Thiago Hersan puts the Mega in MegaFone

Featured User Banner Have you ever wanted to project a message over loudspeaker, but do it remotely?  123D Circuits user Thiago Hersan and his fellow Instructables Artist-In-Residence Radames Ajna have built it - and a lot more.  Not only does their project, called "Fofoque-me: Vox Populi" project your voice over a motorized megaphone, but you can send it an SMS that will be translated to voice and that too will played aloud to curious bystanders.

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 In the above picture check out the purple motor-driver board on top of the Arduino Mega -- that was designed in 123D Circuits.  Check out a video of three MegaFones during testing.

The motor drivers get a thorough testing.


To see the full system in action...

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123D Circuits DIY Theremin Built For Bending

The Light-Theremin is back!  The first time we blogged about this project it was a buzzing-breadboard with an uncanny ability to both inspire and distract anyone within earshot. Now it's a professionally-printed circuit board designed and ordered in 123D Circuits, and yes, it still beeps and squeaks.

Another video: using the light-theremin to play a song.


How'd we get from beeping-breadboard to poppin' PCB? With 123D Circuits, of course!  We make it easy, just design your board and click the "Buy 3 Boards..." button.  Professional PCBs will soon arrive at your doorstep.

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Ole Ole Ole with 123D Circuits!

Good luck to the 32 qualifying teams in Tinkercup 2014!  To celebrate them, we recorded an old standard that seems to get popular every few years! Check out this iconic song as played on a 123D Circuits project!

 Want more info on the 123D Circuits project?  Check out this blog.

Maker of the Day – Arthur Ingraham (Day 12)

Arthur is a 123D Circuits user who became an electronics maker during breaks at work. A musician at heart, Arthur combined his knowledge of electronics with his love of music to make pre-amps and guitar pedals that work more smoothly with popular guitar amps on the market.

Once he mastered his trade, Arthur decided to put his talents towards something extremely important: helping his family adopt a baby from Haiti. Read more about Arthur's story below, and prepare to be inspired.

Personal website:
www.theroadhome.in

Arthur Ingraham

Why I make

am always looking for ways to improve and push my limits - I'm always curious as to what I can accomplish. TFX specifically transitioned from a hobby to a mission: 100% of profits from TFX sales will are going towards an international adoption from Haiti. 

What I make

Guitar pedals of all varieties, latley I have been designing and focusing on handmade pre-amps designed to respect a guitarist's biggest musical investment, their amp. Whether prople own a Fender, Marshall, or Vox - they do so because of the amp's unique character and voicing - I am developing preamps that are designed to serve that respective amp archetype. A pedal that works FOR the amp, not just with the amp.

Follow Arthur's shop on Reverb to not only get yourself some truly special pre-amps and guitar pedals, but to help this maker add one more to his family. 

Maker of the Day – Christer Janson (Day 2)

From AutoCAD to 123D Circuits, Christer Janson is a true maker. His latest project , the Chrutil Sequencer, was designed with Autodesk123D Circuits and allows you to play music.

Christer Janson

Why I make

I think I have always been making things. The first real maker project I can remember was trying to build a remote control for my parents TV back in the day before TV's had remotes. The TV never worked again, but I was hooked.

I write complex software for a living, which is a wonderful creative process, but sometimes I miss working with my hands and when I make things I get to combine thinking and tinkering. As a bonus I end up with cool stuff that nobody else has. 

What I make

I try to make all sorts of things. It started getting serious with a full size Arcade machine some years ago, and then when I discovered Arduino microcontrollers it really took off. I try to combine some rudimentary wood and perhaps metal working with electronics and sensors. Things that blink and move are so cool. With the discovery of 123D Circuits I have been able to build more complex electronics and lately I have been combining my love for electronics, synthesizers and making things, by building on a full size modular synthesizer. 

Christer Janson is a Sr. Software Architect for AutoCAD, and has been with Autodesk for 24 years and counting. He started with Autodesk in Sweden working mainly on 3ds Max, then was based in Switzerland for a few years, and, since 1997, has called the San Francisco Bay Area his home. Outside of work, his alter ego, Chrutil, enjoys playing music, building and tinkering with electronics and microcontrollers, and working on his modular synthesizer.

 

The quick rundown is that it's an analog sequencer consisting of a bank of knobs and switches to control pitch, beat and notes of a synthesizer or drum machine. The Chrutil Sequencer is a 32-channel analog CV/Gate sequencer with MIDI and audio features.

The front panel was designed in AutoCAD, and etched at the Autodesk Pier 9 Workshop with an Epilog 123W Laser Cutter. The electronic boards were designed with and fabricated via 123D Circuits.

 

 

Instructions:

1. Put on headphones

2. Fiddle knobs and flip switches to personalize your own beat

3. Overlay percussion using the drum machine

4. Party on

 

 

123D Circuits Gets New Superpowers

  • Design circuits in a web browser?  Check.
  • Simulate buttons, motors, resistors, and LEDs?  It’s got that too.
  • Let you write, compile, and simulate Arduino-compatible code?  Yes, yes and YES.
  • Accurately simulate capacitors and inductors in real time?  New!  
  • Display signals on a virtual Oscilloscope?  Also New!
Actual simulated waveforms.  These are not Photoshopped®
Three virtual oscilloscopes.

People who own an oscilloscope will tell you it's useful for probing into parts of a circuit and literally watching voltages change over time.  This is important because most of the time in electronics, things happen so fast you can't see them change, but with an oscilloscope you can seemingly slow time and examine things that happened in the blink of an eye.  For that reason, oscilloscopes are an incredibly useful tool and now that Transient Analysis is part of the 123D Circuits simulator you can add virtual oscilloscopes to your circuits.  It's like having a microscope for your circuits, you can see what's happening on the inside.  Wow, right?!
 
Here's an example that illustrates how powerful this is when you're learning about electronics: You connect a capacitor to a battery and the capacitor charges up -- it happens almost instantly, but exactly how almost-instantly?  With 123D Circuits's new oscilloscope you can catch that brief moment where the capacitor charged up and look at it closely.  You'll see the curved graph of the cap's voltage rising.  You can then click on the capacitor, change it's value and immediately see the difference it makes in the time it takes to charge up.  Sounds nerdy (and perhaps it is...) but being able to see this phenomena is a big step towards understanding one of the most important concepts of electronics: how things change over time, AKA Transient Analysis.
 
Scroll down to see the actual simulation of this circuit.
You could already simulate circuits in real time so... what's new?  Up until now 123D Circuits was simulating the behaviors of a circuit that happen instantaneously - like the current through and voltage across a resistor.  Ohms law stuff.
With accurate Transient Analysis built-in, it can now simulate things that are not instantaneous, like the current flowing through an inductor and the voltage rising across a capacitor.  And not just one capacitor or inductor -- you can build a complex circuit with dozens of parts (including microchips) and simulate the entire functional circuit in real time!

Here's an embedded version of the above circuit.  Click the little PLAY button in the upper right.
(best viewed in the Chrome browser)
 
 
Keep reading to find out more about what you can simulate.

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Light Tracking BEAM Robot Comes To Life

Last week we announced a new theme: ROCKETS and ROBOTS so I'm super excited to post about a BEAM ROBOT that we've given life in 123D Circuits

"BEAM" is an acronym for Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics, and Mechanics.  It refers to a style of robots that don't require programming - instead they use analog logic to react to stimulus of various types (like light, sound, and heat).  The great thing about BEAM robots is that you can learn a lot about electronics just by making one or even taking one apart.  To get an idea, check out this BEAM robot simulator in 123D Circuits and experiment by clicking on its components to see what happens.

There are a ton of BEAM robot-related Instructables and we chose to build a simulation of one that reacts to light.  This is called a Phototrope, as it will try to move toward a light source.  That's pretty buggy!

Below is the simulation of the left 1/2 of the BEAM robot.  For clarity, we've linked a simulation of just one side of the BEAM robot (the second half would be identical).  Full left-right schematic here.

Press the PLAY button (top right) to get started.

link to this project in 123D Circuits - with full description and schematic

Whats What

We’ll be releasing this as a finished circuit board so you can build one, too.  We're also working on a 3D model for an enclosure in Tinkercad that you can use or build off and make your own Phototrope Bug.  Stay tuned!

 

HIGHFIV3D: Autonomous Reassurance Device – Part 3

Part 3: Audio & Assembly Awesomeness

 

highfiv3d 123d project

I wrapped up March with this cool little project - it's a little late on the calendar, but there were some tweaks to be made.  Last time, I successfully programmed the Arduino to accept the accelerometer input to trigger audio files, and recorded some WAV files.  I tried the cardboard hand from Part 1, but it essentially exploded (due to the inherent awesomeness of my high-five, maybe..).  I decided to just bite the bullet and print it on our Objet printer, I may do another with flexible filament after all.

Once the files were cut and loaded on to the SD card, I finished the assembly of the hand with a base that could support a bunch of slaps.  I used the shear at TechShop San Francisco to get some 3-inch strips of mild steel, then a vise and a hammer to bang it into a 90-degree shape (I'll let you figure out how to get the other side).  

 A quick trip to the hardware store netted a spring, some threaded rod, a bushing/spacer and some locking nuts.  Basically, the hand/dowel will rotate around the threaded rod - which is locked in place with the nuts - a spring at the base will provide the tension for it to return to neutral.  I just used a C-clamp to secure it to a desk and watched my co-workers smack away.  A small USB-powered speaker with a headphone jack provides the sound, and I just picked up a dual-USB-plug to power it and the arduino board.

The random clips are pretty funny, I may do something similar soon with microphones.  The folks upstairs at Instructables have some pretty heavy feet, we've been scheming to provide them some 'feedback' when footsteps reach a certain decible level.  

 It's a pretty cool little thing to have on your desk - most people can't resist a high-five.  And that's good, because it's rude to leave someone hanging.

 

Bonus: Here's the raw footage of us recording the audio samples. 

How-To’s & Free 3D Models for Arduino’s 10th Birthday. #ArduinoD14

Arduino Day


Let’s celebrate Arduino’s 10th anniversary with some pointers on getting started with an Arduino compatible board in 123D Circuits, and a handful of free 3D models from the 123D Gallery.

In case you didn't already know: 123D Circuits is the newest addition to the 123D family of apps. One of it's finest attributes is the ability to simulate an Arduino in your browser without having to touch (ahem... blow up) any hardware. Yes, you can design circuit boards in 123D Circuits and they'll automagically arrive at your door in 10-12 days, but we're here now because we love Arduino boards and we have a few Instructables already written to get you going with an Arduino in 123D Circuits HERE and HERE.

Example circuit, press the PLAY button in the upper right hand corner to see it ping-pong with LEDs.

 

Do you already know all about Arduino? Then head on over to the Instructables Arduino contest There's still time to submit an entry. Wondering what other people are working on? People like you just voted for the winners of the 123D Circuits contest on Instructables.



If you'd like to 3D print a case look no further; the 123D Gallery is full of 3D models of various Arduino board enclosures and useful parts.  These are great 3D Models to 3D Print as-is or modify with one of our apps like MeshMixer or Tinkercad.  You can download them for free to use in your own projects!

Arduino compatible boards and other parts

Arduino Uno R3Arduino ProtoshieldBreadboardArduino Bot Platform


Cases

Arduino DiecimilaArduino LilypadArduino Due CaseArduino Extreme (Uno) Case


Cases, Bumpers, Misc.

Arduino Uno BumperTall Arduino Uno CaseArduino Galileo mountStepper Motor Driver Board

Note: Here is a complete list of Arduino-related models (100+ pcs.) found in 123D Gallery. Some models mentioned in this post are from the Premium 123D collection, however even Free 123D membership owners can download up to 10 premium models per month! 


3D print these models

Follow below steps to print these Arduino-related models on your 3D printer:

  1. Download a model of your choice by clicking on any one of the "Download model (.stl)" links found on the model pages.
  2. Download Meshmixer, a free, powerful tool from Autodesk to work with 3D models. Go to Meshmixer page for more info.
  3. Print model after setting it up and refining it in Meshmixer.

 


Register for free to download these, and many more 3D models:

Register now

123D Circuits Contest Winners!

 

You may have seen our blog post a few weeks back about the 123D Circuits contest on Instructables. Well the contest is over now, and after a whopping 222 entries we were able to select a few entrants that really went above and beyond with their projects, so we could shower them with all sorts of fancy, electronics-related gifts. Not to mention these sweet customized multi-purpose knives!

 

It was really inspiring to see your creativity in the circuits world. From robots to medical devices to things that were just plain practical, you did it all. While everyone contributed an amazing project, we are happy to announce the winners for each category!

You can find the rest of the winners here.

If you missed out on this contest, have no fear - there are lots of chances to win things. We have a Create Your Own Drone contest going right now in partnership with i.materialise, and for you circuits lovers there's also an awesome Arduino contest running on Instructables as well.