RogCAD Free 3D Design Software                                    RogCAD™
  Retro 3D CAD - design and modeling software for Windows  DOS  Mac  Linux

  Simple text files generate 3D models.

  Boats, architectural, general purpose.  1993 to present.

  Software description is beneath the first set of images.

  Download RogCAD here:

  Tutorial / reference:  Instructions

  Also see:  RogCAD Girder and Panel Building Set

Set the war aside.  This is Russia's "Progress" space cargo ship.  Click for  dimensions

Click on image for higher resolution (and maximize your browser window).

Click on image for higher resolution (and maximize your browser window).

                  Hull wireframe modeled in RogCAD                                       Hull surface modeled in RogCAD

Software description.  Part one of three parts.

Is RogCAD for you ?

Features and limitations:

 RogCAD features 

   *  RogCAD is strictly freeware.

   *  RogCAD requires no installation or licensing.  
      It has no Internet dependency.

   *  Lightweight -- requires less than 1 MB of disk space
      and uses less than 9 MB of RAM.  You can run multiple
      copies of RogCAD simultaneously, whether full-screen or 
      in side-by-side windows, which is useful during the 
      design stage of your project.

   *  Unlimited flexibility of design for general purpose or
      architectural applications.  Anything you can conceive of
      can be modeled in RogCAD.

   *  It's strictly keyboard entry, therefore inherently precise.
      Design elements fit together seamlessly.

   *  Data for a project is displayed collectively in text files,
      allowing data entry and editing in any order.  There are 
      no "drawing layers" or "design layers" to deal with.

   *  Designs are built quickly.  RogCAD has many automated
      systems -- as well as transformation routines -- built into 
      its data text file system.  A minimal amount of data entry
      goes a long way.

   *  Provides automatic surface modeling, with automatic shading
      for light source direction.

   *  RogCAD's automatic surface modeling generates smooth 
      gradient lighting on curved surfaces.

   *  Can combine multi-colored wireframe modeling and surface modeling 
      in any manner for clear presentations and analyses.

   *  Allows for user-created (customized) rotatable grids.

   *  Provides unlimited range of perspective points and focal points,
      and allows you to specify those values using 3D coordinates.  

   *  With those precisely defined perspective points, focal points and
      rotatable grids, RogCAD is excellent for doing analytical work.

   *  RogCAD provides smooth 3D navigation with real-time display 
      of perspective point and focal point.

   *  Can overlay multiple projects.

   *  Provides excellent control of the color palette.

   *  RogCAD's most striking aspect is its complete stability.
   *  The risk of data loss is minimal, since all the data 
      is safely in text files, accessible by the user.

   *  You can expect to spend one to five days engaged in
      self-study with the instruction document, depending on 
      what skill level you are aiming for.


   *  Not compatible with any other CAD format.

   *  You need to have an appreciation for the
      "by the numbers" approach used in this software.

   *  Not comparable to sophisticated mechanical design software.

   *  Provides no support for machine operations or 3D printing.

   *  Currently contains no libraries of predrawn elements, therefore
      not best suited for rapid detailed drawings of standard designs.  
      RogCAD is best suited for accurately modeling novel designs. 

Why I (the developer of RogCAD) use this software:

Outside of 3D CAD modeling geared for machine operations 
or 3D printing, 3D CAD is a visualization and analytical tool.

I developed RogCAD because I wanted a simpler 3D CAD system
with complete flexibility of design.

Any level of architectural realism beyond what I typically aim for 
in my RogCAD models can be very time-consuming and expensive,
regardless of which software one is using.

If a special circumstance arises, I can bump up the level
of realism in a RogCAD model to an entirely suitable degree.

Therefore, outside of machining applications or 3D printing, 
I never consider using anything but RogCAD.

Simple, accurate, lightweight, flexible, stable, no installation.. and fun.

If you like simplicity, don't routinely require photo-realism and are 
comfortable working with simply numbers, then RogCAD might be for you.

See the RogCAD History page for more information on the RogCAD method of modeling.

Part two of software description is beneath the next set of images.

In RogCAD, simple text files generate 3D models:

Link:  RogCAD Girder and Panel


  RogCAD modeling (with corrected dimensions) of 
  this 1851 artist's conception of the Crystal Palace:





Facades can be either imported or generated.
Below, is an example of both.  The stonework on the
front of the house was imported from a photograph
after using Paint Shop Pro freeware to skew it for 
a perspective matching the CAD perspective.

  66 second looping video  (two more small videos lower down)


Three options for an addition







Software description.  Part two of three parts.

Examples of text file data entry:


Projects in RogCAD are built up mostly through the use
of cubic primitives.  The user defines a cubic shape by 
specifying two diagonally opposite vertices.

RogCAD automatically supplies the remaining six vertices
as well as the connecting lines and planes.

These cubic elements can be skewed, resized, rotated, 
translated (slid) and replicated.

Here are some cubics defined in a text file using Notepad:

start   x   y   z            x   y   z
point   minimum values       maximum values  rotation  color
-----   --------------       --------------  --------  -----

type 1 window frames
001     0   0   0           .5   44  1.5      180      3
011     0   0   48.5        .5   44  51       180      3
021     0   0   1.5         .5   2   48.5     180      3
031     0   42  1.5         .5   44  48.5     180      3

type 2 window frames
041     0   0   0           .5   40  1.5      180      3
051     0   0   48.5        .5   40  51       180      3
061     0   0   1.5         .5   2   48.5     180      3
071     0   38  1.5         .5   40  48.5     180      3

Cubics can also be repeated along straight or curved paths,
then rotated and translated (slid) into position.

Thus generated are things like rows of mitered boards, 
windows, rows of buildings and spiral staircases:


x   y   z        x    y    z      spacing   endcube   rotation  color

0   0   0      .292 .292  2.67      5.86      28        270       2

Points, lines and planes can also be defined independently, and are
integrated with the cubic data structures, as are curved surfaces.

point    x     y     z          Connect points:
-----    -------------           
1        0     63.2  0          LINE GROUP 1:
2        24    63.2  0          8,23   1,12   12,13   2,13
3        24    41.2  0          1,31   8,13   1,2     2,3
4        0     45.2  8          3,18   3,8    5,18    5,6
5        24    0     6          .
6        0     0     6          .
7        0     41.2  6          etc
8        24    41.2  8
9        24    0     8

Plane data, with light-source shading information:

plane   t1  b1  t2  b2   direction  color

1       3   8   3   18     270       5
2       18  5   8   9      270       5
3       44  43  2   13     270       5
4       1   2   12  13     180       5

Rotations and translations are easy:

first  last  z-angle  tran-x  tran-y  tran-z

1      358     115      7       13      0

 You can build a library of objects, then rotate
 and translate (slide) them for precise placement.

 Simplest use -- an early image from 1995:


Complex curved surfaces are modeled by stretching 
basic circular shapes in a variety of directions.

Curved elements with unlimited deformation potential:

points       degrees       radius         offset           weight
per        -----------     -------      -----------       --------
section    start   arc     X     Y      X    Y    Z       left inc   stretch

             20    -70     19.2  6      24   30   2.83     0    0     0
             20    -70     19.2  6      24   30   4.83     0    0     0
             20    -70     19.2  6      24   30   4.83     0    0     0
             3     -87     10    6.9    24  27.6  4.83     0    0     0
             3     -87     10    6.9    24  27.6  4.83     0    0     0
             3     -87     10    6.9    24  27.6  6.17     0    0     0

The ease with which one can model 
       boat hulls in RogCAD is legendary.

Part three of software description is beneath the next set of images.

RogCAD for DOS output, with customizable color palette:

RogCAD for Windows output:

  25 second looping video demonstrating RogCAD's
  automatic surface modeling (hidden line removal)

RogCAD for Windows customizable color palette:

  50 second looping video


Click image for better detail

Click on the image below to see a few
1997 print-outs from the design phase:





Software description.  Part three of three parts.


RogCAD is available for Windows, DOS and cross-platform.

RogCAD for DOS has 640x416 viewport
resolution and 15 colors per palette.

RogCAD for Windows has 1320x1020 viewport
resolution and 256 colors per palette.

RogCAD for DOS is now also available as a
stand-alone program for running on any
computer, including Mac, thanks to QB64.
(1320x1020 with 256 colors per palette)

RogCAD for Windows also comes in a version
with a 4896x3060 virtual viewport.


I originally wrote RogCAD to run on my old IBM XT with the text-only monitor.
The data points had to be plotted on paper by hand and then connected with 
a straightedge.

From 1993 to 2001, I developed it into its nearly current form. 
Significant new features were added from 2021 to 2023, and 
RogCAD is now in its final form.

See: RogCAD History

For download or for hire:

RogCAD is a general use CAD program.  You can download 
a copy of it or hire me to model your project for you.

Client project:  cabin addition

Client project:  new workshop/office

Project:  sunrise - sunset modeling


Roger Luebeck

RogCAD authenticated:  I am the original rogcad.

RogCAD program code:  program source code


(This page was updated on April 4, 2024)