New CAD secrets section, and list of CAD programs...

Want to design your own teardrop or tiny travel trailer. You can do that in 2D or 3D. We keep our secrets in here!


Postby TXDeerHunter » Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:06 pm

hello i am a newbie to this forum and I used SketchUP 7 free from Google. I did post some pics here of designing 6x10 cargo trailer. Need any feedback if construction is good or wrong? Will post a reply later for 12 volt system by installing since I am very new at it. Thanks and enjoy my new sketchup pics I created recently.
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Postby Thawley » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:25 am

Worth mentioning here that Autodesk has FREE educational licenses for instructors & students. I just downloaded AutoCAD 2012 for Mac with my .edu email address and that was all it took.

Signing up for a class (any class) at the local community college is a lot cheaper than the $899 the want for AutoCAD LE...
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Re: New CAD secrets section, and list of CAD programs...

Postby Junkboy999 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:03 am

I use Wings3D free and still in beta version. It is a very simple program to get the hang of. I use it for making
3d RC plane model for real RC and for a poplar RC sim program.

This is the sight.


Edit -- oops did not see the dubble thread.
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Re: New CAD secrets section, and list of CAD programs...

Postby AngusMcBagpipe » Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:26 pm

I monkey around with DraftSight
It is a 2D AutoCAD work-a-like that you can download from free (personal use). ... -software/
Made be the same people that make SoildWorks.

As an aside, I do my TD design work in 3D using Solidworks.
It has a pretty steep learning curve but is a top notch program.

Kindest Regards to you all.
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Re: New CAD secrets section, and list of CAD programs...

Postby GerryAttrick » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:19 pm

I have FreeCad and also plan to download and try LibreCad

Have not tried either yet. One problem is there are a heap of TT designs in Sketchup but so far I have not seen anyway to import that file format into any CAD programmes. If anyone has done this successfully feel free to enlighten me.
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Re: New CAD secrets section, and list of CAD programs...

Postby Munchbard » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:20 am

I’ve been personally impressed by Autodesks new offering called Fusion 360. It’s a full 3d based CAD system that has features that I’m amazed to see on a free* piece of software. The tutorials are excellent and I plan on picking up the details of this program over time. (I’m an Inventor guy myself).

There is a 30 day free trial, where if you register an account as a student/start-up/enthusiast, you can use the program indefinitely. Works on PC and Mac. ... n-360.html ... _id=662996
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Re: New CAD secrets section, and list of CAD programs...

Postby kgresham » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:15 pm

Draftsight 2017 is out there at It's pretty much a lookalike/workalike for Autocad 2013. If you're already familiar with Autocad there's no learning curve. There are good tutorials on that site also.

A simple 3D parametric modeler is Solvespace ( It's a single executable file that doesn't require installation. It looks like something out of the '90s but works. Good tutorials there also, and the author hangs around the forum.
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Re: New CAD secrets section, and list of CAD programs...

Postby Motrukdriver » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:00 am

I use Nanocad. Been using Autocad since 2.5 and Microstation 2.0. This Nanocad is very similar to Autocad so the learning curve is very shallow. There are a few differences and getting the hot keys to work the way you are accustomed is tricky but all in all it is a pretty cool program. Did I mention that there is a free version. That's the one I use. I downloaded the free trial some time back and just registered it. Still working several months later.
If we were meant to stay in one place, we'd have roots instead of feet
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Re: New CAD secrets section, and list of CAD programs...

Postby craig in SD » Sun Jun 16, 2024 5:33 am

For those familiar with 3D CAD and parametric modeling, OnShape is an excellent offering with great online tutorials. I designed my whole build in OnShape, and used it to generate drawings for parts I outsourced for CNC routing and trailer fabrication.

It is a cloud-based program that runs in your browser. So software to install at all.

It is FREE for hobbyists, the only caveat is that all your files remain publicly available. Want to make them private, you gotta sign up for a paid subscription.

Founded by some of the early Solidworks developers and better than Solidworks, in my opinion.

If you don't already know parametric 3D modelling, it might be a bit much for you unless you are interested in learning it. It is very powerful, though, if you want to learn or already use Solidworks or Fusion360.

If you didn't pay for it, you're not the customer
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