Free or cheap CAD software

Hello makers! I have a list of requirements that I would love to have on a 3D software that is free or below $200.  Make Assemblies  Capable of inserting Sub-assemblies And flexible constraints Making drawings from 3D files like solid-works or inventor Similar controls as solid-works or Inventor. If you have any video links with demonstrations of the software performing these task that would be excellent!  

Posted by erik hansen 2 years ago


Free CAD Software

For those of us with bad cameras, does anyone know some free CAD software (Linux or Windows) so that we can include diagrams?

Posted by BoomGuy 10 years ago


cad drawing programs

  I'm trying to find a good cad program that wont break your wallet to help with my projects. I have tried sketch  up and Its ok but   I need a book for sketch up for dummies ..... I can understand some of the stuff but the important things i need I just can't seem to figure out . Like Copying and paste , a few few others.  I used to have a program i used at my old job .It was a simple 3 view orthographic drawing software .

Posted by coolbeansbaby68 6 years ago


what CAD package/software do you use?

Hi - I have been using SketchUp for a couple of years, and grown reasonably proficient in its use.  However, it's not very intuitive in terms of being useful when trying to sketch ideas, find correct proportions, squeeze or stretch items until they "look right".  Having always to think in terms of creating drawings from extrusion of 2d surfaces is not often helping creativity! So, I am interested to learn and hear about anyone else's experience of using alternative CAD software in light of my comments about SketchUp - what do you use?

Posted by t.mikerust 1 year ago


Beginning with fusion 360, trying to CAD few already available objects, designing a soap holder dish.

Hello, I am a beginner with CAD and with fusion 360. I am trying to model out some already available items, I tried few solid objects which went well and to gain more experience I selected this soap holder/dish as shown in the below images. I am using a vernier caliper to get dimensions of the soap dish. But, I am not able to get it to design correctly since the object has too many curves and crevices, especially from the bottom view and legs for which I am not able to figure out a workflow. Can someone help me with planning out the steps needed to get the desired CAD. Unable to upload the partially complete .f3d file since files other than images are not supported in a question.

Asked by hussainb 1 year ago


NEWBIE: Help with 3d drawing from 2d drawing?

Hello, I have basic knowledge of mechanical drawing.  Is there a simple cad software, where I can create my top view/side views etc. on a 2d plane and the software will render the image on a 3d plane? Thanks so much in advance.

Asked by kabira 6 years ago


know of a good free circuit designing software? Answered

Hi everyone, I looking for a free electronics circuits design software that I can use in the classroom with high school kids. I had a play with circuitlab  which is pretty much perfect for what I need, just started showing the kids and, now it wants payment to continue. Had a look at 123D circuits again the video looks great but it doesnt seem to work anymore. Also tinker cad circuit doesn't want to play either. Fritzing and eagal cam is a bit hard for the kids to learn as they only have the class for a few weeks. It just has to be easy to use and be either online or compatable with mac computers. Thanks

Asked by liquidhandwash 1 year ago


Problems in Eagle?

Hi, I once accidentally clicked 'drop' in Eagle, and apparently it deleted the part in question. After that, I tried to re-install Eagle to see if it was there again. It wasn't, and on top of that, I couldn't search for any parts, none would come up, even if I searched something like "resistor."

Asked by MatanSilver 9 years ago


Novice to CAD? Answered

As a novice to cad, do I need any experience in CAD to attend this class ?

Asked by Mpope22 1 year ago


CAD for Circuit Boards

What software do you use for designing circuit boards? Do you like it? I've been using Eagle, but have been entertaining the idea of switching it up.

Posted by randofo 9 years ago


Good CAD tool for strip board layout running under Linux? Answered

I'm running Ubuntu 8.10 on an AMD 64 PC. I am looking for a layout tool to help build circuits on strip board. I have tried Windows apps under Wine but this is not very reliable.

Asked by 9 years ago


Need Ideas for Gears and Cams Project for School

Im sitting in my CAD class right now looking for ideas for this project. anyone have any suggestions? this is a high school project so nothing to difficult (but not to simple).

Posted by REA 7 years ago


Which software is good for robotic simulation? Answered

In search for a  software which not only helps in designing and analysing but also simulates robotic movements. Designs are going to be new and I am not restricting myself to robotics kits. Please help. 

Asked by ygsh 7 years ago


Windows software similar to Vectorworks

I was wondering if anyone knows of a Windows version of Vectorworks out there. I use Vectorworks here in college in a MAC lab but I wanted to know if anyone else makes software similar to that for windows.

Posted by genericcomment 10 years ago


1980 fiat spyder transmission dimensions?

Does anyone have or know where to find dimensioned drawings of the engine mount on a 80 fiat spyder? I'm converting it to electric and a good accurate adapter plate would really help Thanks

Posted by LinuxH4x0r 9 years ago


Fusion 360 Classes

RockIT CoLabs is hosting a a couple of inexpensive Fusion 360 classes.     July 16 - 3D Modeling Basics for Beginners - Sketches and Essential tools.   - $20 July 23- 3D Modeling Basics for Beginners - Using Sculpting Tools - $20 With 3D printing you can turn ideas into reality, but how do you make YOUR ideas into a printable design? Even with no previous experience, you can learn all the basics for modeling software in one day using Autodesk Fusion 360. Create a custom name tag keychain while gaining experience and confidence with using the most commonly used tools in the modeling environment and learn how to use a 3D printer to print your design. Kris Struble of Near Future Education Advocates is providing RockIT CoLabs students with an amazing low-cost educational opportunity for students to learn the software and skills to make your ideas a reality with 3D printing. This class is limited to only 10 students so Kris can provide each student with the attention they deserve. CLASS OUTLINE Introduction to 3D printers and how a file is printed using Host software Learn how to navigate around the Autodesk Fusion 360 modeling environment Step by Step walk through using the all the most used tools for 3D model creation Use those skills to create a custom name tag key chain Hands on experience printing your model REQUIREMENTS A laptop running Windows 7 or OSX10.7 or newer Operating System. Autodesk Fusion 360 software downloaded and installed, creating a free account with Autodesk A mouse with a scroll wheel ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR Kris Struble is an education advocate who specializes in teaching CAD and 3D printing. He routinely teaches this craft to young students in various public schools, after-school programs and summer camps. Kris has an amazing ability to make CAD and 3D printing interested, fun and understandable to students of all ages. He is currently working on a bicycle powered hat knitting machine made nearly entirely with 3D printed parts.

Posted by doverby 4 years ago


What is the best program to use for drawing/planning projects in 3d? Answered

    What I want to do is design a project in some kind of 3d program. I googled different programs but couldn't really find what I envisioned. I tried sketch-up but was looking for something a little different im having trouble controlling witch axis im drawing on. I don't care what operating system it runs on. The program this guy used looks cool does anyone know anything about it http://picasaweb.google.com/catalin.art/ProiectLicenta# Also its not a requirement but it would be nice if in the future there was a way to send the files to a cnc. ps.To anyone who has made a map for counter strike you know how u had those views of different axis I liked that.

Asked by Tanners 7 years ago


Simple Design and Digital Prototyping Software

Hi guys. I've been making some very simple mechanisms for a steampunk Instructables series I've got planned, and have been prototyping using cardboard and paper. This has actually worked really well, but I'm a fan of the digital realm, too, and was wondering if anyone could recommend some simple, cheap (ideally freeware) digital prototyping software to help me eliminate (or minimize) the paper and card phase? As I say, the mechanics are very simple. Cams, pulleys, levers, gears -- nothing more complex than bell cranks, linkages and basic drives. I think a scotch yoke is about as adventurous as it's got so far. So I'm looking for some nice simple software that'll allow me to build and test the mechanisms digitally, if such a thing exists. I've looked at the likes of Autodesk and Blender, but they seem like a sledgehammer to cure a headache. Even something that runs online in a browser, or an iPhone/iPad app would be good (I've played some physics-based games on the iPad that would almost be ideal if they weren't puzzle games!). Any advice? Cheers guys!

Posted by graffitiwriter 6 years ago


What 3D printers can do... and what they can't

3D printers have seen insane amounts of attention in the past year with lots of stories coming out about how amazing they are. How they can make replacement parts for anything that breaks. How they’ll revolutionize manufacturing. How everyone will have one and they’ll do everything that you need ever. Long story short, 3D printers are pretty amazing, but they aren’t quite the miracle on a stick that the hype is pushing them to be. So let’s sift through and see what there really is to get excited about right now. Consumer 3D printers AKA what most people will be using The 3D printing that’s available to consumers right now is fused deposition modeling or FDM. These printers build up a model layer by layer by extruding ABS or PLA into the build area. It’s basically a much fancier version of a glue gun. A tiny glue gun controlled by a computer, that is. These 3D printers typically run $1k - $2k, but smaller ones can be had for as little as $200. The MakerBot Replicator 2 is the most popular printer of this kind, but there are dozens of others to choose from as well. With some fiddling and work you can pretty much print any shape that fits inside the build volume. So if the printer can fit it, you can make it. That’s simplifying it a bit (OK, a lot), but that’s the idea, and it’s a very cool idea. After some practice you can learn how to design new things like jewelry, ornaments, or toys. Since everything is printed out you can customize any piece that you’d like. Take a couple hours to learn 123D Design and you’ll start to have new things to print out. That’s the power of 3D printing right there. You can quickly go from an idea to a design and then to reality. Your skills in making things by hand don’t matter here. This is why it’s so amazingly helpful to use a 3D printer for prototyping your ideas. I recently worked on a flash drive case and the first model took about 2 minutes to design. After that it was about 15 minutes to print out on a Replicator 2. Then I tested it and adjusted the design for another print. I repeated the process a few times and within 2 hours I had a file that I was happy with. This is even better considering that I only spent about 20 minutes of those 2 hours actively working. The rest was spent on other non-related work. All about the materials So that’s the power of 3D printing. With services like 3D Creation Systems you can upload your file and get it printed on much fancier machines with better resolution. There’s no immediate gratification, but you still get a high-quality print quickly and access to more materials. Even with this expanded selection of printing materials, it’s still a very limited selection. If we were just to look at all the plastics out there we’d be here for days. There are thousands of them and that’s just plastics. There’s also wood and metal and more beyond that. Each different material in this insanely huge selection has a different quality to it. I’ve seen countless people print out items in ABS or PLA and complain about how their printer must not be working since the printed piece doesn’t work like the original. But of course we can’t recreate every item out there with a couple kinds of plastic. It's about using 3D printing with other tools The key forward in using 3D printing is to use it as an amazing new tool of forming great pieces to work alongside all the other great items and materials out there. Why bother making a weak spring out of plastic when you can drop in a metal spring? So 3D printing isn’t everything, but it can be used alongside most everything. It can get us where we want to go so much faster than before it’s ridiculous. But it’s still not the miracle on a stick, not the only tool we’ll ever need from here on out. When the hype dies down we won’t be looking on at amazement at something being 3D printed, we’ll be looking at lots of awesome new things that were made faster with the help of 3D printing. And that is going to be incredible.

Posted by fungus amungus 4 years ago


ni-cad wire

Does anybody know where to get some Ni-cad wire ?

Posted by joe12 9 years ago


do you have a corse on cad? Answered

I would like to learn cad

Asked by richard westerfield 1 year ago


Outsourcing CAD Drafting Services

CAD Drafting Services Unlock the Future" Yantram is an AutoCAD outsourcing service catering to many consultants, CAD Scanning Service Company, contractors, engineers in the construction & real estate industry.CAD Drafting Services in India proves the trust clients keep on them by delivering high-end CAD Drafting Services like HVAC Drafting, Architectural CAD Drafting, from the group of expert CAD Designing Professionals (CAD Draftsman). There are various forms of commenting Yantram is an Auto CAD outsourcing service catering to many consultants, firm, contractors, engineers in the construction & real estate industry. As being PDF to CAD Conversion Company Today's most competitive work enables us to work with more safety. Drawings received for review must be returned with comments, even if the comments are "all perfect; go ahead" or "this is totally not what we wanted; we are finishing this off ourselves". In each case the architectural CAD drafting service is on hold, waiting for the next move, and, is technically, on the client's hire till then.In this article, we look at the prevalent processes in reviewing drawings remotely when outsourcing architectural CAD drafting services. Yantram Outsourcing CAD Drafting Company in India support your 2D CAD drafting services , CAD Design & CAD Conversion Services requirements. Our team is highly proficient CAD Designer and expert in CAD Design &CAD Drafting Process. Author: Ruturaj Desai Yantram Architectural CAD Drafting http://architectural-design.outsourcing-services-india.com

Posted by cadyantram 4 years ago



EAGLE CAD - GERBER FILE

Hi there, Is there anyone who knows how to generate a gerber file from Eagle cad? Thanks, Nico.

Posted by n_siciliano 10 years ago


Cad programs?

What do you use for cad? I just got a new macbook and I was wondering what you recommend. Does anyone know how to run windows programs on mac for free, or where to get an XP live CD. Thanks.

Posted by LinuxH4x0r 10 years ago


CAD design from paper?

Hello instructables community. I want to make this into a CAD design and have someone run the model and see if it works. If anyone has any suggestions as to how to do this or is a student and wants to make some extra money helping me with this, just hit me up. Below is a link to the device I want to make: http://www.google.com/patents/US20040130227 Amplifying instruction: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=cyclic%20centripetal%20generator%20hackmart&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCoQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww2.cose.isu.edu%2F~hackmart%2Fsescentrifugal.pdf&ei=BTPQUcHrJ4zbiwKYz4DACg&usg=AFQjCNGf_p4U4ZcmmJg9s8aYQJYcuwOfLw&bvm=bv.48572450,d.cGE&cad=rja

Posted by Bellerophon2200 5 years ago


CAD

Hi ppl, Recently I decided to design my own raft this year for the Guildford raft race. The raft will use pvc piping for floatation and my (and an unsuspecting friend) will sit on two bicycles which will power two paddle wheels. Anyway, long story short i thought it would be a cool idea to model it up in some sort of CAD (maybe as something to send possible sponsors to show what i am going to attempt to do if they give me a load of pvc hehe), and, was wondering what software is best to use? thanks ppl

Posted by drummer ian 10 years ago


What's your 3D instructables robot?

I finally got a picture of just the Instructables robot, I got to wondering could he be better? The answer is yes! Make him 3D! Ladies and gentleman, start your CAD software! Show the Instructables community what you've got in your CAD pocket! Oh yeah, here is my not-much-time-spent-on Instrucables robot. By the way, good luck guessing how he is shaped!

Posted by gimmelotsarobots 10 years ago


Extrusion plate in CAD

I have an idea that requires either machining abilities/tool access or CAD experience. A while ago, I found out something that was apparently common knowledge. Meat grinders with their blades removed can be used to extrude spaghetti. So I decided to look for additional pasta extruder plates for different noodles. There are no pasta extruder plates for standard meat grinders. You can, however, buy a glorified grinder and accessory plates or a dedicated pasta machine for top dollar. The marketted pasta makers at their very cores are the same as the meat grinders with the right plates installed. Obviously pasta dies/plates for meat grinders are intentionally not produced. The closest I could come was a garage sale extruder that looks like a plastic grinder with three dies. Big surprise, it doesnt work. But I modified a plate so it sort of works for a grinder. This worked as proof of concept. Would anyone be interested in helping to design CAD files to print pasta dies on Shapeways based on proper pasta dies? I don't know much about CAD, but it looks easier than the designs created by some folks on here. Basically disks with a dimple for alignment and specially shaped holes. admittedly, the hole depths would be the complicated part. Let me know what you think.

Posted by Darkman 2 years ago


Good free PCB CAD software?

I would like to know if anyone has a preference on what PCB software is any good. I know Dave from the EEVblog uses altium Design, and recently made a video for a simalar bit of software that was free and designed for the hobbiest. I have heard of Eagle, and I did use it at one point, but I did not really like it, it just has too many limitations. Any other good (preferably open source or community driven) software?

Asked by -max- 3 years ago


Grid snapping in mm

How do you change the snapping of the Move etc. to snap to mm?

Posted by p07gbar 10 years ago


Build Custom Robots and Electronics and Design CAD

Here are the services I offer: 1. Custom robotics design and building - price based on product I can design and/or build you the robot you need to have. I have experience with almost every brand of microcontrollers, as well as experience with PC based control. I know how to use many of the popular robotics sensors and also have a very strong mechanical background. 2. Custom electronic board designs - price based on product I can design and/or build a certain electronics circuit board , such as a custom motor driver board or a line following sensor board. The inputs and outputs of these boards can be whatever you want , as I have used almost all forms of interface in my robotics career.3. CAD Design - $25 usually, but subject to change based on product I can make a CAD of your product in either Sketchup ,AutoCAD , or Solidworks, or even all three. Here is an example of my work in CAD : http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=4761deb020b23e8a9494e7acda6a0394Feel free to email me : airman00 at gmail.com,EriceRobots.BlogSpot.com

Posted by Erobots 10 years ago


how to use tinycad software?

I downloaded the free tinycad schematic software but i dont know how to use it, what is the symbol for a picaxe 08m?

Asked by thecookiemonster 9 years ago


Fusion 360 on Apple MacBook

Hello - I've recently been having troubles running Fusion 360 on my Windows 10.1 laptop. I've seen that most people use Apple MacBooks with Fusion 360 CAD software, and it runs quite fast and reliably too! So, I was wondering which MacBook would be the bet for this application? I am thinking about getting the new MacBook. Let me know what you think, and past experiences you have had.  http://www.apple.com/macbook/ Thank, Dylan

Posted by DylanD581 2 years ago


CAD on Mac.

Does anyone here do CAD 3d modeling on mac? If So, what program, and where can I get it. Looking for open source, or free stuff. Would be great if it opened files from autodesk inventor. Thanks

Posted by LinuxH4x0r 10 years ago


Any other engineers have trouble getting used to 123D design?

I'm wondering if anyone else who has experience with professional CAD software has tried 123D and finds it difficult to use. I have ~7 years of experience using Solidworks in a mechanical engineering and robotics context. I recently tried to pick up 123D for use with my home 3D printer and find it absolutely infuriating to use. It feels like working with oven mitts on. But, I see screenshots of very complex models people have made all over the place. So, I'm not sure if: - I'm spoiled from the use of "professional" software and need to lower my expectations for free consumer software. For example, I'm very used to full control over creating reference geometry like axes and planes, and creating everything from 2D sketches that are then extruded/revolved/swept (as opposed to 3D shape primitives) and having direct control over all of the dimensions the entire time. In 123D I find it difficult to do something as simple as create two rectangular prisms and put them a fixed distance from each other, or create a rectangular prism and then put a hole in it a certain distance from one edge. - If this is just a difference between Autodesk and Dassault software - e.g. if I was used to using Autodesk Inventor instead of Solidworks, maybe I'd have an easier time picking up 123D. - If I'm just being lazy/impatient, and need to watch more tutorial videos and give myself more time to pick up the software. So, just curious if anyone else has a similar experience coming from using professional software (as opposed to a maker/hobbyist who had never used 3D CAD at all before).

Posted by Ben Finio 4 years ago


123D Design tutorial for technical parts with accurate dimensions?

I'm an engineer with ~7 years of experience using Solidworks (professional CAD software). After hearing about Autodesk 123D Design here on Instructables, I tried to start using it to design and print things with my home 3D printer. However, I'm initially finding it very frustrating to use (more detail on that in a minute) - and I'm not sure if this is just because I'm stuck in my ways with the software I'm used to, or if I'm just trying to use 123D for something it wasn't really intended for. To try and give some concrete examples - I understand that you can create 3D shape primitives (rectangular prisms, cylinders etc) and assign them dimensions when you create them. I also understand that you can create 2D sketch objects and define their dimensions. What I don't find intuitive at all is how you can assign the dimensions of objects relative to each other. For example, say I want to make a 10x10x1mm bracket, with two 2mm diameter circular holes that have their positions on the face defined by the distance from their centers to the edge of the bracket. In a parametric CAD program, that is very easy to do in a 2D sketch and then extrude to a 3D solid. In 123D, I understand that I can create a rectangle primitive and then put holes in it using cylinder primitives - but it seems impossible to define the exact location of those cylinders relative to the edges of the rectangle; also impossible to create a sketch with two circles in it and a dimension defining the distance between their centers. To give another concrete example: at the 4:20 mark in this video (from this Instructable), he draws a circle on top of an existing rectangular part, and then "centers" it by just dragging it around freehand and eyeballing it. Would it be possible to define the center of that circle relative to an edge, corner, or center of that existing rectangle? Or can 123D just not do that? What I'd like to see, if anyone is up for it, is a step-by-step tutorial (preferably in video format) for making some sort of "technical" part where the dimensions matter and it isn't sufficient to just eyeball it and drag things around. e.g. a bracket like this (exact dimensions don't have to be what I drew here, but you get the idea). All of the tutorials I've seen so far - including the official Autodesk ones - seem to just focus on eyeballing it/free-handing dragging parts around.

Posted by Ben Finio 4 years ago


Milling PCBs with grbl?

Hi everyone. Ive just finished my little mill, and it works great, its ardunio based running grbl control software. I thought it would be cool to mill PCBs  so I downloaded fritzing, designed a PCB and Im now stuck, as I need something to output an NC Gcode to the mill. Fritzing can output a few different formats, pdf, svg, and grber. I have got Vcarve but it doesn’t like  fritzings pdfs, I can import grber file into grbl, but the scale is wrong and the trace looks like its full of errors. Can anyone recommend a PCB design package that is compatible with grbl?

Asked by liquidhandwash 4 years ago


Using Autodesk Fusion 360 or other package to make Lids and other form fitting parts?

First off, thanks for all the great posts and Instructables, I hope to be able to add to the growing collection sometime soon with a few projects I need to document.   Recently I have been trying to figure out a good way to create form fitting shapes with decent tolerances for  PLA printing.  I am using Autodesk Fusion and Blender using Boolean CGI operations, specifically the  Cut / Difference option. to create a appropriate sized cap.  If you have a peek at the attached image, the top part (red)  was used as a tool to cut out a matching body from a smaller cylinder (blue).  In the real world If these are printed, the shape would never fit together and if you did, you could never remove them.   What I would like to do is alter the bottom half to shrink it's surfaces inward about 0.25mm to allow for the expanding of materials. Every time I've inquired about this on some other forums, the first response Is  'Just use resize' and make the bottom half larger.'  Great idea, but there are a problems.  The inner plate/cylinder and radius walls expand to be too large The height changes, leaving a gap between the two surfaces Any suggestions would be great. I believe there is a path using Differences / Intersect and subtracting that, but I've been failing to find a solution to it.  I have included the Example top as an STL file.  Thanks for any suggestions.  And No this is not for a school project. Just a hobbyist looking to understand CAD.

Posted by dewclaws 3 years ago


Make Ideas Real: Share your SketchUp Story

Today, the SketchUp team is launching a new project called Make Ideas Real. The purpose of this project is to showcase work from SketchUp users who (in some way) have made their models into something real. SInce so many of you are already discussing and sharing your projects here, I wanted to reach out and introduce the project to the Instructables community specifically. We think SketchUp users do amazing work, and that sometimes this work gets lost in the 3D Warehouse. If you're particularly proud of a model that you've turned into reality (using SketchUp somewhere in your workflow), we hope you'll share the project and the story with us here. And please, we also want to hear about the role that Instructables played in your project! Our plan is to collect the most compelling stories and feature them in a special showcase, so that people who are new to SketchUp can be inspired by the work of others. If you have any questions, I hope you'll respond to this post and let me know! Mark Google SketchUp, Community Manager

Posted by mharrison11 6 years ago



ni-cad cell zapper

I have heard that unchargeable ni-cad cells can be rejuvenated by applying a short high-current spike thru them. does anyone have a device to do this? or just an idea on how it is done?

Posted by joe84 9 years ago


other cad software? Answered

Can a program like Solidworks be used build the model for printing.

Asked by lseguine 1 year ago



Help ! Auto CAD, Turbo CAD - What's best ??

I need a good CAD program. Have no experience in using CAD, but need something that will aid me in putting up a better wind charger tower (farmer, dependant on off grid power), need also to be able to design meshing gears and perhaps PC board layouts. The internet is so full of advice (read sales pitch) that I am frankly baffled. Come to think of it I also need the earth, but can't afford it. Need advice please

Posted by Karroo Oakey 9 years ago



Good Free CAD Software?

I'm gonna build something and I need a free CAD program. I have a very light one but if anyone has any suggestions please tell me.

Posted by Aeshir 10 years ago


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 :)

Posted by ELF 8 years ago


Can I design in CAD and convert to gcode on Windows then use EMC2 (LinuxCNC) to control the CNC with files made in XP?

Let's clarify. I want to design my parts for a CNC machine in a free CAD program on Windows, then convert them to G-Code on Windows with free CAM. Then I want to take that G-Code file from Windows to a separate computer with Ubuntu on it to use as the control computer. The Ubuntu PC will have EMC2 on it, and will be connected to the 3 axis CNC machine through the Parallel Port. I just can't seem to find any free control software that is good and recommended by others for XP, only Ubuntu. Is this possible or is there a great free XP control software that I'm missing? Thanks in advance.

Asked by snowpenguin 9 years ago


3D CAD Software Survey Request

If you are a Maker, an Engineer or just a 3D printer user, your help is needed! A new company is looking to improve the CAD software for 3D design options for people with 3D printers or those considering purchasing one. Prior to the development of their products, they are looking to collect some information from people who are currently using 3D printers and 3D design software to confirm what are considered to be unmet needs in the market. Please take a moment to complete this brief 10-question survey to share your valuable opinions on this subject. No contact information or names will be collected. Your input would be greatly appreciated!  The survey is available at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5ZPFGXW Thanks

Posted by BuckClemons 5 years ago