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CAD on the cheap

SpecialChem / Feb 18, 2009

The world is turning digital. Typewriters are almost extinct - but in design, a surprising number of people still use pen and paper to create rough sketches. Moving to CAD, it usually involves large amounts of money. But one enterprising UK company has largely bypassed that by using free software to kick-start the design of a new product. "All that we lost was the time taken to learn it," says David Mitchelson, chairman of Charnwood Dynamics - a UK company that produces motion capture devices. Charnwood specialises in motion capture products, to analyse the gait of patients Charnwood specialises in motion capture products, to analyse the gait of patients In these tough times, shelling out a fortune on CAD is hard to justify. High-end packages are common in the automotive and aerospace industries, but many small companies use simple 2D CAD - or none at all. "We had no in-house CAD expertise," says Mitchelson. "My main reason for trying Google Sketch-Up was as an aide memoire for 3D sketches.

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