Mechatronics Open Source Software

April 4, 2007 at 10:17 pm 2 comments

Right now all the engineering disciplines do a great use of computational programs, in the design of any appliance you have in home or in your car a great use of software was made. That’s totally true with the Mechatronics world where you can have the bless to integrate very useful discipline to create a truly “intelligent” or automate process.

The use of private software in the field has made some time difficult for a hobbies or student to use it because his highly price. A alternative way has been in progress for some time with the Free Software Community willing to develop software and share it with the world for free (as free spech). Among all those Open Software Projects there are many related with the mechatronics field, that I will describe here and give some advice in it use from my own experience.

I’ll would really like to incentive you to participate in some of this projects, the first you can do is give it a try.

CAD Software

QCAD: QCad is an application for computer aided drafting in two dimensions (2d). With QCad you can create technical drawings such as plans for buildings, interiors, mechanical parts or schemas and diagrams. QCad works on Windows, Mac OS X and many Linux and Unix Systems. The source code of the QCad community edition is released under the GPL (Open Source).

BRL-CAD: The BRL-CAD package is a powerful Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) solid modeling system with over 20 years development and production use by the U.S. military. BRL-CAD includes an interactive geometry editor, parallel ray-tracing support for rendering and geometric analysis, path-tracing for realistic image synthesis, network distributed framebuffer support, image-processing and signal-processing tools. The entire package is distributed in source code form.

Electronics squematic diagrams

Kicad: is an open source (GPL) software for the creation of electronic schematic diagrams and printed circuit board artwork.

gEDA Project: The gEDA project is working on producing a full GPL‘d suite of Electronic Design Automation tools. These tools are used for electrical circuit design, schematic capture, simulation, prototyping, and production. Currently, the gEDA project offers a mature suite of free software applications for electronics design, including schematic capture, attribute management, bill of materials (BOM) generation, netlisting into over 20 netlist formats, analog and digital simulation, and printed circuit board (PCB) layout.

Electronics PIC Microcontrollers

GPUTILS: GPUTILS is a collection of tools for the Microchip (TM) PIC microcontrollers. It includes gpasm, gplink, and gplib. It’s distributed under the terms of the GNU Public License. See the gnupic page for other GNU PIC tools such as gpsim, a gputils compatible simulator.

PiKdev: is a simple graphic IDE for the development of PIC-based applications.
It currently supports assembly language. C language is also supported for PIC 18 devices.

Programming software

GCC: the GNU compiler collection

CodeBlocks: Code::Blocks is a free C++ IDE built to meet the most demanding needs of its users. It is designed to be very extensible and fully configurable.

Cross platform GUI

wxWidgets: wxWidgets lets developers create applications for Win32, Mac OS X, GTK+, X11, Motif, WinCE, and more using one codebase. It can be used from languages such as C++, Python, Perl, and C#/.NET. Unlike other cross-platform toolkits, wxWidgets applications look and feel native. This is because wxWidgets uses the platform’s own native controls rather than emulating them. It’s also extensive, free, open-source, and mature.

Mathematical analysis

Scilab: Scilab is a scientific software package for numerical computations providing a powerful open computing environment for engineering and scientific applications.

The descriptions has been copied from the projects websites. Surely there are a lot of other projects, but my idea is to post here the ones I have used. If you know another one feel free to posted. To help me show all the benefits we can get by using open source software.


Entry filed under: Automation.

Mechatronics books wxWidgets-2.8.3 for wxArt2D on MSW

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nicolas  |  April 4, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    I would like to recommend you to try Piklab which an IDE for developping PIC-based applications.

  • 2. Henry  |  December 21, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Great List of software!.
    I would also like to recommend you Octave, it’s similar to Matlab and really really powerful.


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