Free CAD programs

Discussion in 'Software' started by Willallison, Apr 24, 2002.

  1. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    I know, I know - it's a bit of an ask to get all this stuff for nothing. But we students, who are just basically mucking about, have to get it where we can!:D

    I am looking for a free (or very low cost) general CAD program which I can use to export the lines drawings from my hull fairing program, in order to dimension them etc

    I have had a go at using AutoCad, but it seems very complicated to use - it is probably far more powerful than I require at this stage (and it certainly ain't free!). Also the person who had it hadn't installed the help programs, so I was kind floundering about in the dark
     
  2. duluthboats
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    duluthboats Senior Dreamer

  3. Jeff
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    Jeff Moderator

    AutoCad is actually pretty easy once you get accustomed to it. You have to spend a week or so to get a feel for it and then it becomes intuitive. I think they've also made a lot of progress between 13, 14, and 2000/2002 in terms of the user workspace. I really do find it to be the easiest & fastest cad program to use for both 2d and 3d non-curved modeling. (Granted I might not have felt this way before spending a couple hundred hours with it) But to get started you do definitely want the help files installed - typing things like 'dispsilh' or 'facetres' or 'isolines' might not make sense until you get used to them ;) Seriously though it's not that bad at all - plus you can use a combination of icons and the command line which is really fast after a few hours.

    Good link though Gary - I used Turbocad before Autocad (11 was my first Autocad experience) and it was very easy to use also - I really liked TurboCad for 2d before I discovered how flexible AutoCad is and before I got hooked on using one hand on the keyboard with the other on the mouse.
     
  4. duluthboats
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    duluthboats Senior Dreamer

    I use AutoCad 2000 now at work. It will do almost anything if you know how to ask it to do it. I like it but never use it fully. I want to say, Jeff, that I'm no fan of the comand line. I have watched some that are good at it and I'm amazed at what they can do. I had used an early version of TubroCad and it was OK, but kind of a toy. I needed a cad program at home and couldn't affrod AC so I shopped around. TurboCad has a few user groups, and after spending some time with them I found this deal on e-bay. After I got it, the learning curve started all over again. I was very impressed with the 3D on 6.5. After 4 weeks I bought the V8 pro upgrade. For $30 US for the V6.5 TubroCad is the cheapest good CAD program that I have found. It's not as stable as AC and it has some bugs, but hey, what do you want for 30 bucks.
    For those just starting with CAD, it's always hard at first. Take it one step at a time. Don't try to draw a boat on your first day.
    Gary
     
  5. Polarity
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    Polarity Senior Member

  6. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Yeah, I did thanks Paul.
    I downloaded the program some time ago, but haven't had a chance to play with it yet......
    Is it the type of thing where you can import a dxf file or similar and then "build" the furniture inside the existing frame?
     
  7. Polarity
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Polarity Senior Member

    Hi Will
    Sorry I meant the link that Jeff posted
    http://www.ptc.com/products/desktop/
    not the one I found!

    I played with it for a bit but then I found Rhino 3d and out went the idea of free software!

    Paul
     
  8. duluthboats
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    duluthboats Senior Dreamer

    This might deserve a thread of it’s own but because I mentioned my purchase of TubroCad earlier in this thread I wanted to put it here. I bought TC 6.5 on E-bay cheap. At the time I was impressed, so I upgraded to 8.0. That was about 5 months ago and I feel I have spent enough time with it that I can make some judgments. Most of my early difficulties with TC I attributed to myself. I was having trouble with some functions put I wasn’t concerned because the way I learn is by making mistakes and have had this experience learning other Cad systems. With the help of online user groups and TC tech support I got past some of these problems. As I begin working in 3D and my files became larger and more complex, one problem kept recurring. The program would lockup unexpectedly, sometimes causing unsaved work to be lost. :( Despite all my efforts and help from others I have not been able to solve this glitch. The user groups are full of people with similar problems. So this is my $.02 on TurboCad. Version 6.5 at under $40 US is a good and simple 2D Cad program that has some 3D capabilities. The later versions if bought at full retail would NOT be on my recommended list. I might add that I am not a total novice with Cad. I have 6 years working with FeatureCam that draws in 3D using solids. I use AC 2000 weekly, but not much 3D. I also have played with Cati, SolidWorks, and Pro-E. These are all very expensive Cad systems and should not be compared to TC. At just over twice the full retail of TC V8.0, I currently am looking at the 3D modeling software Rhino. I will withhold judgment at this time, but I haven’t been able to crash my evaluation copy YET. ;)
    Gary
     

  9. Polarity
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    Polarity Senior Member

    Rhino

    ... I have,.... twice. In about 300hrs! Rhino is more stable than almost anything else on my pc except maybe notepad!

    Paul
     
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