Leathercraft CAD [English]
Leathercraft CAD (LCC) is a CAD software specifically designed for leathercraft pattern drawing. It has a lot of leather craft related features that none of those existing generic purpose CAD software have. At the same time, it’s very simple to use even for beginners or non-experienced CAD users. It’s a free software (actually it’s a donation-ware) developed by me, LuthierTN. It runs on Windows OS and macOS. It has been released in Japan first, but now I started to make it public to the world-wide leather crafters, hoping I will be able to support creative activities of the global leathercraft communities.
CAD (Computer-Aided Designing) is widely used in construction, design, etc. field quite often for drawing, but it’s also useful for leathercraft pattern designing or drawing. Once you get used to it, you will be able to draw patterns or prototypes more quickly and accurately and that way, you will be able to make your ideas real and enjoy creative life. But most of the existing generic purpose CAD software are too complex and/or too expensive for ordinary hobby leather crafters. Many people have tried, but most of them just gave up using them. When I noticed that situation, I thought what if there is a very simple free CAD software that anyone will be able to figure out how to use it? What if it’s only has features that are required for leathercraft? That’s how I came up with the idea of making this Leathercraft CAD.
As the name says, Leathercraft CAD is designed specifically for leathercraft. The biggest difference between the existing generic-purpose CAD and this Leathercraft CAD is, it recognizes the stitching holes as stitching holes.
There are many intermediate or skilled leathercrafters using the existing CAD software such as JW_CAD, AR CAD, Adobe illustrator, etc.. Those multi-purpose CAD software has a lot of features and they can be used for almost any kind of drawing projects, but on the other hand, they are quite complex that most of the hobby leathercrafters will give up using them. Also, there is a tendency that more easier to use, more expensive. That’s another reason why ordinary leather crafters cannot use them.
This Leathercraft CAD is completely on the opposite side. It has less features, but quite simple. It cannot be used for almost anything other than leathercraft projects, but there are important features for leathercraft that no one other than Leathercraft CAD has such as:
Customizable Pricking Iron Toolbox
- It supports diamond shape, French style, round shape, flat shape.
- You can register as many pricking irons as you want.
- You can freely customize the pitch, # of blades, angle, sizes of each pricking iron.
Automatic and Manual Stitching Hole Pricking
- Automatically places stitching holes along with the stitching lines.
- Or you can also manually place stitching holes using registered pricking irons.
- The rotation angle of each stitching hole will be automatically adjusted with the curve.
- In the automatic stitching mode, you can choose fixed pitch or variable pitch。
- When you choose variable pitch mode, the pitch will be automatically adjusted from the original pitch to make the distance between stitching holes even as much as possible.
- It's possible to place stitching holes manually to a certain point with a fixed pitch then place holes automatically to the end with variable pitch.
- Changing holes to inverted (as if using inverse or reverse pricking irons) can be done anytime.
Box Stitch Helper Feature
- When you box-stitch two leather parts such as cylinder, box or horse shoe coin case, sometimes the number of stitching holes will be different and you will need to use some technique to match two holes for one to make both ends meet. This happens because the inner and the outer length of the leather are different. So if you open the stitching hole with the same pitch, the final number of stitches will be obviously different. Using the Box-Stitch Helper feature of Leathercraft CAD, you will be able to make the number of stitching hole the same for both inner and outer leather.
- This feature can be used to make a leather baseball. I will post a tutorial for that.
- If you have a scanned PDF/PNG/Jpeg image, you can import it as a background image and design leather craft patterns for that much easier and faster by tracing it.
- You can manually set the dpi for the imported images if necessary to make it 100% true size.
- You can also rotate the imported images if they are imported not straight.
Template Repository Feature
- Objects such as bank notes, coins, credit cards, passport can be registered as a template to the repository and reuse them anytime when you need them (such as when you make a design of a wallet).
- You can also save your drawing as a template.
SVG Export Feature (vector format)
- If you have a cutting machine or a laser engraver, you can cut out the leather or the pattern using the SVG export file of the Leathercraft CAD. For example, you can import a SVG export file to the LightBurn software for laser engraver.
Other Frequently Used Editing Features
- Round Corner Beveling
- You can round and smooth the corners of two lines.
- Offset Drawing Feature
- It’s useful when you need to draw a line 3mm away from the edge.
- Center Line Feature
- It draws a line between two points. It’s useful when you need to make a line symmetrical shape.
- Distance Marking Feature
- It draws a line a specified length away from the clicked point.
- It can be used to draw a line 3mm away from the tip of a stitching line as the start point of pricking,
- Basic Shapes
- You can design patterns using basic shapes such as dot, line, ellipse, arc, text, bezier curve
- Bezier Curve
- It supports Bezier curve that is frequently used in illustration draw software packages.
- In some CAD software you cannot edit a Bezier curve once it’s created, but Leathercraft CAD supports 100% re-editable smooth Bezier curves.
- You can use it as a stitching line or draw an offset line as well.
- Frequently Used Edit Features in Leathercraft Works
- Copy, cut, pase, flip horizontally, flip vertically, bulk stitching hole deletion, undo, redo, etc.
That’s about it. It has many unique features that only Leathercraft CAD has. (and again, there are a ton of features that most of the other CAD software have but Leathercraft CAD doesn’t.). As you can see, Leathercraft CAD is designed for leathercraft.
I started this project from February 2023. It took me 4 months before releasing the first beta version and two more months for the ver1.0 release. Thus, this is just a beginning of this project and I think it takes at least a few years to get to the level I really want it to be. Plus I am just a intermediate leathercrafter with only two-year experiences.
There are limitations to what I can do alone. A lot of Japanese beta testers have contributed to this project so far. Without those helps, I don’t think I could come this far, and I will need supports from leathercrafters all over the world for me to continue this Leathercraft CAD project and push it up to the next level. It takes time, but I am hoping we will be able to grow this software together little by little.
You can find the installer packages for Windows OS and macOS below. Please follow me on X (Twitter) if you want to get the latest information about the Leathercraft CAD project. Please use the hashtag #LeathercraftCAD when you post a message regarding this software. Please don’t forget to mention me with @LuthierTN if you are reporting an issue or requesting a feature, or asking me a question. Please also subscribe my YouTube channel. Seeing the increase of the number of the subscribers will be a great motivation for me to continue this project 😊
I have been publishing the latest development in X (Twitter). Please follow me on X
Please refer to the Release Notes for the updates.
For the minimum requirements, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
- For 64bit Windows
(MD5 Hash: f6b80ba5ba70e2f1f01ab034c060e861)
- For 32bit Windows (Please use this one if the above 64bit version doesn’t work on your PC)
(MD5 Hash: 7b1f4ca554060198abc80abe7c860b73)
※All installer ZIP files are inspected with WEBROOT SecureAnywhere CE23.3. Sometimes Windows Defender recognizes them as ransomware but I confirmed it’s a false alarm.
The above installer packages are zip-compressed. Please unzip it and double-click the actual installer (*.exe file), then follow the instruction.
- For 64-bit Apple Silicon (M1/M2 CPU) macOS
(MD5 Hash: 7d4cee7a776a241310736d0047034ec0)
- For 64-bit Intel CPU macOS
(MD5 Hash: 5a244b517222958bcba514c9018f4120)
The above installer packages are zip-compressed. Please unzip it and double-click the actual installer (*.dmg file), then drug the Leathercraft CAD icon in the installer window to the Application folder on the right side.
As far as I confirmed the macOS version runs on Ventura 13.4.1 (Apple M1) and Monterey 12.6.4 (Intel CPU). I think it runs if your macOS is macOS 10.15 Catalina or later, but I got a report from an user that it ran on High Sierra as well.