What is CAD Software?
CAD is an acronym for Computer-Aided Design. CAD software is used for designing 3D models. You can create 3D models/designs you want to print.
CAD software or 3D modeling software?
CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software is typically used when creating industrial and mechanical objects. 3D modeling software lets one create more artistic models as designs do not need to work mechanically, be functional, or fit to a real-world device. In the past, 3D modeling software has been used in film animations and video games to make original, organic creations. However, it can also be used to create 3D printable models.
Here we focus on CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software. CAD software can be very specific, it is designed to be a technical tool with functions in industrial design, mechanical design, architecture, and areas such as aerospace engineering and astronautics. A CAD (Computer-Aided Design) model will contain data like material properties, dimensions, tolerance, and manufacturing process specific information. Many CAD applications now offer advanced rendering and animation capabilities to better visualize product design.
When you choose to create a 3D printable model with CAD (Computer-Aided Design) you can save your model in the stereolithography file format (STL), the go-to CAD file format for additive manufacturing.
- Blender https://blender.org (3D modeling software)
- AutoCAD https://www.autodesk.com/products/autocad/overview
- TinkerCAD https://www.tinkercad.com/
- GrabCAD https://grabcad.com/
- FreeCAD https://www.freecadweb.org/
- BlocksCAD https://www.blockscad3d.com/
- Fusion 360 https://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/overview
- Solidworks https://www.solidworks.com/
- CATIA https://www.3ds.com/products-services/catia/
- Rhino https://www.rhino3d.com/
- OpenSCAD https://www.openscad.org/
Check out 3D Natives post about 3D modeling and CAD software.