Circuit diagrams play a vital role in the design process of any electronic project. They give you the opportunity to plan your tour before you do it and can save you a lot of time and effort. But how can you create circuit diagrams to enhance your designs?
We’ve rounded up some of the web’s most popular free schematic drawing software options for Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and other SBCs to make your choice easier.
Top 5 Free Schematic Drawing Software for Arduino and Raspberry Pi
You can find countless free circuit diagram drawing options online for Arduino and Raspberry Pi. This type of software comes in many forms, so it’s crucial that you take the time to explore your options before you begin. . You need to educate yourself about PCBs before you tackle a job like this.
1. Circuit.io Arduino Circuit Diagram Maker
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 to create 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 Circuit.io’s main features is the wide range of pre-programmed components found in its repertoire. You can modify the code for these components and even design your own, but most people will be able to find what they need on the system. In addition to having accessible parts, the Circuit.io Arduino circuit diagram creator gives you an estimated price for the diagrams you create.
2. Altium Circuit Maker Arduino Circuit Diagram Drawer Online
Unlike Circuit.io, Altium Circuit Maker is a downloadable app, and it’s for designing PCBs rather than just circuits. This means that Altium seems a lot more complex when you start using it, but it’s worth the learning curve if you want to create your own circuit boards.
You need to create an Altium account before you can start using Circuit Maker, but it’s nice and easy. It’s worth watching a few tutorials to get you started.
This software has the advantage of being a relatively simple PCB design tool. It goes beyond Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards, but can still serve the same purpose as a tool like Circuit.io for those willing to learn it.
3. KiCad EDA Arduino Wiring Diagram Creator
KiCad is a cross-platform, open-source electronic design automation suite for designing printed circuit boards and circuit diagrams. This tool can create precise PCB layouts using a suite of components and even has a 3D visualization tool allowing you to inspect the PCBs you design. Of course, it also has a schematic drawing tool that will work well for your Raspberry Pi and Arduino circuit drawings.
One of KiCad’s greatest 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 packs for KiCad downloadable for free. Like Altium Circuit Maker, KiCad can seem a little intimidating when you first start using it, and you’ll benefit from spending time learning it before you start.
KiCad runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, and a host of other operating systems, and you can even download the software’s source code to make changes yourself.
4. Free Arduino PCB Schematic Diagram App
Like KiCad, Libre PCB is open source, free to use and a companion tool to Libre CAD. This tool offers many of the same features as Altium Circuit Maker, including the range of components you can use when designing new PCBs. Along with that, Libre PCB runs on Linux, Windows, and macOS.
One of the best things about Libre PCB is the documentation available online. The getting started guide on the main website covers everything you need to know to start working on your own Arduino circuit diagrams without getting bogged down with unnecessary information.
5. Easy EDA PCB Design Tool
Easy EDA is both an online tool and a downloadable desktop application, and both versions of the tool work identically. This is ideal for anyone who wants to use their EDA software without connecting to the internet. And like the other schematic drawing software on this list, Easy EDA has its own component library filled with things like Raspberry Pis and Arduinos.
Easy EDA will offer a premium service in the future, which means this tool will likely improve over time. This is great news for anyone looking for their first EDA, especially with Easy EDA designed with ease and simplicity in mind, but you’ll still need to read the resources that come with the tool to get familiar with it.
Comparison of the free Arduino schematic drawing software
The schematic diagram drawing app you choose for Arduino and Raspberry Pi doesn’t always impact the results you can achieve with it. Each of the tools on this list works differently, which means you’ll need to take different routes as you develop your skills with them.
For those looking for the simplest tool possible, Circuit.io is a great choice. This application requires very little learning and has a drag and drop interface, but you cannot create schematics to create your own PCBs using it. Easy EDA is probably the easiest tool for PCB design, which is why it has grown in popularity over the past few years.
Ultimately, it’s worth trying these tools out for yourself to see which works best for you. They’re all free and easily accessible, so it won’t take too much work for you to try them out before you jump into learning them.
Premium schematic creators for Arduino and Raspberry Pi
Although this article focuses on free circuit diagram makers, there are still some premium options worth mentioning. Paying for tools like this opens the doors to new features while ensuring that you can get professional help and advice if you need help.
- Fritzing Circuit Diagram Creator: 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 is used to improve the software and the accompanying documentation.
- Arduino Fusion 360 Wiring Diagram Generator (EAGLE): Fusion 360 is a staple in the CAD space, and the accompanying EAGLE schematic drawing tool can do the job of the free options on our list. Fusion 360 is far from cheap, but the price may be worth it for those who want to become professional PCB designers. You can start learning Fusion 360 tricks to get you started while learning how to use this complex software.
Choose the Right Schematic Diagram App for Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Other SBCs
It has never been easier to create detailed and accurate circuit diagrams for Arduino, Raspberry Pi and other SBCs. You can find free software to handle this job on the web, and there are countless guides on websites like YouTube to help you learn the software you want to use.