I would like to give my opinion about what I have learnt while trying to play with Tinkercad as well as Wokwi Arduino Simulator, a free online simulator. 😃 I will share why I feel this is an alternative for Tinkercad.
Arduino projects will easily expand to multiple file projects. A few header file projects, a few .C files and even .txt files. This is especially true for bigger projects. Tinkercad lags here as it doesn't completely support multiple file projects. Wokwi Arduino simulator on the other hand becomes a good alternative for Tinkercad. Wokwi Arduino wins here.
Number of Arduino Libraries supported
The number of Arduino libraries is huge. With the growing size of communities, these libraries come as a rescue for many hobbyists as these are well-curated, well maintained and up-to-date.
Wokwi Arduino simulator supports most of the libraries and Tinkercad supports only about 9. Wokwi Arduino Simulator on the other hand supports most of the popular libraries
Adafruit GFX Library, Adafruit INA219, Adafruit NeoPixel, Adafruit NeoMatrix, Adafruit SSD1306, Adafruit ST7735 and ST7789 Library, Arduino_CRC32, base64, Bounce2, Button, Controlino, DHT sensor library, DHTLib, DS3231, FastLED, FastLED NeoMatrix, IRremote, Keypad, lcdgfx, LedControl, LiquidCrystal, LiquidCrystal I2C, LiquidMenu, MD_MAX72XX, MD_Parola, Midier, OneButton, RTClib, SD, ssd1306, SSD1306Ascii, SdFat, Segment, Servo, SevSeg, SimpleDHT, SimpleTimer, Stepper, TaskScheduler, Talkie, Time, TimerOne, U8g2 etc
Addressable LED support (famous FastLED libraries)
With the introduction of individually addressable LEDs, a single pin of Arduino can drive more than 1000 LEDs. The prices of these smart LEDs are also dropping as consumption is also increasing day by day. Tinkercad doesn't have any simulation support for these LEDs whereas the Wokwi Arduino simulator has a huge number of collections of FastLED library examples supporting these smart LEDs.
Analog Circuit Simulation
Analog circuits are the bread and butter of any hobbyist. a simple RC combination, for example, is the most important thing when it comes to hardware design and simulating. be it an RC delay circuit, or a low pass filter, a debounce circuit or a decoupling capacitor, they are part of the project. Tinkercad works excellently here. Wokwi Arduino simulator doesn't support any such analog simulations yet.
a few not so unimportant topics
Tinkercad and Wokwi Arduino simulator both supports serial plotter. Which is one of the best things when playing with ADCs and potentiometers. there is an easy option to share projects with others in both the simulators. Both simulators support following too
- 7 segment display
- Piezo buzzer
- Slide switch
- keypad etc
Here are a few areas where Wokwi Arduino Simulator WINS:
- Code Autocompletion
- Code formatting
- Standard library demo examples
- LED and FPS monitor feature (especially for FastLED projects)
- Projet can even run on Mobile browsers flawlessly
- towards real-world approach - Button bounce feature for example
- Arduino Mega, Arduino nano, assembly instruction support
Here are a few areas where the Tinkercad Arduino simulator has an upper hand.
- Analog circuits and Logic parts
- Tilt sensor
- PIR sensor
- Lemon and Potato battery
Final Verdict: Tinkercad versus wokwi Arduino Simulator
Wokwi Arduino Simulator is a new project. It is just a year old baby. it has too much potential💪. It is already powerful enough to take on the existing simulators. Wokwi has an active and flourishing community . Wokwi Arduino Simulator is up-to-date too
Tinkercad on the other hand is a strong simulator with powerful engines supporting both analog and logic ICs. Unfortunately, they stopped supporting new developments 😥, It has been a while since they have updated the Arduino simulator. This is the main weak point. Tinkercad has a large userbase and examples compared to Wokwi on the internet.
Wokwi Arduino Simulator wins🏆 finally especially with the Multiple file project support and Tinkercad has many more areas (limited libraries for example) to get stronger and be back in the game 🦾👍
wokwi - https://docs.wokwi.com/