What is the most ideal Linux CAD software for an Engineering student?

I’m a Mech Engg student from Kenya, going on with classes right now and was wondering about a good CAD software I can use on my Linux system.

Hello and welcome!

I’m not a cad user, but a quick glance tought me this:

Some of them are mentioned above, but have others in the list as well:

Which is best? I honestly wouldn’t know. But it can’t hurt to install and try a few and see what comes closest to what you want.
Maybe others can chime in with their experience?

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I think realistically, what you want is best run inside a VM, or maybe do a dualboot to Windows. Not to discourage you but CAD is one of Linux’s weakness (along with Office and Photoshop alternatives) mainly because software vendors outright refuse to support them or at the very least not get in the way of running in a Wine compatibility layer

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I don’t have much CAD experience but MarkOfCain wrote a good piece about openSCAD, looks very approachable.

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The challenge with openSCAD is that it’s totally code based. There’s no GUI interface that allows you to click an icon of a geometric shape and drag it to your specifications. You have to start with coding a geometric shape (albeit, it is very simple to do so) and then position that shape in the 3d space – again with code. What I like about it is that it’s by nature totally parametric – meaning I can set the size and positions with variables and easily modify the drawing with pin-point accuracy by changing the variables (with is bliss if you’re a coder).

You have to know the limitations of this program. I can readily generate components of standard geometric shapes. This would be a nightmare of a program to use if you want to design a complex amalgamation of objects like a vehicle.

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Unless you’re a prodigy, I don’t think you’re going to get through classes with openscad. We had to use Solidworks back in the late 2000s and I’m sure schools probably use similar.

Edit: @MarkofCain got in there before I did with words I agree with.

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I agree. CAD software is dominated by AutoCAD and Solidworks. I’ve used AutoCAD and Solidworks . I prefer Solidwork but . His school will generally pick one of those two. The majority of companies will use one of those and proficiency in their use is a must for MSEE

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I actually got a script to run Fusion360 on linux flawlessly, the only problem is that fusion360 lacks in some areas compared to autocad and Solidworks

Yes, most of my classmates use autocad

Thank you, let me try a few out and stick with my favourite :slightly_smiling_face:

This might be a downside as I’m barely knowledgeable in code.

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Yeah, plus I’m the only one in my class running linux😅

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