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A mechanical simulation in SolveSpace
A mechanical simulation in SolveSpace
Developer(s) Jonathan Westhues
Initial release 2008; 10 years ago (2008)
Stable release
2.3 / December 24, 2016; 21 months ago (2016-12-24)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written in C++
Operating system Windows, Linux, Mac
Platform PC
Type CAD
License GNU GPL 3+

SolveSpace is a free libre and open source 2D and 3D CAD (computer-aided design) program. It is a constraint-based parametric modeler with simple mechanical simulation capabilities. Version 2.1 onward runs on Windows, Linux and macOS. It is developed by Jonathan Westhues and a community of volunteers.


Applications include:[1]

  • Modeling 3D parts – Draw with extrudes, revolves, and Boolean (union / difference) operations
  • Modeling 2D parts – Draw the part as a single section, and export as a DXF, PDF or SVG; use 3D assembly to verify fit
  • Preparing CAM data – Export 2D vector art for a waterjet machine or laser cutter; or generate STEP or STL, for import into third-party CAM software
  • Mechanism design – Use the constraint solver to simulate planar or spatial linkages, with pin, ball, or slide joints
  • Plane and solid geometry – Replace hand-solved trigonometry and spreadsheets with a live dimensioned drawing

SolveSpace is free software distributed under GPLv3. Files to open need to be in its own text-based SolveSpace Models (*.slvs) format. Various export formats are provided, including 2D vector drawing as DXF, EPS, PDF, SVG, HPGL, STEP; 3D wireframe as DXF and STEP; triangle mesh as STL and Wavefront OBJ; and NURBS surfaces as STEP.


A brief review and interview with the developer appeared in Libre Graphics World. This review praises SolveSpace for its small executable file size, its advanced constraints solver and range of output formats. The same review notes some drawbacks, mainly its slow and limited processing of NURBS booleans and lack of native Linux support.[2] However, native Linux support has since been added.

A third-party video demonstration by Chris Madsen for an earlier version of SolveSpace is available on YouTube as Using SolveSpace to draw Sonex flap detent. A series of SolveSpace video tutorials has been produced by Eric Buijs. Further tutorials are available on the SolveSpace website.


A previous software package called SketchFlat, also developed by Westhues, has been replaced by SolveSpace.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Prokoudine, Alexandre. "SolveSpace 2D/3D CAD software released under terms of GPL". Libre Graphics World, June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  3. ^

External links[edit]