It’s an excellent time to get into building electronics. Not only has modern technology paved the way for countless possibilities in engineering, programming, art, and science, but it’s also more accessible than ever. Case in point: This free course on the Arduino Uno.
The tools of the trade are becoming both cheaper and more varied. If you’re looking for parts and resources in the electronics department, you’ll find you’re spoiled for choice. Of these options, Arduino may be the most ideal. Whether you’ve been programming for years or are just getting into it, Arduino is one of the most helpful tools you can use.
What are the best online Arduino Tools?
The variety of tools and projects is what attracts so many people to Arduino, but it can be intimidating, too. With nearly infinite possibilities, where do you begin? Thankfully, the answer to this dilemma comes from the very place the problem arises in the first place.
The Arduino community is as vast as the possible applications of the platform itself. You’re far from the first person to want to know more about how to use it, so there is a wealth of resources available. With the help of the internet, you can access a variety of tools from other users.
Here are some of the most helpful online tools available for Arduino users.
Maybe the most obvious place to turn for Arduino related help is the platform itself. On the official website, you’ll find Arduino Create, a series of resources for makers and developers spanning project ideas to device dashboards. The platform offers a place to save your code, IoT services, and several development tools.
The base Arduino Create package, like the software, is free. However, if you want to access more advanced features, you can upgrade to the Maker plan for a paid subscription. For professionals, there’s an even more inclusive Pro package, which is scalable and flexible to meet different business needs.
Developed in Germany, Fritzing started as a publically funded project and quickly grew into a successful non-profit. In short, Fritzing is a downloadable tool that can be helpful for beginners and experts alike. Once downloaded, users can produce and wire a virtual breadboard and use a variety of different tools- including multiple Arduino models.
You can publish and share your circuits with the community over at Fritzing.org. There, you can ask questions, work on projects for their gallery, and learn more through their educational material.
Fritzing’s biggest draw, however, is that it lets you turn your circuits into real, professional PCBs. Pricing for this service varies, but all orders are processed in two business days and shipped for free.
Codebender is an online integrated development environment (IDE) for Arduino. It features code writing tools, debugging systems, and hundreds of thousands of sketches from other users. Codebender also runs entirely in the cloud via a browser plugin so that you can access it from anywhere.
More than 140,000 registered users are on Codebender, so there’s plenty of fresh ideas to inspire you. You can edit other users’ sketches for your applications or create your own to share on the network. The service costs $10 a month with a one-month free trial.
Not all online tools take the form of software services. Some, like ArduinoDev, are informal sites where you can connect with the Arduino community through forums and cooperative projects. The site also features the Arduino Online Compiler, which allows you to gather your sketches and compile them.
You can also find updates and news on ArduinoDev to stay up to date about ongoing developments in the community. On the site, you’ll discover CodeBlock Arduino IDE, a customized version of the famous open-source IDE, CodeBlocks. ArduinoDev may not appear as polished as Arduino Create or Codebender, but it is free and gets the job done.
Circuito.io is a service that helps you design and build Arduino circuit boards. You can use their online app to design a custom circuit, and they’ll provide you with a bill of materials and a wiring guide. That way, you can streamline the circuit building process and get right into implementing it.
This tool ensures that you make an operational circuit before you even buy the parts needed. While Circuito doesn’t provide the materials themselves, they do give you a comprehensive shopping list that includes the basic parts required to connect everything else.
Tinkercad is a simulation tool for a variety of applications, from Minecraft designs to electrical engineering, and it includes Arduino simulators. Using their free online software, you can build a virtual Arduino circuit to work out the kinks before you put physical parts together. It’s a risk-free testing zone you can use before making the real thing.
By using the simulator, you can find and fix errors quicker and easier than you could with the actual hardware. If you’re uncertain about your coding and building skills, or simply want to be careful, Tinkercad can help you.
Reddit may be famous as a place to waste time, but it can be a helpful resource, too. The self-proclaimed “front page of the internet” hosts several relevant forums, including the official Arduino subreddit, which has over 200,000 members.
Across the various subreddits, you’ll find a massive group of Arduino enthusiasts and experts. You can exchange project ideas and sketches, read about new developments, or ask fellow Redditors for help if you have questions. It may not have the most to offer in terms of services, but it’s a free platform to communicate with other members of the community.
If you’re stuck or have complicated questions about Arduino, you may not be able to find the help you need in a community. Sometimes, you may want to turn to an expert. That’s where services like Codementor come in.
Codementor connects users to mentors, all verified software developers with years of experience. You can find the right person for you by looking through their ratings, areas of expertise, credentials, and rates. After you’ve selected someone, you can schedule a one-on-one meeting with them where they’ll help you work through whatever problems you’ve encountered.
Which Online Arduino Tool Is Best?
No one answer exists as to which resource will work best for you. The most beneficial choice depends on your needs, learning style, budget, and end goals. To find what will help you the most, consider these factors and try out multiple options.
You may find that the most well-rounded approach to finding Arduino related help is using multiple resources. Many of these tools and forums are free so that you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank by consulting various sources. If there’s one thing you can know for sure, it’s that you won’t have any trouble finding support from the Arduino online community.