Tuesday, August 4, 2015

123D Circuits

The Lab View

For people like me who can't afford electronics kits and are worried about getting electrocuted during a project, 123D Circuits is a wonderful, free online resource that will allow you to learn the basics of electronics with online simulations and helpful guides. This website is run by AutoDesk which also creates 3D modeling applications such as Tinkercad and 123D design.

Features:

  • Three views in 123D Circuits: Lab View, Schematics View, PCB view.
  • Design Modes: Electronics Lab, PCB, and Circuit Scribe 
  • basic components such as LEDs, capacitors, diodes, breadboards, etc
  • everything from the Arduino basic kit and a code editor
  • Video Tutorials for Newbies
  • No download
  • Gallery of everyone's designs
  • A Shop for ordering any of the designs in the gallery
The Schematics View

The Educational Impact:

There are currently many free and accessible online resources for people to learn about computer science and programming, but online resources to learn about the hardware side of technology is not as readily available. For instance, the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course website edX has 66 computer science courses and only 8 electronics courses as of today. Hopefully with websites like 123D Circuits, the number of tutorials and MOOCs for electronics based on building circuits will grow. Similar to how online coding tutorials allow many programmers to become professionals without formal schooling, these new resources for electronics can open non-degree opportunities such as becoming a chip designer, an inventor, or even an electrical engineer. 
The PCB View