Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Engineering, 3D Printing & Slicing Software

Electronics Design Software

123D Circuits

123D Circuits is free software that simulates the Arduino environment and allows you to prototype your ideas with easy to use tools. If you are a beginner, you can start with simple experiments in the Electronics Lab or Circuit Scribe. Experienced users can skip ahead and go straight to PCB Design. Check out all the Adafruit components created in 123D Circuits.

Eagle CAD

All Adafruit products are designed with CadSoft EAGLE PCB Design Software. Ladyada has made hundreds of designs with EAGLE! 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. You can get Eagle CAD from the Shop!


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. Are you a KiCad user? Check out the Adafruit KiCad Skill Badge! 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.


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!

3D Modeling Software


Onshape is the first and only full-cloud 3D CAD system that lets everyone on a design team simultaneously work together using a web browser, phone or tablet. Similar to Solidworks and Autodesk Fusion 360, it’s a pro-level. Great for making parts, assemblies and drawings. Features version control and collaboration built in. Each Onshape plan (Free, Professional & Enterprise) gives you all of the CAD and data management functionality with no time limit.


TinkerCAD is fully browser-based CAD. Tinkercad is a free, easy-to-learn CAD that anyone can use to create and print 3D models. Shapes are basic building blocks of Tinkercad. A shape can add or remove material. Import your own, or work with existing shapes. I learned how to 3D model in TinkerCAD and make several designs, which was a great first-time experience.

123D Design

123D Design is a free, powerful, yet simple 3D modeling app and editing tool which is the little sibling to Autodesk Fusion 360. The intuitive interface lets you quickly make parts for projects and even allows you to manipulate polygonal meshes for remixes and mash-ups. Available for Mac, Windows and mobile devices. Pedro and I personally used 123D Design for a lot of our projects and still love it! Check out our Adafruit Parts and Projects designed in 123D Design.


Autodesk Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is crazy powerful, fully featured CAD, CAM and CAE software. It’s free for students, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and startups. Featuring a cloud-based version control, it connects your entire product development process in a single cloud-based platform that works on both Mac and PC. It allows you to test fit and motion, perform simulations, create assemblies, make photorealistic renderings and animations. Pedro and I currently use Fusion 360 for all of our projects.

Slicing Software



The original “go-to” slicing software from the kind folks at Ultimaker. CURA is an easy to use slicing software featuring an intuitive interface. Comes stock with popular 3D printer profiles and generates really nice tool paths. By far one of the best free and open source slicing software.


Simplify3D is a powerful piece of slicing software with tons of features and settings. Featuring custom support materia tools for making robust parts, and dual extrusion wizard, S3D is our preferred piece of slicing software. S3D generates incredibly optimized tool paths and includes powerful slicing visualization previews for making stellar 3D printed parts. Their YouTube channel features tutorial videos on how-to utilize all the buttons, switches and settings S3D has to offer.


Get your 3D printer on the WiFi network with OctoPrint and a Raspberry Pi! OctoPrint is one of the best hosting software for your 3D printer. Remotely control and monitor your 3D printer with OctoPrint browser based interface. Easy to setup and install, you can kick off a print and even slice right within the interface. It’s free and open-source software, so you know it’s good!


Based on OctoPrint, AstroPrint features a beautiful mobile friendly interface. It’s really easy to use and works great with Sailfish based 3D printers. It’s also free and open-source software that features cloud-base storage so you can monitor your prints anywhere.


We’re excited for the Holiday Season here at Adafruit, and we can’t wait to share that excitement with you! Stay tuned into the blog where you will find new, handpicked gift guides five days a week from November 9th through December 24th, 2015 alongside holiday themed tutorials and builds!

Free Deals

Adafruit offers exciting deals and free items when you shop with us. As of October 13th, 2015 we are currently offering:

Some restrictions apply

Adafruit Holiday Deadlines 2015

Here are your 2015 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. UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays over the last few years.

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 11, 2015 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive by December 24.

UPS 3-day (USA orders): Place orders by Thursday 11am ET – December 17, 2015 – Arrive by 12/24/2015.

UPS 2-day (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 18, 2015 – Arrive by 12/24/2015.

UPS overnight (USA orders): Place orders by Monday 11am ET – December 21, 2015 – Arrive by 12/24/2015.

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

Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, Christmas, no UPS pickup or delivery service.

Friday, Jan. 1, 2016, 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 11, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2015 or sooner.

USPS First class mail international (International orders)): Place orders by Friday – November 20, 2015. Can take up to 30 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/25/2015 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/24/2015.

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.

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