Linux 3D CAD programs have been around a long time. This article will examine the 3 best 3D CAD programs for Linux and examine the attributes of each. Many professional developers prefer Linux and UNIX 3D programs when extreme performance is required. The following programs are considered some of the best for mechanical engineering 3D CAD modeling.
gCad3D is a 64-bit Linux 3D CAD program that also works on Windows. It was developed in Germany. The Germans have some of the best engineers in the world so it is no surprise that many of the good Linux engineering programs come from Germany. This program has tremendous capability. It has 3D openGL Viewer, GTK toolbox, Import DXF, NC Intersections, VRML and much more. The source code is available and it is licensed as freeware.
Medusa 4 has 2D, 3D and concurrent engineering capabilities. The Personal version is free and has a renewable 6-months node-locked license. You will have to pay for the commercial version. This 3D modeling CAD program for Linux is also multi-platform and can be used for design automation. It will work on Windows and the powerful UNIX platform Sun Sparc Solaris. The program is full featured and can do many things required by industry such as factory layout, data and document management, electrical, and much more. It is compatible with most common 3rd party systems. Many interfaces are available to do about anything that is required from a commercial CAD Suite.
GraphiteOne CAD is a 3D CAD for Linux used for the mechanical design of 3D models and 2D drawings. GraphiteOne CAD uses Parasolid, a modeling kernel invented by UGS PLM Components. It is a commercial program and has a trial version for free evaluation. GraphiteOne install options include DEB, RPM and DMG.
These 3D CAD programs for Linux are for use by mechanical engineers and some have electrical drawing ability. There are many Linux 3D CAD programs for architectural engineers available but most use German specifications. It would be better to find an American program, that can be upgraded, for architectural use since it will have US codes and specs built in. It can then be kept up to date with any new codes.
All CAD programs have a large learning curve. In order to be efficient in producing cad designs it is best to learn how to use most of the tools and features of the program before beginning work. These 3 3d CAD programs for Linux will serve well for most purposes. Using Linux as the platform helps keep the focus on productivity instead of computer maintenance. Linux makes life easier and moves the design process along at a much faster pace.