Best Free Mechanical Cad Software – The 3D design software you use depends on what you are trying to achieve. When it comes to CAD software, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
If you or your company is considering adding new CAD software to your toolbox, it’s important to get a good overview of what the software can do to see which program best fits your goals.
Best Free Mechanical Cad Software
Investing in more professional-grade CAD software can be worthwhile, but you don’t always need to spend a lot of money if you’re just starting out.
Free Cad Software
There are free CAD software options that you can use to get started. Here, we’ll briefly introduce CAD software, discuss how to navigate the selection process, and then give you some software recommendations to use at all experience levels (from beginner to professional).
CAD, which stands for computer-aided design, is a type of software that helps engineers and designers create 2D and 3D models of projects. In short, it’s a way to plan or design a project, such as a room design, before starting the physical work.
CAD software saves designers and engineers hours of work by eliminating the need for hand-drawn designs and mockups. In fact, most engineers, architects, and designers no longer need to know how to create hand-drawn models because industries rely heavily on CAD software.
If you work in an industry that relies on design and 3D modeling, you will need CAD software for several reasons:
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In most cases, you cannot use any popular design tool to do 3D modeling. You will need a dedicated CAD tool. But before you invest in an expensive type of CAD software, take some time to evaluate your needs and understand which type of software will give you the most benefit. The software used by architects may not be the same software used by someone designing medical devices, so considering your industry is an important first step.
Additionally, you want to choose the right type of CAD software. For example, architects are more likely to use 2D CAD software to create detailed floor plans. Conversely, an engineer may be more interested in 3D software to take a more complex look at designs when considering things like mechanics.
Finally, your skill level is also a factor in choosing the right CAD software. If you’re a student or a beginner, there are free CAD software and free 3D modeling software options so you can learn the ropes. As you become more comfortable using this type of software, you can invest in a more professional level product.
Whether you’re just starting out in design or want to cut costs, there are free CAD software tools you can use. Here are some free products that I recommend you try.
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Several CAD software are available for free to students. They must send a file that proves you are indeed a student. It’s worth trying before you buy.
FreeCAD is a free 3D modeling program that allows you to create any type of object of various sizes. The software itself is open source and is often used to design and draw real objects. There are also 2D components as it allows for 3D to 2D conversion of drawings.
Since it is a free tool, it is often used by beginners or students to learn how to use CAD software. It is commonly used for mechanical engineering in the field of product design, but can also be used by architects and mechanics. Although this is a very basic program, it works well for training purposes.
IronCAD is another free 2D and 3D CAD program that is used in the field of mechanical design and uses solid modeling technology. One of its main selling points is how modeling is used to provide computational methods for mixing and shell solutions and other geometric calculations.
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The software uses a drag and drop design where you can select parts from a catalog and assemble them. These designs are then used alongside other 3D and 2D models and are updated as both drawings and models change.
SketchUp is a 3D modeling program developed by Trimble Inc. It is used in many industries, including architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, engineering, and even video game design.
There is a paid version, SketchUp Pro, that comes with additional tools, but if you’re just starting out, you’re better off using the free version. SketchUp includes an online library where users can contribute and use various models such as cars, doors, windows and more.
This software can be used to create different styles of drawings, as well as using third-party plugins for photo-realistic rendering.
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Like some on this list, LibreCAD is also open source CAD software. It is mainly used for 2D design, drawings as well as drafting.
LibreCAD is comparable to the popular AutoCAD software, which means it’s easy to get started if you’re already familiar with the software. For example, LibreCAD uses the same AutoCAD file format to import, export, and save files.
Leopoly is a cloud-based 3D modeling software used to create digital objects for 3D printing. This product uses tools such as product configuration and other editing tools in its user interface. It is often used as a 3D and virtual reality animation program as follows
LeoPoly is often advertised as easy-to-use software, and while a powerful tool, it makes an excellent choice for professionals and beginners alike. Because it is an online program as opposed to a downloadable program, it can be used on any operating system.
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TinkerCAD is a free online 3D design tool designed for beginners. With TinkerCAD, you can create a model from a collection of basic shapes in a block-building type design.
Since the software is online, users have a collection of files to find the shapes and parts they need. It’s a relatively simple program in terms of design, but that makes it ideal for people with limited 3D modeling experience.
You may be past the point of using freeware unless you’re a student or in training, but don’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on professional-level products. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of CAD software options available to choose from.
With plans ranging from $99 to $499 per year, DraftSight is an affordable tool for 2D drafting and 3D design. It is mainly used by engineers, architects and construction service providers. Users love DraftSight because it allows you to easily switch back and forth between 2D drafting and 3D modeling. You can also switch from AutoCAD or other similar programs, making it a very versatile program.
Top 5 Free Cad Software In 2021
CATIA is a CAD program developed by the French company Dassault Systèmes. There are no fixed prices for this program, but the price is based on quotes, as it depends on various factors, such as capacity or tools required.
CATIA is ideal for mechanical and systems engineers and uses a cloud-based system that makes working with this program collaborative. It has also been used in industries such as architecture, aerospace, packaging design, and more.
Once you have enough experience using free CAD software or other free 3D modeling software, it may be time to move on to something a little more polished and professional. These next CAD software programs are often used by experts in various fields, so you know the price is worth the investment.
AutoCAD is one of the most expensive CAD software options, starting at $1,690 per user per year. However, the hefty price tag is a good reason.
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AutoCAD, created by Autodesk, is a very popular software used by various professionals such as project managers, architects, graphic designers, urban planners, engineers and more.
It is available in multiple languages and can be used on multiple operating systems. There are tons of professional-grade tools integrated into the software, as well as many plugins and verticals designed for specific industries.
If you’re a student or teacher, there’s also a free version with a 12-month renewable license so you can learn how to use the software.
SolidWorks is another program that uses quote-based pricing that is adjusted to your needs through the software. It is also manufactured by Dassault Systèmes and is often used by professional 3D designers.
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The program includes a range of tools such as reverse engineering, design validation tools and detailed curve modeling, making it ideal for industrial materials and designers.
Unlike polygon modeling, SolidWorks uses dimensional sketching, which makes it easy to resize objects.
Like AutoCAD, Fusion 360 is also a paid Autodesk software used by professional and mid-level designers, engineers, manufacturers and others.
This cloud-based 3D CAD software allows design teams to work collaboratively on complex projects. Fusion 360 keeps all model history and changes, which makes it ideal
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