2D CAD software for Mac. Cheap or free.
October 1, 2013 4:42 AM   Subscribe

This is my need: 2D drawing software for Mac that can output in a format suitable for commercial laser cutting devices.

Working in 2D flat plate: I need to develop various 2D models of bicycle related componentry, and send the output to a commercial laser cutter. I'm assuming that .dwg and .dxf are the most common formats. Any suggestions for software for someone who doesn't have a background in industrial design, but wants to turn some ideas into reality?
posted by tim_in_oz to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
QCAD/LibreCAD; the latter is a free fork of the former. They are both very traditional drafting packages (think AutoCAD around r10 or so), but they work.

QCAD has a cheap upgrade path to QCAD Professional, which gives you support and rapid updates.
posted by scruss at 4:57 AM on October 1, 2013

Inkscape is a free vector-based design package, more like adobe illustrator than a cad program. Depending on your experience, you may find it easier to use than QCAD.
posted by moonmilk at 5:14 AM on October 1, 2013

I've used Inkscape to produce art for cutting on laser & knife systems. I've never had to massage Inkscape's native SVG format to produce CAD files, but there appears to be a bunch of "Save As" formats, including DXF.
posted by spacewrench at 8:11 AM on October 1, 2013

If you are a student, AutoCAD is free.

Also, the OSX beta of Rhinoceros is free to Mac users while they work on a stable release.
posted by rensar at 8:46 AM on October 1, 2013

Draftsight is essentially a clone of Autocad 14.
posted by drwelby at 8:37 AM on October 2, 2013

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