Maybe you’ll be the next great designer with freeCAD

screenshot of freeCAD

freeCAD is a basic 3-D CAD application, that allows you to try your hand at computer aided design without having to pay a fortune for the privilege. If you're planning to take on General Motors or Boeing, this is probably not the tool for you, but if you want a basic introduction to the electronic version of the drafting board and T-square, you can't beat this price.

freeCAD allows you to execute mechanical drawings, as you would expect a CAD app to do. In addition, you can also animate your work. If you design a cam shaft, you can make it rotate, and actuate a cam follower or rocker arm. With a bunch of example assemblies included, you should be able to get started quickly in creating and animating your own inventions. The publisher's website has an extensive set of video tutorials that walk you through the process of creating, fine-tuning, and animating your drawings.

freeCAD is available for Linux, MacOS, OS X, Windows, and several flavors of UNIX.

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