Qt Design Studio on MCUs

Qt for MCUs is a comprehensive framework that supports various hardware ecosystems and platforms. One of the most important libraries provided by the Qt for MCUs framework is Qt Quick Ultralite (QUL), a lightweight implementation of the Qt Quick framework. Qt Quick Ultralite provides a QML API and an efficient graphics rendering engine that has a low memory footprint and is optimized for MCUs and other resource-constrained devices.

In addition to a lightweight graphics framework, Qt for MCUs offers a toolkit that enables you to design, develop, and deploy graphical user interfaces (GUI) on microcontrollers (MCU). Also, it lets you run the applications either on BareMetal or a real-time operating system (RTOS).

For more information on Qt for MCUs, see Qt for MCUs documentation.

Designing application UIs for MCU devices with Qt Design Studio

As a technical artist or a designer you can use specialized UI design tools, such as Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, Figma, Blender, or Maya to create the original UI design files for your MCU application. After the initial design work, export your design from the design tools, and import your 2D and 3D UI design assets into Qt Design Studio, which can convert them into code for developers. For more information on managing the original assets created with specialized UI design tools, see Asset Creation with Other Tools.

Once your UI design assets are in Qt Design Studio, use it to wireframe your MCU application, to visualize its structure. To modify the look and feel of your UI further, utilize the preset UI components available in Qt Design Studio.

For an example on how to create a UI that runs both on the desktop and on MCUs, see Washing Machine UI. For step-by-step instructions on how to use Qt Design Studio to design a UI for a specific MCU target device, see:

Developing applications for MCU devices with Qt Design Studio

As a GUI/application developer, use Qt Design Studio to bring your designs to life. Add further functionality to your applications and utilize the prototyping features of Qt Design Studio to simulate and validate interactions and their dynamic behavior.

You can also test, preview, and fine-tune your designs to pixel-perfection live on the desktop or on an actual MCU target device. For more information, see Validating with Target Hardware.

Qt Design Studio enables designers and developers to work together on common projects to develop applications. Designers can use the views in the Design mode to modify UI files (.ui.qml), whereas developers can use Qt Creator to work on the Qt Quick (.qml) and other files that are needed to implement the application logic and to prepare the application for production. For more information, see Implementing Applications.

Connecting MCUs with Qt Creator

Connect MCU boards to a development host to build applications for them using the GNU Arm Embedded GCC compiler, libraries, and other GNU tools necessary for BareMetal software development on devices based on the Arm Cortex-M processors. Deploy the applications on MCUs to run and debug them using Qt Creator.

The toolchains are available for cross-compilation on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS. However, the Qt for MCUs SDK is currently only available for Windows and Linux.

For more information on how to manage the complete cycle of developing Qt for MCUs applications using Qt tools, see:

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