Utilities, resource repositories, licenses, open code community… all the information you need.
Here you can find the links to the most usefull tools for design, build and check the software and hardware we are working in. Some other popular alternatives are also listed, so you can use what you prefer.
Electronic design: to draw the schematics, design the PCB and print the layout of components and copper tracks, we use the Cadsoft Eagle PCB Design Software. It is a complete professional suit, but its Express License is for free and, despite the few limitations it have, is enough for most of our designs. Alternatively you can use the ExpressPCB, PCBWeb, KiCAD EDA, GplEDA (Linux), Fritzing, DesignSpark software and more.
3D model: When you design pieces for a mechanical stuffs you need to make a 3D draw with precise measures to match all pieces between. We use the BRL-CAD Solid Modeling System for that purposes. The software includes a file traslator to STL enabling the 3D printing. Other open code suits you can use are OpenJSCAD, FreeCAD, pyCADo, …
Software development: Some of our projects includes a software whose GUI should be coded. We prefer that programs are cross-platform so we use the Java language to create them. There are several Java IDE to work on but we use NetBeans for its facility to graphically design the GUI. Alternative IDE to Java coding are Eclipse, BlueJ and JSource among others.
Micro-controler firmware: Besides the electronics that may need a device, it can sometimes be necessary to include a microprocessor to manage its operation. There are several open-code options and one of the best known is the Arduino platform. The IDE to code and load the microprocessor firmware is free and open code.
The Open Source Community