CADs for free comparison


Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: CADs for free comparison

  1. #1
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    38
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default CADs for free comparison

    Hello all!

    It's been quite a while I have been here and now I am returning to the hobby (CNC building machines)

    I have never really be keen on learning CAD but nowadays, there are quite a few very good programmes for free available to the hobbyist.
    Right now I have on my machine for evaluation:
    - DesignSparks Mechanics
    - Freecad
    - Sketchup

    DesignSpark Mechanic (DSM) is quite efficient and indeed easy to learn but I find that precision drawings and dimensionning a bit hard to do

    Sketchup made me go mad at one point because very complex drawing features are easy to do, but some very basic tasks are so frustratingly complex to do ( and array of holes in a plate for exemple!)

    Freecad looks promising but I installed it only last night and did not give it a real shakeup as of yet...

    Those of you who use free CAD softwares, what are your tools of choice and why....
    But also for those of you who rejected one or another software, why?

    Curious to see what you are thinking....
    Sincerely, Luc

    Similar Threads:


  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    42
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: CADs for free comparison

    Fusion 360 is a must and is (I believe) the most common free cad software. The integrated CAM is awesome and its modeling is very good as well. Onshape is also free and very interesting. It is completely browser based so it can be run on very bad systems; there's a beta plugin for CAM but i haven't heard much about it.



  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    38
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: CADs for free comparison

    Well....
    Fusion is not realy 'free' but at near 500$ US per year and for the amount of usage I envision... free cad is the way to go for me.
    It's not utterly expensive, at about 10$ US a year ( 40 billions Canadian! )
    But thanks for the suggestion anyway!.....



  4. #4
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    32609
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: CADs for free comparison

    Fusion 360 is indeed free. You just sign up for a hobby license, and pay nothing.

    Hundreds, if not thousands of members here are using it for free.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


  5. #5
    Registered he1957's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    56
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: CADs for free comparison

    I have been using a program called SimplyCam on and off for about 10 years and over the last several weeks quite extensively (bought a new router) :-)

    In basic usage, it is very easy to learn and use. When you get more familiar it is extremely powerful but it does not have the full GUI type of interfaces some of the others such as V-Carve have.

    Although it is not free, it is very inexpensive at around US$60. For 2 and 2.5D drawings it is quite amazing what it can do. It also has an inbuilt GRBL panel that may work with some serial/USB hardware.

    Their web site can be found at:

    MR-Soft Nc Software Tools

    They also have a bitmap to CNC vectorising program (BMP2CNC) if you want to do engravings of pictures or convert things like PDF or scanned images to G-Code.

    I use both.

    You can download it and use if freely without a license but it is limited to 100 lines of G-Code and won't export/save to DXF without a license.
    They are very responsive to questions and their web site has some fabulous tutorials to help get you started.

    Cheers,

    HarryE.



  6. #6
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    38
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: CADs for free comparison

    Thanks guys.... thisi is getting interesting!



  7. #7
    Registered
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    42
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: CADs for free comparison

    Fusion is free unless you're using it to make more than $100k in which case you really shouldnt care about spending $500 a year...



  8. #8
    Registered dharmic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1228
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: CADs for free comparison

    In fairness, the process for getting the free fusion 360 licence isn't immediately obvious. Install and run the fully functional trial version for a month, then - when you get hit up at the end of the trial period - you select the free personal or "startup" (for under 100k commercial) option and off you go.

    I need to have another look at FreeCAD - it's had a couple of updates since I last used it and now has (apparently) some basic CAM functionality and improvements on the modelling side. Hopefully it's a little more stable these days, too. But even a couple of years ago it wasn't entirely horrible for modelling stuff to 3D print. And it wasn't #(@*#$ cloud based like Fusion 360.

    The cloud based nature of 360 is biting me at the moment with patchy internet connectivity at one place I'm trying to use it. And I'm leery of Autodesk turning around at some point, when I have this massive library of models and parts etc built up, and saying "We've now taken enough market share from Dassault's Solidworks so no more free ride, thousand bucks a year for everyone."

    Those things aside, though, getting 5 axis CAM, halfway decent parametric solid modelling, assembly modelling with kinematic simulation, pretty good surface modelling, FEA, topology optimisation and generative design for only three hundred a year is insane. Let alone free. They're cranking out monthly updates - it's being very actively developed. There's a massive wealth of training and support videos online with a huge user community.

    Really, for a hobbyist or small shop, it's so far ahead of any legal alternatives - and a lot of pirate options, too.



Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


About CNCzone.com

    We are the largest and most active discussion forum for manufacturing industry. The site is 100% free to join and use, so join today!

Follow us on


Our Brands

CADs for free comparison

CADs for free comparison