work so I swapped to SVG files and had some more success.


There are several steps to the process.


  1. Find a similar part and save it as a new part
  2. Enter the Meta data i.e. the name, url, part number etc.
  3. Enter the Connectors data, the name of each of the connectors to match the data sheet.
  4. Find or create an SVG file of the board or component. I had some help from shabaz here with a SVG file. RGB LED Shield diagrams for documentation purposes
    • I tried various editors for SVG files, Visio, Libre Office Draw but Inkscape seemed to be the most reliable for creating files that Fritzing would load.
    • For text labels, make sure the font is OCR A
    • Resize the page to the component
    • Make sure there is not a big white rectangle behind your component
    • Make sure each of the "pin" is a separate SVG object so you can wire it up later
    • In Inkscape I had better results when I saved as a "Simple SVG" file rather than the Inkscape SVG.
  5. Load the SVG file into the part for breadboard
  6. Wire up each of the connectors to the diagram
  7. Repeat 4 to 6 for the schematic and PCB
  8. Load up a picture for the icon, I just used the same one as for the breadboard.


You should now be able to use your part in a diagram. I've done a really simple one below in breadboard and schematic styles.


RGB Demo_bb.png

RGB Demo_schem.png


I've posted the part up on Github in the electronics folder


Note: I've not wired up the PCB part of it so if you need it to make a motherboard for a shield then you'll have to wire that up yourself.