What software do I use? MindGear uses open source or free/trial versions whenever possible to keep costs down for you. You can download the following programs to work on your designs. All of this software is covered in MindGear’s various classes and activities.

  • Inkscape is a mainstay at MindGear Labs. With it you can design 2d shapes and raster images. Inkscape is used to design for the Laser Cutter, Vinyl Cutter, and 2d cuts on the CNC Mill. Learn more about Inkscape in our free 2d Design class.
  • TinkerCad has a free and premium option. This is a web based program that builds up 3d surfaces from primitives (cubes, spheres, cones, etc.). Despite the name, no CAD experience is needed. TinkerCAD is very user friendly and we also cover it in our free 3d Design class.
  • SPICE was created at UC Berekley. Its a general purpose program for analyzing DC and AC circuits. We discuss SPICE in some of our Fabology and Saturday Workshop activities.
  • Blender is used to create meshes and 3d objects. Blender can be used to create high resolution 3d surfaces for printing. It is also used in our Computing Lab to generate assets for our video game and app creation. We cover this program in our Computing Lab.
  • Unity is a premier design environment for creating video games and applications. It has been used to create AAA games to iPad and Android apps. Learn more about Unity in our Computing Lab.
  • CoffeeCup is our main program for creating websites. We use it to document our progress on our games and apps in Computing Lab.
  • GiMP is a photo editing program like Adobe Acrobat. We use it in a number of applications, like for our websites and for preparing images for etching on the laser cutter.