What Is a Circuit Diagram?

What Is a Circuit Diagram?

A circuit diagram shows how electrical circuits are laid out. Using standardized symbols, electrical engineers and engineering students can represent resistors, capacitors, inductors, and more.

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Purpose of a circuit diagram

What is a circuit diagram? It’s a simplified overview of an electrical circuit. Circuit diagrams can be pictorial or schematic—a schematic diagram uses abstract icons, while a pictorial diagram more closely resembles a circuit in three dimensions. When engineers need to find problems in real-world wiring, circuit diagrams help them track down pain points. They can also help physics and engineering students learn principles of electricity.

How to make a circuit diagram

Making a circuit diagram in Lucidchart is simple. From the Lucidchart document list, select Create > New Document. Then choose Engineering, and select the blank circuit diagram template. From here, you can customize your chart. Try dragging out a loudspeaker or a controlled voltage source. Delete any element of your diagram by selecting it and hitting Delete on your keyboard. You’re not limited to black and white; change the color of any wires or labels by selecting them, then choosing the color picker in the top toolbar. Once you’ve perfected your diagram, it’s easy to download or publish online.


Circuit diagram template

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What Is a Circuit Diagram?

History of circuit diagrams

In the early twentieth century, electrical engineers began to standardize circuit diagram nomenclature and symbols. The International Electrotechnical Commission was founded in 1906. IEC standards dictate the appearance of symbols used in circuit diagrams. Schematic diagrams have since expanded to a wide variety of use cases not available one hundred years ago, such as computer technology, modern electrical vehicles, and robotics./p>


Start creating a diagram in Lucidchart today. With an intuitive interface and endless possibilities for customization, your end result will be as beautiful as it is useful. You can build UML, flowcharts, floor plans, network diagrams, and more—it’s an all-in-one diagramming solution!

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