Note: Titles marked with an asterisk (*) are either open source or free for everyone.
Just Getting Started?
Stop by the Scot Ackerman MakerSpace during operating hours (look at the "MakerSpace Access tab, at left) and ask the student worker in a black smock (we call them Maker Ninjas) to walk you through our registration and safety briefing process. You'll need your Splash Card to register. Look at what other users have made, and ask the Ninja for advice on your first project.
For most users wanting to begin using the MakerSpace, which software to use can be needlessly difficult decision. Here are a few recommendations from our staff:
- For people who want to use the laser cutters, we recommend Inkscape as a vector drawing program. Inkscape is free and open-source, can do nearly everything the other programs can, and has lots of extensions that make working with a laser cutter much easier. See the project guide "Using the Laser Cutter" for help once you have a design ready.
- Models for 3d printers can be created many ways. If you would like to edit or add to a model that you already have (either from a scan or download), we recommend using MeshMixer, which is a free and very powerful piece of software for editing or combining models. If instead you want to design your own model from scratch, we recommend AutoDesk 123D Design for beginners and AutoDesk Fusion 360 for more advanced users. Both programs have very similar interfaces, so for many people it is best to start with 123D Design and then move up to Fusion 360. Both are free programs (for a free copy of Fusion 360 you will need a valid Tulane email address). Once you have a model that you'd like to print, see the project guide "Using the 3d Printers" for help in preparing your model.
3D Design and Modeling Software
- AutoDesk Fusion 360
- AutoDesk MeshMixer*
- AutoDesk ReCap*
- Slicer for Fusion 360*
- AutoDesk 123D Catch* (Note: the Autodesk 123D series of programs is being phased out, click the link to see more information.)