3D printing and CAD software couldn’t function without each other, they go together like a match made in pythonOCC. As 3D printing continues to build its freight train like momentum for home users and hobbyists, so too does the adoption of CAD software that can be both expensive and difficult to master.

Software such as SolidWorks and Inventor can cost thousands of dollars, which is out of reach for most users and the number of features implemented into those platforms makes them tough for some users to navigate.

‘Free’ and ‘relatively easy’ sounds like an attractive alternative most all CAD users could get behind and Kenan O’Keefe’s HoneyComb browser-based CAD application fits that bill quite nicely:

The parametric CAD program that can be ran from a browser and features a simplistic interface where users can sketch 2D objects and convert them into full 3D shapes with features such as ‘Extrude’ and ‘Revolve’.

Created designs are then stored in the cloud using the STL file format, which can then be accessed anywhere from any computer or exported to ‘maker’ services such as Shapeways or Thingiverse for those who do not have access to a 3D printer. It is the perfect software platform for beginners to sink their teeth into before moving on to more sophisticated suites like Autodesk or DesignCAD for their 3D printing projects.

The software is currently in Beta form and users can sign up on HoneyComb’s website to get their hands on it for evaluation (I am still waiting on my personal invite). O’Keefe plans on adding features as the software evolves and at this point in time, is currently developing a feature-tree environment where users will be able to go back into their files and edit the mathematical steps they took to create their projects.

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“As an engineering student, my imagination was captured with the possibilities of 3D printing.” Says O’Keefe.

“The problem though was I couldn’t find a CAD program that was designed for me. I just wanted to be able to easily build my projects and not be overwhelmed with educationally lincensed software. It led me to pursue this venture – to advance our 3D printed future by creating a simple parametric CAD program that is free and accessible to all.”

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If simplicity with functionality is what you are looking for in a CAD-based software platform then perhaps HoneyComb is what you need.

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The one-man ace engineering wrecking crew - If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me, maybe you can hire... the Cabe-team.

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