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CAD Programs - (Computer Assisted Drafting) come in a variety of formats. Some capable of 3D modeling and other 2D.  It all depend on what the pocket book allows you to spend. You can also find some FREE software that can do the job.

The catch wit full size drawings larger than 8 1/2 X 11 are not achievable with your standard printers, so you may need to find a print shop that may be able to plot the file for you.   Many of the print shop will be able to plot the file typically DWG format, however you may want to find out first what CAD programs they support, this will help with choosing the right software for you.

My native program is AutoCAD, however this tools is far more the tool needed to make 2D drawing to construct model planes. You could probably find something on the WEB that suits your need for the right price. Below are some suggestions on  popular CAD software, however not all are affordable.

Recently I have discovered a full CAD program in the $200 to $350 USD range and will provide the tools to developed 2D or 3D plans of your project.  IntelliCAD was an open source CAD program at one time now being developed by several firms into various disciplines.  Professionally this program is highly recommendable for the price. they are also customizable and support VBA.  This allows for new tools to be developed through VBA (Visual Basic for Applications).


CAD programs

For some of these higher end products you may want to investigate the student version for your personal use.
They are usually a fraction of the cost with full features.

AutoCAD  Is a product from Autodesk one of the leader in the industry for producing engineering document.
Express Viewer  is a FREE viewer that utilizes your web browser to access the drawings.

IntelliCAD an affordable full CAD program in the $250 USD range. Also a DWG format.

BricsCad IntelliCAD  an affordable full CAD program in the $300 USD range. 100% compatible with AutoCAD DWG format.

IntelliCAD by CADopia  This also creates DWG format

ProgeSOFT IntelliCAD A robust version of IntelliCAD that may fit the bill $200 USD range also 100% compatible with AutoCAD DWG format. 

ArchiCAD   Architectural 3D tool

Sketchup  allows everyone from Architects to hobbyists to design in 3D

Alibre  you get everything you need to create complex mechanical products for one-tenth the price of comparable mid-range solid modelers.


CAD programs in $200 range

TurboCAD  a good rounded program will handle most task. Also a DWG format.

CADPro 3.0  An Ordinary Person without any drafting experience can master CADPro with ease.

QCad is a open-source 2D CAD system for Linux, various Unices and Windows. The developers main goals are to build a stable, fast and easy to use CAD for everyone. One doesn't need any knowledge of a CAD program to start working with QCad There is a small license fee

DeltaCAD  World's easiest CAD Program

Cheap Software   It is like shopping wholesale.  You will find something here.

CARARA5  Is not a CAD program but has all the 3D modeling abilities to build 3D models


FREE Downloads

The free versions are fully capable. No time-outs; no critical features disabled, such as saving to file; no advertising. These are significant packages, ideal for the small shop, student, and hobbyist.

Be clear that this isn't CAD welfare by corporations for corporations. These CAD programs are free in the hopes of (1) increasing mindshare; (2) upgrading from the fee version, plus ancillary costs; and collecting data on potential customers. After all, the easiest person to sell to is an existing customer (provided said customers don't hate your guts for screwing them around).  

MicroStation PowerDraft to anyone able to pass themselves off as a student as an introduction to the product this is worth checking out.

Google SketchUp (free) is an easy-to-learn 3D modeling program that enables you to explore the world in 3D

Alibre Design Xpress  Ready to get started with a real parametric solid modeler, but don't want to spend a bundle? Alibre Design Xpress delivers the features you need to tackle projects for your business or hobby.  Part Modeling, Assembly Modeling, 2D Drawing and Detailing, Support and Training

PowerSHAPE-e   Is a 3D surface modeler, also have developed a series of materials created to train the next generation of product designers on these powerful tools   The Largest and Best Collection of CAD Shareware, Freeware and Free Trial Software. Definitely the place to find something you will ultimately use.


Free viewers

Autodesk  DWG TrueView™  FREE* download to accurately view, plot, and publish authentic DWG files.

ProgeSOFT DWG Viewer  FREE high-performance review, measure, and plotting tool for digital design data

Free DWG Viewer  By Informative Graphics Corporation a viewer for DWG / DXF / DWF / CSF on the desktop.

eDrawings - 2D CAD and 3D CAD Viewer and Publisher by SolidWorks


CAD resources has a large resource to choose from. My personal favorite in finding modes (code routines)

CAD CAM and CNC Machining Related Sources This site offers a good look at the variety of cad packages

CADFAMILY  a place to find help by the pros with CAD

OH YEAH! CAD!  from Cadalog  one of my favorite for blocks  brought to you by TenLinks, Inc.  The Largest and Best Collection of CAD Shareware, Freeware and Free Trial Software



CadCARD to assist in explaining many concepts such as scale and its effect on drawing elements.



ModelCAD AutoCAD 2D & 3D library

DWG gateway  a free plug in viewer for AutoCAD allow you to view file from any version



Tools to build with

I have an other site that is dedicated to tools and projects. Let me know what you think.  A list of my tools for the job

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This WEB page was last updated: 2008 01 19.