Posted: Nov 30, 2015 11:21 pm
by Fenrir
You can download autocad for free if you declare you are a student.

I've been resisting coz from what ive seen it's unnecessarily complicated.

Blender is freely downloadable. Lots of whistles and bells for animation but can do ordinary 3d design as well. Bit of a learning curve, am trying to get up to speed on it but finding it a bit slow, too many other things on.

There are lots of resources for finding existing designs around. You might find some of the bits you want are already available as stl's. Thingiverse is one where you can freely download files. Lots of proprietary and semi-proprietary manufacturer sites out there.