CAD software is where the magic happens. From idea to draft to sleek 3D design model, free CAD software is a crucial tool for professional designers and hobbyists for various applications, from 3D modeling and printing to mechanical engineering, architecture, and product design.
Best Free CAD Software for More Experienced Designers
But, many of the top professional software used in industry languishes behind pricey paywalls, out of reach of the average designer. Thanks to the proliferation of free CAD software, with little in the way of compromises compared to paid CAD programs, even cash-strapped budding bedroom designers can get their hands on one. To help you out, we’ve pulled together the top free CAD software tools so you can create professional-level pieces, without the cost.
You’ll find accessible user-friendly picks, feature-rich options for advanced designers, programs better suited to technical ends, and ones with a more artist-friendly seasoning.
We’re employing the term ‘free’ fairly loosely here – so you’ll find 100% free open-source options, pared-down free versions, and everything in between. Operating System Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux. Supported File Formats: STL, OBJ, DXF, and more. FreeCAD is as free as they come. The fruit of a collaborative community open-source project, FreeCAD is available to download and use to all and any with no financial strings attached and will remain so forever.
FreeCAD doesn’t impose any commercial limits, and all designs or data remain solely the property of the user. FreeCAD is developed around the idea of parametric modeling and the creation of solid, full-precision objects and designs suited to the real world.
All tools and manipulations in FreeCAD depend on real-world units, such as kilometers and microns, meaning objects can be tweaked based on properties, elements, or constraints (text, numeric values, etc.) and they’ll adapt accordingly.
It also allows users to chain together custom objects using the properties of one to shape the others with on-demand recalculations and a precise undo/redo modeling history stack.