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.

Contents

2D and 3D CAD software

Open-source software

OpenSCAD

OpenSCAD is a scripted modeller which produces CSG (Constructive Solid Geometry) and 2D outlines. It is free software and available for Linux/UNIX, MS Windows and Apples OS X. It supports DFX, STL and OFF file formats and is designed for the engineer not the artist. Can be used from the command line to generate bespoke STL objects. e.g. > openscad -m make -s gears_helical.stl -D teethNum=15 gears_helical.scad

OpenSCAD main page and download

Mailing list and archives

Manual

Endorsement

Art of Illusion

AoI is a graphics-oriented 3D modeller that's written entirely in Java. can be used to output STL files. or add Skeinforge to output GCode.

Although it is a 3D graphics design tool, it is also good for engineering design. It has a very easy and quick-to-learn user interface. AoI 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===Open-source software=== Evaluator plugin.

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

Art of Illusion

Blender

Blender was originally intended for the same applications as AoI. It has a very 'efficient' user interface, which includes a number of single-key keyboard commands. This is a very powerful and fast way of working, but can intimidate would-be users. (Don't be scared, blender is fun!) It may be arguably more powerful than AoI, and has a huge user community. Blender is scriptable in Python, runs on Linux, Windows or Mac, and is freely available under the GPL.

Blender

Also See:

BlenderCAD

BlenderCAD is a pre-alpha attempt to build CAD functionality into 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

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

HeeksCAD

HeeksCAD, like FreeCAD, is based on OpenCasCade, and has similar modeling functionality, for solids slightly more, less for meshes, with neutral IGES, STEP and STL file format exchange. It's much less dependent on parametric editing than FreeCAD and the GUI is more integrated, not modular. Windows and various Linux builds. Distributed under BSD license.

HeeksCAD

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

PythonOCC

A python wrapper for the OpenCascade and Salome (salome-geometry and salome-mesh) libraries. Supports constructive solid geometry, data exchange, meshing, GUI development (wxPython, PyQt, python-xlib), parametric modeling. FEM solver integration with (Code Aster) is underway. (Not a GUI based CAD program, but aims to be a scripting framework for rapid development of custom CAE solutions.)

PythonOCC

Wings3D

A fairly simple 3D modeller. Designs can be exported as STL and STL files can be imported. Wings3d can be extended using available plugins, and you can write your own plugins in Erlang.

Wings3D

K3D

Another simple 3D modeller with no STL support.

K3D

Unknown licence

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

Archimedes

Brasilian 3D package. Apparently became orphanware in 2007.

Archimedes


Closed source

Autodesk Inventor (Student Version)

Students can download the professional version of Autodesk Inventor 2010, 2011 or 2012 after registration on the Autodesk website (link below). It is a powerful tool for creating 3D CAD models. It can import and export the industrial standard CAD files like STEP or IGES and export STL files.

Autodesk

Autodesk Inventor Fusion

3D (non-parametric) modeling application is simple to learn and use. You can download a free widows version at Autodesk Labs and is good until June 1, 2011. A Mac native preview has been unveiled and is planned to be available early 2012. More information on Facebook. This software includes solid and surface modeling along with translators and exporters for many profesional cad tools.

Cheetah3D

Cheetah3D is a powerful 3D modeling, rendering and animation software for Mac OS X. It offers native support for importing and exporting STL files (ASCII and Binary).

Cheetah3D

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

Google Sketchup

Google Sketchup is primarily intended for designing architectural models, but it can be used for general 3D design as well.

Google Sketchup

For details of plugins that will output STL files from Sketchup: see here (cerebralmeltdown.com) and here (capolight.wordpress.com) and here a FREE one (guitar-list.com)

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

Rhino

Rhino is an easy 3D CAD with strong modeling capabilities. It is the most used software in entire micro-verticals such as architecture and jewelry.

Rhino 3D

Moment of Inspiration (MoI 3D)

3D modeling for designers and artists. NURBS-based CAD modeling tool with excelllent quality mesh export. Costs $295 for the full license, free to try for a month.

MoI 3D

Software for dealing with STL files

Open-source software

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

A tool for repairing and manipulations of STL files.

netfabb Studio is free, but not open source. It is Windows only. An alpha of a Linux version that prints on a RepMan was announced.

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

Skeinforge

Converts STL files to Gcodes. Is included with ReplicatorG. Horribly ugly user interface. It looks like someone used a shotgun loaded with buttons. Works slow, but has many options and is reliable

Slic3r

Converts STL files to Gcodes. 100 times faster than skeinforge, but still great gcode output. relatively new. see: Slic3r and http://slic3r.org/

Repsnapper

A Slicer completely written in C++. With 3D preview.

CAD software for electronics

Open-source software

gEDA/gaf

A full GPL'd suite and toolkit of Electronic Design Automation tools. These tools are used for electrical circuit design, schematic capture, simulation, prototyping, and production.

Compiles / runs on Linux and Mac Os X. Binaries available for Debian, SUSE, and Mac.

gEDA Wikipedia


KiCad

An open source (GPL) software for the creation of electronic schematic diagrams and printed circuit board artwork. Users are making complex boards with it, as boards of 4 layers or more, with ARM microcontrollers running at 450MHz.

It runs on Linux, Windows or Mac. It is available on Linux Ubuntu repositories ("app store") meaning that it can be installed with one mouse click.

KiCAD

Gerbv

An open-source (ODV) program for displaying Gerber files. Useful for checking.

Gerbv

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

DIY Layout Creator

DIYLC is an easy to use, yet powerful open source (GPL) multiplatform (Java) software for creating stripboard and universal board designs.

DIYLC

Closed-source

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

Further reading

_Manual Manual]

Endorsement