Which software can be used to prototype/design robot parts (mechanical parts, body, gears, etc)>
I have some crazy idea I would like to try (quadripedal walking robot, animal-like), but I'd like to design the mechanism and test (to some degree) the mechanism in some kind of simulator before I start wasting money on parts/materials. What tool could I use for that?
I'm only interested in mechanical design (chassis + servo/motor placement + cogs/gears), not in electronic design. I'm not interesting in robot control software, because I'll be probably able to slap something like arduino onto it and program behavior I want (experienced programmer)
Details (what I'd like to see):
- Should work in 3d. I.e. finished system should be viewable in 3d.
- I should be able to cut materials like plywood/metal, drill holes, place gears on it, etc.
- It would be nice if it had some kind of part catalog so to place a gear/cog I wouldn't need to design it from scratch.
- It would be nice I could test if parts can actually move. I don't need full-blown simulation, just to see if gears can turn or if they'll get stuck.
- Not interested in electronic circuitry, just need mechanical parts, but should be able to place servos.
- It would be nice if it could produce blueprints.
- cheap/inexpensive, if possible.
Basically, I should be able to construct robot mechanism in it (by placing/connecting parts like gears,cogs, motors, springs), or some kind of clock, and test (to some degree) if it actually works.
I know that I could use blender3d for that, but it wasn't exactly designed for this purpose.
I also heard that solidworks could be used for designing mechanical parts, but it is too expensive, especially for one-time-project.