Top 7 Free Software Tools for Engineering Students
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Engineering students need software tools to effectively complete their studies, whether it’s designing a project, analyzing data, or simulating a system. Fortunately, there are many free software tools available that can be used to complete various engineering tasks. These software tools are capable of performing complex calculations, modeling, and simulations that help engineering students to better understand the concepts they are studying. In this article, we will explore the top seven free software tools that every engineering student should know about.
Top 7 Free Software Tools for Engineering Students
Here are seven free software tools for engineering students:
SketchUp is a 3D modeling software that is easy to use and has an extensive database of user-created models available for download. It is a suite of subscription products that include SketchUp Pro Desktop, a 3D modeling Computer-Aided Design (CAD) program for a broad range of drawing and design applications, including architectural, interior design, industrial and product design, landscape architecture, civil and mechanical.
SketchUp is one of the best 3D modeling software for beginners, with an easy-to-use interface, and premium features for seasoned artists, architects, and designers. It includes drawing layout functionality, surface rendering, and supports third-party plugins from the Extension Warehouse. SketchUp Free lets home users craft 3D objects right in their browser, while SketchUp Go is the new subscription service for iPad and web.
KiCad is a free and open-source electronics design automation (EDA) suite that features schematic capture, integrated circuit simulation, printed circuit board (PCB) layout design, and more. It is an EDA software suite for the creation of professional schematics and PCBs up to 32 copper layers. KiCad’s Schematic Editor supports everything from the most basic schematic to a complex hierarchical design with hundreds of components. KiCad is available for download on its official website, and donations can be made to support the project’s development and the developers behind it.
FreeCAD is an open-source, customizable 3D modeler that helps users in mechanical engineering and product design. It is a general-purpose feature-based, parametric 3D modeler for CAD, MCAD, CAx, CAE, and PLM, aimed directly at mechanical engineering. FreeCAD is a parametric modeler that excels in all primary CAD tasks, including product design, mechanical engineering, and more. It is designed as a scriptable CAD solution, allowing users to customize the software to their specific needs. FreeCAD is available for download on its official website and is one of the best free CAD software options available. FreeCAD is a parametric 3D modeler made primarily to design real-life objects of any size.
Onshape is a cloud-based computer-aided design (CAD) software system that is delivered over the internet via a software as a service (SAAS) model. It is a full mechanical CAD platform designed for professional users and extended teams, primarily focused on mechanical CAD (MCAD) and used for product and machinery design across many industries. Onshape makes extensive use of cloud computing, with compute-intensive processing and rendering performed on internet-based servers, and users are able to interact with the system via a web browser or the iOS and Android apps.
Onshape allows teams to collaborate on a single shared design, the same way multiple writers can work together editing a shared document via cloud services. Onshape provides functionality for assembling parts in Assembly tabs and creating drawings in the Drawings tabs. Onshape is one of the top free CAD software options available for engineering students.
Tinkercad is a free web app for 3D design, electronics, and coding that runs in a web browser. It is a free-of-charge, online 3D modeling program that has become a popular platform for creating models for 3D printing as well as an entry-level introduction to constructive solid geometry in schools. Tinkercad was founded in 2011 by former Google engineer Kai Backman and his co-founder Mikko Mononen, with a goal to make 3D modeling, especially the design of physical items, accessible to the general public, and allow users to publish their designs under a Creative Commons license.
Tinkercad is probably one of the simplest and most intuitive 3D modeling tools available, and it’s free. It equips the next generation of designers and engineers with the foundational skills for innovation: 3D design, electronics, and coding. Tinkercad is available on the App Store for iOS devices. There are also tutorials available on YouTube to help beginners get started with Tinkercad.
OpenSCAD is a free and open-source software application for creating solid 3D computer-aided design (CAD) objects. It is a script-only based modeller that uses its own description language, and the 3D preview can be manipulated interactively, but cannot be interactively modified in 3D. OpenSCAD is a programmer-oriented solid-modeling tool and has been recommended as an entry-level CAD tool for designing open-source hardware such as scientific tools for research and education.
OpenSCAD is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. It is a popular, open-source application for modeling 3D objects and is suitable for experienced users. OpenSCAD documents are human-readable scripts in plain ASCII text and potentially syntactically better suited to integrate with version control systems such as GIT. There are tutorials available on websites such as All3DP to help beginners get started with OpenSCAD.
EasyEDA is a free and easy-to-use circuit design, circuit simulator, and PCB design tool that runs in a web browser. It supports direct links to more than 200,000 real-time, in-stock components at LCSC, and designers can refer to stocks, prices, and order at any time. EasyEDA allows users to build private projects, but it is also the perfect tool to build open-source hardware projects. EasyEDA has some impressive ways to share projects with others, and it has gained popularity among makers and hackers. There are tutorials available on YouTube to help beginners get started with EasyEDA, including how to design PCBs in EasyEDA software and how to download and install the full version of EasyEDA.
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In conclusion, these are the top seven free software tools that every engineering student should consider using. With the help of these tools, students can enhance their learning, improve their understanding of engineering concepts, and complete their projects efficiently.