Alternate CAD programs

My team doesn’t have computers powerful enough to run autodesk inventor. We are trying to get a grant to get better computers but until we get the and or if we don’t get it at all what are some good alternatives? Also, I have blender, are there any good programs to convert the VEX CAD parts into a file format usable for blender?

I use google sketchup, which is a free CADing program made by google. You can get all the Vex parts in Sketchup format form the “3D warehouse” and you can export the CAD drawing as high quality images for your journal if you want. I’m very familar with sketchup and would be glad to post the robots i have CADed so you can use them if you want. :slight_smile:

You can try using an older version of inventor. Most of the new versions after and including 2013 did not add anything important in my opinion. Try using the oldest version as it was designed for the computer you most likely have.

There are also some nice CAD software’s for Linux that would probably be able to survive on lower specs better than autodesk products.

My team uses Solidworks a lot, but I know that that is usually very harsh on computers. I agree with what someone else said about Sketchup. My teacher says that Sketchup goes easier on computers. Not as intensive. And it’s free. :slight_smile:

I’ve used sketch up before, and it definitely is a good option if you can’t use a program like inventor. It’s pretty easy to learn, and can work on basically any browser.

I’ll be sure to try that.

I remember looking at the specs of the oldest version and there was one thing that my desktop couldn’t match (screen resolution I think) but I should check again and I don’t think I have checked for my dad’s laptop.

hmmm, linux, I program on on my dad/mentor’s laptop and he always complains about how he hates windows after 3.1 maybe I can convince him to switch or at least dualboot :D. heck while were at it I’ll sneak in android x86 and make it a triple boot.

If screen resolution is not met, everything should still work fine.
FYI I ran Inventor 2012 on a vista laptop with 2.5 gb or ram, and an Intel 32 bit Pentium processor. It was slow, but worked.

In most cases for large designs (such as robots) ram is the limiting factor because it needs to hold the design in memory. If you have a smaller processor, it will just take longer to do image moves and such

I use a 169 dollar PC to run inventor 2013, and although it crashes after about 200 parts, it holds basic design needs. It’s just a bit more hassle, but you can definitely run it. Remember small tricks like taking out the guts of motors, cortexes and other stuff to increase processing speed, and ground parts and delete constraints, stuff like that. Inventor 2013 or even 2012 will serve all your assembling needs. New features in 14 or 15 emphasize individual part developing rather than assembling.

Go check out Jordan’s Library-- it’s 2012 parts, but you’ll manage to work it out by downloading a few new parts you need.

ok, looking the system requirements of 2013 the only things that laptop I want to use is screen resolution (which you say isn’t that important anyways) and CD-ROM. But the CD-ROM is just for installation from a CD meaning I shouldn’t need it if I download the program right? If this isn’t the case I have an old drive from an old laptop and I could buy this for a few bucks and I’ll be fine.

I could even do 2014 for less than 500 parts.