Are you looking to develop your CAD (computer-aided design) skills, without spending a fortune on fancy software?
You’re in luck – there are tons of free CAD programs that offer plenty of advanced capabilities, perfect for beginners and professionals alike.
Whether you want to play around, take advantage of the popularity of 3D printing, or just need to brush up your CAD skills for school, one of these programs will help.
Keep reading for our guide to the best free CAD software of 2018.
Don’t have much room on your PC for new programs?
You’ll love this option.
TinkerCAD is a browser-based application which lets you create 3D models using a variety of predetermined shapes. It’s quick and easy to use, which makes it ideal for beginners.
Although the controls are simple, you still have the power to make pretty complex models by adjusting size, shape, width, and depth, and combining different shapes together.
If you want to get started with simple 3D printing, or just refine your CAD skills, this is a great place to begin.
SketchUp is a powerful piece of 3D printing software that offers tons of handy resources to CAD beginners.
The SketchUp library contains 3D templates created by users, and these can be used for inspiration or kickstart a project of your own.
SketchUp also offers a variety of tutorials, going all the way from beginner to expert.
If you want learning CAD to be a long-term project, SketchUp is a good choice.
If you’re planning an architectural CAD project and looking to recreate complex features, like Westland London, you’ll need software that’s pretty powerful – and that’s where Blender comes in.
This popular CAD software offers more advanced options than most other programs and can be used to create extremely sophisticated models.
If you want to create locations and characters for video games, animations for movies and films, or detailed architectural models, Blender is the obvious choice. While the learning curve might be a little steeper, you’ll be left with industry-standard skills and the ability to create seriously professional models.
Blender is open-source, and there are numerous tutorials for beginners online. If you’re struggling with a specific problem, the Blender forum is a great place to look for help.
Are you a coder looking to get into CAD?
You’ll love OpenSCAD.
This program allows you to create 3D models using code, and focuses on the technical aspects of 3D modeling, rather than the artistic side. For someone who thinks logically and wants a lot of control over the way they model, OpenSCAD is a great choice.
For complete beginners with no coding experience, one of the previous options is probably a better choice.
How to Find the Best Free CAD Software
With so much choice, it can feel tricky to find the best free CAD software possible.
Reading reviews, asking for recommendations, and checking out the tutorials available for your chosen software will help you to make the right choice.
Don’t be afraid to test a few different programs to see which you prefer – they are free, after all!
Want to browse software now? Check out our marketplace.