Jimb0 @ sparkfun.com writes:
I got my first taste of programming with RCX Code and an old Mindstorms RCX 1.0, so maybe it’s nostalgia speaking, but I really admire visual programming languages for their ability to introduce younger folks to programming. With color coded operators, geometrically shaped data types, and no semicolons (!), visual languages have a unique ability to make programming a more intuitive experience. And with the (admittedly necessary) annoyances of syntax removed, more of your programming focus can be directed towards solving the actual problem.
Enginursday: Visually Programming Arduino - [Link]
A new, free 3D design tool aims to help engineers with 3D modeling of their designs by being easy to use. RS Components and SpaceClaim joined forces to develop the tool, which can be used to model physical elements of designs, such as enclosures or interface panels, without having to learn complex feature-based 3D tools. It can also be used to develop early prototypes, either as a PDF file or on a 3D printer.
DesignSpark Mechanical aims to overcome the two major entry barriers faced by potential users: the cost and steep learning curve of traditional 3D CAD tools. DesignSpark Mechanical is free, and it uses direct modeling so that engineers and others involved in product development can learn to use the software within minutes. [via]
Free 3D Modeling Tool Facilitates Mechanical Design - [Link]
Traditionally, you would need to install an IDE, which includes all the necessary software, find and install the correct drivers, set permissions, etc. It can take 10-60 minutes. Or it can be a total mess.
With codebender, you can program your Arduino straight from your browser. No need to find, install, update and manage libraries and drivers. codebender does that for you. Just install our browser plugin and follow our Getting Started guide. From having an Arduino, to having a programmed Arduino. In mere minutes.
After installing the pluggin, you can flash any codebender sketch to your device. See the code bellow? You could load that to your device, straight from this page!
Codebender web-based Arduino coding tool - [Link]
Clive Maxfield writes:
OMG! All the electronic and mechanical engineers I know (and even most of the marketing folks) are going to squeal like schoolgirls when they get their sticky little hands on this amazing, free 3D design software that will enable conceptualization and rapid prototyping, reduce costs, and dramatically accelerate product development. In short, this software is like a “Gift of invention that will bring your ideas to life!”
Quiet down my racing heart! I just heard the most amazing “hot-off-the-press” news. In just a few days as I pen these words, all of us who wish to will be able to design 3D models, assemblies, and enclosures for our designs using some incredibly intuitive, fully-featured 3D modeling software. And, best of all, it’s free! (And when I say “free” I really mean free, as in free for both commercial and non-commercial use with no limitations or licensing.)
Allied/RS Bring Free 3D Design Software to Everyone on the Planet! - [Link]
123D Circuits.io 123D – [via]
123D Circuits is a revolutionary free tool for designing your electronic projects online. You can design in a familiar breadboard view and the app will guide you to make professional printed circuit boards with built in layout tools. When you’re done just click to have your boards professionally manufactured and shipped for free worldwide.What’s also cool is how you can easily, simultaneously work on the same circuit with your friends. And at any point you can compile and emulate your Arduino code inside a live, editable circuit!
123D Circuits.io – Design your circuits online - [Link]
CometCAD is a simple electronics circuits CAD software able to capture schematics and layout PCB. Is free for use, but there are some limitations.
CometCAD is circuit schematic and layout editor program for Windows - [Link]
In this introduction Dave explains what LTSPICE is and how to do the simplest of the SPICE analysis options – basic DC operating point analysis. Also how to draw basic schematics, display voltages and current on your schematic, and a beginner few traps to avoid.
EEVblog #516 – LTSPICE Tutorial – DC Operating Point Analysis - [Link]
MegunoLink Pro is a tool designed to aid embedded electronics designers. From hobbiests using the Arduino platform to commercial engineers using PIC or TI micros. MegunoLink provides a set of tools to help visualize serial data and investigate what is going on inside that piece of silicon. MegunoLink is made up of a set of visualizers that each have a unique function and any number of them can be utilized at once. With these visualizers and our functional tabbed and docked interface you can create a full control center for your embedded project. Plot, log and monitor serial streams from both hardwired, bluetooth, and network based (UDP) devices.
MegunoLink Pro – Visualize serial data of your mcu with ease - [Link]
Jérôme Vuarand developed an application to visualize Gerber data, a simple 3D viewer for Gerber files. This tool helps to review Gerber files before sending them to a PCB fab house:
Over the course of the last 5 months I developped an application to visualize Gerber data. The goal was primarily to review Gerber files before sending them to a PCB fabrication house. It is very similar to the Mayhew Labs online Gerber viewer, except it’s offline (and has a few different features).My tool is program for Windows (32bits or 64bits) that use OpenGL for visualization (you will need a decent/recent video card). You can simply drag and drop Gerber files on it, or use the command line to configure it more deeply. I set up a page explaining most of that and giving download links
Simple 3D gerber viewer - [Link]
Suzanne Deffree writes:
Apple this week is celebrating the five year anniversary of its Apps Store. If you go to the store, you’ll notice Apple is giving away five games and five apps to celebrate the anniversary.
When it opened its virtual doors, the Apps Store did so with a mere 500 apps. Now, it showcases more than 900,000, with more than 800 apps being downloaded each second.
In total more than 50 billion downloads have taken place since the Apple App Store’s 2008 launch, with more than $10 billion being paid out to developers.
Mixed in among the whopping number of available apps are a few that engineers, specifically, might enjoy. We’ve created the following list of our own favorites as well as some contributed by engineers in the field.
20 Apple apps for engineers - [Link]