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The applications of the CAD software have been increasing in the last few years or so, hence their popularity has been increasing. The CAD software helps in increasing the productivity of the designer, and reduce designing time, cost, and project completion time. There are number of other advantages offered by the CAD software.
Most of the CAD software are very expensive. For instance, one of the most popular CAD software, AutoCAD 2009, costs more than $3000. For a number of engineering designing professionals and firms this can be a major cost to incur. Fortunately, now a number of free CAD software are also available on Internet. To download and install free CAD software you don’t have to pay anything. Though these software may not be as advanced as the costlier ones, they have a number of features that are good enough for a number of designing professionals and firms.
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Types of CAD Software
There are two types of CAD software:
1) Proprietary CAD software: These are software which are licensed to the companies that have developed them. Some of these CAD software are AutoCAD by Autodesk, CATIA by Dassault Systèmes, Pro/ENGINEER by Parametric Technology Corporation, Solidworks by SolidWorks Corp. etc. To use these software you have to pay to certain amount to these companies.
2) Open source CAD software: The source code of these CAD software is available freely for making any changes. The open source CAD software are free CAD software that can be used without paying anything to the person or company that has developed the software. We have earlier seen a number of open source software being made available free, like Open Office, Firefox, Linux, Scribus, Paint.net etc. Now even open source free CAD software are available. Some of these software are: KiCAD, TinyCAD etc.
There are some proprietary CAD software that are available freely for download and use, some of these are: A9CAD, bCAD, CADMAX, CADStd and others. Some of the free CAD software are the shareware in which you can use only certain specific features of the software for free, but if you want to use all the features of the software, you have to purchase it.
In the next few articles we will see short review of some free CAD software.