The Mobile Designers Gift Guide

With the holiday season fast approaching, we thought we would put together our first annual uMakers design gift guide with recommendations from the uMake team for things we love that help us when creating in uMake or while we are on the go. We love gadgets and several of these products have been tested out out by our team. We've categorized our recommendations into the following groups- Tools to help with sketching, working, traveling and taking your ideas further. So, without further ado, here is our 2016 uMakers Design Gift Guide:

Sketch your heart out:

Apple Pencil

The ultimate creative stylus for the iPad Pro, the Apple pencil is pressure and tilt sensitive, feels great in the hand, and is incredibly precise. Hands down one of the best digital sketching tools out there. uMake Tested Learn More  

Wacom Bamboo Fineline 2

We love the Wacom Fineline 2, especially when using it with the iPad Air 2, or older iPads that don't work with the Apple Pencil. It is a nice feeling, well built stylus with great battery life and a very nice and precise tip. uMake Tested Learn More

Wacom Bamboo Duo

Probably one of our favorite 'passive' styli, the Wacom Bamboo Duo stylus features one tip that can be used on the iPad screen, and on the other end there is a fully functioning pen that you can use to literally sketch on napkins with. Great weight and feel, the Wacom Bamboo Duo (both Generation 3 and 4) are simply essential, affordable options for those looking for a good universal stylus. uMake Tested Learn More

Belkin Pencil Stand

For those who use the Apple Pencil a lot and need a safe place to keep the pencil, the Belkin Pencil Stand is an elegant desktop solution. Very well built, the pencil stand keeps your pencil safe from rolling off of the desk while adding a nice touch to any workspace. You can get it in gold, silver and space grey to match your iPad. uMake Tested Learn More 

Work easier:

Roost Stand:

The Roost Stand, initially created to elevate laptops to promote better posture, can also be used with iPads. If you are looking for a great stand that you can use with both your computer and iPad (specifically the larger iPad Pro) to help with posture and save your neck, check out the roost. uMake Tested Learn More

Belkin Stage:

The Belkin stage is a cool little stand, especially for 9.7" iPads. Like the roost, it helps elevate an iPad, allowing users to change the angle of their work area. Great for sketching that makes it feel like your designs are on a mini easel. uMake Tested Learn More

Sennheiser HD202 Headphones:

Listening to great music and sketching go hand in hand, and having a nice set of headphones helps with this. We love the Sennheiser HD202's, which feature great sound and comfort for a tiny price- less than $30! While these would probably not be the choice of a true audiophile, they feature incredible value, are long lasting, and durable. uMake Tested Learn More

Bose QC Headphones:

The Bose Quiet Comfort series of headphones are seen as the epitome of noise canceling headphones, and for good reason. When flying or traveling, Bose Quiet Comforts are comfortable, sound great and silence any external distractions so you can focus on being creative. uMake Tested Learn More

UE Boom 2:

If you are good with your headphones, but are in the market for a small portable speaker, we highly recommend the Ultimate Ears Boom. The UE Boom bluetooth speaker features rich sound and bass in a surprisingly compact package. Water resistant with 15 hours of battery life, along with the unique capability of pairing with other UE booms for surround sound, you will be able to sketch anywhere for hours with good tunes flowing the whole time. Great for small rooms such as studios or dorm rooms, or small apartments. uMake Tested Learn more.

Corsair SP2500 2.1 Speaker system:

When at home or at the studio, if you are seeking a great sound system that won't break the bank but will give you the impression you are in the first two of a concert, then check out the Corsair SP200 2.1 speaker system. This speaker system literally packs a punch and provides incredible sound for an amazing value. The desktop controller makes it easy to adjust sound settings and customize the sound for your space.  It is hard to imagine a better 2.1 speaker system out there. uMake Tested Learn More

On the go:

Logitech Create Case

Launched with the iPad Pro, the Logitech Create Keyboard Case for the iPad Pro (both the 12.9" and 9.7") features a backlit keyboard with is powered through the iPad Smart Connector, a durable woven fabric exterior and a semi-hard shell. We've used them at uMake to keep our iPads safe for more than a year now and love them, especially how they angle the iPad just a tad for a perfect sketching angle. The smaller version even features a small holder for the Apple Pencil. uMake Tested Learn More. 

Brenthaven Medina Messenger bag

Brenthaven makes legendary bags and cases for computers and tablets that seem to last forever. They are probably one of the best investments you can make in terms of buying a bag to protect your gear. Last year we gave away the Medina-- a stylish, elegant and feature-full bag perfect for toting around an iPad Pro, charger, Pencil and some extra gear. Learn More

HarberLondon iPad Cases on Etsy

If you are looking for something a bit more unique and handmade, you should check out the beautiful cases over at HarberLondon's shop on Etsy. These beautifully handcrafted leather and felt cases are elegant and have features like keyboard protection sleeves and Apple Pencil holders. You are sure to stand out from the masses with these beautiful creations, and for how nice they are, they are priced quite reasonably considering their craftsmanship. Learn More  

Felt iPad Case with accessory holder by JiuJiu

Another great handmade case we love the look of is the felt iPad Case with tech cover from JiuJiu over on Etsy. Complete with exterior pockets to carry pens, a notebook and your iPhone, the zippered portion protects your iPad while keeping what is necessary accessible. The whole case looks simple and elegant but is very well thought out-- it's seriously looks like something you would find at Muji, but even better this is hand crafted. Learn More  

Take your ideas further:

Marmoset ToolBag

For uMakers looking to take their designs further with a quick to learn and affordable rendering tool, check out Marmoset Toolbag. Marmoset lets you create beautiful renderings that are quite artistic in nature. While not necessarily 'photo-realistic' the renderings you are able to do with Marmoset are quite nice, and the learning curve is not as steep as other rendering programs out there. uMake Tested Learn More

uMake Pro:

If you or the uMaker you love have not yet upgraded to uMake pro, this might be the perfect gift. uMake Pro lets you create unlimited designs, along with the ability to import and export OBJ, IGES and STEP files up to 25mb in size. In addition, Pro users will get access to new advanced features tithe are currently being worked on. Learn More

Moment of Inspiration

If you are looking to take your uMake models further and further develop them, you cannot go wrong with Moment of Inspiration. It is one of the simplest 3D surface modeling applications out there, but it's streamlined toolset lets you create complex models. It works quite well with models exported from uMake. Learn More


Rhino is an industry standard 3D surface modeling program and is heavily used in the product and jewelry design industries. It works seamlessly with uMake and we highly recommend it as the app to take your uMake designs to the next level. Rhino features powerful tools that will help you transform your uMake sketches into beautiful, produceable products. They even have a 90 day free trial! uMake Tested Learn More


Last but definitely not least on this list, is one of our all time favorite apps that is the perfect companion to uMake, and that is Luxion's Keyshot. Keyshot is a real time rendering application that helps you create beautiful photo-realistic renderings of your uMake model. We've used it quite heavily over the past year to render models we've created in uMake. Keyshot is easy and straightforward to learn, and is just a downright great application with a strong team behind it. In-depth tutorials and monthly webinars make learning the app easy and fun. Check out the 14 day trial, and if you love it, we think you will want a license. If you are a student, Keyshot offers really great educational pricing too! uMake Tested Learn More   We hope you found this guide helpful. If you have any recommendations or have a product you would like us to test out and write a review about, feel free to let us know. We had a lot of fun putting this together. Happy shopping!

Posted on

November 29, 2016