CAD drawing programs

3D modeling software enables the creation of objects in a three-dimensional space. It is program algorithms arrange objects based on the mathematical representation of their designs. 3D CAD modeling software adopts three virtual dimensions: height/depth, length, and depth. The better the program, the more features and functions it has. 

CAD programs are divided into two:

For example, you choose rectangle - then give it direction  and distance to stretch it to cubic- then cut some holes into the cubic- then make chamfers to cubic.

Basically they are engineering programs and very useful when doing machines, sprockets and so on (SolidEdge, SolidWorks, Autocad..) To make figures in them - like Aquaman- it takes a lot of time.

Computer requierments

Because all 3D modeling environments use shapes and figures, which usually consist of  thousands of small triangles, it sets your computer quite powerful demands. Professional programs, like SolidEdge use about 6GB of hard disk and when working about 8 GB RAM is minimal. When using simulation programs, even this is insufficient. Also some sort of graphics card is very useful. 

But smaller/beginners/online versions of programs do not need that much computing power and you can use them very well with not so powerful computer. 


Engineering CAD example.


Clay modeling example

List of some 3D CAD programs


Tinkercad is Autodesk sub-program and its 100% free online 3D design application for beginners. It is available in 18 different languages.

The software is based on a block construction- you develop your models from a set of basic shapes – cylinders, triangles, circles, cones, etc. You can move, rotate and view any shape and manipulate it.

Tinkercad also offers additional features like adding electronic circuits or writing programs. The 3D models can be saved in STL or OBJ format. It is simple program that has limitations for some designs. However, it is ideal for anyone who has no experience in 3D modeling.


FreeCAD is 3D modeling tool that is open-source and enables you to design different objects. This software is not designed for professional users and has limited features, but it is good training tool for beginners. 

Maybe it’s not the easiest software for a beginner to learn, but all the basic commands are included. 

Solid Edge

Solid Edge is a professional CAD software. It´s quite expensive for homeusers and that`s why  this is main program used in many schools. Also it´s free of charge when its educational version! You can use it like normal version (some minor disadvantages) but you cannot use this for commercial benefits.

It involves all essential 3D programming tools that are easy to learn. Also it has even simpler features and a lot of features are making it suitable for beginners as well as professionals. 

Because it's professional program, it includes various features for engineers - strength analysis, weight and other material optimizing options.

Solid edge - like other professional programs - has many tutorial videos in different levels and help forums. 

Fusion 360

Developed by Autodesk, the Fusion 360 program is a cloud-based software platform. It is primarily used for product design and 3D modeling. Cloud- based origin means that it has capability to work  online over the Internet. It also ensures manufacturing abilities with simulation and generative design tools. If you want to save your design for 3D printing, with Fusion 360 you can export it in formats such as STL or OBJ. It is one of the leading CAD software chosen by home users because of its versatility and functionality. 

Like all good thing, Fusion is free for only in trial version. But like SolidEdge, you can select Educational version.


Is very often used by professional 3D designers. This software includes a wide range of features such as design analyse tools and features for reverse engineering.  It is quite similar to SolidEdge.

Like all high-level programs, it is meant for professional users- so its little bit complicated for beginners. It also has a special file format that may be more difficult to save as .stl or .obj.  

And maybe the biggest disadvantage is that you always have to pay money for using it, even in educational version.


AutoCAD software is one of the first CAD software to be released on the market in 1982.  

Itś  basic commands are all the same, but it is not the easiest program to use for 3D modeling. It is ideal for 2D drafting- for example architects. AutoCAD is also professional software. In order to master it well you need a lot of practice.

Autocad makes more user friendly and intuitive program for homeusers also- Fusion360.


Blender is very widely spread 3D modeling software, especially for animators and graphics designers

This program is not suitable for mechanical engineering (like SolidEdge) but more modelling a face/figure- for example monkey face.  

It is free and it has many users, so it has very many tutorial videos online. 

For more info and different tutorials, look  Blender Foundation tutorials .

Like all programs, Blender also needs learning and skills to master. And because it`s open-source- it may lag and freeze sometimes. 


SketchUp can be used in many projects - from big buildings to 3D printable products.

Like other simpler 3D programs, SketchUp uses straight-line objects that user can manipulate to create new forms. For that reason it is not recommended for organic designs, like monkey heads and other figures. 

SketchUp is free for 30 days and after that you have to pay money.


It is a simple and user friendly 3D modeling software developed by Autodesk.  It allows you to manipulate, add, splice and compound models, with ease.

The program is mostly used to tweak, repair, or optimize existing 3D models, but also has sculpting and solid modeling tools built in. The tool selection is simple and basic, but can handle most of tasks.

Since Meshmixer is made for 3D printing, so it can design and repair 3D models but also add support structures, orient models, and use Meshmixer’s variety of unique optimization tools to prepare your design for printing.

You can find simple manuals in Autodesk page.

The program is completely free. Only problem is that it`s not updated anymore and some features might not work.


SculptGL is a free, open-source, browser-based sculpting program. Like most sculpting programs, it simply pops a lump of digital clay into your workspace and lets you mold it with a variety of tools called “brushes”.

It’s a very basic software that includes the sculpting essentials; brushes, texture imports, and rendering. 

Since it’s so limited, SculptGL doesn’t have a lot of tutorials. There’s a small YouTube series covering the features. It’s a good starting point to sate your curiosity for 3D sculpting.

You can also download a standalone version for offline use, but it’s exactly the same as the online one.

..and many more

There are numerous different 3D designing softwares available. Above we just mentioned some of them. 

Engineering ones (machines and simulations) and modelling ones (monkey head makers)

Like we already know, all basic commands look similar and do almost the same thing.  Please use some of  them and find what is most suitable for your needs. 

What are two main types of CAD modelling programs?

SolidEdge - most common engineering program

Below you can find some tutorial videos of basic commands and shape manipulations in SolidEdge.

Of course in CAD modeling there are many things you should consider when doing a real model, but this videos will give you overall look of how things are done in real engineering environment.

Look carefully and you see, that every command button also has a little introduction of what it does. That helpful function is included in other programs, too.

Whatever CAD program you are using they all have basically same commands and logical structure. At the beginning try to achieve skills to make basic shapes, then move on to another steps. Use save and undo functions to turn back some unwanted actions!

Because SolidEdge is professional CAD program, it is almost impossible to learn it by looking few videos. Usually you become master after many years of experience. But as we said before, all computer aided machine drawings are "almost" the same and basic commands are similar.

That`s why we made couple of videos, starting from the beginning to...   some base level 😊

All modeling programs are like cardriving.  It is easier to watch and it seems simple, but you have to feel and do things yourself. Try out different commands and very helpful are numerous videos and tutorials in internet. 

Little hint: even if professional engineer´s final file is named detailx_Version13.par.


In this video we can see, where to download Solid Edge. You can use student version but like all free programs, you cannot use that for commercial use. But for homeuser and schools and learners it is good enough.

Be aware - it is professional program, so it will use a lot of computing power. Please be sure it is compatible with your machine. (requirements)

Drawing in the video is done just learning some basic commands - line, hole, extraction....

If you start to use it professionally, you will find many other ways to do something. But you have to start somewhere, so press play and be welcome to CAD modelling world....


At this point it is clever to assume that you have downloaded somekind version of SolidEdge

And hopefully you had time to try out simple commands what were shown in previous video.

If so then you have done your first steps as skilled CAD designer! 

Now we have little bit more difficult task- draw a flange.

This time you can use tutorial video (use subtitles if necessary) and step-by-step manual. 

To make things more complicated, then Solid Edge allows you to use Synchronous technology. This allows you to make simultaneous changes (real 3D drawing) by simply selecting and dragging the parts within an assembly. 

Maybe it is little bit much at the beginning...  but if you master it, then you will be 3x faster than other standard (ordered environment) designers.

Why to use old Opel as study car...  Ferrari will be the same 😊

SolidEdge tutorial vol2


SolidEdge tutorial vol2 steb-by-step instructions!

A little help!

Here are outcomes of SolidEdge task 2. You can download them and look commands path and so on...

Also you can test your printer with it- print it out and compare measurements!! How were they?

Below is link to SolidEdge official homepage and also some official tutorials. They are in different level from beginner to expert. Try to use them! That kind of learning tutorial videos are included in every professional program homepage!

Solid Edge Quiz.pptx