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Free CAD software

Back in college we used to work with SolidWorks, so I'm used to making some simple work in that.
Problem is they do not have trials anymore, and I can't afford such a program.

So I'm looking for a nice free CAD program to replace it.
- It should have 3D capabilities, to make it easier for me to understand what I'm doing.
- Constraints, so I can define dimensions and features and have the other features adjust to it
- Boolean and Splines support, but no need for fancy tools.
- Drafting, to make the finished blueprint.

It doesn't need any simulation, rendering, analytics, or management tools, and should, before anything else, be easy to learn.

Right now I have found a number of programs, but I have no idea about how to figure out which is "better" for me.

I will be testing them while waiting for a possible reply, so maybe I'll be the one to find a nice one :) But PLEASE don't hesitate to reply if you have any suggestions!

The ones I have found are:

BRL-CAD, the US Army's open-source CAD Program
PowerSHAPE-e
Kompas 3D
T-FLEX CAD Student Edition

Anyway, hope we can get a dialog going and find the best free hobby starter's CAD software for tech and craft :)


aeray6 years ago
I use Cad Standard, but it is 2-D. Perhaps I'll check out some of the ones you have mentioned.
ELF (author) 7 years ago
Wow... Not many people seam to use CAD-programs for their projects :(

Anyway, guess I'll post my results...

BRL-CAD turned out to be useless to "normal people".

PowerSHAPE-e is simple and neat, but couldn't get it running on Windows 7.
At first glance it definitely seams like the best option though.

Kompas 3D  doesn't support assemblies, so only 1 part at a time, meh...

So I'm personally going for T-FLEX, but I will still be trying to get PowerSHAPE-e up and running...