I’ve found a source with a ton of CAD utility recommendations.
Many Fabbaloo readers are also users of CAD software, which is used to create the incredible designs required for successful 3D printing. There are many different CAD tools, each focusing on different aspects of design, and everyone tries to use the right tool for the job.
But even though most of the CAD tools we frequently use are quite powerful and comprehensive, they don’t always provide all of the functionality we need to complete our design work. I’m sure you’ll agree that your workflow occasionally, or even often, requires you to jump out of CAD and use other tools.
But what are the best tools?
The editors at Cadalyst, a publication focused on CAD tools, surveyed their user base to obtain recommendations for these types of tools, and they collated all the recommendations into a 17-page downloadable document.
The document is broken down into sections focusing on particular functions that are typically required by their readers beyond normal CAD functions. Even better, all of the tools recommended are free or “near-free” in cost. Every recommendation is accompanied by a brief statement from one of their readers who has used that tool.
Areas of focus include:
PDF management tools (11 recommended)
Unit converters (4)
File & Text utilities (9)
Mobile tools (6)
Imaging tools (12)
AutoCAD tools (11)
CAD Manager tools (7)
BIM tools (3)
Sketching & Modeling (8)
Analysis, Visualization & Communication tools (11)
And there’s also a host of other pointers to repositories with countless other options. I found this to be a terrific way to identify quite a few tools I was unaware of, although there were many that were familiar, too.
You can download the full document from Cadalyst, but you’ll have to supply your contact information and be placed on their mailing list. However, that’s a small price to pay for these recommendations.