Circuits.io is an online platform created by Autodesk for hardware hackers. It provides a browser-based application for designing, simulating electronic circuits and creating PCB boards. Autodesk circuits simulator can simulate Arduino-based projects for testing designs and programs before creating them in real life.
The simulator allows you to learn electronics using a virtual Arduino board and breadboard without blowing up capacitors or burning yourself with solder on your work table. It is free to use, but more features are available with premium accounts. To start using circuits.io just go to the website, create an account, and start building your circuit.
This instructable guides you to get familiar using the simulator through three different projects. You will only need a computer with internet access, and you can build these projects in real if you have the components.
In this tutorial you will work with these parts:
- Arduino Board, the brain of your circuits.
- Breadboard, the board where you will connect the elements.
- Breadboard wires.
- DC motor.
The first project is simple and easy, it is about making a LED turn on and off continuously. The circuit consists of only one resistor and one LED connected with the Arduino, which will turn the LED on and off for a period of time defined in the code.
Another simple project is based on the LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) which receives information from Arduino and displays it. You can program the Arduino to display a message you want, control its location, make it blink, or move the message on the screen. You will also use a resistor and a potentiometer to control the brightness of the backlight.
In the third project you will control DC motor speed and its spins in Autodesk Circuits. The motor must be fed by an external power source, and the Arduino will control the current flow to the motor through the TIP120 transistor.
The full instructions and guides are available in this instructable. When you finish making these projects you can explore the simulator features and components, and start building your own projects.