RES.16-002 | January IAP 2024 | Non-Credit

How to CAD Almost Anything

Free Alternatives to Proprietary CAD Software

Below, Andy G. Eskenazi discusses the feasibility of using free and open-source alternatives to SolidWorks, the proprietary CAD software on which the workshop “How to CAD Almost Anything” was based.

For better or for worse, SolidWorks is not a free software. Hence, someone wanting to learn how to CAD in SolidWorks would need to acquire a license, generally made available free of charge at many universities.

As it was the software I learned back in undergrad and also a software widely used in industry, I saw merit in creating the initial iteration of the “How to CAD Almost Anything” workshop specifically for SolidWorks. However, though the software itself is not open-access, the workshop can at least be followed for free, and can be useful in situations where SolidWorks licenses are available but no class to teach the software exists (as often happens in industry or at some universities). Based on my experience dealing with other CAD softwares such as Fusion 360, Inventor, SiemensNX, and OnShape [all of which offer free trial accounts or free educational accounts], I do believe that the skills learned in SolidWorks are quite transferable, so the workshop sessions could help navigate those to some extent.

However, to truly make “How to CAD Almost Anything!” 100% open-access, this spring (2024) I’m working on yet another series of video sessions specific to Fusion 360, and eventually this coming Summer 2024 I’m hoping to do the same with OnShape. So stay tuned for many YouTube videos to come!

Course Info

As Taught In
January IAP 2024
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Lecture Videos