CAD Softwares

Shameless plug for the VEX CAD discord server


The best discord server


here is a great tool for anyone to start using Onshape.

Edit: it doesn’t go over this in the videos but you need to press shift when attaching pieces to metal stock.


Fusion 360. It is easy to build with, but it also has a high skill ceiling.


Inventor’s a little trickier to learn, but is, in my opinion after having used multiple other options, probably the best choice to use for vex.


Lots of answers if you just use search bar.
Most professional CAD software has “free” (actually educational) licenses. Here’s most of them in this thread:
Best CAD Software? - #15 by kmmohn


autodesk inventor>>>>>>>


I agree. Instead of going with onshape or proto it, which have their limitations. If you are still in school OP, I would suggest inventor. You can get ur education license for it and get it free

You can email Solid works and they will give you a free student solid works license.

Fusion 360 is (relatively) light and very powerful

fusion stops working after you have 3 c-channels and a motor in the assembly lol

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I suspect that issue is very specific to you and not a feature of Fusion 360. Lots of teams build entire robots as well as far more complex things in Fusion.


I have before.

(It was a pain)

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OK. But…
A helpful reply would include what you found difficult, what spec your machine is and what you found as alternative.
Clearly the issues you have are not a specific Fusion issue but may help others when making their choices.

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Sorry about that. Yeah I have an I5 9th gen with a gtx 970. I have tried fusion ok better computers, but even they seem to freeze up. It feels to me like fusion just does not like large assemblies. I’ve heard of multiple other people who can’t get past half of their robot or something like that bc it was too slow.

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Speaking from years of experience using Fusion for VEX and school projects, Fusion is a great piece of software if you want to collaborate with team members on a design, working best if you have each sub assembly broken out as separate files. This is how I’ve used it and no other software (that I know of) has collaboration support like this. It doesn’t have real time collaboration but having everything saved in the cloud is a nice convenience, and all the extra simulation and rendering tools are handy.

That’s the only place where Fusion really shines though, it’s not the fastest or most reliable piece of software out there, and even on mine or my team mate’s relatively high end computers, it struggles significantly at times (most of the time in fact). It took a few minutes to even open Fusion on a school computer.
It loves to behave weird, crash randomly, bug out etc.
but at least it saves itself with automatic cloud saves :slight_smile:

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Interesting. Not used Fusion for a while now but used to be a workhorse, although constant mandatory updates were a pain on school machines.
So what do you use instead?

I use fusion 360, you can get an education license for free if you are a student. On the other hand that protobot software looks pretty promising, and it is free so you could check that out. There is also solidworks but while I haven’t tried it, I hear its harder to learn (because there is a lot more functions, not because its a bad program or anything)

It might be internet related issues because fusion is a cloud based software. (I rarely ever have issues on my computer) still has some bugs though

While it’s easy to complain about Fusion it has some nice features and overall it was what we were familiar with, so we just threw more computing power and patience at it :slight_smile:
For school projects Fusion never chugged but VEX part libraries have a ton of faces and sketch points which is probably the main cause.
(as for that internet comment that just popped up, it was slow no matter what kind of internet connection I had)