Linux Format

Services and communitie­s

What sharing sites and commercial services are available?


Sharing ideas is part of the backbone of Linux, along with the principle of free and open source software, and this will be the same in your adventures in using CAD software. To be able to share designs, you either need to use the same software or the same file format. Existing services on the web use different formats depending on their focus. 3D-focused sites use STL format, spare parts from suppliers use DXF or DWG files but often STL files too.

LibreCAD uses DXF files, which are great for 2D CAD drawings, which in this case is the purpose of the software. Many of the suppliers, however, deliver both 2D and 3D DXF and DWG drawings for you to incorporat­e in your projects, so it is a little limiting that 3D is not supported.

FreeCAD already handles many formats so there should be no problem using and remixing downloaded parts or shared sketches. Check out the 3D modelling website Thingivers­e, where most files are STL or STEP, and you’ll see it has a FreeCAD tag.

SolveSpace has a small following of users but no specific share community, and it only imports DXF files, which makes it hard to reuse others’ designs.

OpenSCAD has an import option in its scripts and can export to many formats to easily share designs.

QCAD uses DXF and DWG as internal formats so sharing and reusing is a breeze for 2D work. The files can also be added to a local library.

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