Circuit diagrams play a vital role in the design process of any electronics project. It gives you the opportunity to plan your circuit before you make it and can save a lot of time and effort. But how can you make pie charts to enhance your designs?
We’ve collected some of the most popular free web diagramming software options for Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and other SBCs to make your choice easier.
Top 5 Free Sketching Software for Arduino and Raspberry Pi
You can find countless free circuit diagram options online for both Arduino and Raspberry Pi. This type of software comes in many forms, which makes it essential that you take the time to explore your options before you begin. You need to familiarize yourself with PCBs before dealing with a job like this.
Circuit.io is a web-based prototyping tool designed for makers working with Raspberry Pis and Arduinos. The app has three sections: a visual editor for creating your circuits, a code editor that automatically generates test code for your components, and a guide area to help you build your project.
One of the main features of Circuit.io is the wide range of pre-programmed components found in its manual. You can modify the code for these components and even design them yourself, but most people will be able to find what they need on the system. Besides having access to parts, the Circuit.io Arduino circuit diagram maker gives you an estimated price for the diagrams you create.
Unlike Circuit.io, Altium Circuit Maker is a downloadable application, which is designed to design PCBs rather than simple circuits. This means that Altium looks a bit more complicated when you first start using it, but the learning is worth it if you want to build your own printed circuit boards.
You have to create an Altium account before you can start using Circuit Maker, but that’s cool and easy. It’s worth watching some tutorials to get you started.
This software comes with the advantage of being a relatively simple PCB design tool. It goes beyond Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards but still serves the same purpose as a tool like Circuit.io for those interested in learning it.
KiCad is a cross-platform and open source electronics design automation suite for schematic and printed circuit design. This tool can create accurate PCB layouts using a range of components and even has a 3D viewer tool so you can inspect the PCB you’re designing. Of course, it also has a diagram tool that will work well for Raspberry Pi and Arduino graphics.
One of KiCad’s biggest strengths is that it is open source, allowing private users to create their own components for the application. As a result, you can find countless component packages for KiCad that can be downloaded for free. Like the Altium Circuit Maker, KiCad can seem a little daunting when you first get started with it, and you’ll benefit from taking the time to learn about it before you get started.
KiCad works on Windows, macOS, Linux, and a host of other operating systems, and you can even download the program’s source code to make changes to it yourself.
Like KiCad, Libre PCB is an open source, free to use, and companion tool for Libre CAD. This tool provides many of the same features as the Altium Circuit Maker, including the suite of components available for you to use when designing a new PCB. Besides, Libre PCB works on Linux, Windows, and macOS.
One of the best aspects of Libre PCB is its online documentation. The Getting Started guide on the main website covers everything you need to know to get started on your Arduino circuit diagrams without bothering you with unnecessary information.
Easy EDA is an online tool and a downloadable desktop application, and both versions of the tool work identically. This is great for anyone who wants to use their EDA software offline. And like the other diagramming software on this list, Easy EDA has its own component library filled with items like Raspberry Pis and Arduinos.
Easy EDA will offer a premium service in the future, which means that this tool will likely improve over time. This is good news for anyone looking for their first EDA, especially with Easy EDA’s easy and simple design in mind, but you’ll still need to read the resources that come with the tool to learn about it.
Free Arduino diagram software comparison
The schematic diagram you choose for the Arduino and Raspberry Pi does not always affect the results you can get. Each of the tools on this list works differently, which means that you will have to take different approaches as you develop your skills with them.
For those looking for the easiest tool possible, Circuit.io is an excellent choice. This application requires very little to learn and has a drag and drop interface, but you cannot generate blueprints to create your own PCB using it. Easy EDA is probably the easiest tool for PCB design, which is why it has seen increasing popularity over the past few years.
In the end, it is worth trying out these tools for yourself to see which one will work best for you. They are all free and easily accessible, so it won’t take much work to give each one of them a chance before you dive into their learning.
Premium Scheme Makers for Arduino and Raspberry Pi
While this article focuses on free circuit diagram makers, some premium options are still worth mentioning. Paying for tools like this opens doors to new features while ensuring that you can also get support and advice from professionals if you need help.
- Fritzing Diagram Maker: Fritzing is one of the most popular Arduino circuit diagram makers, with versions for macOS, Windows, and Linux. This tool is very affordable, and the money you pay for it goes towards improving the software and documentation that comes with it.
- Fusion 360 (EAGLE) Arduino Wiring Diagram Maker: Fusion 360 is a staple in the CAD space, and the EAGLE diagram tool that comes with it can do the job of the free options on our list. Fusion 360 is not cheap, but the price can be worth it for those who want to be a professional PCB designer. You can start learning Fusion 360 tips to get you started as you learn how to use this complex software.
Choose the right schematic diagram app for Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and other SBCs
It’s never been easier to create detailed and accurate circuit drawings for Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and other SBCs. You can find free software to handle this task across the web, and there are endless guides on websites like YouTube to help you learn which software to use.
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