Although he didn’t succeed in funding his project through Kickstarter, Ward Seetsen has been able to further develop his CircuitsMaster web tool. The application helps designers, entrepreneurs, and makers with the design of the electronics for their prototypes. All you have to do is click which functions your prototype needs and the tool offers you everything you need to build it yourself. CircuitsMaster – originally Seetsen’s graduation project at TU Eindhoven – went live this week and is free to use.
Have you ever had a great idea for an electronic product? In such a situation ideally, you would want to make a prototype to see if it works the way you would expect. “To do this you’d probably use an Arduino and use Google to find the circuit and code you need”, Seetsen explains. “The difficulty in this is not knowing which circuits and what code actually work and fit your application. CircuitsMaster helps with this problem.”
Instead of using Google to find your circuits at different places, you can select all the inputs and outputs you need in CircuitsMaster. Seetsen: “By doing so, you will get a full circuit with all the inputs and outputs you’ve selected. This circuit is tested and verified to work. Also, you’ll get the basic Arduino code you need to use the circuits of your design and you’ll get an advice of which components to use that fit your product idea.”
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When you’re finished designing the circuits, you can directly order these components in one store to know for sure you have the right components. And that’s where Seetsen’s business model comes in. “The earning model is indeed in the webshop. When the user wants to order the components, they can click on ‘go to shop‘ in the component list. Then they end up at Conrad.com where all components are already in the shopping cart and they only have to pay.”
CircuitsMaster didn’t choose to build its own webshop. Seetsen: “The big advantage of our solution is that Conrad can deliver components worldwide at the same time, while this would be difficult for a new webshop of its own. For each order, we get a percentage. In the future, there will also be a premium version, which will then have more circuit options and a discount on components. But because every circuit has been tested, before it enters CircuitsMaster, it was too expensive to implement enough circuits at the beginning. So this will probably come within a few months.”
This webtool will change the product development process of designers and entrepreneurs by allowing them to make their own prototypes fast and often, Seetsen concludes. “Making prototypes more often and from an early stage of the design process allows you to shape your product better and start testing it early on and more often during the development.”
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