LDCad vs SnapCAD

Which do you recommend for VexIQ and why? Have some teams interested in learning.

I am a 20 year Solid Edge user, so both don’t mesh well with my old habits!

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I have tried both and I have found LDCadVEX to be far superior to SnapCAD. I tried SnapCAD and didn’t get further than CADing the drivetrain because it was so clunky. I think that SnapCAD is way older than LDCadVEX, so that has a lot to do with it. Here’s what I think the pros and cons of each are:


  • Provides four different views of the robot


  • Takes more resources than LDCadVEX
  • Is much harder (for me at least) to learn and use
  • Weird system for adding parts
  • User interface is overall pretty clunky (to me at least)


  • Looks much nicer than SnapCAD
  • Easier to learn and use (In my opinion)
  • Takes less computer resources
  • Is much less jumpy when changing the view around the robot
  • More functionality (with cables, rubber bands, etc.)
  • Much easier system for adding parts
  • User interface is overall pretty smooth


  • Can be a little confusing at first
  • Often tries to snap parts incorrectly (can be solved by putting pins in the holes before attaching the piece though because it likes to snap to pins)

This is just my two cents, but I hope this helps! Also, here’s a poll for this:

  • I use LDCadVEX
  • I use SnapCAD
  • I use something else
  • I don’t CAD
0 voters

Hard agree on LDCad over SnapCAD - in addition to all the features Joseph mentioned, LDCad also has great tools for modeling flexible components like string, cables, chain, and rubber bands, which isn’t really possible in SnapCAD.

LDCad has its quirks, which do take a bit of time to get used to, but once you do (which happens pretty quickly), you’re able to model things quite quickly and easily.


Any good resources for learning how to use LDCad for Vex?

I haven’t found any YouTube tutorials that I found easy to use as a teaching tool.

Can you make sub assemblies (like a wheel, shaft, sprocket and spacer combo, where you can easily drop the completed assembly in your top model 4 times?

Yes to all of those. You can also do chain (even chain triangles), rubber bands, etc. I figured it out in just a few hours, and used this to help me with more complex stuff. I’m sure there’s other resources out there too. You can DM me if you want to organize a meeting so I can show you how it all works if that would work better.


There aren’t a whole lot of resources on LDCad. And there is little to none about LDCad for IQ, but the normal LDCad resources online, although they are for lego CADding, will be able to get you to do build some robots.

Yep! I figured it out!!! (Most of this is explained in the link @FRC973 sent, but I’ll explain it here anyway)

First, in your main model, click this button at the top:
then, name the sub-model (it will end with the .ldr extension).
then, if you want to use the submodel in the main model, go back to your main model by clicking the current model name in the top right corner (or press the END key while your cursor is in the editing area)
then, go to “Main Group” in the parts directory (should look like this)

then, click this in that menu:
then, you have a few options:
I recommend trying them all out and seeing which one works best, but basically you go into one of the menus, and you will see the submodels of that category, you can then drag it into your main file (as many times as you want) as if it were a normal part. From what I understand, you can also make submodels of submodels and navigate through those using the “All parts used in the current model (recursive)” category.

I hope that helped!

super epic youtube tutorial???


I don’t CAD but the general consensus is that SnapCAD is pretty bad. I do not think CAD is necessary for IQ because it is relatively easy to try things out.

I agree that for VEX IQ, CAD is pretty unnecessary to do before building. I do it after it is built only so that if I ever want to build it again, I can easily do it.


I beg to differ. It looks very nice in notebooks, and it can help you brainstorm ideas right as the game comes out. At our school, we do not get to start building until the school year starts because all of our pieces are at the school. I am on a VRC team, but my brother is in IQ, and we both can’t get parts until the school year starts. Just my opinion though.


:b:ruh when you make a topic about a topic brought up in another topic 9 months later

Anyway, I do agree that in most cases, CADding before building in IQ is unnecessary, there are some outlying cases. For example; you do not have your parts on hand, but would like to start designing a robot. Another good use of CAD in IQ is to show off your robot after you’ve fully taken it apart.


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