If you were addicted to designing things using the LEGO bricks when you were growing up, then you will definitely love the LeoCAD software which does pretty much the same thing except on your computer. The open-source software is available to all the three major operating systems – Windows, Mac and Linux. Using this application, you can create virtual models just like you would using the LEGO bricks.
The interface offered by LeoCAD is very similar to some of the other model designing software Autocad or 3ds Max. Basically, you have the base-plate in the middle of the screen and you can drag-and-drop the bricks on it from the right-side panel. There are so many different types of special bricks available that help you create some special models like vehicles or trains.
All the bricks are categorized properly which makes it very easy to find the ones that you are looking for. For each of these bricks, there is a keyword associated and you can use that keyword to look for these parts. When you drop the parts or bricks in the place, it displays controls to move and rotate the part. You can easily move that part up, down, or sideways and also can rotate it to use it in your model.
When it comes to exporting the model project, you can export LeoCAD projects into files compatible with 3D Studio Max, Bricklink , POV-Ray and Wavefront. This is very useful if you also use these other software to create or enhance the models. Furthermore, LeoCAD is fully compatible with LDraw and related tools. You can export and import LDR and LPD files in the LeoCAD software. You can actually use the LDraw parts library in LeoCAD which means that you can quickly get access to over 10,000 different parts.
You can download LeoCAD from http://www.leocad.org/.