The study of product and industrial design can be quite expensive. You have loads of things and equipments to buy. Tools such as drawing pencils, markers, stencils, sketch papers are things that you will need to buy.
In certain schools the pressure is also strong for students to get expensive equipments such as Digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) cameras.
As you can see, design education can be pretty costly. Unless, you are very rich, you can save some money by using free alternatives to some expensive software programs.
Below are a list of useful yet free software programs that a product and industrial design student can use:
1. Inkscape. This software is a 2D vector drawing program. It can be used to produce 2D product illustrations.
2. Blender 3D. This is a free 3D rendering and animation program. It is surprisingly power for something that is free. Its inbuilt rendering engine is good enough to produce attractive 3D product renderings.
3. Yafray. Yafray is a free raytracing program. It is fully able to produce stunning and photo realistic renderings. It is a high quality Global Illumination rendering program. To use Yafray, you should have Blender 3D as well. This is because Yafray can be used from within Blender 3d as an optional rendering engine.
4. Indigo renderer. This is also a very high quality rendering software. The disadvantage of using it is that it is very slow to render. As such, you are advised to have a fast computer with lots of RAM in order to use it decently.
5. GIMP. Gimp is a free alternative to the Photoshop. You can use it to do much photo and image editing works.
6. Open Office. This is a free alternative to MS office.
Well, these are some of the free programs that a budget conscious product design student can use. Thank you for reading.
The author runs Studio Rola, a website about Industrial Design
He also has another website about different types of careers call Joblense.