Author Topic: CAD for free ..........  (Read 15689 times)

Offline Darren

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CAD for free ..........
« on: January 29, 2010, 05:40:06 PM »
Stumbled across this free CAD program quite by accident looking for something else ...

I downloaded it and it seems to be OK ... better than the usual freebies ...

http://www.emachineshop.com/machine-shop/Tutorials/page223.html
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Offline CrewCab

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2010, 06:38:30 PM »
Mmmm ......... thanks for that Darren ............. I've downloaded it and had a quick look, as you say it seems promising, I'll try spend a bit more time tomorrow .......... btw, have you found the "Offset" command yet

Dave

Offline Darren

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2010, 06:38:58 PM »
It's a bit basic but I did manage to draw this with it



They are the gears from my milling machine table gearbox.

I would like to have a go at making another pair of different sizes, btw I ain't got a clue where to start?
Maybe I'll start a new thread  :)
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 06:43:40 PM by Darren »
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Offline Darren

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2010, 06:42:21 PM »
Mmmm ......... thanks for that Darren ............. I've downloaded it and had a quick look, as you say it seems promising, I'll try spend a bit more time tomorrow .......... btw, have you found the "Offset" command yet

Dave

Gizza clue, what's "offset" when it's found  :scratch:
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Offline CrewCab

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2010, 06:46:19 PM »
[Gizza clue, what's "offset" when it's found  :scratch: 

Probably the tool I use most in 2D Autocad ........... it's very old mind .........

Draw a line ............. copy it at a <insert distance> set distance away, great for drawing cavity walls etc

CC

Offline Darren

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2010, 06:52:54 PM »
Oh yes, I know what you mean now by "offset" used it many times myself in AutoCad .. No, don't hink this one has that... shame


But what it does have is a gear calculator ... that's brill  :)

I have two gears and wanted to work out what size blanks I needed to make new ones of different sizes. This prog tells you  :)

OK, I know, I need to learn the sums for myself ...  :doh:
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Offline Darren

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2010, 06:55:30 PM »
What annoys me with Autocad is that my ver doesn't work with Vista or Win7

So I need an old machine with XP on it just for CAD .... that's really irritating !!
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Offline Darren

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2010, 07:04:53 PM »
And here's the gears I would like to make  :)



You will find it a distinct help… if you know and look as if you know what you are doing. (IRS training manual)

Offline John Stevenson

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2010, 07:10:28 PM »
Quite a few freebies.

In no particular order and you will have to google for download links.

A9CAD                a lot like Autocad
Progecad LT       same as autocad but legal to run.
Bricad                 another Autocad clone
Dolphin CAD        free to use but the cam side needs a licence.
Alibre Express     free 3D modeller

And probably the best deal out there for 2D CAD is Solid Edge Origin, full parametric program for free. Parametric is where you change a part and the whole drawing updates itself.

John S.
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Offline CrewCab

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2010, 07:18:18 PM »
This thread is moving too quick for quotes :bugeye:

1) Darren .......... if they have omitted an "offset" command that's a bit like having a "chocolate" fireguard   :scratch:
2) Vista ........... where's the "spitty" smiley ....... that's why my "Vista" went in the bin and I re-installed XP ...... and will continue to do so ......... CAD is more useful to me than "shiny windows"  ........ that's not a Tina Turner track is it  :coffee: .......... steam is involved somewhere   ::)

forgive my ramblings  :poke:


3) JS ............ thank you  :thumbup:

CC

Offline Darren

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2010, 07:11:30 AM »
Thank you John for those, I have now got my head around the maths and now know the DP, PA, blank diameters for the new gears and the Involute cutters No's I require

I'll start a new thread when I get to starting on the job  :thumbup:
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Offline kvom

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2010, 09:54:09 AM »
What format(s) can drawings be saved as?

Offline Darren

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2010, 06:05:22 AM »
Um, the one I linked seems to use it's own file ext, so not that useful unless you just want to make some drawings and print them off.

I don't know if they could be opened with other programs? It may be possible to just change the file ext, but I don't really know.
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Offline No1_sonuk

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2010, 04:39:56 AM »
Alibre Express     free 3D modeller
Is this still extant?

I can't find how to get it on the Alibre web site.

tumutbound

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2010, 05:14:17 AM »
Is this still extant?

I can't find how to get it on the Alibre web site.

It doesn't seem to be on Alibre's website any more but I can't find a press release or similar that advises of its demise.
It's still available from some of the 'free' download sites but you (probably) need a license key to activate it.

Edit: Just checked the Australian reseller for Alibre and they still offer Express for download - Australia only though.
Check your http://www.alibre.com/company/programs/partners-var.asp?region=United%20Kingdom to see if they have it available.

I was running it but switched to Alibre Design when they had it on special a couple of months ago.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 05:18:38 AM by tumutbound »

Offline No1_sonuk

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2010, 06:49:20 AM »
The one I found was version 11.  The new code I got from Alibre didn't work with it.
Alibre Design is at version 12 now.  I've looked in several places for prices, but all of them want you to contact them to get the price.
In my experience, that means I can't afford it.  :bugeye:

Offline No1_sonuk

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2010, 07:18:24 PM »
I was running it but switched to Alibre Design when they had it on special a couple of months ago.
Looks like the "special" is permanent:
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=99008

Offline Tinkering_Guy

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2010, 02:44:28 PM »
I second the comments about Solid Edge 2D.  It's free for download from Siemens PLM (you just need to renew the licence a couple of times a year, also for free), and it's way more intuitive than any other CAD package I've touched.  Which isn't a lot, but anyway.  It's all point&click, with very little keyboard entry, and the relationships handling is great.  You can specify that this line is equal in length to that one, these circles are concentric, the edge on this part lines up with the one over there, these lines are parallel, et cetera.

And you can save files in multiple formats, including AutoCAD DWG, for import into other tools.

Maybe someday I'll be able to afford the 3D version; isometric view would be really handy sometimes..
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Offline Lew_Merrick_PE

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2010, 11:44:04 AM »
The one I found was version 11.  The new code I got from Alibre didn't work with it.
Alibre Design is at version 12 now.  I've looked in several places for prices, but all of them want you to contact them to get the price.
In my experience, that means I can't afford it.  :bugeye:

The "free" version is a 30-day trial.  After that it's (US)$100 for the "you can use it forever, but there's no support or updates and some of the functions have been limited" version.  For (basically) $500 you get the "Professional Design" version with support and updates for a year (they will ding you about $100/year thereafter) and some of the functions disabled.  For (about) $1000, you get the full version with their CAD, CAM, and some (limited) CAE tools.  If you pay attention, they have "discounts" where the price for the "high end versions" is about half of the list price a couple of times a year.

A few years ago when they were going for another round of funding, Alibre offered their "just past" version as a free, you can use it forever, program to boost the number of people they could claim as users/customers.  That's what everyone remembers.  It's not incorrect, just outdated.

I started doing CAD in 1971.  Back in the early-90's I had to list all the CAD programs I used as part of my CV for a presentation I gave.  The list ran to nearly 250 different programs -- most you have never heard of.  Most of my design work today is done using customer-defined programs: Catia, ProEngineer, and SolidWorks top the list.  I use Alibre for general concept and preparation work (along with General CADD a 2D program that is incredibly powerful and fast).  I am trying to help the Alibre team get some of their "features" working better for the 13.0 release (which I think they are calling Alibre-2010 to avoid the "13").  There is no compensation involved in this relationship (just to be clear about it).

Catia can be had for as "little" as (US)$28,000, but the typical "seat" runs about $65,000 installed and ready to go.  ProEngineer can be had for as "little" as $4800, but the typical "seat" ends up in the $20,000 range when the dust settles.  SolidWorks runs about $5600 installed and ready to go and you can figure on spending nearly as much to tweak it out to really gain speed.

Alibre has its problems (all CAD systems do), but I can complete designs using Alibre about as fast as I can using ProEngineer (which I have more than a decade's experience running) after less than six months.  My primary complaint about Alibre is that they do not have a good system set-up to allow users to share the little "utilities" that everyone writes to make things go faster.  I.E. I just completed the complete "library" of National Aerospace Specification (NAS) socket head screws and there's no good way for me to share this effort with other Alibre users to save them similar effort.  I can post it to a message in their user's forum (http://www.alibre.com/forum/ucp.php?mode=login), but you would have to find that message to grab a copy.  (This is an arena where all CAD companies fall down.)

A friend of mine's father-in-law makes ukuleles.  I modeled the ukulele neck for him last January using Alibre and also using ProEngineer.  I was able to create a more accurate model of the neck in Alibre than I could using ProEngineer as it has better lofting capabilities (they are called "quilts" in ProEngineer).  Alibre also lets the user have direct control (in the more expensive versions) of Boolean operations.  On the "downside," Alibre only creates flat-bottomed holes in the "drilling" routines and their "tap expert" is (as is true of most CAD systems today) wrong.  Otherwise, their geometry creation routines are as good as any in most instances.

Offline ickee

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2010, 07:37:05 AM »

Offline Joe in Oz

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2010, 07:59:49 AM »
Anyone her try Google Sketchup? Once you get your head around the concept, it is VERY fast....  and completelyt free and can export to several formats. Even has a reader to give to people without the program to allow objects to be moved in space to look at from any side. http://sketchup.google.com/download/

Offline grinder

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2010, 12:17:11 PM »
I second the comments about Solid Edge 2D.  It's free for download from Siemens PLM (you just need to renew the licence a couple of times a year, also for free), and it's way more intuitive than any other CAD package I've touched.  Which isn't a lot, but anyway.  It's all point&click, with very little keyboard entry, and the relationships handling is great.  You can specify that this line is equal in length to that one, these circles are concentric, the edge on this part lines up with the one over there, these lines are parallel, et cetera.

And you can save files in multiple formats, including AutoCAD DWG, for import into other tools.

Maybe someday I'll be able to afford the 3D version; isometric view would be really handy sometimes..


Do any of these programs allow exporting code readable by a CNC interpreter? My milling machine has been fitted with XY drives and I'm anxious now to try CNC coding. I've had no experience in CNC programming and need all the help I can get.
I feel like a 22-year old, but my wife won't let me have one.

Offline John Stevenson

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2010, 03:14:14 PM »
I second the comments about Solid Edge 2D.  It's free for download from Siemens PLM (you just need to renew the licence a couple of times a year, also for free), and it's way more intuitive than any other CAD package I've touched.  Which isn't a lot, but anyway.  It's all point&click, with very little keyboard entry, and the relationships handling is great.  You can specify that this line is equal in length to that one, these circles are concentric, the edge on this part lines up with the one over there, these lines are parallel, et cetera.

And you can save files in multiple formats, including AutoCAD DWG, for import into other tools.

Maybe someday I'll be able to afford the 3D version; isometric view would be really handy sometimes..


Do any of these programs allow exporting code readable by a CNC interpreter? My milling machine has been fitted with XY drives and I'm anxious now to try CNC coding. I've had no experience in CNC programming and need all the help I can get.

No you are missing one link called CAM in which you download the exportable file from the CAD program and it generates the G Code needed by the interpretor or more commonly known as controller.

John S.
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Offline vtsteam

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2014, 09:25:35 PM »
I don't know what Trimble has done with the old free SketchUp program after buying it from Google, but I still use both the original SketchUp 7.1 and SketchUp 8.

I've added quite a few free 3rd party Ruby plugins to allow it to go far beyond the limitations of the original slightly crippled free version, including importing and exporting .dxf files, and also added the free Sketch-U-Cam from Phlatboyz to generate G-code. That last is somewhat limited, but free nevertheless, and I've become used to it. It was originally mostly 2D CAM, geared toward Phlatboyz model airplane foam cnc machine, the Phlatprinter, but they made a gantry type extension to the software for cnc mills and routers, and I believe they have added 3D pocketing lately.

I run SketchUp in Wine on Linux. I've heard that Trimble removed the 3D stuff from the current free SketchUp, but haven't checked it out to see how bad it is, since I didn't like the look of their license agreement, and the older Google versions work fine for me.

Anyway, I can recommend the Google versions 7.1 and 8 if you can get hold of them. 7.1 seems to work better with SketchUCam on my computer. 8 does accept some later plugins I occasionally use.
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Offline John Stevenson

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2014, 09:27:20 AM »
Sorry?

Was you asleep VP? You have replied to a 4 year old post.  :coffee:
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Offline vtsteam

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2014, 10:09:45 AM »
Just updating the resource reference section of the forum, John.
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Offline Arbalist

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2014, 11:33:48 AM »
Sorry?

Was you asleep VP? You have replied to a 4 year old post.  :coffee:

The common term is "Necroposting"  :borg:

Offline vtsteam

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2014, 02:51:31 PM »
TurboCAD LE (Learning Edition) is a 2D CAD currently available here:

http://www.selectfreeware.com/node/269

I used to use it before I switched to Sketchup.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
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Offline vtsteam

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2014, 02:53:51 PM »
QCAD another classical 2D CAD is available free here:

http://www.qcad.org/en/

I've also used this one.

One additional advantage for Linux users is that it is open source and runs natively in Linux.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
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Offline vtsteam

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2014, 03:01:42 PM »
Inkscape, while not a CAD program per se, is very handy for converting vector graphics formats into .dxf files to bring into another CAD.

For example, I have often used Inkscape to convert a .pdf vector graphics file into .dxf to import into SketchUp.

Inkscape is free and available here:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/inkscape/
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Offline vtsteam

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2014, 03:04:29 PM »
SketchUCam is a plugin I use for SketchUp 7.1 and 8 for generating G-code from a SketchUp drawing.

It is available free here:

http://sketchucam.jimdo.com/
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Offline clivel

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2014, 09:36:48 PM »
Just updating the resource reference section of the forum, John.

We should of course then also include  FreeCAD an open source cross platform 3d parametric modeller.

For an example of what it can do, a model of a Jeep http://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=5720 and a tutorial for creating the Jeep body
     <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YrmNgJH5vI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YrmNgJH5vI</a>

 
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 10:06:08 PM by dsquire »

Offline Baron

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2014, 05:54:08 AM »
QCAD another classical 2D CAD is available free here:

http://www.qcad.org/en/

I've also used this one.

One additional advantage for Linux users is that it is open source and runs natively in Linux.

Yes ! I use that one almost exclusively now !

Best Regards:
                     Baron

Offline Manxmodder

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2014, 01:32:58 PM »
Hi Clivel, do you personally use that 3D freecad you link in your earlier post?

If so how easy is it compared to say Solidworks 2005 or 2007.

Anyone else got any recommendations and experiences on using various free cad software,I'd be interested to hear your views.

And do any of the freeware options out there include animations of mechanical assemblies?......OZ.
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Offline Arbalist

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Re: CAD for free ..........
« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2014, 08:40:14 AM »
Sorry?

Was you asleep VP? You have replied to a 4 year old post.  :coffee:

It's called "Necroposting"  :D