Fast Tip Friday – Free CAD Models
If you’re anything like us, you’re digital tinkerers. We love to dig into software and play around with different options and techniques to see what kind of results we get. With CAD/CAM, a great way to do this is by downloading high-quality CAD files to use as a starting point. Here are a few quick resources:
GrabCAD is a great resource with a large community of talented engineers and modelers who upload files in a variety of formats. This is an excellent place to get engineering models ranging from complex assemblies down to specific components, with a number of “just for fun” files for good measure. Registration is free.
The Google Sketchup community trends more towards talented amateurs, and you’ll find a wide array of models running from buildings and furniture to drones and spaceships. You’ll need the free Google Sketchup modeler to open them, but you can export them from there. Registration is free.
Tooling, Component, and Workholding Manufacturers
Many manufacturers give you downloadable CAD files of what they produce on the product page for a specific item. Tooling manufacturers such as ISCAR and Sandvik provide DXF files for tools. Chick Workholding gives you solids and STEP models of equipment. Jergens and McMaster-Carr both give you access to models of specific equipment.