What 3D CAD freeware might work well for this simple DXF style drawing?

Do you have experience with 3D CAD freeware on Windows to help advise me?
o What 3D CAD freeware might work well for a simple DXF style drawing?

The reason I ask is that, often, the expense of complex freeware packages
is in learning multiple GUIs just to hone in on the one freeware program
that does the necessary basic tasks well.
I have a need to modify a DXF drawing which prompted this question...

To provide expert CAD folks with an example test case, a friend today
hacked out this DXF drawing for me of a design I have in mind to create a
wheel jig for accurately measuring caster, camber and toe at home for DIY
alignment purposes. [This uploaded DXF will be deleted in a week though.]

That friend only uses professional software, so she was unable to advise me
as to which Windows freeware would be suitable for subsequently modifying
her DXF drawing to add the pins, handles, and other necessary trim &
shapes.
The main question is whether there's an acknowledge functional leader in
freeware 3D CAD for the Windows platform.
Googling, I found these three "may" be the best 3D freeware CAD programs
o AutoCAD
o Blender
o FreeCAD
Since Blender and FreeCAD didn't require an account, I tested them first:
o Blender
o FreeCAD
Since I wasn't able to download yet a free version of AutoCAD, and since
I'm brand spanking new to CAD drawing software, I figured I'd ask on the
net to see if anyone here has enough experience with 3D CAD software to
recommend the most functional freeware for this type of basic design.
Do you have experience with 3D CAD freeware on Windows to help advise me?
o What 3D CAD freeware might work well for this simple DXF style drawing?

Reply to
Arlen G. Holder
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Do you have experience with 3D CAD freeware on Windows to help advise me?
o What 3D CAD freeware might work well for this simple DXF style drawing?

The reason I ask is that, often, the expense of complex freeware packages
is in learning multiple GUIs just to hone in on the one freeware program
that does the necessary basic tasks well.
I have a need to modify this DXF drawing which prompted this question...

I had provided a friend with a verbal description of the basic outline
where she hacked out this DXF drawing for me for a home DIY wheel jig for
accurately measuring caster, camber and toe at home for DIY alignment
purposes.

[That uploaded DXF will be deleted in a week though.]
That friend only uses professional software, so she was unable to advise me
as to which Windows freeware would be suitable for subsequently modifying
her DXF drawing to add the pins, handles, and other necessary trim &
shapes.
The main question is whether there's an acknowledge functional leader in
freeware 3D CAD for the Windows platform.
Googling, I found these three "may" be the best 3D freeware CAD programs
o AutoCAD
o Blender
o FreeCAD
Since Blender and FreeCAD didn't require an account, I tested them first:
o Blender
o FreeCAD
Since I wasn't able to download yet a free version of AutoCAD, and since
I'm brand spanking new to CAD drawing software, I figured I'd ask on the
net to see if anyone here has enough experience with 3D CAD software to
recommend the most functional freeware for this type of basic design.
Do you have experience with 3D CAD freeware on Windows to help advise me?
o What 3D CAD freeware might work well for this simple DXF style drawing?

Reply to
Arlen G. Holder
IMHO, FreeCad is better than Blender (Blender is a great software for rendering). I use sometimes FreeCAD to convert 3D drawings between different file type, because I use BriscCAD (paid license) for my 2D/3D activities - It's a low-price Autocad "clone", with a similar UI and same command. It saves in DWG native format (open-dwg) With FreeCAD I'm able to import files from other different 3D software (ie Solidworks, Solidedge, Rhinoceros etc.). So, at the end: I'm NOT an expert with FreeCAD but between your tested programs I can suggest to use it because more dedicated to 3D technical drawings). Hope this helps. BTW, BricsCAD has good 3D capabilities, and you can test it for 30 (or 45??) days before you buy it. - The "Platinum" release is the right one for 3D capabilities.
Reply to
Taf?
people like what they like but hard to beat $1.49:
formatting link
Reply to
AMuzi
To give folks an idea of how daunting the selection process is for a newbie, here are just the first 30 freeware CAD programs found on the net...
1. (2D) DraftSight (activated by email, no longer free, paid only) 2. (2D) QCAD 3. (2D) LibreCAD 4. (2D) Draft IT 5. (3D) SketchUp Make 6. (3D) OnShape 7. (3D) FreeCAD 8. (3D) Sweet Home 3D 9. (3D) TinkerCAD 10. (3D) 3D Crafter 11. (3D) Sculptris 12. (3D) OpenSCAD 13. (3D) Blender 14. (3D) LeoCAD 15. AutoCAD (free for students) 16. MeshLab 17. Progesoft CAD 18. Wings3D 19. Art of Illusion 20. 3D Slash 21. NanoCAD 22. SketchUP 23. MeshMixer 24. BRLCad 25. Fusion 360 Student Version 26. KiCad EDA 27. SculptGL 28. HeeksCAD 29. DesignSpark 30. SolveSpace
The main question is which do you prefer for mechanical drawings such as this
And why?
Reply to
Arlen G. Holder
SNIP First of all, sorry for top posting, but I'll write my comments just afrer your points:
Very good program for 2D mechanical CAD. Very similar to AautoCAD in term of commands and UI. Was my FREE cad on a laptop in the past.
Tested for a while (one week) in the past. Rejected!
A promising project. But very, very unstable! Rejected!
Never checked
The simpliest program for quick 3D drawings. A very simple learning curve. Not the best for mechanical. But really impressive! I have a copy for my quick drafts recommended
Never checked
As already said, a very good free program. for 3D drawings. Very different UI if you are an old AutoCAD user like me! ;) Anyway, I recommend it!
Tested and rejected after a couple of days! Not useful for mechanical drawings.
All of these: never tested
Good for "artistic" 3D modeling and rendering. Not useful for mechanics (IMHO)
Nice to play with it! ;) It's a LEGO cad
Used for years and years! Too expensive now! I went to BricsCAD Anyway is a very good 2D cad. Not the best for 3D. But You can try it, if you are student. It's a standard de-facto!
Never tested
NOT FREE - very similar to AutoCAD / BricsCAD and other low cost dwg native programs (not free) as AviCAD, NanoCAD etc
Never tested
Not useful for mechanical 3D
Never tested
NOT FREE
Very Simple and with a quick learning curve. Optimal. but NOT FREE
Never tested
tester and rejected!
All of these Never tested - some of these are NOT FREE
Reply to
Taf?
Fusion 360
formatting link

Works well, if you are a student or educator (very loose requirements for both) you can get a free 3 year license.
Reply to
Steve W.
Hi Steve W,
Thanks for those details which will help me and others with your insight.
The price of freeware is often in the unknown gotchas, so it's nice to know that they don't force you to give away your firstborn to obtain the free 3-year license, and it's nice to know how long it lasts.
Thanks on behalf of everyone for sharing in the Usenet potluck. I apologize for the back-to-back thread, where something is wrong with my Usenet scripts as I still don't see the thread in the Windows ng yet.
Reply to
Arlen G. Holder
Have you tried sketchup? I know that sketchup will be the best for you. I also know that all the other programs will take time to learn if you are 'spanking new'. I feel sketchup would be the easiest to learn.
Reply to
savenaca75
For the crosslinked record, see also this, posted today on Linux ngs: o [How to] make a drawing
Reply to
Arlen Holder

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