Adding to the highly capable 123D range of free software for makers and enthusiasts, Autodesk has released 123D Circuits.
Aiming to bridge the gap between homemade hand drawn circuits or free open source packages and high-end circuit design, simulation and layout software such as Eagle and Altium, 123D Circuits allows you to design, simulate, layout and then order prototypes of the board you just created. It has files for the major components that you might need in a general circuit design.
It allows you to experiment with building circuits and simulate them without having to pick up a soldering iron.
- Virtual breadboard based design, allowing to build and experiment with circuits just as you would in real life.
- You can add an Arduino to your design, and edit the code right in your browser.
- Real-time and interactive simulation of both your Arduino code and the circuit attached to it.
- Full collaborative editing (think of Google Docs for electronics).
- Powerful yet easy component editor, making it super easy to add new components to the shared library.
- Easily create beautiful circuit boards with: free text, b-splice silkscreen art, arbitrary board shapes, …
- Ability to embed your design, including simulation on your blog or in an Instructable.
Once you have completed the design and tested it, you can order a board with your design pre integrated which is fantastic and saves a lot of time.
I think the 123D range is a fantastic initiative by Autodesk, they are driving a massive group of enthusiasts to get familiar with their products, make stuff and then realise that they want to go further and buy into their paid products and at the same time they are kickstarting a whole generation of makers and potentially entrepreneurs and we love that.
Accordingly Autodesk 123D Circuits and their other apps is hereby awarded the first and soon to be coveted Gold Circuit Board Award for contribution to the Startup Community.