Author Topic: CAD recommendations  (Read 17402 times)

Offline j45on

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CAD recommendations
« on: May 24, 2011, 03:18:09 PM »
I need a CAD program,I have tried to learn CAD before and failed miserably  :palm: mainly because the software I purchased had no tutorials and I am thick  :lol: ( well it did but they cost as much as the software  :bang:)
So I need something easy to learn  :scratch: affordable,and ideally have some free tutorials What would you recommend ?

I have mach3 and cut2D (which is great) and I was planning to use inkscape but it has turned out to be inaccurate for measurements.
Jason

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2011, 03:25:56 PM »
ALIBRE.

Relatively inexpensive to buy ($199usd for the hobby package...sooo $1.00 after conversion to pounds sterling?  :lol: :lol:), easy to learn and is pretty powerful....

I use it. Quite a few people here do as well...

Eric
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 03:27:52 PM by Brass_Machine »
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Offline DaveH

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2011, 03:33:48 PM »
j45on,

Are you looking for 3D or just 2D.

DaveH
(Ex Leicester, Thurmaston, Ashby De La Zouch.)

Offline dickda1

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2011, 03:40:31 PM »
I use Adobe Inventor and Rhino - but these are expensive.

If you don't care about rendering a finished model, creating assemblies, parameterizing or inputs to CAD, you can get away pretty cheap.  This is especially true if you just want to create dimensioned 2D and 3D drawings for machining.

Have you tried the free version of Google Sketchup?  Free always gets my attention!

-Dick
sunny (mostly) San Francisco, land of looney people, sane politics and occasional earthquakes.
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Offline John Stevenson

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2011, 04:20:35 PM »
At the present time there is no contest.


Solid works which is the main 3D modelling program but expensive, read 5K to license has released a cut down 2D version called Draftsight for free,
no strings attached, and nothing crippled.

Add to this they have put loads of tutorials on Youtube showing various features that you can't go wrong.

http://www.draftsight.com

John S.
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Offline Country Bubba

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2011, 04:25:17 PM »
I have been using a couple of FREEWARE Acad look alikes.

For the past ~3 years, I have used Progecad smart (can be downloaded here  http://www.progesoft.com/en/smart-2009)
However the last version is the 2009 version and am not sure if they are going to update it. It has a couple of minor bugs, but has served me well. NOTE: it is for non-commercial use ONLY.

Recently, the makers of Solidworks has released a 2D package and again it is very much like Acad. The also have several tutorials in their forum and a fairly active users support in the forum.
This can be found at:

http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/download-draftsight/

an internet connection is required (real e-mail address) for registration that is required, but they have not bugged me at all.
It is out of beta now and have issued SP1 however there are still a few issues that need to be fixed. :poke:

For 2d drawings, either is great.

Art
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Offline DaveH

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2011, 04:27:56 PM »
Here's another free 2D cad with lots of tutorial and web help/support

http://www.doublecad.com/

I would sugest you download  both (and DraftSight) and see which takes your fancy.

DaveH
(Ex Leicester, Thurmaston, Ashby De La Zouch.)

Offline John Stevenson

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2011, 04:39:29 PM »
Here's another free 2D cad with lots of tutorial and web help/support

http://www.doublecad.com/

I would sugest you download  both (and DraftSight) and see which takes your fancy.

DaveH

That's very good advise as CAD is like religion, there is no program that suits all.

It's a long road but it does pay to download a few and plan to spend at least three nights on each to see which program suits the way you work.

John S.
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Offline DennisWA

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2011, 04:51:56 PM »
Thanks John S. for the advice on DraftSight - something that I can use on my Apple MacBook  :clap:    I have just downloaded here in Colorado. 

The Mac one is a Beta version but it will give me something to do on my current trip to the USA / UK visiting grandchildren (2 months away from my workshop :bang:)

Enjoyed the brief chat at Harrogate.

Cheers

Dennis

Offline j45on

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2011, 05:28:38 PM »
Many thanks everybody  :bow: I shall download some now and have a play

A few specific answers

j45on,

Are you looking for 3D or just 2D.

DaveH

Just 2D for now
Have you tried the free version of Google Sketchup?  Free always gets my attention!

-Dick

I have but the free version will not output the files I need which is a shame as its easy to use


Jason

Offline kwackers

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2011, 06:11:14 PM »
I've tried various packages on and off and found them mostly frustrating.

I do simple stuff in vcarve which is great and pretty intuitive but not that good for complex stuff.

However, I've just downloaded DraftSight (thanks John for the link!) and in 10 minutes of playing and watching a few of the youtube videos have got far further than any other package despite sometimes spending a fair bit of time trying to get them to do fairly basic things.

TBH, probably my lack of patience...

Offline j45on

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2011, 06:19:45 PM »
Just downloaded Draftsight as well  :thumbup: as it will run on a mac which is what I have indoors
I must go and google the videos i'm still reading the pdf
Hopefully I can figure it out  :nrocks:
Jason

Offline jgroom

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2011, 05:45:35 PM »
As a Linux user I love Draftsight, but it is woefully short of documentation for the new user.  As a 20+ year user of AutoCad in various work environments I can say the commands in DS are very similar.  Hit the local used bookstores/libraries for the AutoCad Bible, Dummies guides to ACAD, etc.  They'll put you on the right track.

Cheers

Jeff

Offline John Stevenson

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2011, 05:49:41 PM »
Short on documentation ?

186 page manual here free for download.

http://www.3ds.com/fileadmin/PRODUCTS/DRAFT_SIGHT/PDF/GETTING-STARTED-GUIDE.pdf

John S.
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Offline kvom

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2011, 06:06:33 PM »
Another happy draftsight user here.

Offline j45on

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2011, 06:26:15 PM »
Short on documentation ?

186 page manual here free for download.

http://www.3ds.com/fileadmin/PRODUCTS/DRAFT_SIGHT/PDF/GETTING-STARTED-GUIDE.pdf

John S.

I have been following that and I have managed to draw some of the panels for a wooden puzzle box  :ddb:
I could not figure out how to draw a simple square with the last program I had :palm:



I am getting there slowly  :D
Jason

Offline DaveH

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2011, 04:21:39 AM »
Jason,

Well done,  :clap: :clap: :clap:  you know what they say "practice makes perfect" :thumbup:


 :beer:

DaveH


(Ex Leicester, Thurmaston, Ashby De La Zouch.)

Offline kwackers

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2011, 04:44:57 AM »
I tried to draw a cylinder for a steam engine using it. All went well, even felt like I was getting the hang of it! Draw a box here, relative to that one there, mirror that object etc etc.

But then when I came to dimension it, the dimensioning arrows are bigger than the cylinder! In fact if I shrink the image to make the dimension arrows about the right size my cylinder is a dot.
I think somewhere along the line I've got my scale wrong, perhaps I selected angstroms...

Offline kwackers

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2011, 02:44:42 PM »
Does anyone know how to enter fractional values?  i.e.  1 9/16 into these cad packages?

Seems to be a pita to have to manually convert stuff like that before typing it in. I tried changing the units to fractional but nothing I typed in seemed to make it happy. (This is for draftsight, but I guess the procedure is common amongst most).

Offline Country Bubba

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2011, 02:59:06 PM »
in your example, in the command bar type 1-9/16 and it should work.

Art
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Offline kwackers

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2011, 03:02:41 PM »
Excellent! Thanks and work it did too!

Offline John Stevenson

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2011, 05:32:50 PM »
The command line instructions are very good in CAD programs, the ones that support them that is.
Once you start getting up to speed it's well worth printing out the command line structure for common moves.

Type in "L" [ no inverted commas] in the command line and it knows it has to draw a line, first question is start point ? Type in 0,0 and it will start at the drawing base point. Then it wants the next point.

As most drawings are dimensioned as a part and not from a common point we are used to so wide, so long as opposed to always measuring from an absolute point like 0,0. From an absolute point is called , well absolute and the so wide, so long method is called Relative.

So to carry on with our line if we type in 100,0 we get a line 100 units long none high so parallel, now if we need a vertical side 30mm high we type in 100,30
This side is Absolute to the start point and can be confusing if you have a sketch that doesn't give any idea of where every point is to the absolute start point, even harder is the absolute point isn't at 0,0

The choice is now to work in relative which adds entities on from the last point and doesn't care where the start point is.

On the command line we have alternative moves that are highlighted in blue, Undo is one as it's a likely next move, so press U then enter and the vertical line disappears, press U enter again and the horizontal line disappears.

Now type in @100,0 and we get the same horizontal move as before because it starting from the same point, however now type in @0,30 and we get the same vertical line 30 units long but starting from the last point.
@50,50 will get us a line 50 units along it's base and 50 units high, in other words a line at 45 degrees but we don't know how long that line is without using trig.
But if we type @50<45 it now draws a line 50 units long at 45 degrees.

Here endeth this lesson.

@ gets you relative moves from the last point.
< gets you angular moves.
U enter gets you an undo move.

John S.
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Offline sparky961

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2011, 10:53:18 PM »
I use Draftsight for all my 2D work, with is admittedly very little these days.  I have few complaints about it, and with every new version they seem to keep fixing the small things that were annoying me.

I'm a devoted SolidWorks user since starting with it about 3 years ago.  I started with AutoCAD for 3D and spent HOURS building very simple shapes.  When I had to change something, I spend 10x the original number of hours doing so.  Then I thought I was in heaven when Sketchup because mainstream, but it had many limitations that I struggled with and I haven't touched it since becoming proficient with SolidWorks.

In SolidWorks, being a parametric modeling program, as long as you design your model with a bit of foresight, you can make changes to features you drew very early on in the process and other features will "adjust" accordingly.  In many other lesser 3D programs, you would have to make all of these adjustments manually or start to play around with faces and such.

Obviously cost is a factor.  As some have already mentioned, it isn't difficult to come by a copy of it and it isn't like Dassault Systems is losing out on a sale.  If you didn't "find" yourself a copy, it isn't like you'd actually purchase it for hobby use - most people not even if the price were a few hundred (CAD$).  That said, if you get to the point where you're running a viable business using the software, you really should buy a legitimate copy and support further development.  I figure the more people that use a software package, the more popular it becomes and this actually drives further sales of a product.  Very few successful businesses would continuously use software they didn't pay for.

I'm fortunate to have access to this at work, but I wish there were an open source project (maybe there is?) that builds on much of the very good work that Dassault Systems has done with Solidworks.  Given the time and absence of control freak project managers, I'd certainly be willing to contribute some coding effort.

-Sparky

Offline Stumpy

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2011, 05:25:48 AM »
Iv just tyred the Draftsight system and i must say i found it very nice and very easy to use.

I found that the key commands are the same as AutoCad so a few hr's on youtube might give you a few tips i find watching some one on a videio easyer to pick things up over reading it.

One more thing that helps in cad for me is having a mouse with lots of buttons on if you set it up right you have enter,esc,shift and so on at the end of your finger tips may not sound like much but over 3hrs drawing you will soon see a big time saver and you poor arm will be thanking you for it.

And right clicking in the tool bar will bring up more tools to use yet again less key board work
If i cant fix it ill know some one that can

Offline kvom

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Re: CAD recommendations
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2011, 09:01:32 AM »
Quote
when I came to dimension it, the dimensioning arrows are bigger than the cylinder!

You can change the size and position of dimensions text;  select one or more dimensions and modify the text attributes.