I’m looking for a CAD program that I can just design in, add color, text, etc just to give to clients as a mock up and for marketing. Is there anything out there??
There are a ton of them some free some semi-free and a lot pay. I use Fusion360 with a Personal License. If you search the forum there are a ton of topic on this exact question, a quick search I think you’ll have all the reading material you need.
I use TurboCad Deluxe. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but it’s very powerful. Here’s a couple of pictures I made showing part of an orrery (solar system model) that I made for a client. I can import DXF files from it directly into VCarve.
do you need 2D vector graphics and text, or 3D models?
FreeCAD (see under 3. below) is a package that can do everything, from a simple sketch to a technical drawing, a vector graphics, a 3D model and finally a g-code toolpath for 3D printing or CNC milling. It can export many formats used everywhere.
Vector graphics and 3D modeling softwares that are fully free and open:
The free and open
Vector graphics editor 🢡 Inkscape (see Inkscape homepage here).
free and open 3D creation and editing software 🢡 Blender (see Blender homepage here) is excellent and very developed nowadays, with many object creation and editing software tools, and is constantly developed further by a very large community. Here you can see how in a Blender course in German c’t Magazine you learn how to create 3D objects:
c’t Magazin, 23/2019, S. 144ff: Blender-Workshop, Teil 2
3D models and the vector images you’ve created with the softwares above, can then be exported into the CAM software that you’ve chosen that you consider to be the best in your eyes, and which exports the toolpath that you can run on your machine.
A software that is also
free and open and that is CAD, TechDraw, Vector Graphics and CAM software as well all in one is 🢡 FreeCAD.
It offers vast documentation and tutorials:
FreeCAD has a lot of different capabilities, they are called Workbenches:
One of the workbenches used for
CAD is the Part Workbench, another is PartDesign Workbench, you may also start with 2D objects on the Draft Workbench, which you can use to create 3D objects later. Interesting also the TechDraw Workbench, with which you can make professional technical drawings of the desired part.
So the CAM part of FreeCAD, that exports
toolpaths suitable for being executed by a CNC machine, is called Path Workbench. This makes that FreeCAD is a complete CAD/CAM software package with which you can first create the model of the part you want to mill, and then export a toolpath and mill it on your CNC machine. And all for free.
You could also
combine free and non-free softwares, one for CAD, e.g. one to make your vector drawings with a Vector graphics editor, e.g. with the free and open Inkscape and one to make your 3D models, e.g. with the free and open 3D modeling software Blender, and finally use the advanced CAM toolpath capabilities of VCarve Pro ($699 / £540 / €660) to export your g-code program that you can finally run on your machine.
Or you could use the
FreeCAD software suite that does all that in one.
Vectric VCarve Desktop or Pro does a good job. I typically export my design to an SVG file, open it in Chrome, take a screenshot, and edit the screenshot in SnagIt.