If you are an engineer or project manager looking to download free CAD files for your new project, look no further.
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We’ve compiled a list of five essential websites that provide free CAD models of industrial parts from across the internet to move forward in your sourcing process. CAD part files are the modern replacement for drafting paper and pencils, but their uses go far beyond simple design. A CAD model allows someone to see a part in three dimensions, including any intricate features that would be difficult to depict in a two dimensional drawing. CAD files are also useful in that they can be incorporated with other parts in a simulation. A user can put together a model of a part they’re thinking of buying with other parts in a computer program in a way a drawing could not accomplish. This allows them see how parts will interact in an assembly, saving time and development costs, as well as potential mistakes and problems later in the assembly process.
Below we’ve outlined five sources you can use to find free CAD files for evaluation of parts: Thomas, TraceParts, 3D ContentCentral, CADENAS, and GrabCAD. You may have heard of Thomas because of our 500,000+ North American supplier database on Thomasnet.com, but we actually offer much more than that. We can serve your simulation needs with our CAD file collection that includes over 10 million models of industrial parts from OEM catalogs.
CAD files can be searched alphabetically by part name or by catalog company name, and search results break down the number of parts and product lines in each catalog to help you gauge a company’s offerings. TraceParts’ focus is on providing 3D digital engineering content. The company provides product configurators, electronic catalogs, and a free CAD part library, including 805 catalogs containing over 111 million parts. They offer 3D models and CAD files as well as two dimensional drawings for uses including MCAD, ECAD, CAE, and BIM. This supplier of free files offers 2D and 3D parts and assemblies, 2D blocks, macros, and library features. Users can find CAD files that they need, and also request and upload files if they aren’t available. Their CAD files range from parts and assemblies to injection molding materials.
CADENAS, which runs the B2B Part Community, offers 2D and 3D CAD part catalogs for Solidworks, Solid Edge, Autodesk Inventor, CATIA, NX, and Creo, as well as a section for users to upload and share their own designs. Their CAD catalogs offer models of mechanical and electrical parts, and additionally, BIM and architectural models. GrabCAD is a CAD file-sharing website featuring over 3.8 million files ranging from parts to full machinery and architectural models for engineers, designers, manufacturers, and STEM students. They offer file formats compatible with AutoCAD, Autodesk, PTC Creo, Rhino, GrabCAD, and various other software programs.