Christopher Barry on 4 Aug 2016 10:29:31 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] AutoCAD alternative tools for Ubuntu and Mint

On Thu, 4 Aug 2016 08:12:59 -0400
jeff <> wrote:


I'm running Debian stretch/sid.

Of all of these packages, kedicad was new to me so I tried it. It seems
like adware/malware to me. It crashed at startup trying to start a child
process and not having permission. But it stayed visible for a minute,
and it was displaying what appeared to be ad images in the toolbar.

ERROR: #68: Cannot run child process: cannot run executable:
 Permission denied

I promptly purged it and the large set of dependencies it pulled in.

As for {Free,Libre,brl,s}cad, all of them left me wanting and frustrated
every time I've retried them. Draftsight (by SolidWorks maker) is an
absolute resource pig, and not worth using.

I have extensive experience with AutoCAD, beginning with early dos
versions up through v14 for Windows, and the dos versions were way
more performant. I've written many non-trivial lisp programs/utilities
for AutoCAD. The best acad clone I found (windows only) was IntelliCAD.
Fairly inexpensive and an exact workalike to acad. I've also used
SolidWorks and SolidThinking Evolve in the past.
Now, blender (with various addons) does everything I need to do, and
I'm currently engineering a wearable audio device with it, generating
precision stl files for my Form1+, and even producing all of the line
art for my Patent drawings.

The learning curve is a bit steep because it is so incredibly powerful,
and CAD is not it's focus, but once you invest the energy into learning
it, it is an amazing mesh modeler. Trying it is simple - just download
the tarball[1], decompress it somewhere and create a blender symlink in
your ~/bin folder pointing to the blender executable where you
decompressed it. It has all of it's dependencies taken care of. Plus
there are tons of tutorials on the Internet at places like blenderguru,
blendercookie, and just on youtube too. And of course #blender and
#blender-coders on irc. It has a great community of users sand teachers.

What's needed is a good, stable solid modeler for Linux. If SolidWorks,
or SolidThinking would produce Linux versions of their software I would
be /very/ tempted to buy one of them - even for $5k+. But I /will not/
run Windows anymore if I don't /absolutely/ have to.

I think ProE might make Linux version now, but I'm not sure. I've also
never used ProE, so not sure how good that is as a program.


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