Fritzing: supporting the transition from prototype to product.
Check out Fritzing: an “open-source initiative to support designers and artists to take the step from physical prototyping to actual product”. Started by Prof. Reto Wettach and André Knörig at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam and funded by MWFK Brandenburg, the project aims to create software that makes it easier to document Arduino-based prototypes and design PCBs for manufacturing. Of course, there’s already a lot of software for this out there (both open-source and proprietary); the Fritzing site contains an excellent analysis of the schematic-editing and PCB-layout software currently available. Still, I think there’s a opportunity here to make something that’s well done and easy-to-use and it’s great to see someone taking up the challenge.
The project is holding a kick-off workshop on the 17th and 18th of September that some members of the Arduino team will be attending along with other well-known figures in physical computing. If you’re interested, you can apply by contacting the Fritzing team. If you have other suggestion or comments, there’s also a general discussion forum for the project.
Finally, we should note that like Arduino, Fritzing takes it name from an old king – in this case Frederick II of Prussia, whom those from Potsdam like to call “Fritz”.