I was considering making a cad file for our preliminary robot design, and I was wondering what the best FREE CAD software is. It would be really helpful. Just a FREE software that can import STEP files, so not SketchUp. Did I mention FREE?
Autodesk Inventor. It’s free for all students and has been the favorite in the Vex community for years.
Autodesk has a free 3-year student license for all of their products, including AutoCAD, which can import .step files, and Inventor, which is also very popular. I haven’t figured out how to import .step files in it yet, but apparently it can.
EDIT: Turns out Inventor can use .step files, and I’m just bad at it. My bad.
Inventor can import STEP files.
We use SolidWorks Student version to model our robots completely. We design allot of the parts that we 3D print there. We get the software for FREE through the team sponsorship form found below: https://www.solidworks.com/sw/education/student-design-competitions.htm
Personally, I use Inventor. It’s free for all students and has amazing capabilities. The VEX Forum also has lots of help with inventor.
I tried a couple, but the thing is, my computer has virtually no memory (like 1gb free, not much I can free up) and 2gb of RAM. I needed a program that could fit these. I ended up with Autodesk Fusion 360, and it works great. Thank You.
Inventor is probably the most easily accessible CAD program to design with. However if you use the link already posted above for SolidWorks, that would work as well. I generally endorse SolidWorks more as you’ll find down the road in your professional life and perhaps even college that SolidWorks is used more often than Inventor.