Autodesk recently announced the completion of the Circuits.io purchase. This follows the September 2013 announcement that the company had teamed up to provide 123D Circuits, an online circuit simulator. This product expands the ever growing 123D collection of free tools.
The existing web based interface was upgraded to include a breadboard view, allowing users to create their own circuits in a visually realistic test bench. Users can also create their designs in a schematic view, the breadboard is automatically mapped which can then be modified as desired.
From that point users can program the behavior of the components and simulate the outputs. Lastly, users can share their designs and actually have these manufactured through the 123D Circuits interface.
Autodesk reports that the user community has grown to include greater than 30000 users.
Link to the 123D Circuits Video
It is quite easy join the community. Simply create a new account and you will be taken to new user status board, with links to help, tutorials, and of course your projects. The site is free, with the option to upgrade to the 123D premium service.
If you have an Autodesk account, simply login, and you will be taken to your new 123D Circuits profile.
This is definitely a great addition to the 123D family. A free electronics simulator in an online web interface opens the doors of circuit design to many new users. I have a breadboard, but don’t use it on new projects unless I know that the design is viable. This simulator is a great idea.
There were some areas as a new user that I found difficult. The interface is a bit search-y, and lacked the structured interface that I prefer; however that is perhaps a personal preference. Additionally, the filters don’t seem to do any filtering. I searched high and low for a bridge rectifier, but kept getting the same list of ‘not bridge rectifiers’. For some items, I think you have to develop them yourself.
I cannot speculate on how this will affect the company’s revenues in the coming year or two. One thing 123D Circuits will do is create a process that will attract more creative thinkers, giving 123D a whole new capacity, and perhaps a complete product design process for some components; designed 3D models with electronic behavior. If the collective continues to build, the company will have a substantial think-tank under its wing; one that attracts users from all spectrums of design.
Images shown courtesy of Autodesk, Inc.