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Steps for making an Arduino shield using Fritzing are:
1. Download Fritzing. The downloaded file can be used directly; you need not install it.

2. Go to Breadboard as shown in Fig. 2. Draw a proper connection diagram of the desired circuit using the component library in the software. Cross-check the connections in the software.

Fig. 2: Fritzing Breadboard section
Fig. 2: Fritzing Breadboard section

3. Go to Schematic and check if the connections are done in Breadboard. We can directly design a circuit in Schematic. For those who are new to designing of schematics, the option of Breadboard is recommended. The schematic made using Fritzing is shown in Fig. 3.

Fig. 3: Schematic diagram made using Fritzing
Fig. 3: Schematic diagram made using Fritzing

4. Go to PCB section of Fritzing as shown in Fig. 4. Select the type of PCB you need to make. Various options are available like Auto Routing and Layers Selection.

Fig. 4: PCB section of the software
Fig. 4: PCB section of the software

5. Select the settings for Copper Layer as per requirement. Route connections manually as per the circuit and the requirement. Fig. 5 shows Arduino shield PCB after routing. The settings are different for double- and single-side PCBs.

Fig. 5: Arduino shield single-side PCB
Fig. 5: Arduino shield single-side
PCB

6. After preparing the PCB and proper routing of the circuit, click Export for PCB as shown in Fig. 6 and save the files in PDF format in the destination folder.

Fig. 6: Choose Export for PCB option after proper routing
Fig. 6: Choose Export for PCB
option after proper routing

7. Check the design rules by clicking Routing under PCB section.

8. If copper fill is required, it can be applied to the PCB using the relevant option under Routing options.

9. Place the berg strips/headers used for connecting the shield to Arduino UNO board on the same side for soldering on a single-side PCB. Careful soldering is required for this purpose. Since the berg strip header and routing tracks are on the same side, remove the plastic sheath from the berg strip before soldering. Place the sheath back after soldering. A long header of 25mm is recommended. Placement of the same is shown in Fig. 7.

Fig. 7: Berg strip soldering on track side of the PCB
Fig. 7: Berg strip soldering on track side of the PCB

10. Specify the type of file in which you are exporting the circuit diagram PCB artwork. If you export in PDF format, specify the folder where you want to save the exported file. A number of files will be saved in the target folder in PDF format for bottom-layer copper, top-layer copper, mask top, mask bottom, silk top, silk bottom and so on, and their respective mirror image files will be saved in another PDF file. We can easily select the desired file for a particular requirement.

11. Transfer the artwork on the PCB, which is cut to the required size. Proceed for etching and soldering of components.

Component images are distributed under CC-BY-SA, which will also be the licence for any generated breadboard views.

Download source code: click here


Madhuram Mishra is a student of ME digital communication at NITTTR, Bhopal

The article was first published on this website on 17th Feb 2016.

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