Once upon a time, circuit design could only be done with a handful of software tools, a popular one being Eagle. Getting boards manufactured was a costly and time-consuming process, and the learning curve was steep and lonely.
Lately we’re seeing a host of new tools that can help anyone with basic electronics knowledge design and fabricate custom PC boards, along with new services to make it easier to get them manufactured.
We’ve been a fan of the amazing Fritzing site, service and community for some time, and recently discovered Circuits.io is an online tool that lets you do circuit design, from schematics to board layout, in a browser. Once your design is ready you can send it out for production and have a brand new custom board shipped within 12 days. What makes this system really promising is the larger community of shared open hardware projects with fully designed boards that you can print, download or purchase to use in your own projects.
The website also features a learning section, with tutorial videos on topics such as “How to design and order your own custom Arduino shield in 10 minutes”, as well as a crowdfunding platform called “Bootstrap Campaigns”.
This video shows a bit of how the interface works:
You can learn more about the service here: circuits.io
We’re anxious to try it ourselves, but if you have a great project or advice on using the service, we’d love to hear about it.