Browser-based circuit simulator boasts a mountain of features

CircuitLab is an electronics simulator which you can run in a browser. Above you can see one of the example circuits provided to help show the power of the application. You can build your schematic (perhaps you want to try [Jeri's] psu shut-off timer?) in the editor mode, then switch over to the simulator to get data back from the components. In that mode, your cursor becomes a probe, and clicking on different parts of the circuit will return the calculated input and output voltages for that component. But wait, there’s more. It’s got time and frequency simulation in addition to the voltage simulator. This lets you look at waveforms fed through analog filters, or timing data like in the 555 timer circuit above.

Where does this fantastic tool come from? [Humberto Evans] and [Mike Robbins], the guys behind NerdKits developed this site. We’ve seen a lot of their hacks around here, like milling solenoids and making them play a xylophone. Check out the CircuitLab quick start video they put together after the break.

[Thanks Brian]


  1. lostalaska says:

    Man, you guys have been on a roll lately with posts on things I’m interested in (3D Scanners, circuit diagrams). Another super useful post for something I’ll be playing around with this weekend.

    Keep up the awesome!

  2. Daniel says:

    That’s a really neat piece of software! We used some in college which wasn’t nearly as simple to use and didn’t provide us with any more info than this does.

  3. xeracy says:

    this seems a little more friendly version of the Java Circuit Simulator.

  4. qwerty says:

    My lock-in-attempt-detector just went full scale.

    Beware: the service wont stay free forever and currently doesn’t allow exporting to other software.
    I would rather stick to Qucs, NGspice and many other free simulation software that won’t force me to either sign in somewhere or stay connected, and won’t attempt to lock me in.

  5. Will says:

    Now what would be totally cool would be to merge this with the Arduino IDE and chips so you can built your circuits and test your programming all in one. This is neat for dumb (no microcontrollers) circuits though!

  6. grbgout says:

    For all you circuit gurus out there, how does something like KiCAD compare?

  7. M4CGYV3R says:

    That’s pretty amazing. On a <1Mbps connection it only took about 5 seconds to load.

    I like things like EAGLE and all of those design programs, but this seems like it's simpler to use, more powerful for simulation, and most importantly free.

    Love it.

    • M4CGYV3R says:

      So they opened up the first MITx 6.002x electronics class online today, and it turns out the ‘circuit builder’ tool they have as part of that course is almost EXACTLY this program verbatim.

      It’s got some differences cosmetically, but the how-to is the same, the controls, the placement. It’s pretty damned solid.

  8. martinmunk says:

    This is porn!

    We use NI MultiSim and this seems just so much better! (And i don’t have to start windows to run it on my macbook)

    Graphically its a thing of beauty compared to the NI tool, and it’s so much faster to build circuits!

  9. Haku says:

    Those of you who have signed up and can create/edit circuits, what browser & version number are you using?

    I signed up but it won’t run on FF3.6 & FF4, I gave up upgrading FF beyond 3.6 on most of my PCs because they kept dicking around with the layout, altering the look and screwing with the menus to the point where I had to spend half an hour just messing with the config & installing plugins on v4 just to get it to look and behave the same as 3.6.

  10. robotblog says:

    Seriously cool stuff.

  11. Whatnot says:

    I so despise googleapis, fuck google for thinking that up.

  12. daralthus says:

    Maaan, I you gotta see Bret Victors presentation and his demo:

  13. Deb says:

    Circuit Lab Rocks. Very clean interface I came across another cool product at It has the feel of real looking devices and components. Neat !

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