Engineering complex products like FlySorter's Fly Dispenser & Counter requires not just knowledge, experience, and extensive testing, but also the right tools. We rely on our 3D printer and laser cutter for prototyping, but almost all the work starts with computer aided design (CAD) software.
When I first founded FlySorter, we were based in Cambridge, MA in a wonderful co-working group called Industry Lab. This lively space was filled with all stripes of companies and organizations, from a literary magazine to artists to entrepreneurs like myself. We reached out to one of the leading CAD software companies, SolidWorks, and proposed a sponsorship arrangement, as many of the Industry Lab "residents" were still too small to afford the software. Since then, SolidWorks has created an official program to offer CAD software licenses to entrepreneurs and other small businesses, for free.