Computer Aided Design
I use open source software for the products and pieces I create. I believe strongly that everybody should have the ability to change their environment for the better. With digital technology and free software this is becoming much more possible.
All the computers and machines I have in my workshop use the linux operating system. Here is a list of the CAD software I use to generate 2D graphics and 3D models. This software is all free to download and use on both Mac and Windows computers.
Inkscape is an excellent 2d illustration program similar to Adobe Illustrator. It is perfect for producing the .svg file used in the lasersaur. It can also import and export to many different file types. Download; https://inkscape.org/en/
This is a simple 2D Cad program that is capable of producing dimensionally accurate engineering drawings in .dxf format which I can then use to generate Gcode toolpaths for the router. Download: http://librecad.org/cms/home.html
Blender is a little tricky to learn, but is very powerful and worth the extra effort as it’s able to produce 3D models from which reliefs can be machined. Again it can read and write many types of files, but the most important for 3D machining is the .stl format. Download: https://www.blender.org
This is a full featured 3D design program similar to, but not as mature as inventor or solidworks. Nevertheless, it is adequate for simple models. Download: http://www.freecadweb.org/