Digital Design Workstation

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To provide a "do-anything you freaking want" workstation for digital design.


We see the Digital Design Station as an educational and professional development resource for members. Digital design requires specialized software and equipment that not all members have access to. Our hope is a dedicated station will empower members to create digital designs for physical prototypes and as well as purely graphical assets. When possible we would like to use open source tools and participate in an open digital design community. However, proprietary CAD and graphics software are often more widely used, and therefore will also be available.

What's Included

  • A desk with physical tools such as calipers and other measuring apparatus.
  • A dedicated computer loaded with the necessary software to create files for 3D Printing, Laser Cutting, and CNC Routing.
  • Software for purely virtual applications such as image editing, webby stuff, and animation.
  • Laser Scanning and a photo lightbox are also planned.

Project Members

  • Kramer
  • Aaron
  • Dustin
  • Michael

to participate in this project email or use the mailing list.


Project Management Spreadsheet for DDW


  • A fairly powerful laptop is available at the space for digital design. We should have software installed soon.


  • Created a google doc for members. Ditching Laptop for Michael's old desktop. We should work on it Sat 6/28.


  • Michael brought in the desktop. Installed windows 8, but we decided to use 7 instead. Dustin knows where to find software. Decided to use sketchup for designing the workstation


  • Win7 installed on Digital Design PC. New CPU heatsink and fan needed.


  • Installed new heatsink and fan. Sketchup installed. Also installed new video card. Drivers probably need to be updated.


  • Installed Wifi dongle and updated graphics drivers. Still need to connect front USB.


  • Station has been moved to the appropriate corner. Inskcape was installed and GCodeTools downloaded (but not yet installed).

Planned Software and Equipment

Our goal is to design the physical workstation in CAD and use a CNC to fabricate it. Some ideas for the workstation area

  • Whiteboard area for sketching
  • A place for books related to digital design
  • enough room to physically sketch on paper
  • A dedicated computer
  • 3d scanner
  • drawing input pad
  • ???

Our goal is to design the physical workstation in CAD and use a CNC to fabricate it.


  • Sketchup
  • AutoCAD standard (edu download)
  • AutoCAD Inventor (edu download)
  • FHM plugin for Inventor (edu download - generates G-Code)
  • SolidWorks (edu download - possibly from TriMech here in Richmond)
  • CAD Libre (open source)
  • FreeCAD (open soure - i think that's the one we looked at)
  • OpenSCAD (open source)
  • CADSoft Eagle PCB (free edition)
  • CamBam free
  • SketchUcam

3D Printing:

  • Slicer
  • MakerBot software

3D Scanning: Garry has offered to let us use his 3d scanner Perhaps we should build one from a connect


  • GIMP
  • InkScape (used in a lot of laser cutting and CNC routing basic stuff)
  • Adobe products - Photoshop, Illustrator, etc (edu version - or my stuff)
  • MatLab / Mathematica (sometimes used to generate 3D models)
  • Reboot Restore Rx or Steadier State to maintain a consistent install?

Also, we should set the web browser home page to open multiple pages (or have set bookmarks): Thingiverse GrabCAD CircuitsIO MakerBot Trouble shooting home page HackRVA Digital Design Station Wiki page Concise tutorials on how to accomplish specific goals other? ???