free, open source (or cheap) CAD / CAM software?


I’ve got a neat little idea in my head and I would like to start modeling it. This device will probably have a couple of moving parts but nothing too fancy. Probably no more than three interlocking parts acting on each other.

If I can’t simulate the motion, I guess I’ll be happy with just the CAD part.

Any ideas?


ps: for Windows, but if there’s something nice for Linux, I’ll install it.

I’ve used the free version of DoubleCAD before, its pretty decent for a free version, and was compatible with AutoCAD 2009 (if I’m remembering correctly from the last time I used it).

For Linux, try searching on

Google SketchUp. I don’t understand why Google keeps making cool software, but doesn’t advertise it.

I’ll second that. I’ve done entire projects using Sketch Up. It doesn’t have the Jedi powers of AutoCAD, but gawd damn it is nice to use.

I believe Google bought Sketch Up.

There are a few (somewhat specialised) offerings here: