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With Emile Path as chief executive, Path Records dealt exclusively with phonographs and recordings while brother Charles managed Path-Cinma which was responsible for film production, distribution, and exhibition. 1922 saw the introduction of the Path Baby home film system using a new 9. 5 mm film stock which became popular over the next few decades.
I n 1921, Path sold off its United States motion picture production arm, which was renamed " Path Exchange " and later merged into RKO Picturesdisappearing as an independent brand in 1931. Path sold its British film studios to Eastman Kodak in 1927 while maintaining the theater and distribution arm.
So how do the open source alternatives to AutoCAD stack up? The answer depends on how you plan to use them. Let's start by being honest and upfront about something: If you're looking for a drop-in replacement for your existing CAD program that will provide identical functionality and workflow without making any changes to your processes, you're going to be disappointed. But I would argue that the reason for your disappointment has nothing to do with the licensing of the product—drop-in replacements for complex programs with long-time users who have specific needs and expectations for their software are hard.
The trick for deciding whether a replacement piece of software, whether open or closed, is a good choice for you is to tease out exactly what your needs are. The situation is no different than discovering that the person who insists that they "need" Photoshop is just using it to draw a few geometric shapes and remove red-eye from photos; what they really need is a graphics editing tool that can replace those specific functions.
Whether it has all of the bells and whistles of the original is irrelevant if those features sit paid for but unused. My personal journey through open source CAD programs was no different. I worked with AutoCAD briefly in grad school, so when I wanted to play with drawing three-dimensional plans for something, it was pretty much all I knew.
But that alone didn't make AutoCAD the best choice. As I've strived to replace more and more software in my life with open source options, Blender turned out to be just as good for my 3D modeling needs, whether I was playing with models created for a 3D printer or looking at landscapes exported from other programs.
And for the relatively simple task of planning out my home landscaping projects, Sweet Home 3D has been an excellent open source alternative.
If your needs are a little more specific and you really need a dedicated CAD program, here are great open source choices to consider: In fact, BRL-CAD is so old that it has been credited with being the oldest source code repository of an application currently in active development. Originally developed by Mike Muuss at the Army Research Laboratory, BRL-CAD is been used for decades by the United States military for modeling weapon systems, but it also has been used for much more everyday design tasks, from academic to industrial design to health applications.
So what does more than 35 years of development bring you? BRL-CAD is made up of more than different constituent tools and applications spread across more than a million lines of source code. FreeCAD FreeCAD is a parametric open source CAD program that was created to be able to design "real-life objects of any size," and although it's clear that many of the showcased examples created by users are smaller objects, there's no specific reason it couldn't be used for architectural applications as well.
FreeCAD can import and export from a variety of common formats for 3D objects, and its modular architecture makes it easy to extend the basic functionality with various plugins. The program has many built-in interface options, from a sketcher to renderer to even a robot simulation ability. Currently in beta, FreeCAD is being actively developed with regular releases, but the developers warn that it may not yet be suitable for production use.
LibreCAD is 2D only, though, so it makes more sense if your intended use is a site plan or something similarly, err, flat. These aren't the only options. Other good choices that are worth your time to check out include: OpenSCAD , which is billed as "the programmer's solid 3D CAD modeller," owing to the fact that it is not an interactive modeler, but one where modeling is done with a script file.
QCAD , which is cross-platform but limited to two-dimensional applications. SolveSpace , which is a parametric two- and three-dimensional CAD program.
Since we can't include all of the options here, if you have a favorite, let us know in the comments below. Are you interested in reading more articles like this? Sign up for our weekly email newsletter. Linux desktop enthusiast.
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