We have a saying in English about being 'up a creek without a paddle'. What that means is: you're in deep trouble and there's no way out. Well, 123D Circuits user Bryan Perry's pump station monitor circuitry is built to prevent such a situation - because it's all about keeping the levels of water (or whatever's in the tank) within safe levels.
When we found out a 123D Circuits user was designing something that's part of a modern civic infrastructure we just had to feature him. It's this kind of circuit that keeps cities from flooding in winter and reservoirs at proper levels year-round.
In a nutshell here's how they work: There's a water storage tank underground. Inside are three floats at different levels. When water rises it makes the bottom float rise, then the middle float. When this happens the circuit tells a pump to move some water out of the tank and thus lower the level of water. When the water drops below the first two floats the circuit then tells the pump to turn off. All good, BUT if the water was rising so fast the third float rises the circuit will turn on the second pump. For an interactive breadboard simulation where you can click on the "floats" - check out this extra circuit Bryan made.
In the picture above the two blue clips can detect current flowing through a wire and are how the circuit can tell if the pumps are actually running or not. If they're not running when they're supposed to the circuit will send Bryan a text (see the Sprint box, that's what that's for). The black cylinder is a backup 5V battery and the green terminal blocks on Bryan's circuit connect to the pumps and floats. The microcontroller on the board is a SPARK CORE. The board below was designed in 123D Circuits. Bryan pressed the "Order" button and 10 days later the PCBs arrived.
Click the Read More button to continue and see Bryan's circuit embedded in the blog! Read more »
Whether you knew it or not, we've all touched a 555. They're inside appliances like toaster ovens, microwaves, alarm clocks, little robots, zillions of toys, early computers and even a few spacecraft. They're everywhere!
Don't believe us? According to their original 1971 inventor, Hans Camenzind, production has steadily ramped up to an astonishing 1 BILLION 555s being made per year, and they crossed that threshold in 2003!
For the announcement we put together an example circuit that when connected to a servo lets you control the angle (or position) by turning a potentiometer. Click the Read More button to load it. Read more »
This week in the Mighty Midwest we take a look at how 3D printing is changing the way visitors experience their local public library. Libraries have always existed as repositories of learning and information, and as technologies change there is a huge opportunity for them to adapt and bring those technologies to the masses. The Chicago Public Library has set up a Maker Lab in their downtown branch to bring new technologies to the people of Chicago. In the video below you can see how this Maker Lab is transforming the library experience by bringing things like 3D modeling and 3D printing, laser cutting, and more to the average person.
We've been blogging a lot recently about 123D Circuits projects and users but it's time we talked about the "3D" in the name.
While circuits are typically designed in a 2D UI the 123D Circuits app will generate a perfect-fitting 3D enclosure for your Circuit. Check out this 3D printed example of an enclosure generated by 123D Circuits: The Theremin.
Keep reading to check out how easy 3D modeling an enclosure can be with 123D Circuits.
Although Harsha does make printed circuit boards he has mostly focused on the breadboard simulation in 123D Circuits. He says his favorite aspects of the application are the multimeters that can pinpoint the voltage at any node and measure the current through loops. We agree, the multimeters are great, check out an example below:
How many times have you looked at the space in between your desk and your neighbor’s desk and thought, man, I wish there was a plant there? Or had a similar reaction upon viewing a groove in the wall? Or the narrow crevice between two armchairs?
Anyone faced with this predicament would have been stuck without a solution, as no manufacturer makes planters on such a small scale. Luckily, we live in a world with 3D printing! So I decided to act on my desire to turn tiny office spaces into miniature gardens for hearty, low-maintenance air plants.
News surrounding 3D printing tends to focus on the big things; 3D-printed houses, pieces of furniture, and custom prosthetics receive a lot of media attention. But the potential of 3D printing for small-scale life enhancements should not be ignored.
To make such small planters, I used 123D Design’s pre-loaded selection of primitive tools. Find my step-by-step instructable here and make your own tiny planters. In approximately fifteen minutes, you too can design crack-filling little gardens for all the cracks in your life.
Some people need little introduction and Adafruit's Noe Ruiz is one of those people. His projects on 123Dapp.com stand up with some of the best we've ever seen, and that's saying something!
UPDATE: Noe is part of a Duo! Noe and his brother Pedro Ruiz get together on 3D Thursday at Adafruit to 3D model and 3D Print their projects. They often get the party started by 3D modeling in Autodesk's 123D Design. We highlighted one to start, check out Adabot!