For those beginning to dip into CAD, FreeCAD is a good option to explore. It contains a Python interpreter, a common programming language, but does not require programming to use. The generally straightforward graphic interface makes the creation of  solid parts easy. FreeCAD is a parametric 3D modeler. Parametric modeling allows you to easily modify your design by going back into your model history and changing its parameters. FreeCAD is open source (LGPL license) and completely modular,  allowing for very advanced extension and customization.

FreeCAD makes heavy use of all the great open-source libraries that exist out there in the field of Scientific Computing. Among them are OpenCascade, a powerful CAD kernel, Coin3D, an incarnation of Open Inventor, Qt, the world-famous UI framework, and Python, one of the best scripting languages available. FreeCAD itself can also be used as a library by other programs.

FreeCAD is also fully multi-platform, and currently runs flawlessly on Windows and Linux/Unix and Mac OSX systems, with the exact same look and functionality on all platforms.

Installation

Libraries:

  • sudo apt-get install build-essential
  • sudo apt-get install cmake
  • sudo apt-get install python
  • sudo apt-get install python-matplotlib
  • sudo apt-get install libtool
  • sudo apt-get install libcoin60-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libsoqt4-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libxerces-c-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libboost-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libboost-filesystem-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libboost-regex-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libboost-program-options-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libboost-signals-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libboost-thread-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libqt4-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libqt4-opengl-dev
  • sudo apt-get install qt4-dev-tools
  • sudo apt-get install python-dev
  • sudo apt-get install python-pyside
  • sudo apt-get install libopencascade-dev
  • sudo apt-get install gfortran
  • sudo apt-get install libeigen3-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libqtwebkit-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libshiboken-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libpyside-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libode-dev
  • sudo apt-get install swig
  • sudo apt-get install libzipios++-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libfreetype6
  • sudo apt-get install libfreetype6-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libsimage-dev
  • sudo apt-get install checkinstall
  • sudo apt-get install python-pivy
  • sudo apt-get install python-qt4
  • sudo apt-get install libcoin60-doc
  • sudo apt-get install libspnav-dev

Compilation:

  • Make a directory: mkdir freecad-build
  • cd freecad-build
  • sudo cmake ../freecad (or whatever the path is to your FreeCAD source folder)
  • sudo make
  • Execute it: ./bin/FreeCAD

Source: http://www.freecadweb.org/

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