Starting a new project can be intimidating. With infinite possibilities and often many ways of doing things, how do you decide where to begin?
If you’re not sure how to start making and creating, we have Inspire Guides available that walk you through a range of fun, practical projects, step by step. There are guides designed for various skill levels and different pieces of equipment. Creative Technologists are also on hand in the maker space to assist if you get stuck.
Browse Inspire Guides:
- Abstract earrings – Use Adobe Illustrator to design custom earrings that can be laser cut and assembled using materials from the craft station.
- Cushion – Learn about fabric selection, patterning, patches and zippers while making a bespoke cushion.
- Glowing eye mask – Light up a mask with LEDs using basic electronics and soldering.
- Lantern – Create a personalised laser cut lantern by using an online box template generator and customising it in Adobe Illustrator.
- Mars colony – Experiment with Tinkercad by creating a 3D model of a Mars colony ready for 3D printing.
- Maze game – Use the CNC router to make a fun ball bearing maze game out of a block of wood.
- Scan and repair broken parts – 3D scan a broken object and use Blender to reconstruct the damaged feature.
- T-rex puzzle – Create 3D objects out of 2D laser cut slices using the Slicer for Fusion programme.
- Adobe Illustrator – Industry–standard vector graphics software that lets you create everything from web and mobile graphics to logos, icons, book illustrations, product packaging and billboards. View on–demand workshop
- Inkscape – A free vector graphic editor. It can do everything Illustrator can do and is great for creating files for laser cutting or vinyl cutting.
Computer aided design (CAD)
- Tinkercad – A free, easy–to–use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It’s used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make anything! View on–demand workshop
- Fusion360 – A professional parametric CAD software for creating 3D models. It can also render images, make animations and run simulations. View on–demand workshop
- Blender – Free, open source software for 3D sculpting, rigid 3D modeling, 2D/3D animation and rendering. Watch a tutorial for beginners
- Meshmixer – Do you need to clean up a 3D scan, do some 3D printing, or design an object that fits something else? Meshmixer can help. Think of it as a sort of “Swiss Army Knife” for 3D meshes.
- Cura – For turning your 3D designs into G–code files for the 3D printers.
- Adobe Photoshop – From photo editing and compositing to digital painting, animation and graphic design — you can do it all in Photoshop. Magically transform images with the power of AI. View on–demand workshop
- Photopea – Free online photo editing software with 99% of the same functionality as Photoshop.
- GIMP – A free open source image editor that can be used for photo manipulation, original artwork creation and graphic design.
Free stock images, videos, and music
- Adobe Premiere Pro – The industry–leading video editing software for film, TV and the web. View on–demand workshop
- Python – A beginner friendly programming language that is extremely popular in all kinds of industries including, science, data science, artificial intelligence, web development and more. View on–demand workshop
- Arduino – An open–source electronics platform based on easy–to–use hardware and software for interactive projects. The Maker Space has free Arduino boards and electronic components you can use in your projects.
- Processing – A flexible software sketchbook and a language for learning how to code within the context of the visual arts.
- Scratch – A drag–and–drop block–based programming language made for beginners for creating stories, games, and animations.
- Marvel – An online resource where you can turn an idea into a high–fidelity digital wire–frame that looks like a real app and can be navigated with taps and swipes. View on–demand workshop
- Adobe XD – A free downloadable application for creating and sharing designs for websites, mobile apps, voice interfaces, games and more.
- Thingiverse – Free ready-to-print 3D designs.
- Shapeways – Free ready-to-print 3D designs.
- Box Templates – Useful for creating a box design that can be cut on the laser cutter.
- Maker Case – Useful for creating a box design that can be cut on the laser cutter.
- Make a Box – Useful for creating a box design that can be cut on the laser cutter.
- Unleash Space subreddit – Online community for Unleash Space users to share projects, ideas, and tips.
- Pinterest – Discover, curate, and organise things that inspire you
- Etsy – A good place to see what others have made and get ideas for your own projects.
- Instructables – Great for finding ideas and in depth guides for projects.
- Functional Print subreddit – Awesome place to find clever 3D printed items that serve practical purposes.
- Bernadette Banner – Historical dress and sewing inspiration videos, mostly Victorian era.
- The Spruce and The Spruce Crafts – Tons of ideas and tutorials for various DIY projects.
- Simone Giertz – Interesting and funny robot inventions.
Adobe Suite Tutorials
- Photoshop Essentials – A large collection of helpful articles and free Photoshop tutorials.
- The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Adobe Illustrator – A comprehensive guide to Illustrator including video tutorials, keyboard shortcuts, and a follow along project.
- Sew Can She – Free sewing patterns and tutorials.
- Sew Mag – Free sewing patterns and tutorials.
- The Fold Line – Online sewing forum with free patterns, guides, competitions, and craft resources.
- How To Get Started in Sewing – Guide to hand stitching and other sewing basics.
- How to Knit for Beginners – Complete guide for learning how to knit.
- How to Crochet for Beginners – Complete guide for learning how to crochet.
- How to Embroider for Beginners – Complete guide for learning how to embroider.
- Starting Electronics – Website dedicated to beginner electronics guides.
- All About Circuits – List of electronics projects for a range of skill levels.
- How Circuits Work – A comprehensive but easy to follow explanation of how circuits work.
- Pepakura – A Windows application that makes unfolded patterns from 3D models.
- Hero Forge – A paid service for creating miniatures for 3D printing. Pay per miniature download.
- Desktop Hero – A semi-free service for creating miniatures for 3D printing. Pay per asset rather than pay per miniature.
- Trello – Manage your workflow effectively using this free online digital organisational tool. View on–demand workshop
- Augmented reality with Unity – A program for creating augmented reality applications that overlay virtual components onto a user’s view of the physical world. View on–demand workshop