modified 1999-04-09.

This is just something I threw together, on the state of some of the free CAD systems, that I thought you might find useful. Comments?


Related pages:


Database of FreeDesigners

Other people interested in programming a CAD application:

Related Links

(probably should be split up between "information about designing a CAD" and "information about companies that sell CAD systems")


appears to be available for $500 in a "full service distribution" and for free via FTP with "no support".

Misc unsorted includes link to "free CAD tools", mostly electronics related.

SoftSource Netscape plug-ins, one for dynamically viewing AutoCAD drawings (DWG files) ... and the other for files in SVF (Simple Vector Format), which, in addition to dynamic viewing, features HTML hyperlink navigation. "download a working demo version"

Overview CAE-Systems (PC based) mailto:CADAdmin (at) E-Technik.TU-Ilmenau.DE

freeCAD resource: AutoCad DXF format.

  • FreeDesigner project "FreeDesigner is intended to be a fully extendable Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CAD) application for Linux and other Unix type operating systems. FreeDesigner is open and Free software under the GNU Public License (GPL)." OpenGL and DirectX info for GNU/Win32

    MindsEye "GPL ... a complete modeling/animation package for the LINUX operating system. ... Object oriented modeling ... you can inherit from a sphere" [FIXME: tell FreeCAD]


    Mentor Graphics Corporation Wilsonville, OR. HDL; PCB/MCM layout tools.

    From: Jerry Isdale/Sysop, 72662,410
    To: Fred Hebbel, 72120,1342
    Topic: OO VR
    Msg #18347, reply to #18338
    Section: VR Code Workgroup [4]
    Forum: Cyber
    Date: Wed, 1994 Feb 16, 08:08:07


    I've been using OO type stuff for years, but rarely in a full OO language. I learned smalltalk back in 83 on a Xerox box, then xfered some of the concepts into design of C libraries. It wasnt the same, but it sure made for better C libraries!

    The class-instance form of OO design is pretty good for designing the code objects, but it forces a lot of oddities on the world designer when you start creating virtual objects. for instance A car has wheels, but the wheels shouldnt inherit most of the functions of a Class:Car (Class:Vehicle). Mostly they are interested in the geometric arrangement with the car and its physical properties (speed, moment, etc). Basically, there are two different OO structures - one defining the objects and functions in the program, another for the objects in the world. It is a semantic problem that the term 'object' gets heavily overloaded here with very different meanings. Both are highly applicable to graphic programming but in different ways. It is hard to keep them seperate and dangerous to confuse them. Sometimes I like to call the virtual world inhabitants 'entities' instead of objects. That also implies they have more complex responsive behaviors, perhaps using a production system (rules). I think it is important for OO people to be exposed to other methods of OO than the class-instance stuff. There are a number of variations, many of which are much more applicable to certain problems. Sorta like knowing a couple different languages, so you know if you have a big string processing program to write, you dont use FORTRAN <g>.

    I'll have to go dig out the Brown articles in Siggraph (91 An Object Orriented Framework for Integration of Interactive Animation Techniques). They had a good description and reasoning behind why Delegation was used for the virtual entities. Also ref'd some papers in the OOPSLA conference proceedings from a few years earlier. Hmm, its several paragraphs long. too much to type in this AM. Can you locate it?


    Date: Tue, 21 Apr 1998 00:53:08 +0000
    From: C R Johnson <>
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    To: Open Designer mailing list <>
    Subject: ANNOUNCE: FREEdraft v0.3 released
    X-Mailing-List: <> archive/latest/410
    Precedence: list
    Resent-Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 17:54:07 -0700
    Status: U
    Just a note you let you'all know that today -  4/20 :}  - I
    upped the version of my drafting program to 0.3
    The major new features include:
    - Save and recall of models
    - Color and linestyle editing
    - Trimming, cutting, and extrapolation of segments and arcs
    - New construction function
    - Geomlib2d builds as a shared library
    Check out the URL in my sig for more info.
    have a great day.
    + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
    +                 C R Johnson                     +
    +  +
    +   Truth - Reason - Justice - Freedom - Linux    +
    + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
    TO UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THIS MAILING LIST: e-mail the word "unsubscribe" to
    Trouble?  e-mail to

    Parametric Technology Corporation commercial parametric 3D modeling tool. Claims to be "fun". ``"The Monkeywrench Conspiracy" is a 3D video game that makes it easy and entertaining to get familiar with using thinkdesign.''

    I hear that Zyvex uses the commercial CAD product SolidWorks 98 .

    Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 10:20:45 +0900 (JST)
    Subject: Re: Future of list
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    X-Mailing-List:  archive/latest/574
    Precedence: list
    Resent-Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 18:20:51 -0700
    Status: U
    Brian wrote,
    > Well, I kept hoping that the opendesigner project would turn out some
    > software, but all the good ideas seem to have faded into silence, and
    > there's no code to be found. =( I can't remember when the last message
    > passed through the list -- perhaps the project coordinators could speak
    > up?
     I did some modification for GCAD3D.
    The code can be found at <>
    There are lots of things to do. But you can use it as a start point.
    GCAD3D needs Mesa, GTK and gtkglarea. My version can be compiled by C++,
    while original version can be compiled by C.
    Masa Uc^ida Masatomo,Hidaka,Saitama,Japanio
    TO UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THIS MAILING LIST: e-mail the word "unsubscribe" to
    Trouble?  e-mail to


    Started: 1997 Dec 15.
    Original Author: David Cary.
    Current maintainer: David Cary.

    Return to index

    Send comments, suggestions, bug reports to
    David Cary