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I am currently using QCad community edition, and it is basically well suited to my needs, I don't need much more. However, there is a function I need which isn't present in QCad. I want to be able to specify a point on a line (which can be a straight line, arc, ellipse arc or spline) and say "go to the left/right and cut the line after X millimeters".

For most of these, I have a workaround using Divide and Lengthen (after an annoying step involving getting the total length of the line and a calculator). But it turns out that QCad cannot measure the length of an ellipse arc. I know that the formula for an ellipse arc is much more complicated than that for more conventional geometric shapes, but for a computer program running on hardware with a bazillion FLOPs, I don't see how this is a problem.

So is there a CAD software which is at least capable of measuring the length of an ellipse arc? It would be perfect if it would have said trim capability built-in, but I'll still take it if it needs a workaround.

I cannot afford commercial CAD software. I prefer open source, but if not possible, I'm OK with some crippled demo version which cannot import DXG or such, as long as I can create some drawings. I don't need any of the features which industry people use to turn drawings into real products. If there is a commercial edition for home users with a price to match (up to 50 Euros), I'll consider it too.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Regarding QCad you can:

  • hire a developer(probably freelancer) to add your specific feature and build an application for you

  • ask a feature request from QCad development team and buy their new version with this feature(€24.00 per license)

Or you can try to use alternatives.

There is also QCad's heir called LibreCAD.

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When I posted the question, I was hoping that somebody will know which of the alternatives supports exactly this feature, without the need to install all 15 of them and look. But it looks like nobody does, and I find the suggestion of adding a feature an interesting one (although a freelance developer would certainly be outside of my budget). So you get the accept for that. – rumtscho Apr 12 '11 at 13:02

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