OpenSource/ Freeware alternatives to Illustrator

I need to convert *.eps files to *.ai files, to use in my university’s laser cutter.

I’ve been using a trial version of Illustrator, which ran out a few nights ago, but I don’t want to fork out the cash for a 5 minute step.

Does anyone know of a freeware alternative? I’ve got Inkscape, which reads *.ai but not *.eps, and may offer a workaround using *.pdf, but it looks to be a hassle and beyond my computer ability.

You could try some of the Aviary apps. I’m fairly certain they have a vector program that exports ai or eps. www.aviary.com

Go here. They changed their site a bit.

http://advanced.aviary.com/tools/vector-editor

Another option is

the vector counter part to GIMP>

Depending on the program that created the .EPS file, you may only need to change the extension to .AI. If you need to edit the file that may be a different story. You can also open .EPS and .AI in Rhino and convert to anything else.

Thanks for that.

Aviary is a great find, unfortunately doesn’t do what I need it to do, but I can see it being very handy.

Inkscape is what I’m trying to use, and in their notes it gives lots of work arounds to open *.eps files, but I cant get any of them to work.