Last week, Autodesk expanded its offering of free 3D modeling tools by joining Circuits.io to launch a free electronics design tool called 123D Circuits. 123D Circuits allows the user to either learn circuit design or use their existing electronics knowledge by creating virtual electronic circuits that can be simulated inside the software. This is a web-based tool, so the user does not need to install any software to create virtual channels.

What makes 123D Circuits unique among most other online circuit design tools is the fact that the designs created inside 123D Circuits are part of Circuit.io’s efforts to promote the «open hardware» movement — the pursuit of electronics enthusiasts to do electronic circuit design. open source so that others can take advantage of and build on the original design.

123D Circuits was the brainchild of Karen Brunil and Benjamin Schrauwen, owners of Circuits.io, created as an online circuit design tool where designers could virtually test their electronic circuits in an open source community filled with other electronics enthusiasts. This tool also provides real-time co-editing features so multiple designers can work on the same project at the same time.

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The release of 123D Circuits brings the concept of Circuits.io to the mainstream, introducing it to the already extensive user base of Autodesk’s free 3D tools. Users can use the software for free as long as all channels created remain public to the rest of the community. Or users can sign up for a paid account to create their own private channels and receive discounts on PCB orders.

What makes 123D Circuits special is that one of the components is an Arduino virtual board that users can plug in and program. The Arduino code can be edited right in the browser and the whole circuit can be tested — a great way for Arduino enthusiasts to test their design ideas before connecting the Arduino in the real world.

Other Autodesk 123D tools include a 3d editing tool for 3d printers, a virtual creature app for the iPad, and even a 3d modeling tool. 123D Circuits is the latest addition to this collection of free online design tools offered by Autodesk. You can access 123D Circuits directly from the Circuits.io website.

Source: 123D Circuits | Image Credit: Sample screenshot of 123D Circuits via circuit.io

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