Until recently, if you wanted to create and interact with a three-dimensional model of a physical object, you had to either buy or download a CAD product. From the free and popular SketchUp to the famous—and famously expensive—Catia, an entire industry has grown along with the computer revolution to deliver 3D modeling and viewing ability to engineers, architects, product designers and enthusiasts. The simplest of these programs run on a consumer-class PC; the brawniest requires the best workstations on the market.
Several young CAD companies, one which won’t be out of private beta until next week, are delivering a significant challenge to the established order in 3D CAD. They are delivering 3D CAD tools without delivering a software product to the desktop or tablet; instead they deliver a browser-based experience, no supporting download required. To use a hot Silicon Valley buzzword, an industry pivot is happening right under our noses.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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