Fritzing gets the bends

bended wires

This is a screen shot from the Curvy Parking Assistant example sketch that comes with Fritzing 0.6.3.

What’s new is:

  • wires can be curved, or can be straight and have bendpoints, or both
  • many parts–such as resistors, capacitors, LEDs, and transistors–now have rubberband legs
  • rubberband legs can be curved, or can be straight and have bendpoints, or both

These features are only available in breadboard view. The rest of this post will explain how to use them.

Wires
Let’s start with wires.  As before, you can drag on each end of a wire, and it will stretch along with your mouse. You can drag out a bendpoint simply by mousing down somewhere on the middle of the wire and dragging.  Or you can add a new bendpoint by double-clicking somewhere in the middle of the wire, or right-clicking to bring up the context menu, and selecting the appropriate option.  To delete a bendpoint you can double-click it, or right-click to bring up the context menu.

Adding a curve to a wire is like dragging out a new bendpoint, except that you hold the control key down (Mac: command key down).  How the curve bends depends upon where on the curve you drag it.  To be specific, these are Bézier curves, which means that the curves are influenced by four points: the two endpoints, and two “control points”.  As you drag on a curve, Fritzing will display the control points to give you a better sense of what’s happening.   The image below is an example.

bezier

There is one control point at the end of the grey line and another control point at the end of the white line.  Since you can only affect one control point at a time, the white line shows which one is active–in this case the point controlling the lower bend.  The next image is the same curve, but now after mousing up from the lower bend and mousing down again and dragging the upper bend.

bezier2

By the way, if you prefer curvy wires to straight ones, you can set that as the default in Preferences.  So in that case, the normal drag behavior would produce curves, and to make a bendpoint, you would hold down the control key (Mac: command key).

Rubberband legs
A rubberband leg acts a lot like a wire with only one available end.  If you have a part with rubberband legs, each leg can be manipulated independently of the others.  Just as with a wire you can:

  • drag the end of the leg to connect it to a distant connector
  • drag out a new bendpoint
  • create a new bendpoint by double-clicking or right-clicking and choosing a context menu option
  • delete a bendpoint by double-clicking or choosing a context menu option
  • drag out a curve by holding down the control key (Mac: command key) as you drag

Another feature of rubberband legs is that it is possible to move the body of a part without disconnecting its legs.  For example, say you’ve dropped an LED onto a breadboard, and you want to change the position of the LED but leave it connected.  In this case, hold down the alt key (Linux: meta key) as you drag the part.  The legs will rubberband, staying attached to the breadboard as you drag the part body.

If you want to connect a rubberband leg to another part using a wire, then when you drag on the end of the leg, hold down the alt key (Linux: meta key).

That’s the rundown.

Enjoy,

— the Fritzing team

8 thoughts on “Fritzing gets the bends

  1. Thanks a lot for the tutorial. It was useful 🙂 (Y)

    The most important 2 things I have learned from this post:
    1. I can change the default behavior when bending the wire.
    2. I can move the wire while holding ALT key to keep the ends connected.

    Thanks,
    Regards,
    Ahmad.

  2. I am using Fritzing 0.9.2 on Ubuntu 14.04 and have not been able to get this to work. Is it possible that this feature was not included with the linux version of Fritzing?

  3. Thanks André, I finally got it. I have to use the Windows key and control key on my keyboard. Great addition to an already great product.

  4. I must say it was hard to find your blog in google.
    You write great articles but you should rank your blog higher in search engines.
    If you don’t know how to do it search on youtube:
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