Opensource/Free CAD Software

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by Tim B, May 30, 2007.

  1. Tim B
    Joined: Jan 2003
    Posts: 1,438
    Likes: 59, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 841
    Location: Southern England

    Tim B Senior Member

    I rarely seem to start threads these days, but here goes...

    Now before I start I want to say that this is not politcal (in Linux/Mac/MS terms) but I am now starting to look at using bespoke electronic CAD software rather than 2D drawing packages. So here's the question:

    Restricting ourselves to Opensource apps, has anyone tried KiCad or others and what was your opinion?

    Cheers,

    Tim B.
     
  2. fishNduck
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Indiana

    fishNduck New Member

    I've used Anim8tor, which was created specifically for designing spacecraft in Orbiter, a free spaceflight simulator.

    It's tough, not anything like 3dsmax, autocad, or catia, but once you get the hang of it its not that bad.
     
  3. Raggi_Thor
    Joined: Jan 2004
    Posts: 2,457
    Likes: 64, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 711
    Location: Trondheim, NORWAY

    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    I hadn't heard of it, "KiCad".
    It looks interesting, but mostly geared towards electrical drawings?
    And most of my customers prefers to pay 200 Euro for something familiar or something they know :)
    I think open source and "free" is a good thing for just a few.
     
  4. ezombie
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 14
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Chehalis

    ezombie Junior Member

    I use QCAD Community edition, on FreeBSD no less :D

    It uses DXF, and the current version has just about everything I need to draft just about anything. It even has scriptable objects, for those that want to add some 'out there' stuff.

    There is also SagCAD, which has NURBS and CAM capabilities, but QCAD has the nicer interface ( similar to AutoCAD ). Since I'm used to performing projections by hand ( mouse these days, actually ) anyways, as long as I have a good collection of precise arcs and nice measuring tools I can manage get the job done well enough.

    But I use QCAD for the actual boats and assorted mechanisms. For schematics there is also this:

    http://www.gnu.org/software/electric/electric.html

    you can add in this:

    http://ngspice.sourceforge.net/

    with one of the GUI's out there, and you can then do some open source circuit simulation.

    Happy hunting!
     
  5. Tim B
    Joined: Jan 2003
    Posts: 1,438
    Likes: 59, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 841
    Location: Southern England

    Tim B Senior Member

    Sorry, I should have been clearer. I'm interested in people's experiences with ELECTRONIC cad software.

    Cheers,

    Tim B.
     
  6. ezombie
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 14
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Chehalis

    ezombie Junior Member

    Yeah, I realized that about halfway through the post <chuckle>

    Here is a more OT reply:

    If you need something serious and open source, electric + ngspice would be the way to go. A bit of a learning curve, though. Some find it intuitive I've heard...

    I've never outgrown TinyCAD myself, and I highly recommend it for ease-of-use on the Windows platform.

    http://tinycad.sourceforge.net/index.html


    But since I've abandoned Windows, I have moved to these tools:

    http://www.geda.seul.org/index.html

    These set of apps have a good community behind them, and taken as a suite give you just about everything you could ever need. gschem is relatively straight forward and lets me hammer out a schematic in short order.
     
  7. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
    Posts: 885
    Likes: 31, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 453
    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    ezombie, did you say or mean to say that QCAD is a Free download?

    I downloaded 'Sketchup' (Google) and have not figured out how to use it yet.
    No Instructions came with it.

    I dont design for profit, I just like to draw dreams!
     
  8. mut
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 18
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: stoke

    mut Junior Member

    I use qcad at work too, its got such a small learning curve(in my opinion anyway) and its free too.
    I use ubuntu and it was right there on apt-get.

    Cheers, Tom.
     
  9. BillyDoc
    Joined: May 2005
    Posts: 420
    Likes: 18, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 266
    Location: Pensacola, Florida

    BillyDoc Senior Member

    Yup, I've used it . . . and loved it!

    Hi Tim,

    I've used the windows version of KiCad. I couldn't seem to get the Linux version to work right on SuSE . . . but then that may have been because I'm using the 64-bit openSuSE version and there are still a few bugs. Anyway, I found KiCad to be very easy to use once you get through the learning curve, and the boards I had made from the output files were quite nice. In short, I can't imagine anything you couldn't do with it, circuit-board wise. Oh, and these boards were all surface-mount, with some of the traces extremely fine. Fine enough that I was pressing against the limits of manufacturability!

    Another feature in KiCad that is extremely useful is the ability to define your own pad patterns for those weird surface mount products that everyone seems to be producing.

    Download it and give it a try! The price is certainly "reasonable."

    BillyDoc
     
  10. Tim B
    Joined: Jan 2003
    Posts: 1,438
    Likes: 59, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 841
    Location: Southern England

    Tim B Senior Member

    I don't know how good SUSE's package manager is,I run Debian and it just downloaded the *.deb file and installed like a dream.

    I have used it a few times myself. It is a fantastic bit of kit.

    Tim B.
     

  11. BillyDoc
    Joined: May 2005
    Posts: 420
    Likes: 18, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 266
    Location: Pensacola, Florida

    BillyDoc Senior Member

    Fantastic is exactly the right word. The SuSE package manager is actually quite good. I think my problem was the (new at the time) x86-64 environment . . . but then I haven't tried it in the last year or so, it could be fixed now.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.