It's my first time in the design world so excuse me if I say really dumb things. I really know nothing about graphic design.

I come from the engineering world and I'm used to use CAD software like SolidWorks, SolidEdge, Autocad or Blender, where the drawing is more "math based". I'm looking for a svg capable design software to create some logos and icons this way.

I used InkScape a couple times, but every time I ask myself the same question: why this kind of software doesn't seem to provide mathematical options like tangent, parallel, perpendicular, etc... I guess this has to do with getting used to a different workflow and way of thinking, but I really would appreciate if someone could point me to some software (open source preferrably) where I can draw sketches specifying geometric relations between lines and curves, something similar to what SolidWorks does in its sketches.

  • Why not just use the R language? There's plotting out of the box and also many better ploting packages like ggplot2. All free.
    – Hack-R
    Dec 2, 2016 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


There is no reason why you can not use SolidWorks or say Autocad for this. Its not often done but possible. I use Maya and Creo all the time to make logos in 2D, i just export the logo in EPS and be done (Ok so the NURBS surfaces must be turned to Beziers, no big deal in many cubic and quadratic cases).

The thing is constraints solvers are not terribly time efficient when the amount of details grow (Except possibly cheetah). This is why you page out of the solver to 3D and make a separate new sketch. Also this is one reason you dont often see them in pure 2D applications because the containers must be closed every now and then so you dont die of the n^2 algorithm.

Try solvespace You can export 2d stuff as pdf or svg from solve space directly. If that's not enough it is available as a library for you to use in other contexts. Ive tested it inside a simple QT app and it works fine for most tasks. Ive been toying with binding it to illustrator but honestly haven't had time to do this.

enter image description here

Image 1: Example of solvespace output for one bezier span and 3 lines + constraints

I have also quite successfully written solvers manually with feedback in Mathematica. Its quite easy once you get the hang of it, its not as easy as using a gradient solver, but arithmetically its just solving a vector equation that equals to 0.

Anyway there are not many real options out there.

  • Finally I used SolidWorks and exported the sketch to dxf format. Then, imported it from Inkscape. Worked great!
    – dvilela
    Dec 5, 2016 at 21:50

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