resources

Digital Design

The Wanger Family Fab Lab at MSI presents a variety of workshops where guests can use software to design and produce creations on laser cutters and 3D printers.

Our Fab Lab staff compiled these resources for digital design tools (many of them free) that allow you to get started with your own projects.

Resources for Digital Design and Making

In the Fab Lab we using cutting-edge software and equipment that allows you to dream up, design and make almost anything you can imagine. A lot of times we design on computers (CAD: computer-aided design) and building with computer-controlled machines (CAM: computer-aided manufacturing). Below is a list of sites or software used or found useful by the Fab Lab.

Free software used in workshops

Free 2D design software

  • Inkscape: Powerful vector-based graphics tool
  • Ink/Stitch: open-source digital embroidery design software
  • SophieSew: Digital embroidery software
  • Gimp: Pixel-based graphics tool (best for photographic files)
  • Pixlr: Web-based (and desktop) bitmap editing software
  • MakerCase: Generate SVG files for making boxes

Free 3D design software

  • TinkerCAD: Cloud-based modeling environment
  • Shapeshifter: Cloud-based parametric 3D modeling
  • OnShape: Cloud-based CAD for precise designs and assemblies
  • NetFabb: 3D model repair software (free to students and educators)
  • Meshmixer: Software for manipulated 3D files
  • MeshLab: For editing 3D files for printing
  • OpenSCAD: Parametric code-based 3D modeling environment
  • BlocksCAD: A drag-and-drop 3D modeling tool
  • SketchUp: 3D modeling software for professionals
  • Clara: Cloud-based modeling, rendering and animation environment
  • Blender: Modeling, animation, rendering and game creation

Digital fabrication sites

  • Thingiverse: For sharing 2D and 3D objects
  • Shapeways: For sharing, buying and selling 3D objects
  • Ponoko: For sharing, buying and selling projects
  • 3D Hubs: Local manufacturing services (3D printing, CNC machining, etc.)

Sites change often and we apologize for any non-functioning links. Also: although we do use these sites, we don't officially endorse them.