Design a 123D Component From Scratch

About: Electronics Lab has moved to Tinkercad Circuits!

In this instructable we are going to show you how you can create a new component in 123D

Step 1: Create a New Component

In this instructable I'll create an LDR (Light Dependent Resistor). To follow along go to your dashboard and click "New component",  fill in the form and click "create new".

Step 2: Schematic Symbol

First we'll need a schematic symbol. "Click on Add Symbol" in the first Schematic View tab.

You can use an existing symbol by selecting one from the gallery, and it is even possible to edit these symbols (in this case you actually fork the symbol). But we're going to make one from scratch: click on "Create New".

You can draw your symbol with the pen, rectangle, circle and text tool. When that's done add the terminals. These are special symbols not shown in the schematic, but used by the tool to know where wires can connect.

When done, give it a name and click "Save and Add Symbol". 

Step 3: Footprint

Next we will create a footprint. This footprint is how the component will look like on the actual printed circuit board. It consists of metal areas drawn in read and a so called silk screen which is white ink placed on the board used to denote where the different components need to be placed.

Open the footprint view and click "Add Footprint". Here again you can select one from a large collection of industry standard footprints (which you can the fork and edit) or you can create a new one. We'll create a new one for this instructable: click "Create New"

Click the cross in the middle to change the pitch of the snap grid. Add pads and silkscreen using the various tools. We support SMD pads and through hole pads.

When you're done, give it a name and click "Save and Add Footprint"

Step 4: Pin Mapping

Next we need to assign the terminal in the schematic view to the pads of the footprint. This allows the tool to know how the different components need to be routed.

First switch to the Mapping view. Click on a symbol terminal you want to map. Now click on a pin on the footprint to where you want to map. The tool will now auto-select the next terminal so you can just keep clicking subsequent pins. You can also start the process from the other side, and first select pin before you map the terminal. It is also to mark a pin/terminal as not connected using the button at the bottom.

When done, hover over all the pins to check if the mapping is correct.

Note that you can add multiple footprints (such as SMD and through hole) to a single component by repeating the last two steps.

Step 5: Final Steps

When done, go back to the component page by clicking on the component title. You can now mark the component as. It will now be available in the circuit editor to use in your design. Doing this will also feature the component in the gallery so other users can use it.

Step 6: Using Your Component

Now you can use your component in your projects.
Search for it!

If you edit your component all the schematics that were using your component will still use the old version.



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    11 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I tried to get my component build yesterday. Only problem I ran into is that I can't add it to Electronic lab. This tutorial is great, but many of the options no longer exist...


    3 years ago

    I'm trying to create an LM393 Dual Comparator in an 8DIP package. How do I create the functionality of the component for simulation purposes?

    1 reply
    Autodesk CircuitsLarryS22

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hi Larry, this is currently not possible. But we'll add the component to our todo list.


    3 years ago

    Can I create a schematic in PCB Designer and them import it in to Electronics Lab Hub?

    2 replies

    4 years ago on Step 5

    above says: "You can now mark the component as" .... what ?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry for the basic question.... but I can't for the life of me figure out how to control basic spacing / sizing when creating footprints. Help?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, thanks a lot for the site. Its very innovative. I have been using it and its really good.
    I created a component "marked it as done" And it does show that its available in editor
    but the component wont show up.
    At what step am i going wrong


    5 years ago

    As a newbie on building this sort of stuff, where is a good place to learn? Any recommendations for dummies? I have breadboard experience but never building my own boards. I would love to learn more.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    The title could be a little confusing as there is a programming language called "Scratch". Maybe just "Design a 123D Component" would be good enough instead?