It’s been a while, but I found some free time this weekend to do a quick post. And thought I would turn my attention to posting some free alternative software to 2D and 3D program’s such as: SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, VectorWorks etc.

1. Google Sketchup

Google SketchUp is software that you can use to create, share and present 3D models. Whether you want to design redecorate your living room, invent a new piece of furniture, model your city for Google Earth. There’s no limit to what you can create with SketchUp. And when you’re done, you can export an image, make a movie or print out a view of what you made. I’ve used Google Sketchup several times for quick and simple modeling and have found it a very nice piece of kit. I think it’s strength lies with creating quick models, that don’t necessarily have to be inch perfect.

2. Blender

Blender is a free and open-source 3D computer graphics software product used for creating animated films, visual effects, interactive 3D applications or video games. Blender’s features include 3D modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging and skinning, fluid and smoke simulation, particle simulation, animating, rendering, video editing and compositing. I’ve only used Blender on a handful of times a few years back when I didn’t have 3D Studio Max at hand. There are plenty of features to produce realistic renders. Awesome for something that’s free.

3. DraftSight

DraftSight lets professional CAD users, students and educators create, edit and view DWG files. I haven’t personally used DraftSight, it was recently suggested to me by a friend of mine in Finland, but he was extremely impressed with it’s 2D capabilities, rating it very similar to AutoCAD.

4. eDrawing Viewer

The eDrawings Viewer is intended primarily for people who do not use CAD software and thus do not need to publish eDrawings files themselves. eDrawings Viewer allows convenient viewing of supported AutoCAD® DWG and DXF files and native SolidWorks® parts, assemblies, and drawings. This one is a bit different, as the name suggests, it’s more of a viewing tool, I have found it excellent at opening nearly all types of 2D  and 3D files I have been sent by clients. It does allow for simple editing, but it’s strengths lie in viewing and converting.

Well they are the main ones I have either used, or am aware of. Do you guys know of any other free ones worth a shout? Let me know below.