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Amp
09-14-2008, 10:39 AM
What CAD software does everyone use to design robots?

Can anyone suggest one a good free CAD tool that preferably runs on linux to make some simple designs with?

Im looking to design simple parts, which I can print out the designs and iron onto plastic before cutting out. It would also be nice to see the robot in 3D befor it is build and can check that all the parts fit propperly.

JoeStrout
09-14-2008, 03:41 PM
For 2D cad, I quite like QCad. It's not free, but it's darn cheap, and cross-platform.

lnxfergy
09-14-2008, 09:39 PM
What CAD software does everyone use to design robots?

I use Autodesk Inventor, but that is a professional package and out of the price range for most hobbyists.


Can anyone suggest one a good free CAD tool that preferably runs on linux to make some simple designs with?

Im looking to design simple parts, which I can print out the designs and iron onto plastic before cutting out. It would also be nice to see the robot in 3D befor it is build and can check that all the parts fit propperly.

That is a tough one. For linux, your choices are about zip. There is one possibility: QCAD (http://www.ribbonsoft.com/index.html). I've heard some good stuff about it, but it is very basic and will only do 2D with some limited 3D isometric projection....

If you are willing to go with Windows there are a few more options. Probably the best option to try out is Alibre Design. I haven't used it (yet), but I have heard rave reviews from a friend of mine who is a professional machinist and spends a significant amount of time using the standard edition. They have a free version you can download here: http://www.alibre.com/products/xpress/xpress_for_all.asp

Other possibilities under windows include TurboCad or AutoSketch, both of which will run $50 to $100.

-Fergs

Rudolph
09-15-2008, 12:17 AM
I'm not a CAD person though I've thought many a time I should get off my woohoo and figure it out. Because of that, I have no experience to offer any specific recommendations.

That said, here's what freshmeat returns (http://freshmeat.net/search/?q=3d+CAD&section=projects&Go.x=0&Go.y=0) for 3D+CAD. Also check this thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-112116.html) from the Ubuntu forums.

If you find anything, please post back and let us know, so I can add another thing to my ungodly list of things to learn :)

Sienna
09-15-2008, 05:09 AM
For simple CAD, yes, I love QCad also, and have been using it for years.

If you can run Windows, give Alibre a try. A lot of the people on the forums run it I think. Personally, I never got it to work, because it requires some really old Microsoft Java VM. But, if you can get it to work, it is cheap (one version free as stated).

Another alternative on Windows is Autodesk Inventor. Personally, I can't afford its many thousand dollar price tag either. However, they do release a free single part editor: Autodesk Inventor LT (http://labs.autodesk.com/technologies/inventor_lt/). Thats what I use right now for my part design. (Then I export the results to QCAD for verification before being sent for laser cutting.)

Amp
09-15-2008, 05:33 PM
Thanks for the input.

Ok heres my progress:

Alibre - Looks like a great piece of software, very professional. Tried installing in a virtual machine, however the graphics in the window dont display so is unusable. (may dual boot windows sometime).

Medusa4 - Following Rudolph's Ubuntu link. This is a professional piece of software that has a free license for personal use. There are both windows and Linux versions available, of which I have installed the Linux version. (http://www.cad-schroer.com/index.php?screen=1.5&ziel=Products-MEDUSA-M4Personal&land=com)

Qcad - 2D open source, installed free from the Ubuntu repositories. This was very easy to install.

BRL-CAD - open source modeler , but looks very complicated. Have not installed yet, may try this later if other software dosen't do the job.


I haven't yet tried any of the software out yet, but tomorrow I will follow a few tutorials for Qcad and "Medusa4" (which looks the most promising).

I'll post how I get on tomorrow, as this will hopefully help others in my situation trying to find a free CAD tool.

Amp
09-16-2008, 05:25 PM
Hi Guys

I have had a try out the medusa4 software for a short while this evening, and happy to report that it has all the features required and is fairly straight froward to use. Looks to have solid 2D drawing features and plane projects. It also has a nice 3D section (not many tutorials tho) with a cool 3D viewer/renderer. Best of all it is free and cross platform (so definitely the choice for linux - windows guys have a bigger selection) even with a graphic installer for linux too!!!

I have attached a screen shot of a smiley face I was able to make in 1 minuet after the 3D tutorial.

Here are the links:
Medusa4 free licence registration and download page
http://www.cad-schroer.com/index.php?ziel=Products-MEDUSA-M4Personal&land=com&scr=1.5

Medusa4 - tutorials
http://www.cad-schroer.com/index.php?screen=1.5&ziel=Training-Tutorials&land=com - 2D basiscs

3D tutorial I found
http://tut.is-on.info/test.htm - 3D tutorial


Now I can start designing my robot parts :happy:.
I hoped this has helped anyone that I looking todo some CAD modeling on a hobbyist budget!!

Adrenalynn
09-16-2008, 10:26 PM
+Rep for Rudolph and Amp! Thanks in the first for helping find a package, and in the second with posting back your results, Amp! Very useful!