Circuit Scribe Makes Sound (Demo)

A few weeks ago the folks at Electroninks sent us a few Circuit Scribe kits, the same one's they'd just delivered a ton of to their Kickstarter backers.  They also sent us a few extra modules... like a motor, buzzer, light sensors, and a "blinker" (more on that later).


We posted our first unboxing video and a number of people wrote back with questions, so we made another video today to show how the buzzer and blinker modules work.  Have a look at the video below and for the full fourteen minute unboxing video and ALL the info you could ever want - check out that blog.

 

Like the sound of it?  Head on over to 123D Circuits to get your own Circuit Scribe kits!

Circuit Scribe Modules and Unboxing

The folks over at Electroninks were kind enough to send us a couple of their Circuit Scribe kits to unbox and demo.  If you've been following their wildly successful kickstarter you know these are just now getting shipped to their 12,000+ backers.
If you missed out on the kickstarter you can buy a kit over at 123D Circuits.


If you're a 123D Circuits user you've probably seen a change to the home page that prominently features Circuit Scribe, and for good reason: we're the source for the upcoming kits and (spoiler alert!) the upcoming Circuit Scribe Virtual Editor (more on all that here).

In addition to the unboxing video (below) we thought it would be timely to give a little background on Circuit Scribe and Electroninks... Imagine a world without wires and the need to solder, a world where you can still create working, interactive circuits by simply placing components on paper and drawing connections between them with a conductive-ink pen.  Electroninks IS that conductive ink, and Circuit Scribe is the family of modular components that connect to create working circuits.


Each Circuit Scribe kit comes with an Electroninks pen and anyone can download a PDF of their instruction workbook - which is full of great getting started info about electronics and cool projects.

The Circuit Scribe components come in four types:  Power, Input, Connect, and Output.  Each type has several modules and we've chosen to show one of each (you can see them all here).  They're pretty straight forward:

POWER modules are power sources, they're how you add a battery or USB power to a circuit.

INPUT modules let you interact with the circuit.  Flip a switch, turning a dial, or move your hands over a light sensor.  If you wanted to control something manually you'd pop one of these in.

CONNECT modules form the logic of a circuit.  The NPN transistor above is a perfect example and we're so glad it's included in the kits.  With the NPN in the loop you can deliver lots of power with a tiny input signal, for example you can make a touch sensor circuit with one!  (see video for example)

OUTPUT modules are where the rubber meets the road, literally.  Motors, LEDs, Buzzers, connectors to outside circuits (like breadboards and Arduino boards).  

If you've read this far you're a champ, here's the unboxing video.  Enjoy and let us know what you'd like to make with a Circuit Scribe kit by leaving a comment below!

 

Like what you see?  Stop by the 123D Circuits Shop to pick up your own kits. 

Get Yourself Featured on 123D !

Do you like checking out the 123D Featured Users but feel like it's missing a little... "you"?   Fill out the form below and you could be the next Featured User!   The most interesting projects might just wind up here, or even on the screens of our apps.  What are you waiting for ?!?!  Hit the read more link.

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Featured User : Alexander Sharikov’s Rotary Encoder Board

Featured User Image

Have you ever want a rotary encoder in your project but didn't want to design it in?  Featured user Alexander Sharikov has done the work for you and was kind enough to share it via 123D Circuits.  You can click the link to his board and order it for yourself, you only need a few components to solder down and you'll have a fantastic light-up, de-bounced rotary encoder!


Alexander found this LED-backlit rotary encoder component on Sparkfun.com and designed the board with supporting components.  The following pictures are of of his board:

PCB layout in 123D Circuits, Alexander's board, and the rotary encoder component on it's own.
 

The bottom of Alexander's rotary encoder board has screw terminals that make it easy to prototype with:
Rotary Encoder board bottom view 

Click the Read More link to see Alexander's rotary encoder embedded in the blog - and a Sparkfun video explaining how to use it.  Read more »

123D Circuits adds Arduino MICRO and ATTINY

For almost a year now you’ve been able to simulate a virtual Arduino UNO in 123D Circuits and in that time tens of thousands of people have used an Arduino board in their virtual breadboard projects.


Today we're announce two Arduino components new to 123D Circuits:  The MICRO and the ATTINY!

Having these two new components is valuable for a few reasons:

The first is that you may want to design your projects with components that are a lot smaller than an UNO and fit on a breadboard.  Your projects will look cleaner, use less wires, and if you’re also building a physical project using the smaller MICRO or ATTINY you’ll save some money over the bigger UNO.


ATTINY graphic 220 pixels wideSecondly, if you think about it the ATTINY isn’t really an Arduino board, it’s a chip made by Atmel that you can program with the same code as regular Arduino boards.  Almost all Arduino boards use these Atmel chips (called “AVRs”) so it makes perfect sense that you can also use just the chip to make your projects super small.


code editor 220 pixels wideThirdly, if you can write code for the little ATTINY from Atmel in 123D Circuits that means you can write and compile code for any of Atmel’s AVR-series chips.  This is a big deal because it opens up the possibilities of being able to design with different chips based on your needs like: How many analog inputs?  How many digital pins?  How much memory?  Does it fit in a breadboard?  Is it tiny?  Is it super cheap?

Click the Read More button to see an example ATTINY project being simulated... Read more »

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.

Featured User Banner

 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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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.

Read more »

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!