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December 18, 2014 AT 12:30 am

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Engineering and 3D Printing Software

Super-charge the design workflow for your electronics, engineering, industrial design, and 3D artist loved ones by gifting them digital tools to help them take their design to the next level. Check out separate lists for Electronics and 3D Modeling software options.


Electronics Design Software


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CadSoft EAGLE PCB Design Software V7: All Adafruit products are designed with CadSoft EAGLE PCB Design Software. Ladyada has made hundreds of designs with EAGLE! We are pleased to now offer licenses to our community & customers for purchase!

Whether you are a team of one, or part of a large engineering department, EAGLE provides quality PCB design software with the features that get the job done. For over 20 years, EAGLE has been satisfying design engineers around the world, by offering the same core functionality as expensive commercial software, at the fraction of the cost. (Check out KTOWN’s Ultimate Creating Parts in Eagle Tutorial for a great resource to learn more about EAGLE in our Learn System.)

We currently can provide licenses for LIGHT, HOBBYIST, STANDARD, EDUCATIONAL, and PROFESSIONAL. Please choose the version you would like from the pull down list here. (read more)


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KiCad and KiCad skill badge: You’re learning to design electronics using the open-source KiCad EDA suite of tools! The KiCad EDA Suite project aims at creating a portable, cross-platform, Free/Libre/Open-Source EDA Suite. That is capable of schematic and printed circuit board design. The code is licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL. Adafruit offers a fun and exciting “badges” of achievement for electronics, science and engineering. We believe everyone should be able to be rewarded for learning a useful skill, a badge is just one of the many ways to show and share.

We also offer a gEDA Skill Badge, celebrating another popular open source electronic design tool.


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Fritzing: Handy if you are looking for a tool to learn about circuits and create handy visual models of your electronics projects. Make sure to check out the Adafruit Fritzing Library to add lots of Adafruit products, right onto your virtual breadboard! “Fritzing is an open-source hardware initiative that makes electronics accessible as a creative material for anyone. We offer a software tool, a community website and services in the spirit of Processing and Arduino, fostering a creative ecosystem that allows users to document their prototypes, share them with others, teach electronics in a classroom, and layout and manufacture professional pcbs.” (read more)


3D Modeling Software


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Blender software and Blender – Skill badge, iron-on patch: Whether you are an electronics hobbyist looking to quickly put together an enclosure for your latest board, or a 3D artist looking to design your own elaborate 3D-printable models, Blender is a powerhouse open source software creation tool, with one of the largest, most active communities of users and developers from the entire movement. Download the latest version of the software for free here — and get cracking to earn your skill badge! (read more)


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Autodesk 123D Design: This free modeling tool designed for makers is the Ruiz Bros. tool of choice, used on countless Adafruit 3D printed projects! From the Autodesk site: “Simplest way to get your ideas into 3D. 123D Design is a free, powerful, yet simple 3D creation and editing tool which supports many new 3D printers.” The entire 123D suite is free to download and use — and a Premium option allows for commercial use of models and additional features.
(read more)


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Autodesk Fusion 360: Thanks to an injection of T-Spline technology and advances in cloud-computing, Fusion merges together a range of solid and surface modeling strategies into one affordable subscription-based package. There is some credence to its reputation as “Autodesk Inventor in the Cloud” — a number of the Inventor technologies appear here, making Fusion 360 an affordable competitor to Solidworks, and my favorite new design tool. (read more)


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Rhino 5 (PC) and Rhino for Mac: With countless product, architecture, jewelry, and art projects created by Rhino users, the software has certain earned the tagline on the box: “modeling tools for designers.” If you are a Mac user, sign up for free to check out the stable and widely adopted beta. PC users who purchase the software gain one of Rhino’s super powers — the ability to extend the software with amazing plugins such as Grasshopper 3D. (read more)


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Sculptris: An excellent, free digital sculpting tool — that is as addictive as it is powerful. From Pixologic, the creators of Sculptris’s big brother, zBrush: “Sculptris provides an excellent gateway into the exciting world of 3D. It’s features are easy to learn, even for someone with no experience in digital art, yet robust enough for creating base models that can then be refined in other applications, such as ZBrush.” (read more)


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Cubify Design: Another excellent affordable solid modeler, built around Alibre Design Elements. From the Cubify site: “Cubify Design is your go-to toolbox for advanced modeling projects. Take advantage of powerful CAD features like complex assemblies and functionality of parts. Share with 2D drawings and easily export to your 3D printer when ready. Cubify Design is the perfect modeling software for printing with the CubePro 3D printer.” (read more)


Adafruit Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2014

Here are your 2014 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

The Adafruit Shipping Department works hard to get your orders out as quickly as we can, but once they’re in the hands of our carriers they’re out of our control.

Carriers have been struggling to keep up with the sharp rise in online orders. Last year UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays.

So all the Adafruit Shippers say: Please be sure you get your gifts early! Order as soon as you can! Once you place your order we’ll ship like the wind!

UPS ground (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 12, 2014 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive in time for Christmas.

UPS 3-day (USA orders): Place orders by Wednesday 11am ET – December 17, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014.

UPS 2-day (USA orders): Place orders by Thursday 11am ET – December 18, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014.

UPS overnight (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 19, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014.

Please note: We do not offer Saturday or Sunday service for UPS or USPS.

Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014, Christmas, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, New Year’s Day, no UPS pickup or delivery service.

United States Postal Service, First Class and Priority (USA orders): Place orders by Friday– December 12, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014 or sooner.

USPS First class mail international (International orders): Place orders by Friday – November 21, 2014. Can take up to 30 days ore more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2014 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/24/14.

USPS Express mail international(International orders): Place orders by Friday – December 5, 2015. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2014 or sooner.

Gift Certificates are always available at any time.

When in doubt contact us!


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