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An excellent free (for makers) CAD

BaitMaster

Super User
I recently discovered that Siemens SolidEdge has a “community edition” that’s free for non commercial use.

They also have a 2D drafting version that is free for ANY use.

I’ve been playing and honestly seems pretty dang good.

On par with PAID software I’ve tried.

FYI, or, if anyone has any input, feel free to share.
 

DavidR8

Scrap maker
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
I recently discovered that Siemens SolidEdge has a “community edition” that’s free for non commercial use.

They also have a 2D drafting version that is free for ANY use.

I’ve been playing and honestly seems pretty dang good.

On par with PAID software I’ve tried.

FYI, or, if anyone has any input, feel free to share.
I've looked at it but haven't jumped yet. I like Alibre Atom but it is missing some key features for me.
 

Tecnico

(Dave)
Premium Member
I sampled the commercial version a few years ago and concluded it was just another dialect of the typical professional 3D modelling tool. My points of references are Solidworks/Inventor/creo and Solidedge seemed generally up there with the rest.

How does the community version compare with the commercial? I’m guessing it has more limited capabilities?

EDIT: When I said it was “just another dialect“, that wasn’t a negative. I really meant it was slightly different but quite similar to the others.

D :cool:
 
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BaitMaster

Super User
I sampled the commercial version a few years ago and concluded it was just another dialect of the typical professional 3D modelling tool. My points of references are Solidworks/Inventor/creo and Solidedge seemed generally up there with the rest.

How does the community version compare with the commercial? I’m guessing it has more limited capabilities?

D :cool:
Seems pretty full fledged to me so far.

They don’t list any specific down-grades in the literature for it.

That being said I’m sure it doesn’t have the whole kitten caboodle.
 

Tecnico

(Dave)
Premium Member
Seems pretty full fledged to me so far.

They don’t list any specific down-grades in the literature for it.

That being said I’m sure it doesn’t have the whole kitten caboodle.

That would be a big plus for anyone familiar with the use of “normal” systems. I say normal to differentiate from Fusion that, from what I can gather from discussion here, seems to have a different work flow.

Slightly off topic: I find that a 3D CAD tool makes the machining process go a lot smoother vs. doing it in my head or on a scrappy piece of paper, especially for more complex pieces.

D :cool:
 

Ironman

Ultra Member
I recently discovered that Siemens SolidEdge has a “community edition” that’s free for non commercial use.

They also have a 2D drafting version that is free for ANY use.

I’ve been playing and honestly seems pretty dang good.

On par with PAID software I’ve tried.

FYI, or, if anyone has any input, feel free to share.
It used to be paid software and when 3d came out SolidEdge offered this 2d version free. It is very intuitive, almost as good as cardboard. I tend to use my plasma software for drawing as I am very fast with it.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
I've heard it installs locally & not mandated cloud file storage, which are 2 good things IMO. Watermarked drawings & cant share to commercial versions - who cares for hobbyist. I'm not sure what file formats it exports, like if makes the 3DP-ers & CNC-ers happy. I keep tabs on Solidworks for Makers which would be my personal preference, but it gets mixed reviews regarding installation/updates having to go through their mothership site which looks like someone barfed chicklets. But some people seem to navigate the obstacle course & are happy, others just given up out of frustration.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
At least it appears to have some kind of forum where you can converse & upload issues & get help. That's always the tradeoff - crappy app but widely used, powerful app but not much for resources. The ideal intersection is good app with good resources & doesn't cost a fortune.

FWIW I recently stumbled on this forum recently. A little thinly spread among many apps, but maybe another place to ask questions.

Keep us posted with how you get along with SE over time!
 

mickeyf

Well-Known Member
I imagine this is Windows only? And likely only a very recent version of Windows like 10 or 11? Anyone have any recommendations for Linux? I have played with a few, but not within the past couple of years.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
My Linux friend uses FreeCad as his parametric 3D modeler. He does 3DP & milling. I've seen it in action via a little tutorial session he put on. Seems to share the look & feel of other industrial modelers. A few years back, well maybe +5 now, I was reading up on it. It didn't give me the warm & fuzzies, but apparently they have cleaned up & improved more recent versions. That's about all I know. There is more info on the interweb but I tend to give more weight to comments from people who came from, or had high level familiarity to other programs vs someone just starting out. I mean, we all start somewhere but I'm saying its more valuable to know 'this works just as good as' or 'they dropped the ball when it comes to...'


 

Matt-Aburg

Ultra Member
This software can bring in a full assembly from NX (also siemens). I am going to evaluate the free viewer now to see if this will help my boss at work. The bonus part would be that it does not have to be converted like using the JT viewer, enabling him to open the latest and greatest.

1717941875843.png
 
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