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A mechanical simulation in SolveSpace
2.3 / December 24, 2016
|Operating system||Windows, Linux, Mac|
|License||GNU GPL 3+|
SolveSpace is a free (libre) and open-source 2D and 3D CAD (computer-aided design) program. It is a constraint-based parametric modeler with simple mechanical simulation capabilities. Version 2.1 onward runs on Windows, Linux and macOS. It is developed by Jonathan Westhues and a community of volunteers.
- Modeling 3D parts – Draw with extrudes, revolves, and Boolean (union / difference) operations
- Modeling 2D parts – Draw the part as a single section, and export as a DXF, PDF or SVG; use 3D assembly to verify fit
- Preparing CAM data – Export 2D vector art for a waterjet machine or laser cutter; or generate STEP or STL, for import into third-party CAM software
- Mechanism design – Use the constraint solver to simulate planar or spatial linkages, with pin, ball, or slide joints
- Plane and solid geometry – Replace hand-solved trigonometry and spreadsheets with a live dimensioned drawing
SolveSpace is free software distributed under GPLv3. Files to open need to be in its own text-based SolveSpace Models (*.slvs) format. Various export formats are provided, including 2D vector drawing as DXF, EPS, PDF, SVG, HPGL, STEP; 3D wireframe as DXF and STEP; triangle mesh as STL and Wavefront OBJ; and NURBS surfaces as STEP.
A brief review and interview with the developer appeared in Libre Graphics World in 2013. This review praises SolveSpace for its small executable file size, its advanced constraints solver and range of output formats. The same review notes some drawbacks, mainly its slow and limited processing of NURBS booleans and lack of native Linux support. However, native Linux support has since been added.
A previous software package called SketchFlat, also developed by Westhues, has been replaced by SolveSpace.
- Prokoudine, Alexandre. "SolveSpace 2D/3D CAD software released under terms of GPL". Libre Graphics World, June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
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