Useful Software Packages

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This is the place to put details of software packages that are useful for RepRap (like CAD programs), but that are not part of the RepRap project itself. Give a paragraph or so of explanation on each package and a link to its home page. Please also say what platforms it runs on, what licence it is distributed under, and whether it is free.

2D and 3D CAD software

Archimedes

Brasilian 3D package. Apparently became orphanware in 2007.

Archimedes

Art of Illusion

Art of Illusion (AoI) is a 3D graphics design tool, but it is good for engineering design too. It has a very easy and quick-to-learn user interface. There is also a RepRap page on using it for engineering design. AoI is written in Java, runs on Linux, Windows or Mac, and is freely available under the GPL.

AoI, for all its shortcomings, is probably the most used 3D modeling package in the RepRap community, primarily because of its very short learning curve. V2.7 experiences problems with booleans, and 2.6 is currently recommended - particularly with the CSG Evaluator plugin.

There is also a page on Reprap-specific plugins for AoI.

Art of Illusion

AutoQ3D

AutoQ3D Animation is an easy 3D CAD with animation capabilities. It is suitable for anyone interested in learning 3D CAD and Animation before using more sophisticated packages.

AutoQ3D

Blender

Blender was originally intended for the same applications as AoI. It may be more powerful than AoI, but its user interface is harder to learn. Blender is scriptable in Python, runs on Linux, Windows or Mac, and is freely available under the GPL.

Blender

BRL-CAD

BRL-CAD is a cross-platform open source solid modeling system that includes interactive geometry editing, high-performance ray-tracing for rendering and geometric analysis, image and signal-processing tools, a system performance analysis benchmark suite, libraries for robust geometric representation, with more than 20 years of active development. The BRL-CAD runs on BSD, Irix, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, and Windows. BRL-CAD became an open source project in 2004, with portions licensed under the LGPL and BSD licenses.

BRL-CAD

CoCreate

CoCreate Modeling Personal Edition is free for non-professional use. It is limited to 60 parts in one design and can only save designs in its own proprietary format, but it can export STL and VRML and import STEP and IGES. It is Windows only and needs an internet connection every three days. Apparently, very easy to use. {content abstracted from Hydraraptor}

CoCreate

FreeCAD

FreeCAD is still under development, but it is intended to be a full 3D mechanical engineering CAD package. FreeCAD is based on OpenCasCade, QT and Python, runs on Linux and Windows, and is freely available under the GPL and LGPL.

FreeCAD

QCAD

QCAD is an application for computer aided drafting in two dimensions (2D). With QCAD you can create technical drawings such as plans for buildings, interiors, mechanical parts or schemas and diagrams. QCAD works on Windows, Mac OS X and many Linux and Unix Systems. The source code of the free QCAD community edition is released under the GPL.

QCAD

Inkscape

Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X. It uses the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Inkscape is released under GPL Version 2.

Inkscape

iTracer

iTracer is a 3D modeling and rendering application for the iPhone. There are instructions for creating models for 3D printing using it on Instructables here. It costs $2.

iTracer

Software for dealing with STL files

MeshLab

An open source, portable, and extensible system for the processing and editing of unstructured 3D triangular meshes. It also has an as yet unexploited object slicing routine which is extremely quick.

MeshLab

netfabb Studio

netfabb Studio is free, but not open source. It is Windows only.

netfabb Studio is software tailored for additive fabrication, rapid prototyping and 3D printing. It includes the ability of viewing, editing, repairing and analyzing stl-files or slice-based files in various formats.

netfabb Studio

CAD software for electronics

Eagle

Proprietary circuit-diagram and PCB design system with a slightly reduced-capabilities freeware version. It includes an autorouter for PCB creation. This is the package that has been used to design the majority of the RepRap electronics. It is also used to design the open-source Arduino microcontroller, derivatives of which are used in RepRap. It runs on Linux, Windows or Mac.

Eagle

KiCAD

An open source (GPL) software for the creation of electronic schematic diagrams and printed circuit board artwork.

KiCAD

Stripboard Designer 1.0

Open source (BSD) app written in freeware Visual Basic 2008 Express for Wintel machines

Stripboard Designer 1.0

Stripes

Open source (GPL) version of Stripboard Designer written by Julian Skidmore in Java

Stripes