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Tutorials and Tools

I was impressed by what I could do using Blender and other tools so I wanted to pursue learning that tool step by step.

Same for FreeCAD.

Because I know that I should learn to document better I will document that here.

FabAcademy Basics

Here’s the list of tools I used during my FabAcademy.

  1. Blender: For artistic design (not CAD) more similar to sculpting with a computer or rendering CAD designs and animating the designs
  2. CAD
  3. FreeCAD: Tried it, learned some but it is very complicated to use some features, possible to use for CAM but I did not test it.
  4. Onshape: Great tool, works in the browser, I suspect suboptimal performance because of that but it makes it very portable. It also runs on Android and iOS. Not possible for CAM in a easy way. Very intuitive, I sticked to it.
  5. Fusion360: Perfect if you are running Windows, posssible to be run in the browser but not optimized to do so, optimal for CAM.
  6. OpenSCAD: I used it to reuse pieces of the Urumbu stage in my final project, to modify some Prusa printer and OpenFlexure pieces.
  7. Inkscape: for vectorial drawings for example to send to a vynil cutter, laser cutter or embroidery machine
  8. GIMP: For image modeling
  9. kolourpaint: Paint equivalent on Ubuntu
  10. Kdenlive : Open source Video editing tool
  11. KiCAD : Open source electronics design tool
  12. Mkdocs : Open source tool to make simple static websites hostable on Github pages or Gitlab.

Other useful tools

Here are the tools I use, would like to learn or that I believe would be interesting at some point:

  • LTSPICE : Electric circuit simulator, it seems possible to install it on Linux systems but it’s native to Windows
  • KLayout : Open source software for silicon designs and possibly microfluidic designs as well. Interestingly, it’s a licensed under a GPL license but is open to commercial applications (including non GPL scripts).
  • Candle : Open source tool to control a GRBL CNC
  • bCNC : Open source tool to control a GRBL CNC (alternative to Candle)
  • Whimsical: Saas based on a Freemium model very good for drawing visual structures (mindmaps, flowcharts, sticky notes and wireframes)

For the ones I learned during the FabAcademy, I described my learning process and the tutorials I followed below.


I am learning Blender because I want to be able to publish my work and show it to everyone. I want to make it beautiful and make people dream about the result of my work.

To do that I want to create and render my creations in Blender.

Blender Guru seems to have excellent videos so I am following his tutorials.

Here they are:

  1. Day 1: The intro
  2. Day 2: Sculpting and rendering

I plan on continuing the tutorials but did not take enough time to do so until now.

I also discovered that Ferdinand Meier of FabLab Kamp-Lintfort has made some tutorials on Blender and I followed one in Agrilab during our local Fab16 and he was an excellent professor so I imagine that it’s good but I don’t know yet.


I am learning FreeCAD because I want to design pieces independently from any private interests.

I want to make it functional designs and interface it easily with programming tools such as Python.

To do that I want to create and prepare machining, laser cutting and other using FreeCAD.

The tutorials on the offical website seem like a good starting point. I have already done the first 2 in the week 3 on CAD, so I’ll continue from there.

I documented my experience in the week 3 on CAD


I skipped the tutorials of Inkscape and wanted to learn it properly and thus joined the Global Open Time on Saturdays to ask for advice regarding good tutorials.

I was adviced to start with the included tutorials that are in Inkscape.

To find them, go in the Help menu and click Tutorials or “Didacticiels” in French.

I documented that learning in the week 3 on CAD

I plan of following the tutorials made by Ferdi of FabLab Kamp-Lintfort.


I want to test programming CAD to draw simple parametric designs in the blink of an eye.

I hope I’ll get some time to do that. I think it can be great for simple projects.

I learned it to continue the work on the Urumbu project and be able to modify and contribute to the OpenFlexure microscope. I documented that learning in the week 3 on CAD


KiCAD is a tool to design electronics schematics and translate them to PCB designs.

I started on the official website but the first tutorial listed dated back from 2015 and version 4 of KiCAD where the current version is 5.1.9.

To follow my journey about that check the Electronics Design week


I have to edit many images to publish on my website and GIMP is a great tool for that.

On top of that, it is open source and thus I won’t have to pay a cent in the future which is very nice.

I will eventually start a tutorial to test it and improve my skills. I also want to test BIMP for batch processing of images.

Last update: August 17, 2021