Suggested Software

The following is a list of software that we either recommend, use in our workshops, or suggest to use on our equipment.


Vinyl Cutter

The following software is either used on, or can help you use our vinyl cutter.

Icon Software Notes
Vinylmaster This isn't free, but we have a license that is connected to our vinyl cutter. Better to do your design on Inkscape and then import it at the PC connected to the cutter. But if you want
Inkscape This free program is a great tool to do your 2D designs for the vinyl cutter or laser printer. Note, this does not operate the vinyl cutter but can be used to prepare your work.

Laser Cutter

Icon Software Notes
Inkscape This free program is a great tool to do your 2D designs for the vinyl cutter or laser printer. Note, this does not operate the vinyl cutter but can be used to prepare your work.
Tabbed Box Maker This extension provides Inkscape with an easy way to make tabbed boxes for the laser cutter(s). It is already installed on the laser cutter PC's inkscape, but if you need it for your computer, download this and install it. Instructions are in the README.
Retina Engrave This proprietary printer driver is what we use to connect to the full spectrum cutter(s). You can install it on your PC, but please do not connect it to our cutter. Why would you download it then? To be able to practice at home sending inkscape files over to RE3 for learning purposes. This way you save time when at the cutter.
boxes-logo.svg An alternative to Tabbed Box Maker. This free online tool allows you to design all sorts of different boxes that come together with tabs, including some with living hinges (Boxes with flex). After you design the box, just download the .svg file and use Inkscape to make line color adjustments and then cut with the laser cutter.

3D Printer

Free CADFreeCAD is a parametric 3D modeler made primarily to design real-life objects of any size. Parametric modeling allows you to easily modify your design by going back into your model history and changing its parameters. FreeCAD is open-source and highly customizable, scriptable and extensible.
Sketchup MakeThe easy, fun, and free way to draw in 3D. SketchUp Make is not licensed for commercial work.
Software Uses Notes


Icon Software Notes
Arduino IDEMicrocontrollers; roboticsThe open-source Arduino Software (IDE) makes it easy to write code and upload it to the board. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The environment is written in Java and based on Processing and other open-source software.
PythonProgramming languagePython is a very powerful programming language used on PCs, servers and raspberry pi's. We do workshops on the 3.6.xx version.
KiCADCircuit Layout Designdescription to be added
Eagle PCBCircuit Layout Designdescription to be added

Non-Space Software

The following list has no specific use at Chatt*lab, but they are ones that some of our members love and recommend. These are programs suggested by some members. This list does not mean they are endorsed by Chatt*lab makerspace. If you are a Chatt*lab member and you have one to suggest, email

Software Uses Notes
greenshotScreen capture; graphic annotationsThis free software is worth supporting and is a great way to grab a screenshot of something on your screen and doing some basic annotations. Many of the graphics in this wiki and on our website are prepared using greenshot
Ultra EditText editorUltraEdit is an extremely powerful text editor. If you program for a living or want to move beyond PFE or notepad, UltraEdit is definitely worth it's price tag
Notepad++Text editorAdd Description
PuTTYSSH and telnetPuTTY is an SSH and telnet client, developed originally by Simon Tatham for the Windows platform. PuTTY is open source software that is available with source code and is developed and supported by a group of volunteers.