If anyone’s interested in developing or learning about free CAD software, someone in the FSF Latin America list has posted a call for participation: Proyecto: CAD LIBRE. Right now the information is in spanish but I thought I would take the opportunity to ask other Ubuntu users what is the current status of free, open source solutions for CAD ?
I know the Open Design Alliance reverse engineered the DWG format, and their own version of its specification is a restricted copyright document. I am a bit surprised there aren’t that many packages that provide any support for DXF / DWG files manipulation and viewing (or even editing). Or maybe my level of ignorance on the subject is such I shouldn’t be writing about this in the first place 🙂
I remember a few years ago I went to a tradeshow and I was speaking to an Autodesk rep who laughed at my 5-minute pitch about freing Autocad, while explaining their strategy to copy-protect and enforce licence restrictions on customers. He summarized their position saying « just like accounting and games, free/open-source won’t ever touch our niche ».