VariCAD 2012 CAD Software Sale ends December 28th, 2011If you are in the market for an affordable 2D and 3D CAD software package for personal, hobby, or professional use, give VariCAD 2012 a look now while VariCAD is offering a 20% off sale through December 28, 2012, for either the Linux or Windows version, and for versions including one-year of upgrades and support.
This super-affordable software (especially compared to the "big name" 3D CAD packages like AutoCad and SolidWorks), is very robust and still simple enough to use that a novice can pick it up in little time (like I did). It can produce some fantastic 3D renderings too (from their samples gallery):
As you can see, it can be quite useful for prototyping mechanical objects and personal inventions visually. I tend to focus on the 3D-aspects of the software (because that is how I think about the objects I am creating), but the 2D CAD features are also plenty impressive also.
My Own VariCAD Use / ExperienceI have been much more productive putting my product-ideas down "on the computer" instead of "on paper" (where they tended to be illegible a few weeks later).
My visual-brainstorming has led to some interesting creations (in wood, metal, and carbon-fiber) that I would otherwise not have attempted building -- especially the carbon-fiber inventions, since the material is expensive and I do not want to waste any! The 3D modeling in VariCAD lets me see how parts interact BEFORE I commit to building something (and, I can tweak my design without wasting materials).
In a prior blog about VariCAD, I posted a rendering of some 3D HVAC-ducting layout that I created with VariCAD on Windows -- this design visualization helped me a great deal with what was a complex geothermal heating-system upgrade where new trunk-lines had to be installed in an existing home while working around various obstacles.
Note: you can always try the software (before buying)... just download the trial from VariCAD.com; if you like it, save some money and buy a license while it is on sale!