Free Technical Software

from Educators' eZine

It’s always a good day when I find a site giving away something free that is also useful and easily referenced from the desktop. Below is a list of these, which I am glad to share. These free tools and aids will help people who are using technical software like CADD, CAE, AEC, and CAM in their working lives. They are ideal for students and teachers in need of some technical tools and information, or for others who need precise calculations and conversions.

Below is a brief description of the software and then the download site. Note that sometimes the vendors want you to register before downloading. Please note that I have no affiliations with any of these vendors and/or their sites. This is just my way of helping to spread useful information to those that are involved with technical things and those that are studying or teaching it. Enjoy and pass it on so that others might enjoy these great tools and aids. College students as well as high school and even middle school children can benefit from these.

Katmar Software
Here is a very nice engineer conversion calculator. They have a new version that is free to download and they also have others available for a fee. All of these little programs come with icon short cuts that open up the software as needed, right from your desktop. Pretty easy, huh?

Another free conversion calculator. This works very well and is easy to use. I’ve referred to this one many times because of its ease of use. We also offered this one in our Desktop Engineering Article. Because this one also has some terms that are defined it is a very handy reference.

Engineering Power Tools
Very nice handy conversion calculator with many things that are not in the other types. The Plus is a real great buy but the free version is also packed with many things. This has a low profile on your desktop but don’t let it fool you. With a click of the mouse button it can open up with many different types of tables and reference charts. This one is also an amazing give away.

ESB consultancy
Here is a great one to have on your desktop for easy access. Perhaps, like me, you find it hard to remember formulasand relationships. The site offers some free tools but you just might want to checkout the for-pay versions too, as they offer a lot more for a little green of $19.00. The free version also comes with a nice conversion utility and thePro version is packed with many things for engineers and techs.

Evaluation Downloads
This is a sheet layout optimizer for your projects, so you can get the best use of the sheet material to cut out from. The site also has a nice pipe cutting utility program on the same page. Both are hard to beat, as they are free.

Equation Illustrator
I found this one accidentally and I admit my math is not up to par. However, if you need to annotatea math formula into a program, this just might be what you are looking for. Depending on how you want to license yourself with this one after a 100 uses, the highest it can cost you is about $30.

Machine Shop
Don’t have a CAD or MCAD software? Try using this free and easy-to -use program. This vendor will even actually make your part – for a fee, of course.

They have been around for some time now and I think that the reason they are successful is that by using their software to design your parts there is 100% compatibility with their manufacturing setup. A simple straight forward approach to designing and manufacturing simple parts. Check out the user made parts on this site and you will be surprised.

Karnaugh Map 4

This one is simply amazing because, actually, I do not know what the heck it is.

Supposedly it offers a BooleanAlgebra assistant program for electrical engineeringstudents. The better version is $15.00 dollars, but they also offer a free version.

Sea Solution
Here is a terrific piece of software for those that like to design ship hulls and supports and bulkheads. This free trial version is good for a year with a use of three hours per day. I sent this one to a few of my boating friends. Modelers of hulls and designs need to have a way to shape, optimize and save their creativity. This can do it.

Here is a terrific start in analyzing software. There is a free 300 node limit on their trial software but it doesn’t run out. That can give someone like me a (slow learner) enough time to get the hang of things. Great software and it can model too. There are other things you can download also but with this software you must apply for the trial. That is not a big problem, and you can buy a license later if you want it and then it opens up into a much higher node software.

Here is another Finite Element Analysis software. Not only is it free but you get the instructions too. It looks easy to use and you cannot beat the price. It can model and import also.

Check out the free stuff here, at the bottom left of the home page. I like the screen capture, screen shot program. They have two other downloads of interest.

While you are out there checking on these links don’t miss this site. There are too many free trials of the different calculators to list. You can buy them or use them for a trial period. Check out the screen shot utility program called Hyper-Snap, which is another great screen capture utility, although it is not free.

St. Clair Software
Macintosh People - this is a free screen capture software for you too. Check out this site forgetting one of the best screen captures for your operating system. Go to the downloads section of the site for other Mac softwares. Trials are for 30 days. Heck, I’m using one of the above screen captures for doing this article.

Clean Energy Project Analysis Tools
I just had to put the following site into this review of “give aways”. This Canadian site has so much free information about solar energy, renewable energy and such other topics. You can download all or any part of the free information here covering all the bases on using renewable resources. Wow, what a treasure trove of data you can collect. Take a look at the downloads page to see all that you can get for free. This site works in conjunction with NASA, UNEP and GEF. It even has multi-language support.

This article was written in collaboration with Joe Greco, who has since passed away. In his honor I dedicate this list for continued sharing of some nice things on the Internet.

Email:Richard Williams