CAD software

Discussion in 'Software' started by michael pierzga, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    I know a young boy...14 years old. He is a special boy. Good with math and computers. He also has a health problem. He lives on a machine so he cant go to school like a normal kid.

    His birthday is coming soon and I was going to buy him a CAD program.

    Any suggesting ?

    Simple, Fun for kids, Educational, Apple Desktop Computer
     
  2. Yellowjacket
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    Yellowjacket Senior Member

    The "Design CAD 3DMax" program is very good.

    Almost a professional program. A real CAD program will set you back over $5,000, and maintenance is $1200 a year. If you are using it for business, you can justify it, but most folks can't.

    I've used professional level programs (Unigraphics, Solid Edge, Solid Works and Autocad Inventor), and Design CAD is very nearly as good, yet it only costs $100.

    Here is a link.

    http://www.imsidesign.com/Products/DesignCADSeries/DesignCAD3DMAXV22/tabid/1832/Default.aspx

    It will take some learning, but, as I said, all of the features of a big money CAD program are there, and after you get the hang of it, you can design almost anything with it. I was also very impressed with the surfacing capability of the program, the ability to create 3D surfaces along splines and curves and it does this pretty well.

    One thing you will find it that most all CAD programs run on Windows. You might need to run it on an Apple machine with an emulator, or you may need to get a windows capable machine. Call the company and find out what they do, but basically CAD programs are almost all Windows based. That's just the way it is.
     
  3. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Cool..Thanks...Ill have a look
     
  4. yipster
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    yipster designer

    Perhaps a windows pc is the best gift. Maybe a good general CAD basic book. But have a look at all the free CAD software before going deep, if he likes boats f.e. download freeship, if he likes the CAD taste than there is more CAD to investigate. Its a learning proces that takes time.
     
  5. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    A real PC would be wise. But Kids seem to love Apple.

    Hopefully this design software is free. And simple.

    The object is to stimulate interest. Perhaps there is no interest in design ?

    Years ago my niece got some CAD software. I cant remember the name. The software opened to a drawing of a bicycle. Lessons were built into the software . you learned how to draw the bike , its components and the common CAD terms and techniques like layers, splines, click to grid. .

    Very simple program.

    At present Im on the boat sailing so I cant surf the internet looking. Downloading anything..even if its free ..costs a fortune.
     
  6. mick_allen
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    mick_allen -

    What about sketchup?: quick to achieve some manner of success, big user base, lots of free models, used by many professionals.
     
  7. ludesign
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    ludesign Senior Member

    That is simply not true. Have you actually had a look at what is available, or are you just yet another Windows person with no real knowledge about Mac? True, there are for sure a lot more programs available for Windows, but in reality, there are also hundreds of CAD program available for Mac, and many are really good. I have been a professional Mac CAD user since 1987.
     
  8. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Ill check it out. I asked around and was told Sketchup is great for kids..
     
  9. ludesign
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    ludesign Senior Member

    Sketchup is essentially a sketch program for architects, so it works best for basic shapes like cubes and cylinders. I would never use if for boats though. Don't care much for the interface either, which is cute at first, but rather tedious in the long run.

    For basic 2D CAD drafting, AutoCAD style, you could try Dassault's Draftsight, which is a AutoCAD LT clone, and used DWG/DXF as generic file format . Also free and works on all major platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux).

    Besides AutoCAD for Mac, Autodesk/AutoCAD provide a series of free 3D CAD programs for Mac, such as Inventor Fusion, 123D Design, and 123D Make. Not for free form shaping, but it will teach you a thing or two about solid modeling, Inventor style.

    Other possible but not free CAD programs for Mac include for example, Vellum, TurboCAD, MacDraft, HighDesign, CorelCAD, Vectorworks, ArchiCAD, TouchCAD, and many many more.
     
  10. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Ive also had Dassault Draftsight software recomended
     
  11. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Michael,

    IMO, first you have to see what are the interests of this kid. What does he likes to do? Perhaps he just wants to paint, in which case a photographic drawing and retouching tool might be the best option. Like GIMP: http://www.gimp.org/

    If you think that he might like to create fancy 3D shapes, of the industrial-design or computerized-cartoon type, then it would imo make more sense to go for a 3D-modelling software like Blender (freeware, open-source): http://www.blender.org/ .

    Both of the above software are freeware and are available for Mac OS. Also, they both have a learning curve. But for a 14-yrs old kid a learning curve is not a problem, it is a problem only for the old fellas like us.

    Draftsight is a freeware clone of Autocad, which is a tool for creating professional architectural and engineering drawings. I personally doubt a kid would enjoy using Autocad-like software, because it is oriented towards productivity, not towards creativity. But you know him better so, it's your decision. :)

    Cheers
     
  12. ludesign
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    ludesign Senior Member

    Blender has a truly horrible user interface and a questionable compatibility with external programs. In this class of programs, and for not so much more money ($69), I would recommend Cheetah3D. Mac only though. http://www.cheetah3d.com
     
  13. quequen
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    quequen Senior Member

    I strongly recommend Sculptris, a free version of ZBrush, for a creative kid. It's intended for 3D organical shapes and is the organic engine included in Blender. Sculptris has an incredible fast Learning Curve, he will be creating good shapes in minutes.

    http://pixologic.com/sculptris/

    For architectural, more euclidian 3D geometries, there is nothing as easy and fast as Sketchup.

    If your kid prefers 2D and freehand sketch, download Autodesk SketchBook. If you are good sketching, then it's the funniest and easiest tool (it needs a tablet). There are free versions for smatphones and iPad.

    All this tools are extremely powerful, easy to learn and free.
     
  14. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Thanks , Ill have a look...Sculptris
     

  15. bhnautika
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    bhnautika Senior Member

    I agree with quequen about sculptris and blender great for organic modelling, I use them together for some tasks using “obj” file transfere. Add to that a good render engine and games engine makes for a lot of interesting fun.
     
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