123D Circuits : Blink LED with an Arduino

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This week's video on Electronics teaches you how to blink LEDs with an Arduino in the 123D Circuits virtual circuit simulator.  Its super-simple because the code is already pre-written and saved into the Arduino.  Opening it and making changes is a snap!  And don't stop there... we're growing the list of how-to videos every week!

This link will take you to the playlist of all videos 


So far we've been keeping it simple by getting the main point across in under a few minutes, but if you watch the whole video you'll also learn some engineering science!  Check out the video below.

Click here to open the original circuit in 123D Circuits.

123D Circuits is a fantastic place to go to build electronic circuits without leaving your computer.  It's as simple as dragging together components and watching them come alive in your web browser.  It's fast, it's free, and it's quite powerful.


You can do this yourself, just head over to 123D Circuits and sign in, then create a "New Breadboard Circuit" then follow along with the video.  You never know, this could be the beginning of something big - we think so!

 

 

123D Circuits Video Series : Measure Current

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This week's video on Electronics teaches you how to measure electrical current with a multimeter in the 123D Circuits virtual circuit simulator.  This is the companion video to last week's "Measure Voltage with a Multimeter".  You may follow along with the video, or just watch and be entertained.
This link will take you to the playlist of all videos 


So far we've been keeping it simple by getting the main point across in under a few minutes, but if you watch the whole video you'll also learn some engineering science!  Check out the video below.

Want to see the finished Current Measurement circuit?  Here's the link!

123D Circuits is a fantastic place to go to build electronic circuits without leaving your computer.  It's as simple as dragging together components and watching them come alive in your web browser.  It's fast, it's free, and it's quite powerful.


You can do this yourself, just head over to 123D Circuits and sign in, then create a "New Breadboard Circuit" then follow along with the video.  You never know, this could be the beginning of something big - we think so!

 

 

You Can Simulate a 555 Timer in 123D Circuits

It is an absolute joy to make this announcement about a tiny, unassuming chip that has changed the world:  You read it first here.  You can simulate a 555 in 123D Circuits!

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 »

Rockets and Robots: exploring STEM education with 123D

April is a big month for rockets and robots, and for STEM education in general. Here at the Autodesk 123D world headquarters, we are pleased to provide you with tools and project ideas that will help you explore this field.

Coming up first is Yuri's Night, a celebration of the first manned flight into space, on April 12th. We have an extensive collection of 3D rocket models in the 123D Gallery, and we've gathered them together for your convenience. Check out some of them below. You can download them, change them, 3D print them and share them with your friends. Stay tuned for tutorials on how you can use 123D Design, Tinkercad and Meshmixer to make some great things.

Soon after that, two major competitive robotics events are coming up, both from April 23-26: The VEX Robotics World Championship in Anaheim, California; and the FIRST Robotics Competition in St. Louis Missouri. We'll be publishing simple robotics projects to get you started in this field, integrating electronics and 3D printing.

You can also find some great 3D models of robots in the 123D Gallery - we've packaged up some of them, but feel free to go exploring: there are a lot more! Use them as a starting point for some fun projects.

Keep checking back, for fun and easy projects you can do, and a surprise guest!

3D print Chinese spacecraft with 123D

China's space program has been very active in the past year, and we wanted to help a broader audience understand and explore these achievements by making it possible to 3D print Chinese spacecraft models. We've put together a set of projects with all the parts needed to 3D print on a Makerbot or similar. 

All of these models were made using 123D Design, so you can modify and customize them easily. They're set up as Projects on our website, so you can easily download all the files at once.

With one exception, these models snap together using simple pin connectors - no glue needed. (The one exception is the main body of the moon lander, which is too big to print on a Makerbot.)

The first set of models includes the Chang'e moon lander and Yutu rover, which landed on the Moon in December. It's a really detailed model - you can articulate the solar panels, and the very elaborate ramp used to deliver the rover to the surface.

Click here to access the projects: Chang'e lander, Yutu rover.

Chang'e lander and Yutu rover

 We've also added a model of the Shenzhou capsule, used to put Chinese astronauts (or taikonauts) into orbit. You can print a variation with a connector that allows it to dock with the model of the Tiangong 1 space station. The Shenzhou and Tiangong can be made with folded or deployed solar panels.

If you saw the recent film "Gravity" starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, you may recognize the Shenzhou and Tiangong spacecraft - they play an important role in the film.

Click here to access the projects: Shenzhou capsule, Tiangong-1 space station.

Shenzhou capsule and Tiangong space station

Finally, we have a model of the rocket that is used to place all of these into orbit, the Long March 2F.

Let us know how these models work for you, and how you use them!

MakerBot and Autodesk Partner to Crowdsource 3D Printers in Schools!

It's funny that right after our last post about Obama's Industrial Revolution speech in 3D, we got confirmation of a rad new program for high schools!

Beginning November 12, 2013, individuals and corporations interested in helping get MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers in schools can visit DonorsChoose.org, a crowd funding site just for teachers, and pledge to financially support the program. Teachers then register on DonorsChoose.org for a MakerBot Academy bundle. MakerBot is contributing its own resources to launch this education initiative, along with Autodesk and other key partners.

This initiative is a unique partnership between MakerBot, DonorsChoose.org America Makes, and Autodesk, and was a response to a call to action by the President of the United States. In the recent State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama announced a new initiative to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. He affirmed, “3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. We must ensure that the Next Industrial Revolution in manufacturing will happen in America. We can get that done.”

Each MakerBot Academy bundle contains a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, three spools of MakerBot® PLA Filament, and a full year of the MakerBot MakerCare™ Service and Protection Plan. MakerBot will also support the teachers with the development of ongoing 3D printing curriculum that teachers can participate in and utilize in the classroom. MakerBot will leverage Autodesk’s software and educator curriculum as well.

“Autodesk signed on as a key partner in the MakerBot Academy initiative because helping students unlock their creativity and prepare for future careers is a core part of our mission,” said Samir Hanna, Autodesk vice president, consumer products. “Bringing together accessible applications like Autodesk TinkerCAD project-based curriculum from our instructables.com community and the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer will inspire and engage the next generation of design-minded students.”

MakerBot is also launching a MakerBot Thingiverse Math Manipulatives Challenge. Math Manipulatives are one of the most requested items on DonorsChoose.org and are an item that can easily be 3D printed in the classroom. The MakerBot Thingiverse website will hold a week-long design challenge, from November 12 through 18, 2013, for its members to quickly develop a variety of different math manipulative 3D designs that can then be available immediately to teachers that receive the MakerBot Academy 3D printing package.

What can you do??

A. Visit DonorsChoose.org and pledge your support. Individuals and corporations can help fund the MakerBot Academy 3D Printing package by making a tax-deductible donation via DonorsChoose.org.

B. Tell schoolteachers about the MakerBot Academy program and encourage them to register on DonorsChoose.org right away. Students and their community can also help teachers raise the additional funds they need to bring the MakerBot Academy 3D Printing bundle into the classroom.

C. Participate in the Thingiverse Challenge to develop models teachers can use to improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

D. Visit makerbot.com/Academy. For more information on supporting or registering for the program, visit DonorsChoose.org.

So join us in this effort (at an individual or corporate level) to help move America’s students to the forefront of technology and global competitiveness..!

Autodesk 123D Design Challenge: Reimagine an Existing Product!

Enter the Autodesk® 123D® Design Challenge! Reimagine an existing product or create a new one that could be the next big thing. Create a 3D model using the 123D Design app and submit your project at Instructables.com for a chance to win cool prizes like a MakerBot Replicator 2 or Premium 123D Membership!

Are you savvy enough to take on the Autodesk® 123D® Design Challenge? Find out more at autodesk.com/123ddesignchallenge!

Introducing 123D for the Tinkercad community

Autodesk is pleased to welcome Tinkercad to our family of fun, powerful and easy-to-use tools! We’d also like to extend that welcome to you, the community of users that has made Tinkercad great. For those of you who aren't familiar with 123D or are here for the first time, check out the brief video tour below, and then read on for an introduction to the rest of the 123D family, and some of the things you can do with them. You'll find tools that help you get 3D models of real world objects into Tinkercad, help to make your Tinkercad models into physical objects, and design software to take your designs to the next level.

To get the most out of 123D, you should sign up for an Autodesk account. A free account will let you store projects in our online gallery, and download files from our content library and from other users. A premium membership will increase your access to premium content, give you access to an Instructables Pro membership, discounts on the purchase of a Makerbot, and many other benefits.

   

123D Catch turns a series of photographs into a detailed 3D model of an object.  You can take pictures with the iPhone and iPad versions, or use a digital camera with any modern internet browser that works with Tinkercad. We also have a standalone desktop version for Windows. Tools available in the desktop or online versions of 123D Catch help you clean up your scans, select the most important parts, and export a file suitable for 3D printing or CNC.


When you export a file for 3D printing from 123D Catch, Tinkercad can import these files (.STL or .OBJ) directly, and manipulate them like other solids. You can scale them, move them, and combine them with other solids. (In fact, Tinkercad does a great job of preparing 123D Catch files for printing).

123D Design is a 3D design program, much like Tinkercad, but with additional features that can help take your designs to the next level. Features like fillets (rounded edges), chamfers (angled edges), Smart Text and the ability to “tweak” edges to make complex geometries give you the power and flexibility to design just about anything you can imagine – and make it look sleek and professional! Tinkercad users should feel right at home with the interface, too.


123D Design can tap into an extensive library of premium models, hosted on the 123D Gallery website. You can also store your own creations on the 123D website, and share them amongst the various editions of 123D Design. 123D Design is available on the iPad, in any browser that supports Tinkercad, as well as a more powerful standalone desktop version for both Mac and Windows. You can export files from Tinkercad as you would for 3D printing, and import them into 123D Design, where you can scale them, move them, and combine them with other solids. You can’t currently edit Tinkercad files in 123D Design, but we’re working on it.

123D Make is a powerful program that takes a 3D model and prepares it for fabrication using many different techniques. For example, you can slice your model into layers, cut these layers out of cardboard using a laser cutter, and assemble into really big constructions.


You can also export files from Tinkercad as you would for 3D printing (STL format) and import them into 123D Make. They work great! 123D Make is available as a full-featured desktop app, and with the most popular functions as a browser based web app, compatible with any browser that supports Tinkercad.

The 123D Gallery acts as the connecting hub between the various apps, as a community for sharing with other users, and as a library for great content. In the near future, we will be developing additional tools for working on your 3D projects that will be hosted here.


All of the 123D apps support saving and loading files from the 123D website, giving you the convenience of being able to access all your projects from any of the platforms: mobile, web and desktop. You can browse and remix projects from other users, and also choose from the library of premium 3D models prepared by Autodesk. It’s also a great place to comment on projects by other users, and share models that you are proud of. Make sure to sign up for membership to make the most of these online features.

Getting things made
The 123D family of programs supports many different ways of turning your digital creations into physical objects. You can choose from carving out of wood (CNC Utility), 3D printing (Autodesk 3D Print Utility) or laser cut slices of cardboard or wood (123D Make). If you don’t have access to workshop tools yourself, you can request services from our many fabrication partners – either via the 123D website or from within the apps themselves.

We hope you find this introduction to the world of 123D interesting, and look forward to seeing what we can make together with these tools! Sign up for a 123D account now!