Technical design software

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Technical design software is used to create accurate building plans for arcade cabinets.

Commonly used software

For developing the conceptual stages of design through to making final plans, SketchUp is powerful yet easy-to-learn 3D software. SketchUp has some very simple online video tutorials to get you designing within an hour. Many people are now using Google's fully featured free Sketchup software to design their arcade cabinets. This wiki has a dedicated SketchUp Tips page with examples of several people's work to help get you started.
AutoCAD is a highend CAD ("Computer Aided Design"[1]) software package. Some BYOACers have access to AutoCAD, it has a steep learning curve - if you are not familiar with the software don't try to use this as your design software.
3D Studio is software to create 3D models and render photorealistic images. The software is easier to work with that AutoCAD but the full package is still quite expensive. Graphic designers might have access to the software. Besides the ability to create cabinet plans, the photorealistic render engine enbles the builder to create a lifelike image of the cabinet way before any physical material is touched. Pixelhugger's Mission Control arcade features many renderings of his design before he started to build.
Microsoft Visio is part of the Microsoft Office suite of products. Visio is a 2D diagram software package that can be used to create accurate diagrams and building plans. Some BYOACers also use Visio to create artwork[2].

Arcade specific software

CP Sketcher is a program created to design arcade control panels. It allows you to sketch up a design using real parts and then build it using the plans it creates.
Joystick And Gamepad Tester is a very useful freeware program to test your control panel before sealing your cabinet. It can be used to determine the orientation of analogue joysticks and trackballs and to check if everything is connected correctly. It works with gamepads, keyboards, joysticks, mice, keyboard-encoders, mouse-encoders, trackball interfaces, spinners.

See also