“I can’t code.”
“I don’t know how to use that.”
“I am not very good at that.”
I have heard every excuse to not build it yourself. How are you going to build your amazing idea if you count yourself out? I’ve got some good news, and great news! The good news is we live in a time where it’s easy to make software and physical devices. Below is my recommended list of tools to make websites, apps, code, 3D printed items and much much more. The great news? You might not be able to do it today, but your future self will!. You can do it- just dive in and get started!
NameChk – Have a solid company name? Check if it’s available on EVERY social platform all at once!
Glide – Build an app from a Google Sheet. You can even publish it!
Still not convinced? You really can build an app by uploading artwork for each screen. My interns made the artwork in PowerPoint and imported that into Flint. Here’s the Presentation.
Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, Google Slides – You don’t need to code or know how to draw to make a simple app/website mockup. Just use presentation software! You can make sophisticated animations, buttons, and even embed media.
SneakPeak – Are you so old school that you want to draw an app, with pen and paper? We got you covered- download a bunch here!
Free Drawing/Design Tools
If you need Photoshop, try GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP).
If you need Illustrator, try Inkscape.
If you need LightRoom, try Paint.net.
Free Animation Tools
If you need Premier, try Davinci Resolve.
Free Stock Photos and Fonts
Intro to Coding
Scratch – the easiest visual programming language ever!
Get started in 15 minutes: TinkerCad
3D Printing Services
Internet of Things
Metawear, Nordic Thingy – My absolute favorite experimenting devices. Each one is chock-full of sensors, comes with a sample app that records from any of them, and has open source tools. I have one of each in my backpack at all times!
Hacker.io – Learn to code for devices with these amazing tutorials.
NewtonVR – VR prototyping with no coding, but you definitely need to be comfortable with setting up software.
Saara’s Paper VR Prototyping – Plan out a VR scene on paper and import it into any headset!
Torch3D – Design tools for augmented reality on your phone. Super simple to drop virtual objects and interactions all around you!
Online File Converters
Vectary – Convert 3D files to Augmented Reality format.
Blueprints – Create an Alexa capability without code. H/T to Kha Ly for pointing this out!
RSAFunctions – Quickly create RSA Public/Private Key pairs. encrypt / decrypt messages right in this web page. This is excellet
Instructables, Hackster – Everyone needs to learn. Here’s some great websites for any kind of maker projects, from electronics to food to knitting and everything in between. Need inspiration? Start here!