Below is a list of software recommendations and their uses.

The Testing Lab has seven computers available with Tufts software listed below and more.

3D Design

For use with 3D printers & CNC Router

Visit the Tufts Maker Network’s Computer Aided Design (CAD) Handbook for an explanation and techniques on 3D modeling.

Available at Tufts

A powerful industry standard for designing parts.

Free Alternatives

TinkerCAD | TinkerCAD tutorials
An easy to use, browser-based 3D design and modeling tool. But offers limited ability for designing complex shapes.

SketchUp Make | SketchUptutorials
A modeling program which includes a 3D warehouse. Best for large scale design such as architecture, interior design, and construction applications.

Onshape | Onshape tutorials
The first cloud based system for creating objects and assemblies. Offers easy ways to collaborate with multiple people on a project. However, it can be difficult to manipulate pre-existing designs since it does not except .obj or .stl files.


2D Design

For use with CNC router, Desktop Mill, laser cutter, vinyl cutter & wire bender

Available at Tufts

Adobe Illustrator | Illustrator tutorials and pen tool tutorials
A powerful industry standard for creating graphics.

Available for faculty/staff and students through Tufts IT.

A powerful industry standard for designing parts. Can be used to create 2D designs by using the 2D drawing feature or exporting 2D views of a part.

Free Alternatives

Inkscape | Inkscape tutorials
A 2D design software. Similar to Adobe illustrator but not as powerful.

AutoCAD | AutoCAD support
This is an advanced software program and an industry standard.
Students and educators can receive a free version.

Autodesk also offers other free programs for 2D and 3D design.