If you’re looking to start or are new to designing and are wondering where to start from, here are the 10 best free CAD software for beginners. In this article, we’ll help you choose the CAD software that most suits your needs, is easy to use, and is free so that you can have a smooth experience learning how to work CAD softwares.
First, you should know CAD stands for computer-aided design and is a computer technology that designs something and records the design’s process. The CAD may facilitate the making procedure by transferring comprehensive diagrams of a product’s materials, strategies, tolerances, and measurements with particular conventions for the merchandise in question. You can read more about it here.
There are thousands of 3D modeling softwares available out there, and even as a beginner, you can direct your choice by knowing which features you want to work with. Would you rather have a parametric or direct modeling software? Would you prefer for it to be cloud-based or downloadable? All that will be specified in this article and will help you choose the best free CAD software for beginners so you can start your journey as a designer.
SolidFace is a free, easy, cloud-based CAD modeling and drafting software. If you’re looking to manage your data, our cloud-based software can help you out. You can store and check your data via the Internet, making sure you don’t lose your work and progress. Every modification made by every user is captured and recorded and can be reversed at any time, providing unlimited undo/redo and a documented audit trail.
It is an easy software to use that allows companies to build models with 3D & 2D visuals in architecture, engineering, product design, simulation to 3D printing, and other industries. SolidFace has a very large component library that contains pre-made components of easier use and gives the user the option to work with projects that are already there. That gives you the option to study and understand more about the tools and software from scratch. It also provides project management tools, configuration management, and collaboration tools that remain unmatched.
Our easy CAD software uses 3D simulations, exploded view, and direct modeling tools that enable users to get a real-life view of the whole model and every single component. It even allows you to edit or align components. The parameterization capability is one of the most significant advantages of SolidFace, and it is present in all design steps. It was created for beginners, intermediate and advanced users.
For all those reasons, we believe SolidFace is the best free CAD software for beginners. You can download it for free HERE.
You can also access our Youtube Channel, where we provide free tutorials on how to use our software. That will help make your experience even easier and simpler.
Google created this browse-based software in 2010. ThinkerCAD was developed by the company with the goal to make designing more accessible and easier for newbies to learn and start their design careers in a simpler way. Later on, the software was bought by software giant AutoDesk.
ThinkerCAD is perfect for education and is the most used 3D modeling software in schools and classes all over the world. With just that, you can tell this is one of the best free CAD software for beginners, but here is some more valuable information about the system.
Being browser-based means, you don’t need to download the software into your computer, saving you time and data storage. It runs on any device or browser, and it even has an app you can download to your smartphone or tablet.
The CAD has a user-friendly, intuitive server, making its learning curve one of the shortest out there. ThinkerCAD uses a block-building concept with basic operations of 3D modeling. Basically, you can use primitive shapes such as cubes, spheres, and pyramids and reshape them into complex 3D objects. Besides that, pre-set polygons and even 3D lego pieces are available to use.
Another great feature provided by ThinkerCAD is their Gallery of Things, which is a library with thousands of 3D models made by the software’s users. You can use the already done pieces as a base to your project, making the process even easier. When you’re done, you can add your own 3D model to the database and help someone else in the future.
Besides that, the software has a laser cutting tool and allows you to connect to your 3D printer and print your design easily.
Specially made for education, BlocksCAD is a block-based interface program. The software is cloud-based, which can help you save data storage and can be accessed from any device.
BlocksCAD was developed with a specific aim, which is for learning 3D designers. It is Mostly used in schools and encourages computer thinking, coding concepts, and designing models to be 3D printed. This software is one of the best free CAD software for beginners with a user-friendly, easy-to-work server.
The CAD provides colorful, easy-to-work-with blocks for you to create your 3D models. Just like ThinkerCAD, it has its own free gallery available, where you can get already done models to use as a base to create your own. The software gives you a lot of freedom to change, transform and edit the already existing models available. Plus many features that allow you to design your own project from scratch.
BlocksCAD allows you to export your project to STL files, making it easy for you to 3D print them. Another great thing is that the software offers extensive tutorials on the basics of 3D printing and how to apply that using their software.
4. 3D Builder
Created to run on Windows, 3D Builder works on PC’s desktops and other Microsoft platforms such as Xbox One, Windows Hololense, and Windows mobile. The software has a very simple interface that anyone can use, making it one of the best free CAD software for beginners.
Following ThinkerCAD and BlocksCAD steps, 3D Builder also has a free gallery available. As we already explained, the gallery is a server where you can access and use 3D models that other users already designed. It also allows you to edit and transform the model, making it easier for beginners.
3D Builder also allows you to 3D print the models you create or download. Even though it doesn’t have many file options available, it still allows you to print in STL, OBJ, and 3MF formats.
The software has a touchscreen interface that provides an immersive experience to the user, by allowing the editing and modification of files. Another great feature provided by 3D Builder is a dedicated mobile app that allows you to use your device’s camera to scan an object and turn it into a 3D model.
5. 3D Slash
Perfect for people with zero experience in 3D designing and even kids, 3D Slash has some features that are specially made for school and educational purposes. That already tells that this is one of the best free CAD software for beginners available.
What sets 3D Slash apart is that it works more like a building game than s CAD software. When developing the system, the creators surely knew that they wanted to make a software that wasn’t intimidating to newbies, as it was inspired by the game Minecraft.
They succeeded! 3D Slash creates a fun, interactive, easy-to-work-with 3D world, with access to basic features in an intuitive way. The software’s creations aren’t limited to simplicity as it allows you to sculpt shapes and manipulate models easily. The software can produce complex 3D models even with its simple-looking server.
Plus, you can upload and trace a snap to transform real-world stuff into 3D models. 3D Slash allows you to import and modify already existing 3D designs, create your own from scratch with an array of tools, and print them using STL or OBJ files. As if that wasn’t enough, the software allows you to create in 0.1mm of resolution, making the print accurate and precise.
6. 3D Crafter
Developed by Amabilis Software, 3D Crafter is an intuitive, easy-to-work-it server. Being one of the best free CAD software for beginners, it allows you to create complex 3D models even though you’re still learning.
The main features of 3D Crafter are creating drawings and animating scenes and 3D objects. Those can be an amazing way to start off in designing. Plus, it has a drag-and-drop approach, making it a unique software. This approach allows you to do 3D modelings and animation scenes that can seem very hard and complicated to produce in a much simpler way.
Another great thing is the software’s shape-building tools. They allow you to position the shapes from one frame to another to create animated scenes. You can distribute the 3D models you create in 3D Crafter once you export them to an AVI file.
The platform has tutorials avaible, making the experience even easier.
Leopoly is a browser-based software that provides a cloud-based server, being great for those looking to save data storage and access the material they create from any device. The business solution part of this software is paid, but if you are looking to get started in the 3D modeling field, this is one of the best free CAD software for beginners.
The software allows you to create your models from scratch, import models that already exist, or modify the ones found in their free gallery. Having the gallery feature, Leopoly is great for newbies, helping with accessibility and making the creation of designs easier.
It has an easy-to-use, user-friendly server but can be suitable for all skills levels, which means you can keep using this free software even when your 3D modeling abilities improve.
Providing different tools like product configuration, a great collection of editing tools, VR features, a nice amount of benefits, and an excellent produced design, Leopoly can be a great choice to start your career in 3D designing.
In the market for over 20 years, SketchUp is a 3D computer-aided drawing (CAD) software. Known for its simple and easy-to-work-with platform, it enables users to grasp its way very quickly.
The program is mostly used for architectural design, but it can also make robots, 3D printable objects, interior, furniture, and landscape designs. That is great because it makes the software suitable for makers, designers, engineers, and so on. For those reasons, it is one of the best free CAD software for beginners out there.
Just like ThinkerCAD, SketchUp has a much shorter learning curve than most 3D CADs out there. It has an easy-to-use interface that doesn’t overload the user with too many pieces of information.
Another thing is that the software allows you to choose a template before you start your creation. The templates make it easier to create your design since it provides you with a lot of guidance as you advance your project.
Besides that, SketchUp is popular for its 3D warehouse. That is a huge library of pre-built 3D models that users can import into their projects, making design simpler and faster.
SketchUp has 3D modeling features for individual users, cloud storage, and modeling viewing. You can easily export and share creations, plus it allows you to 3D print your models. The software can be suitable for all skills, so you can keep using it as you advance.
A little different than the other options, LibreCAD is mostly made for 2D projects. Open-source, the software is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. If you’re just starting out with design, this can be a great choice since it will help you with the basics.
Another thing that sets LibreCAD apart is the fact that a third-party community develops it. That means you can help develop the platform too! It’s a great thing because the community keeps the software up to date since it’s very easy to edit and add features, but it won’t give you the same support business as a proprietary CAD would.
On LibreCAD, you can elaborate drawings, 2D draftings, or 2D projects for laser cutting purposes. It has features such as snap-to-grid for drawing, layers, and measurements.
The software does offer 3D features, but they are limited and not nearly as developed as the 2D ones. Plus, it won’t allow you to convert your project to STL files, 3D diagrams, or OBJ files.
10. Wings 3D
Developed and improved actively since 2001, Wings 3D is a open-source modeling software that has an accessible interface, making it one of the best free CAD software for beginners.
The software is easy to navigate through and makes complicated things such as welding, cutting, sculpting, briding, and bending parts simple, even if you’re a beginner.
Even though it is very suitable for inexperienced users, it has a wide range of advanced tools. That allows you to keep using the software as you enhance your designing skills.
Wings 3D comes with powerful 3D modeling tools, a customizable user interface, and a built-in auto UV mapping facility that makes it easier for you to add texture to your model.
Another great tool that sets Wings 3D apart is the context-sensitive menu. This time-saving tool makes so when you right-click your mouse in different sections, it gives you different options based on what you’re most likely to use.