Open-source CAD software can be defined as software that can be used, copied, studied, modified, and redistributed without any restrictions. Any software that is accompanied by a free software license and whose source codes are easily available is termed as open-source or free software.
BRL-CAD is one of the commonly used open-source CAD software that has different design tools such as interactive geometry editor, ray tracing support for graphics rendering and geometric analysis, computer network distributed framebuffer support, image-processing and signal-processing.
Another open-source CAD software is Elmer FEM solver that is used as a computational tool for multi-physics problems. It was originally developed in collaboration with Finnish universities, research laboratories, and industries. The software has several pre-designed models such as fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, electromagnetism, and heat transfer which are described by partial differential equations and solved using the Finite Element Method( FEM). The software has different components such as ElmerFront that defines the geometry, boundary conditions, and physical models. ElmerSolver solves the resulting problems and final results are visualized using ElmerPost. The software is compatible with windows and Unix operating systems and can be compiled on many varieties of compilers.
Impact Finite Element Program is another open-source CAD software written in Java, which is used to predict most dynamic events such as car crashes or metal sheet punch operations involving large deformations and high velocities. The software is also used to conduct virtual three dimensional (3D) simulations with the help of a preprocessor or with the built-in Fembic language. The software is designed to interface with advanced pre and post processors such as GiD or Gmsh and provides rudimentary support for Nastran file formats.
Open-source CAD software has enabled industrial organizations to reduce costs related to computer-aided designing and offer better products and services to its clients and customers.