We consider design to be a fully integrated aspect of any fabrication project from the initial dreaming and planning stages through setting your final tool paths to process a 3D model, or setting the desired stitch pattern on your e-textile project and designing the program for your microcontroller. This concept is an important first step in considering how differing materials can be processed, which of those materials may be best suited to your envisioned project, and how to design in ways that can maximize the use of fabrication machines to meet your project’s needs.

While we don’t function as a design and fabrication job-shop, we provide assistance to help guide you through design processes and their interrelation with materials and fabrication processes.

Below is a list of links to design-programs that we consider to be useful and integrate well with our fabrication machines, and that have strong support to guide users from beginner to expert levels.

  • TinkerCad: This is a free 3D modeling program, and is particularly well suited to guiding younger folks, and those who are only just entering into design modeling programs for the first time.
  • Fusion 360: This is a free to students, robust 2D Computer Aided Design (CAD)/3D modeling program. Autodesk has established an extensive set of training materials that are readily available and easily accessible.
  • OpenSCAD: If you are a programmer then the free OpenSCAD could be a good 3D modeling program for you. This program functions like a 3D compiler for script files that you write to set the designs parameters.