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A curated list of Fab Academy Resources
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Awesome Fabacademy

A curated list of Awesome Fab Academy Resources.

Travis build status

Emoji Symbols used in this list

  • 💰 :moneybag: = commercial
  • 🏫 :school: = free for education
  • :white_check_mark: = recommended
  • 🆓 :free: = commercial but with free license (possibly limited)

Table of Contents

Fab Academy




Project Management

Project management tools

  • GitLab: Clone of GitHub, with issue trackers, kanban boards and milestones.
  • Redmine: Popular choice for software projects, Ruby on Rails.
  • Trac: Similar to Redmine but written in Python, has Gantt charts.
  • OpenProject: Project collaboration software, has Gantt charts.
  • Gantt Project: Linux project management app.
  • 💰 Microsoft Project: mostly used by professionals.
  • 💰 Trello: Kan Ban boards and team collaboration.
  • 💰 Basecamp 3: good for small teams.
  • 💰 Asana: popular in business.

Project management techniques

  • Agile: iterative approach to planning and guiding project processes.
  • SCRUM: based on the Agile methodology.
  • Waterfall: traditional phase by phase project management.

Version Control






  • SVN: popular centralized version control system.
  • SVN Red book: you should to start here.



Hosting platforms

Mostly 🆓 with 💰 options

  • Fab Cloud: Free hosting for Fab labs - Sponsored by Fab Foundation.
  • The most used for Open source projects.
  • Open source hosting similar to Github, based on Gitlab.
  • BitBucket: Commercial GIT provider by Atalassian.
  • Sourceforge: Top host for opensource projects before Github came out.




  • AutoCAD: 💰 🏫
  • Draftsight: Free software from Dassault, similar to Autocad features.


  • Gimp: popular and one of the best options for Linux users.
  • Krita: open source painting program for artists.

Commercial 💰

  • 🆓 MS Paint: built in windows.
  • Photoshop: de facto standard for image editing on Mac and Windows.
  • LightRoom: photo editing and organization.
  • Pixelmator: cost effective image editing for Mac.


  • Inkscape: best option for open-source lovers, many extensions, programming in python.

💰 Commercial

  • Illustrator: standard software for professional graphic designers.
  • Corel Draw: one of the oldest, still used often in the print & advertising industry.

Wireframes & UX Design

  • 🆓 Adobe XD: good free alternative to Sketch from Adobe.

💰 Commercial


Mesh modeling

  • Blender: indiscussed leader for open source 3D modeling and animation.
  • TinkerCAD: easy 3d modeling package with STL export, perfect for kids.
  • MeshMixer: free package to edit and mix 3d models

💰 Commercial


  • Z-Brush: most used tool for digital artists.
  • Mudbox: sculpting high res meshes.
  • Sculptris: simpler sculpting program, good for beginners.

Parametric modeling

  • FreeCAD similar to Solidworks, growing community
  • OpenSCAD text-based CSG modeling, used by many open source projects
  • 💰 Rhinoceros used by architects and designers, along with the Grasshopper free plugin
  • 💰 Fusion 360 🏫 very powerful, cloud integration, integrated mesh, nurbs, surfaces, parametric, CAM tools
  • 💰 Solidworks 🏫 Very advanced and complex, used for industrial applications


  • Calculix. Open Source alternative to Abaqus. Very similar input file.
  • Paraview great post processor (Open Source)

Computer controlled cutting

  • Deepnest Open source nesting software
  • Inkcut Open source software or controlling 2D plotters, cutters, engravers, and CNC machines

Electronics design

EDA Packages

  • KiCAD - Open source EDA package with push and shove router, differential pairs and much more.
  • Eagle - One of the most popular EDA packages due to it's (board size restricted) free version.
  • Design Spark PCB - Gratis EDA package without restrictions, sponserd by RS Components.
  • Altium Circuit Maker - Free package from the maker of the go to pro software.
  • gEDA - Another open source package, good for people that like scripting and makefiles, Linux and BSD only.
  • DipTrace - Quality Schematic Capture and PCB Design software with (pin and signal layer restricted) free version.
  • LibrePCB - A new, powerful and intuitive EDA tool for everyone, cross-platform and GNU GPLv3.

💰 Commercial

KiCAD resources

EAGLE Resources


  • LTSpice - The industry standard free SPICE circuit simulator from Linear Technologies.
  • Ngspice - Open source SPICE circuit simulator.
  • Circuit JS - Open source online simulator for simpler circuits with live interactivity and visualization.
  • Every Circuit - Free to try online, visual, interactive circuit simulator for simpler circuits.
  • Qucs - Open source integrated circuit simulator for DC, AC, S-parameter, noise analysis, etc.
  • iCircuit - Easy to use electronic circuit simulator, its advanced simulation engine can handle both analog and digital circuits and features realtime always-on analysis.

Part Search

  • Octopart - Probably the most well known part search engine.
  • Findchips - Part search from Supply Frame.
  • - Another search engine from Supply Frame geared towards discovering new parts.

Development Board Retailers

  • Sparkfun - Retailer and designer of open source electronics development boards and other equipment and materials with excellent accompanying tutorials.
  • Adafruit - Another retailer and designer with excellent selection and tutorials.
  • Tindie - Marketplace for electronics makers to sell low volume batches of their own designs.



  • Hackaday - Probably the most popular blog covering electronics and hardware hacking with a whole staff of writers.
  • - Andrew 'Bunnie' Huang covers hardware hacking, open hardware, manufacturing and more.
  • Bald Engineer - Project logs, tutorials and articles about electronics and embedded software by James Lewis.
  • Rheingold Heavy - More project logs, tutorials and articles about electronics and embedded software, these ones by Dan Hienzsch.

Electronics production


Inventory Management and Purchasing

  • 1-click BOM - Browser extensions that automates purchasing and part searching.
  • - Web service to manage your part inventory with a nice user interface and Octopart integration.
  • Partkeepr - Open source web service for managing your part inventory with parametric search and automatic datasheet import.
  • Part-DB - Another open source web service for managing part inventory with a permission system and a good barcode generator.

PCB Batching Services

  • PCB Shopper - Comparison service for quite a lot of different PCB batching and assembly services.
  • OSH Park - Low cost PCB batching service with high quality boards with a signature purple silkscreen.
  • Aisler - Affordable quality circuit boards made in and shipped from Europe (Germany).
  • Dirty PCBs - Low cost PCB batching service that prides itself on its "dirty" quality.
  • Seeed Studio Fusion - Cheap PCB manufacturing also in large quantities, consulting services

3D Printing


Control Software

Online 3D Model Repositories

From 3D printer manufacturer:


On Demand 3D Printing Services

3D Scanning

Open-source Software

Open-source hardware

Commercial Software


  • Skanect: easy to use and compatible with different Primesense-based scanners
  • Recap: Autodesk software for 3D reconstruction, includes features from the old 123-Scan
  • Photoscan: high end software for photogrammetry
  • 3DSOM: photogrammetry for products


  • TRNIO: cheap photogrammetry software for iOS
  • SCANN3D: Android-based photogrammetry, 🆓 but subscription needed to export files
  • QLone: easy to use app for Android and iOS, poor quality, expensive export options, 🆓 export to sketchfab

Commercial Hardware

Low cost Hardware

Computer Controlled Machining



  • Carbide Create: freely distributed after newsletter registration.
  • MakerCAM: web based (flash).
  • PathCAM: python CAM targeting GRBL 0.8.
  • JSCut: browser based CAM with 3D G-code simulation, SVG import.
  • EASEL: Browser-based CAD + CAM + Machine Control by Inventables.
  • GCode tools: inkscape plugin for generating g-code.
  • F-Engrave: generate g-code from a font and a line of text.
  • Lithophane generator: generate g-code from a picture.
  • Text2GCode: script to generate g-code from a text string.
  • FlatFab: design in 2D and build 3D objects.

Convert between languages


  • browser-based g-code analyzer and visualizer
  • CAMotics: G-Code simulation/previewing program.
  • Pleasant 3D: G-code 3D Previewer.
  • NCViewer: browser-based G-code previewer.



  • FlatCAM: open source pcb-specific cam written in python.
  • Carbide Rapid PCB: web based tool for pcb milling by Carbide 3D.
  • PCB to GCode: Eagle ULP to generate PCBs (now built-in functionality)
  • CopperCAM: Windows-based PCB CAM software.

Commercial CAM

Control software

  • Chilipeppr: web-based 3D Viewer. Gcode Sender. Jog controls.
  • Carbide control software:default control program for the Shapeoko.
  • BCNC: Python GRBL CNC command sender.
  • Universal GCode Sender: popular option with GRBL written in Java.
  • grblControl: GRBL controller application with G-Code visualizer written in Qt.
  • CNCJS: web-based g-code sender. Also run on RaspberryPI.
  • GRBL Web: web-based g-code sender. Runs on RaspberryPI.
  • jCNC: sender and viewer for GRBL and Tinyg.
  • Fully featured cross platform GCode sender for Grbl, TinyG and G2.


  • LinuxCNC: free Linux based application for controlling and monitoring CNC machines, without the need of a controller.
  • GRBL: open-source g-code interpreter for AVR-based micro-controllers.




Commercial Machines

Large format

Desktop machines

DIY Machines




TODO: Spindles, Motors, Sensors, Accessories, Milling bits


  • Motedis: aluminium extrusions, cnc parts, fittings


G-Code language

Feeds and speed calculators

Toolpath strategies



Paper / eBooks

Wildcard week

Digital Embroidery

  • Ink/Stitch Open source Inkscape plugin for digital embroidery
  • SophieSew Free embroidery design software

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