What is your maker/tinkerer development stack?

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  • Hello All,

    I am a father of two wonderful young daughters which I will be introducing to the world of tinkerers/makers, but that requires educating myself along the way as I am a complete newcomer - so to help me jump start the journey a question for Gordon and everyone else reading this:

    Could you list the software, hardware ,services , sites in your tinkerer development stack?

    Be great and sincerely thank you.

  • That's great news!

    I use:


    • Espruino IDE (obviously!)
    • Atom text editor (or gedit/nano for quick things)
    • Linux (or often Chromebook when developing with Espruino)

    Lower level Software

    • I use ssh quite a lot to work with things like Raspberry Pi
    • Espruino command-line tools (sometimes - especially when using on something like a pi)
    • Eclipse for more serious C code editing
    • GCC for compiling C code
    • GDB with nRF52DK or STMLink for debugging hardware


    • Eagle CAD for designing circuits
    • DirtyPCBs or OSHPark for getting PCBs made (OSHPark is great if you need a handful of small PCBs, DirtyPCBs is better for larger sizes and volumes)


    • OpenSCAD for designing 3D models (it's not great, but is ok for what I do usually)
    • https://i.materialise.com/ for getting 3D print prototypes done


    • I also use Inkscape for vector graphics
    • GIMP for editing photos
    • ImageMagick for bulk-editing of photos (resize all my 50%, making GIFs, etc)

    Pretty much all the software I use is free - although I pay for Eagle CAD (as a maker doing small stuff it'll be free for you though). It's also multiplatform usually so most software should be available on other platforms

    Hope that helps!

  • Hi Daniel!

    Let me suggest to you the Hercules terminal application also. It supports Serial, UDP and TCP/IP Client and Server communication.

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  • This could be a very useful list for many of us!

    Couple of alternatives, also multi-platform and free or free for hobbyist

    Software - Visual Studio Code code/text editor
    Hardware - For 3D. Fusion 360. Tried a few and very easy to get along with.

  • In addition, powerfull text file editor Notepad++. It can work with local files as well as with file servers over FTP and SFTP.

  • @Ollie, Are you using Visual Studio to build Espruino? If so, could you give some setup info?

  • @CanyonCasa no, VS Code is the cut down editor, which I think is very good in general, I sometimes use it with a serial application that watches the file and loads it - like what Espruino tools does.

  • Thank you for the responses! I am installing Fusion 360 as it will be a free option for me. Did 'Eagle CAD' get re-branded - this is the site for it https://cadsoft.io yes?

  • Yes, it's cadsoft.io - looks like they've rebranded :)

  • Software: VS Code as IDE, iTerm as terminal set up something like this (OS X), Sketchup for 3D modeling, Espruino's CLI, and (shameless plug) my new plugin for Rollup
    Hardware: Hakko FX888D soldering station
    Services: GitLab/GitHub for projects, Netlify for hosting of static sites
    Sites: Espruino's reference and forum of course, Hackaday for inspiration, Adafruit for inspiration and guides, Stack Overflow and other Stack Exchange sites for answers, FindChips for finding chip retailers and prices, eBay for cheap parts from Asia

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What is your maker/tinkerer development stack?

Posted by Avatar for danielsokolowski @danielsokolowski