I've been taking a look to the 123D tool and this seems very nice for entry level and hobbyist.
Now, after reading Max's statement about "free" board shipping, I was wondering why Autodesk is doing this and how they plan to earn some money with the tool.
Maybe they are planning in selling a professional edition, but this doesn't look very reasonable. I believe that the business they are trying to get is catching a commercial margin from services and content that are going to be sold inside the 123D community -- e.g. the PCB manufacturing services.
Indeed, we can read this statement in Autodesk 123D web site:
"Autodesk 123D is free software integrated with content and fabrication services"
I understand that the software is free... but the content and fabrication services are not!
We're glad you like 123D Circuits and agree there's room for expansion and improvement. To clarify, what are you referring to when you said "didn't run with that a bit more"?
123D Circuits is continually getting updated. And we'd love to hear your suggestions and requests!
We recently improved the simulation capabilities, and are working diligently on a few new features, as well as adding more components and modules to the library. Tune in to 123D.circuits.io/blog and @Autodesk123D for updates.
I'm part of the Autodesk 123D Circuits product team and can shed some light on your question: 123D Circuits has a built-in service to get boards fabricated and shipped to your doorstep. You pay for the cost of the boards in sets of three. It's quite reasonable. For example, three 2-layer boards the size of an Arduino shield will run you about US$35. Three 3" x 5" 2-layer boards will roughly be US$95. Shipping, worldwide, is free.
First there's just the simple observation that open source has become popular in the software and embedded industries(mbed), while circuits.io hasn't yet started to gain popularity in the industry as a serious tool(as far as i can tell - am i wrong ? ) , and it definetly should. It hold such a great value.
The general view of engineers regarding it is that it not yet mature(hasn't digged for details). So both the perception and product features can be improved with that in mind.
Other places it could tie well are: the mbed component community(it would be useful to get a full component that includes a verified schematic, layout, a driver and code examples).
It could also be a good fit for edn's design ideas eople are interested in others using their work, circuits.io could make it easier.
And i'm not an analog designer, but it seems to me circuits.io would be specially valuable to them(since it can greatly reduces design risk) , so maybe targeting them(participating/sponsoring/collaborating with their communities and working with analog manufacturers ) could be a good way to start industry adoption.