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I have been using Tinkercad's Circuits web application to create my Arduino circuits and apply my Arduino code (c++) for testing.

Despite the amazing product they have and the fact it's free, I find myself very disappointed at times. Don't get me wrong, Tinkercad has a bunch of great products that I use all the time (like "3d Designs"). I just feel like "Circuits" needs work or maybe even a different dirrection.

I have been dealing with some of the following issues...

  1. An extremely slow interface creating my circuit:

    I have seen it do a bunch of random things that could use some TLC in the interface. Sometimes objects get stuck and you have to disconnect them from everything before you can move them. Sometimes using a breadboard, objects that seem connected to a pinhole does not make a connection and need to be connected to the breadboard using a wire. There are a bunch of little quarks I see. None are a show stopper and I can work around them but the slow interface makes me hate dealing with a web app. It makes me really want a PC app instead.

  2. The lack of support updating the Arduino compiler:

    It's a very old version and they are not in a hurry to upgrade it. I have contacted support a bunch about issues with the compiler not compiling code that works perfectly fine in the Arduino IDE. Classes need to be defined in a specific way, enums need to be defined in an old way that makes the source look ugly etc. Also, I have let them know when debugging it's about impossible to find out where your bug is because it does not tell you a line number it had a problem on. It tries to highlight the line with little success in my tests. I have suggested to them that maybe they could introduce a new option to choose the compiler version to use for each project this way old designs do not break etc. I didn't get any feedback on the feedback I submitted. So I guess that is a no go.

  3. The simulation time:

    This is the worst offender by far! This is the main reason I want to look for different software to replace Tinkercad Circuits. When simulating code on my circuit design the simulation runs in milliseconds (NOT real-time). I have my code set to do something in 15 seconds. Seems like it will happen in no time... NOPE! I have to wait about 15 minutes to see the results!!

So back to my original question... Is there a PC application out there that does the same thing as Tinkercad Circuits? I want to be able to design an Andrino circuit and then test code with it.

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  • I've not had the same issues, but i haven't used it as much as it sounds like you have. Emulation will always be relatively slow, so make sure you're using as beefy a computer as possible (no tablets/laptops) to run it. Emulation will also slow as the code size increases, perhaps even exponentially. I have seen it get better since launch, so give it time. Meanwhile, I would try to isolate and test smaller pieces, mocking up the "non-moving parts" to avoid overhead. I've not seen anything better... – dandavis Oct 9 at 16:39
  • Don't use simulation. Use a real Arduino and the IDE. Simulation often gets it wrong and you find that things that "worked" in the simulation don't in real life. Skip simulation altogether and save yourself the headache of things not working later. – Majenko Oct 10 at 23:09
  • @Majenko that should almost be an answer... I totally agree! After some testing yesterday on some source code, Tinkercad would run something just as I expected and when it was flashed to my ATtiny85 it was like NOPE! bool resetButtonIsPressed = (digitalRead(PB_BUTTON) == HIGH ? true : false); works fine in c++ (also TinkerCad). But the only way to get it to work on the ATtiny85 is to use bool resetButtonIsPressed; if (digitalRead(PB_BUTTON) == LOW) { resetButtonIsPressed = false; } else { resetButtonIsPressed = true; }. – Arvo Bowen Oct 11 at 12:28
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I'll try to find such PC app, but I can't find anyone. When I give up to find such app, I wrote my own arduino emulator via qt. My app is include arduino app and compile them as part of the qt app. Thank's to #ifdef macros i'm change the arduino.h . My emulator is not let you add scheme elements, but add you advantage to watch pin states and sets values to them. You can correct your project and emulate your own functions and algorithms. There it is https://github.com/ravenclawprog/arduino_mobil

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