Category Archives: Learning

New Book: “Fritzing for Inventors”

There are a zillion books that make use of Fritzing to illustrate circuits, but this one is the first on fritzing itself. We’re honored that the one and only Simon Monk, author of many a maker book, took it up and created the ultimate guide for using fritzing to “take your electronics project from prototype to product.” We provided technical review for the book, so you can be sure it’s using all the tricks.

Fritzing for Inventors

It does a really great job at  giving a quickstart introduction. Then it walks you through each of Breadboard/Schematic/PCB view in detail, and also gives you background tips on approaching electronics projects in general, reading datasheets, etc. The second half of the book focuses on PCB design and production all the way to testing and distribution. It’s all very thorough and keeps a great balance between bird’s eye and detail discussion.

So it’s not just a  software reference, but a really practical handbook on creating prototypes and using Fritzing as the central tool for that. All in all, “Fritzing for Inventors” might be a great holiday read.

Here’s the full table of contents (the one on the publisher’s website seems to be from a draft version):

  • Ch 1. Introduction to Fritzing
  • Ch 2. Quickstart
  • Ch 3. Electronic Invention
  • Ch 4. Breadboarding
  • Ch 5. Schematic Desgin
  • Ch 6. PCB Layout
  • Ch 7. Fabrication
  • Ch 8. Fritzing Arduino (and Other Boards)
  • Ch 9. Custom Parts
  • Ch 10. Example Projects
  • Ch 11. Testing
  • Ch 12. Funding and Distributing
  • Appendix: Resources

Das Fritzing Creator Kit im Schulunterricht

Mit dem folgenden Rundschreiben wenden wir uns an alle Schullehrer in den MINT-Fächern (Mathematik, Informatik, Naturwissenschaften und Technik). Das Creator Kit hat sich mittlerweile im Unterricht an vielen weiterführenden Schulen bewährt.
Falls Du selbst ein Schüler oder bist, kannst Du Dich mit diesem Schreiben an Deine Lehrer wenden.

Liebe MINT-Lehrer und -Lehrerinnen,

mit dem Fritzing Creator Kit auf Basis von Arduino haben wir ein Lernpaket entwickelt, das Schülern auf projektorientierte, unterhaltsame und motivierende Weise das Programmieren näher bringt.

Fritzing ist eine Open Source-Initiative, die interaktive Elektronik als kreatives Material für jedermann nutzbar macht. Mit über 200.000 Nutzern hat sich die freie Fritzing-Software als Standard-Werkzeug im Kontext von Arduino und Raspberry Pit etabliert.

Mit diesem Rundschreiben möchten wir die Vorzüge der Fritzing-Umgebung im Schulunterricht kurz für Sie zusammenfassen.

fritzing-desk-800

5 Gründe für das Creator Kit

1. Der spannendste Weg, Programmieren zu lernen

Eine simple Programmiersprache, aber mit großem Effekt: Mit dem Creator Kit lassen sich LEDs zum Leuchten bringen, Motoren steuern und die Umwelt wahrnehmen. So werden if/then & co. begreifbar gemacht.

2. Entwickelt zusammen mit Lehrern und Schülern

Das beiliegende 144-seitige Buch führt die Schüler durch aufeinander aufbauende Beispielprojekte, die durch kleine Aufgaben und Theorie-Einschübe ergänzt werden. Die Verpackung ist robust und taugt für den Schulalltag.

3. Eine populäre, offene Plattform

Mit Arduino setzt das Kit auf eine weit verbreitete Plattform, zu der man online wie auch in der Bibliothek viel weiterführende Unterstützung findet. Die Fritzing-Software bietet mit ihren anschaulichen Darstellungen zu Code und Schaltplan eine integrierte Lehr- & Lernumgebung.

4. Umfangreiche ergänzende Lehrmaterialien

Neben dem Buch und den unterhaltsamen Bastelfiguren gibt es zu dem Kit eine 22-teilige Videoserie, die durch alle Inhalte führt. Darüber hinaus erhalten Lehrer eine Bildschirm-Präsentation, die sie im Unterricht für die Lehre verwenden können.

5. Ansprechende Gestaltung

Das Erscheinungsbild trägt sehr dazu bei, dass das Kit bei den Schülern akzeptiert wird. Die freundliche Ansprache und liebevolle Gestaltung von Dino, Roboter und Wahrsager hilft auch technisch weniger interessierten über die Hemmschwelle hinweg.

FritzingCreatorKit_DE_ausgepackt

Spezielles Angebot für Schulen

Speziell für Schulen haben wir die Fritzing Teaching Bundles zusammengestellt. Sie enthalten neben einem Satz Kits inklusive Arduinos das umfangreiche Arduino-Kompendium von Erik Bartmann, sowie die Unterrichtspräsentation. Wir empfehlen das Kit für den Unterricht ab der 9. Klasse.

Die Teaching Bundles erhalten Sie zum reduzierten Preis nur für Schulen und Universitäten bei uns im Shop: http://shop.fritzing.org/arduino-schule

139-FTBMDE

Bei weiteren Fragen nehmen Sie gerne mit uns Kontakt auf.
Vielen Dank für Ihr Interesse!

Herzliche Grüße,

Ihr Fritzing-Team

Fritzing
Paul-Lincke-Ufer 39/40
10999 Berlin
+49 (0)30-69519400

http://fritzing.org
http://shop.fritzing.org

Fritzing ist eine Initiative, die die Demokratisierung des Technikwissens vorantreibt. Die freie Fritzing-Software ist ein populäres Werkzeug für Erstellung und Teilen von elektronischen Schaltplänen. Das Fritzing Creator Kit ist das ideale Arduino-Einsteigerpaket mit vielen Projekten zum Selberbasteln auf Basis der Fritzing-Philosophie. Für fortgeschrittene Bastler bietet Fritzing Fab eine günstige und einfache Möglichkeit, eigene Platinen fertigen zu lassen.
Fritzing ist 2007 an der FH Potsdam im Rahmen eines Forschungsprojekts entstanden, und wird heute vom Friends-of-Fritzing e.V. und dem Designstudio IXDS weiterentwickelt.

littleBits Cloud Module

littleBits_Cloudmodule

“Make everyone an inventor” was littleBits mission, when they started their project in 2011. For far too long have only large companies, programmers and engineers been able to use technology in a creative way and whereas 3D printing and software development have made a big step forward in the last years, tools to build complex electronics weren’t as quick to come by. For two years littleBits worked on their attempt to “democratize electronics” and enable makers, artists, students and designers to build their own gadgets easily.

So far they have developed several, colorful modular kits to tinker with; let yourself get inspired by the project ideas on their website. They created for example the Synth Kit, an analog synthesizer with different modules that you can simply stick together like Legos.

This week they announced the release of the Cloud Module for later this year which will be, as they say, “the easiest and fastest way to create internet-connected devices” and also to connect them amongst each other (keyword here is of course the Internet of Things) without any soldering or programming. Sounds yummi, right?

You can get more infos here.

 

How can your kids learn with Arduino?

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve done some pretty difficult things, like military service.” – Stefan, Fritzing Coordinator, on working with kids.

When you are little, you don’t want to wait. You want to cut up some paper and glue it to the moon. You want to get your hands *dirty*. You want to (with a little assistance, maybe) make a light blink, attach it to a CO2 sensor, put it inside a balloon full of helium, and send it into the sky. That way you can figure out how much CO2 those big cars are coughing out.

I had the chance to do some heavy learning over the weekend as a mentor for children’s workshops, so I saw kids’ impatience firsthand. Hackidemia organized the workshops during the Singularity University EU Summit in Budapest, with the goal of bringing the possibilities of complex technology to children. The Creator Kit has a similar goal, to bring Arduino and electronics to children. The topics are tough, though!

My main takeaway was that teaching kids can be more complex than the technology. Here I outline some of my issues and provide some tips that you can use while using the Creator Kit with your family.

Using the Creator Kit with Your Kids

During the Air Pollution Workshop, I saw that one of the main barriers to teaching youth was keeping their attention. If you asked me to explain something, chances were that I’d quickly slip into my natural tendency toward dry, theoretical, and factual information (in lots of detail). Long story short: that didn’t work so well with 10 year olds. I got this look:

bored

And I noticed over at the next table the mentor Clément got these looks:

happy

What was he doing differently? What can you do differently when you play with children and the Creator Kit?

2 things mainly: metaphors and questions.

Explain via Metaphors

So you want to get the idea of an Arduino across. Ok, how about forgetting about the pins for the time being, and instead making a diagram like this. Extra kudos if you make the diagram on the spot and say a couple of words about each piece along the way.

ear

red-Co2

nose

green-Co2

Engage via Questions

Imagine you are at a cocktail party. To learn about another guest, you probably wouldn’t say, “Tell me everything about you, ordered by year, and please do not stop talking for at least 45 minutes. I do not want the chance to add anything, discuss anything, or ask you any questions.” Nope – instead you would probably ask a series of questions, which lead you to an enjoyable exchange where the person felt like they could express themselves.

Let’s apply this to children. Put the tools in their hands and ask them questions about it. Let them ask you questions. When they answer your questions about the Creator Kit, they are learning by doing and answering.

Do you think there is more CO2 in the air at street level or at the top of a building?

If you make it to Mars, what will you have to take with you from Earth?

Oh, so you say you want to be a lawyer when you grow up? Well, ever consider being a lawyer for robots?

With the Creator Kit, you might use it with your children. You should use it with your children. Use these tips! Engage them in the kit, play with the content, and get creative. The Creator Kit is a perfect jumping off point, so now it’s your turn to take it to the next level and keep them engaged.

Hello [fritzing] world

Hello, Fritzing world. My name is Laura and I’m a creator / programmer and organizer living in Berlin. If I’m not planning a new project or talking with people about a whacky idea, then I’m probably thinking about one. I moved to Berlin about a year ago and got involved in open tech / rails girls / maker things when my friend and I started going to Everything together (yes, Everything). Workshops, meetups, tangentially related conferences, you name it. Johanna and I were there.

Johanna and I at Everything:

soldering mamas with our arduinos
hot mama arduino Saturdays

This Fall we’re testing the new Fritzing Creator Kit. We’ve worked with Arduinos before, but this is our first foray into the Fritzing world. We’re going to try each project, try our own projects and document the process through this blog.

i.e., make things, break things and drink (lots of) coffee.

Since we’ll blog regularly in the next months, I asked Johanna a few questions to help you get to know us better. Follow the entire series, stay tuned on the Fritzing blog and follow us on Twitter: Laura Wadden and Johanna Santos Bassetti.

You have a degree in art, you’re interested in agriculture, you’ve worked in product strategy at various startups, and you even picked strawberries while living on a Danish island. What got you involved in Fritzing?

Ever since I was a little girl I watched my dad solder things. And I knew that by soldering things he was making other things happen. At that point I didn’t really understand what computers were, but I liked the soldering process. And then when I understood what computers were, I got interested in how to make computers do stuff that serves you as a tool. I thought of them as potential translators of the physical world and imagined ways of using computers to measure how plants grow. But I didn’t know about sensors then.

So you thought about programming machines as a little girl? Awesome!

Exactly.

How did you get involved in Fritzing and Arduinos this time around?

I worked with Arduinos back in 2011 doing wearable Arduino work for a friend’s exhibition during Club Transmediale. He had a Lilypad, sensors and speakers that I sewed into a lab coat with metal string. I had to figure out a way to sew it so that none of the connections touched while the participants moved so it wouldn’t short-circuit.

How has the Berlin maker scene – Fritzing, Open Tech School, the workshops we’ve gone to, Hackidemia, the Kids Hackathon, etc. – influenced your involvement in Arduinos & Fritzing?

The project back in 2011 was really on the outskirts, but Arduinos stayed on my mind. Then all of a sudden it was much more accessible through these meetups. People were willing to share their knowledge and teach – that’s the first time I felt it was possible to work on my own projects.

What about those meetups inspired you?

The Open Tech School meetup was inspiring because there were tons of projects happening at the same time and so many different types of learning in self-organized groups. The diversity of approaches was titillating: There was a table of sound tinkerers! There was a wearables table! And a table of complete newbies!

I think seeing how collaborative, open and fluid the community was made me feel safe to try whatever I wanted and feel supported by other people.

And I inspired you too, right?!

Yes! When I started doing these projects with you – that’s when I noticed how well we work together. Our different learning  complement each other. And I realized how much fun it is.

Do you have any goals with our Fritzing project this Fall? What are you trying to get out of it?

I want to test some ideas that I’ve kept locked in my brain vault for the last decade. With Fritzing, they are potentially doable now. I am excited to get to it!

Follow Laura Wadden and Johanna Santos Bassetti on Twitter and keep up with the Fritzing blog to find out what happens next in their learning adventure.

Workshop in Berlin: REMAKE Festival

Our friends from the REMAKE Festival in Belgrade are organising it this year in Berlin and we are offering a workshop as part of the program for people who want to get started with electronics: Introduction to Interactive Electronics.

This workshop, aimed at beginners, shows the basics of ‘Physical Computing‘ with the Arduino microcontroller in the Fritzing framework. No prior knowledge is required, but it usually helps to know a little programming. If interested, please send your mini bio and motivational letter to: vedrana.boskovic@ gmail.com

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 5-15 COST PER PERSON: just daily or four-day Festival Ticket

MATERIAL NEEDED:

1. Laptop: ideally with the latest version of Arduino and Fritzing pre-installed. If you don‘t have one, don‘t worry, you can probably share with your workshop neighbor.

2. Fritzing Creator Kit which you can buy at the workshop for a discounted price of 89€.

3. Good mood and crea- tive ideas. Fritzing is an open-source initiative supporting designers, artists, researchers and hob- byists, aiming to take the step from physical prototyping to actual product.

New Book “Prototyping Interfaces”

Prototyping_Interfaces_Interactive_Cover2

We just got a note from Mark Lukas about the release of their book Prototyping Interfaces that teaches and showcases how to build interactive things with vvvv and Arduino. They used lots of Fritzing sketches to illustrate their examples. A really nice idea is that they turned the book cover into a capacitive sensor.
It’s all in German, but I assume an English version will follow soon.

Find out more at http://prototypinginterfaces.com

Thanks to the team of authors: Jan Barth, Roman Stefan Grasy, Jochen Leinberger, Mark Lukas, Markus Lorenz Schilling

Prototyping_Interfaces_03

Interface Design at the FH Potsdam

For all of you who want to work creatively with technology – the BA-course Interface Design at the FH Potsdam is the right place! Time for application ends April 1st!

Für alle die gerne kreativ mit Technologie arbeiten – wie wäre es mir einem Studium  ‚Interface Design’ an der FH Potsdam? Anmeldefrist endet am 1.4.!!!


(Video von Jonathan Jonas zum Projekt BeatCircle)

In diesem Studiengang geht um die Gestaltung der Schnittstelle zwischen Menschen und Computern im weitesten Sinne – hier könnt Ihr mehr Infos erhalten; in Videos erklären die Lehrenden (u.a. Prof. Reto Wettach, der Initiator von Fritzing) was Interface Design ist und warum es wichtig ist, dieses Fach zu studieren.

Im letzten Semester hat Stefan Hermann, Produkt-Entwickler bei Fritzing, einen Kurs zum Thema „Musical Interfaces“ gegeben: Studenten haben in einem Semester nicht nur die Grundlagen von Arduino, Teensy und Fritzing erlernt, sondern eigenen Interfaces gebaut, mit denen man Musik machen kann. Gösta von Native Instruments, der bei der Abschlusspräsentation dabei war, war begeistert!

Wer sich vorstellen kann, dass Interface Design etwas für ihn wäre, sollte sich bis zum 1.4. hier formlos anmelden. Erschreckt nicht über die „Eignungsprüfung“ – eigentlich soll nur herausgefunden werden, ob ihr neugierig und umtriebig seid!