Free CAD software for personal use

Paul Boughton

CAD Schroer Group (CSG) is announcing that its free 'personal use' version of the powerful Medusa4 CAD software is now available on Linux.

This is excellent news for home users who prefer the open source operating system; they now have access to the industry-proven 2D/3D CAD software free of charge.

CAD Schroer released a commercial version of the entire Medusa4 design automation suite for Linux in September 2005. At that time the free personal version was only available for Windows 2000 and XP. Now home users can request a six-month renewable license for Linux as well.

“Linux is quickly becoming a highly viable alternative for personal and business users,” says Mark Simpson, product manager. “Companies like Novell, which will soon be releasing its Suse Linux Enterprise 10 platform, are now aiming at a broad commercial market, ready to compete with Microsoft. We want to help give users real choice by offering professional-grade engineering solutions on all platforms. The free version of Medusa4 allows people to have some fun designing in 2D and 3D for personal use, and broadens the scope of professional-grade applications available for free on Linux.”

Medusa4 Personal for Linux offers the full functionality available in the Medusa4 Advanced Parametrics package, including basic 3D (sheet-based modelling), parametrics, and all of Medusa's drafting power tools and functionality, like Smart Edit ('parametrics on demand'), advanced Design Objects, hidden line removal, drilling table tolerancing, and much more besides.

Medusa4 Personal is expressly restricted to non-commercial use. Small technical differences from the commercial version include a different sheet format, watermarked print output, and the ability to import from, but not export to DXF/DWG format. The commercial version is highly customisable, while Medusa4 Personal is not.

“Individuals and companies can now choose their desktop solution on the basis of their needs and preferences. Having platform choice constrained by the dearth of professional CAD applications is a thing of the past,” says Michael Schroer, a founding director of CSG, whose success has been built on long-term customer relationships, and a firm 'by engineers, for engineers' approach to software development.

Medusa4 Personal, as well as the commercial version, are currently Linux Red Hat Enterprise Version 3 WS certified, but CAD Schroer's technical teams say the software will run on most Linux systems.

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