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I have just downloaded free cad.17 and  cura is not compatible with it. is there another free cad program that is?

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Are you sure?  Cura likes an input of STL files.  I have never heard of cad software that can't output STL file.  Check the documentation.  I'm pretty sure I've used freecad and I'm pretty sure it can create STL files which cura loves.

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