Tuesday, Dec, 1, 2020

As someone who enjoys creation in the physical and digital realms tools are a very important part of my work.

I am an advocate for using free and open source software whenever possible. Open source is the best way to keep your work your own and prevent losing access to the tool or end creation.

I try and choose my tools as something that will last and that I have full control over.

My favourite tools

Tools for computing

Programming languages

Computer programming is a fun and very useful tool, the ability to create and modify programs is an amazing tool for creation.

Some of the programming languages I’ve used:

  • Python
  • Javascript
  • Go
  • Bash

3D software

There are some great options for 3D design in the open source source world. Some of the tools are powerful with some rough edges while others are becoming more popular in the industry.

For parametric designs where the dimensions are critical I currently use FreeCAD. This is after experiencing limitations with both Fusion360 and OnShape. Knowing the designs I create are saved on my system and always available helps me sleep at night.

For rendering and more artistic designs Blender is an amazing tool. I’ve barely scratched the surface of its abilities and the development speed is incredibly quick for adding new features.

Image editing

I currently use Krita and Inkscape for most of my image editing needs.

Audio editing

  • Audacity
  • Ardour

Tools in the physical realm

3D Printing

3D printing is an incredibly useful technology, the capability to create a design virtually and have the printer bring it to life is a powerful ability.

Currently all my prints are done on my Ender 3 printer. I’ve made a few improvements to the printer including adding a direct drive extruder and silent motor controllers. Although tuning and maintenance can be tricky, a 3D printer is an important part of a modern creation workflow.