Materials and Resources

Collaboratory resource information

The Collaboratory provides helpful information that insures your success in this space. Below are useful links to locations to purchase materials as well as links to educational resources such as design software and tutorials. If you need help our staff can answer any questions you may have about this page.

Printer and 3D Modeling Software

  • 3D Design; Tools for creating 3D printable objects:
    • TinkerCAD – A very basic, online & free design tool. Along the lines of a 3D sketch-pad. –> Basic, general tool with an easy learning curve.
    • Autodesk Fusion 360 – A fully featured, professional 3D CAD design package. Students, hobbyists and anyone using this software for non-commercial purposes can obtain a free, 3 year license. –> Powerful, general tool with a moderate learning curve, has simulation and CAM tools
    • OpenSCAD – A 100% free, open source CAD design environment featuring a code-based interface. This is the development tool used to create customizable designs on –> Powerful, task-specific tool with a steep learning curve
    • Blender – A free modeling and animation software that is designed for digital artists, and projects that are not dimension driven. Large amounts of documentation and tutorials are available. –> Powerful organic shape modeling with animation tools
  • Slicing Software; Tools for preparing models for printing:
    • Cura – Software for the Ultimaker 2, Ultimaker S5 and Ender 3 in the Collaboratory.
  • 2D Design; Tools for creating laser-cut objects:
    • Adobe IllustratorAdobe Illustrator – While not a free tool, Illustrator is installed on UWB computers and can be accessed by students for free. –> powerful tool with a moderate learning curve
    • Inkscape – a 100% free, open source, 2D design tool similar to Adobe illustrator. –> powerful tool with a moderate learning curve


Coding Environments

  • Simple Coding; Environments designed for lighter weight coding for Arduino and similar platforms:
    • Arduino IDE – Designed to write and upload code to the Arduino platform, this IDE is simple and easy to use for beginners. –> Built to write code for Arduino Boards
    • Atom – Lightweight and extremely customizable, Atom is a text editor that features syntax highlighting, community plugins, and themes to accomplish a whole host of tasks. –> Functional text editor that has strong community following
  • Complex Coding; Environments designed for creating full applications:
    • Visual Studio – Microsoft’s build environment to create Windows applications. –> Designed by Microsoft for building windows desktop, mobile, and IOT apps
    • Unity – Game development environment that allows users of all times to make complex games for all sorts of platforms –> Loads of documentation and possible VR and AR uses