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2. Computer Aided design

This week I explored four software for 2D and 3D designing and learnt some basics definitions such as the main difference between raster and vector 2D design.

What happened

In this session instructors taught us how to use some 2D and 3D computer-aided design software.

Raster vs Vector

There are two main types of 2D design software. Raster software design can edit pixel images (i.e. pixel is the smallest unit of raster image). Pixel images lose their quality when upscaled. Also, if pixel images are originally provided at higher resolution, higher storage will be consumed. Pictures taken by camera are raster images and the most common software to edit these images is photoshop. On the other hand, vector images consist of lines, curves, shapes not pixels. Vector images do not lose their quality while upscaling and do not require high storage for higher quality.

2D design software


Inkscape 2D CAD software is an open-source vector designing software. It is considered as a free alternative to illustrator. Inkscape contains a lot of features such as creating great new shapes by editing spoke ratio, randomize and rounding, select number of corners.

Moreover, you can draw lines in many ways (i.e., straight, cure and etc) to draw new 2D shapes and add texts.

Alignment tool is useful to change position of elements. Changes can be relative to whatever you chose. First selected is the image on the right.

Fill and stroke tool is useful to choose color for the shape and stroke around it.

Common format used to vector file is svg click here to download

Cuttle is a website that is used to create 2D vector designs. Here is an example of simple design by modifying polygon. I prefer inkscape since it has more advanced tools compared to cuttle. However, cuttle is a simple powerful tool to design great shapes in seconds.

click here to download

3D design software

Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is one of the most famous 3D design software. It has many advantages. First, a lot of helpful tutorials in YouTube since a lot of people using it. Second, it has an impressive version control system which allows to edit something you did early and transfer the results to your final design in seconds! Third, simple user-friendly interface which provides many advantages to your design. Here is an example of designing a cup using fusion 360. It starts with a simple cylinder. Then offsetting a plane towards the mid of the cylinder to create a handle using two ellipse shapes. After that, creating a hole in the cylinder. Finally, creating a final shape of blue glass cup.

click here to download f3d file

click here to download stl


OpenSCAD is a 3D design software that uses code to make designs. In the following there are some codes with their explanation. Also, cheatsheet which includes codes with some example of how to use them in OpenSCAD is provided in the useful link section. I prefer fusion 360 since it has more features and great user interface. However, creating shapes through coding is an interesting cool idea.

click here to download scad file

click here to download stl file

Last update: July 12, 2021