Current tools and equipment

Everyday I use a series of tools and equipment that make my life easier. These tool change and morph each year. This is my list of recommended tools that I use every single day.

Previous snapshots of my tools and equipment lists can be found here: 2016

Inspired by - A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Steven Smethurst and live two lives. During the day I am a software engineer at Chipkin Automation Systems and at night I am a maker, hacker and artist.

What software do you use?

I spend a good majority of my day on my computer using these tools.

IDE and Text Editor

  • Visual Studio Code - A Extensible and customizable text editor. I tend to use this text editor more then I use visual studios these days. Free.
  • Visual Studio 2015 - A fully-featured, extensible IDE and compiler for C/C++, etc…
  • ESP8266 for Arduino - A library that allows the popular ESP8266 chipset to be programmed from the Arduino IDE.

Development tools

  • Wireshark - A widely-used network protocol analyzer. I use this every single day.
  • Gitlab - A alternative to github. git repo, issue tracker, CI, etc..
  • GitKraken - A Git client. NOT free for commercial use.
  • Beyond Compare 4 - A file/folder comparison tool.
  • Bash for windows


  • Autodesk fusion 360 - A modern CAD application. Effectively an unlimited trial.
  • Cura - Cura prepares your model for 3D printing.




What hardware do you use?

  • Microsoft surface pro 3 - This is my primary mobile computer. i7, 8gb RAM, 512GB storage.
  • Logitech MX Master - Best mouse I have ever had. Wireless, adaptive scroll wheel auto-shifts from click-to-click to hyper-fast scroll.
  • Galaxy S6 Edge - Android phone. I do not recommend this version, I suggest getting the non Edge version.
  • Wanhao Duplicator i3 - Solid 3D printer that just works.
  • X-Carve CNC - 1000mm wood and plastic CNC.
  • Maker’s Notebook - When I do make paper notes, this is my goto book. Grid paper with, useful reference material.

What would be your dream setup?

I’m pretty happy with my setup for all practical intents and purposes these days. I have been waiting for a good version of augmented reality and smart contact lenses for a while now.

I been meaning to get a 2FA hardware key like yubikey, and if I never had to use a physical key again I would very happy.