Although Edison Nation does not require submissions to include CAD drawings, professional sketches, and orthographics or even require submitted product ideas to be progressed to a point where these types of drawings are applicable, they oftentimes can be a great asset and help during product selection.
If you have been following our room5 posts than you already understand how important being “first to market” in the ASOTV industry is. Product ideas with CAD drawings, in some cases, can help streamline the development process and shorten the time it takes to get a product to market.
The thought of creating CAD drawings may seem daunting to the everyday inventor but there are a few free and user friendly solutions available to everyone that may be worth exploring:
Google SketchUp – Google SketchUp gives users an easy-to-use interface as well as easily accessible help features such as instructional videos, a community blog and self paced training guides. SketchUp can also be integrated with other Google product such as Google Earth. From landscape architecture to urban planning and product design, SketchUp is a fabulous free CAD application for professionals to hobbyists.
DraftSight – DraftSight is a very versatile 2D CAD application that comes with some attractive shortcut features such as offsetting and dimensioning. Though, perfect for beginners looking to create basic sketches, it does have certain limitations when trying to do more complex design work.
LibreCAD – This open source application features 2D drafting capabilities and is targeted for use by industrial designers and graphic artists. LibreCAD features a straightforward interface and impressive array of tools for a free program. In addition, LibreCAD offers support and documentation from a large community as well as integrated help tutorials.
Blender – Blender is considered to be a little more complex and offers a great, full-featured 3D CAD application with a wide array of tools. The interface is a little non-traditional for those that have experience in other CAD application but features a wide user base and helpful forum.
Even if you don’t have formal training in engineering or product design, CAD drawings may not be out of reach thanks to these free programs. If you feel that your product idea has progressed to the point that a CAD drawing will help us better understand your product idea and streamline the development process we would love to see it!
Do you have a favorite free CAD software that you would recommend to fellow community members? Have you had good experiences working with any of these solutions? Let us know in the comments below!