3D project software

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I am presently a New-be and I'm looking for a nice 3D software package for new projects. I know you seasoned chippers will just say "Just Do IT". I know but I have to learn for myself. Please advise.
Thanks Steve
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there is a nice review of various CAD programs as they relate to woodworking project design/planning in the latest Workbench magazine. I don't have it in front of me, but IIRC DeltaCad received kudos for ease of use, but something like 3D Cad Max or something like that was the author's favorite.
Mike

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I was wrong about the magazine - it was Fine Woodworking, not Workbench.
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Design Cad was their pick. I used the program back in the 80's. It is a very complete software. It's been around for a long time. I have and use AutoCad. I don't model woodworking projects in 3-d (I am trained in 3-d). I do make sketches and plans of nearly every project, including cut lists.
3-d design is time consuming and yields (IMO) very little. Just so you will know, my 3-d training came when I used the Rebis software. That doesn't make me an authority, but an informed source. :-)

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I find 3D much faster than 2D (although, if I had to use AutoCAD to do it, I would agree with you). I build a project complete, including joints ect, and assemble it. 2D prints are easily and quickly generated from the 3D model. BTW, for 2D work, AutoCAD or Intellicad are my pick.

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Of what I heard, his top pick was Designcad. Price had a lot to do with it. Designcad is IMSI's low end program. I use IMSI's high end myself, Turbocad. The first thing you have to ask yourself is, "am I willing to put that much time and effort into learning CAD". I have taught CAD to a number of people and would say, on average, it will take somewhere along the line of 40 hours practice to become reasonably productive. According to a study done by Boeing Aircraft, 1/3 of the population would never grasp 3D, 1/3 could be trained to do it and 1/3 would do well. Were do you fit?

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I use solidworks...Brian
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On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 13:04:55 GMT, "Brian in Hampton"

So do I, but I seriously doubt he want to pop for $3,995 + $1295 first years maintenance.
I'm anxiously awaiting for further development of LignumCAD at http://lignumcad.sourceforge.net/doc/en/HTML/index.html
Looks pretty cool.
==========================================================================Chris
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Steve Blake wrote:

Question--how much do you want to spend? You can get a fairly well-equipped shop for the price of a copy of a good 3D CAD program.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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Great info everyone.
I wasn't wanting to spend a lot of money, just enough so I give my wift (finicial advisor) an idea of what I am planning to build. I'm an electrical engineer and I know that doing this 3D work first will be time consuming and I am sure I will agree with you Lowell but like I said earlier, this is just something I'm going to have to learn myself.
I am going to pick up a copy of Workbench Magazine. thanks Mike.
I've used IronCad but (years ago), I thought it was tailored for sheetmetal work. What do I know, I might check it out again since I see a possible use now.
Thanks again everyone
Steve

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If you want to go free, there's a 2d/3d CAD program, originally designed for Linux, but also, I think, available for Windows:
http://www.cycas.de /
Ray
On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 23:29:26 +0000, sblake wrote:

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wrote:

Worth a look! Try also solid Edge. They might still have a demo which is fairly rich if not absolutely complete.
I still prefer DeltaCad for the little I do. More powerful tools are like more powerful cars ...safer in better hands.
Bill.
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if you have some cad background you might want to look at intellicad. it's an autocad clone, more or less. the basic license is $150. http://www.cadopia.com /
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$51.95 at CMS. For 2D, highly recommended (in other words, I use it:). Though Autocad or Intellicad are not the easiest programs to learn, there is lots of tech help all over the net.

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As a fellow EE, I can assure you that using 3D CAD tools is much more time consuming than generating system models using tools like Matlab or solving problems using Maple. I have been using TurboCad for 3D drawing and have found it useful. The 3D aspect is helpful in making sure that the design is rational. It is time-consuming however.

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Well 3 out of 3 EE's agree. As an EE I also agree that using a CAD is somewaht useful but very time consuming. I've tried Turbocad but found each time I use it I need to retrain myself. Obviously I don't use it much.
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| | Well 3 out of 3 EE's agree. As an EE I also agree that using a CAD is | somewaht useful but very time consuming.
I'm not an EE; my training is mostly ME. CAD, the way it's often meant to be used, is usually about optimizing enterprise design, not necessarily one-time informal designs by individuals. That's why I'm a little leery about people just assuming they need CAD for woodworking projects. I want to know what advantages they think they're going to get from it. That helps me make a meaningful recommendataion.
--Jay
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For those who don't use it often, I also suspect most CAD packages are of little use, supporting your thoughts. As a retired EE who used to do some ME, I've seen people who live with CAD programs, and can effectively design on them. For the rest of us, I think a simple CAD program (or good drawing program?) can be useful for small tailoring of existing designs, or if you need to make many small variations of a design.
For the rest of it, I made a drafting table, and bought a cheap machine on eBay. That changed my hand sketches to reasonable drawings and, in many cases, ended up being faster than drawing it with a CAD package. While some CAD's 3D drawings might be nice, they take too long to produce, and my isometric drawings are just as effective.
The last initial design use I had for CAD was in designing the drafting table that replaced it.
As an aside, a previous post here noted FWW's choice of Design CAD, how the price was under 100 and it came with several tutorial CDs. So I got a trial copy and found out the rest of the story. Turns out they released a new version. Don't know if this is a change, but the program itself does NOT come with any tutorial CDs, instead you have to pay more for them. Design CAD did appear to have potential, but their help text was next to useless and I gave up on it and went back to my many-years-old copy of Intellidraw, which is intuitive enough I can quickly relearn it whenever it's needed.
GerryG
wrote:

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On 19 Aug 2004 04:12:02 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (dteckie) wrote:

That, and I've found after two major revision upgrades, Turbocad keeps changing commands and the user interface, so you wind up having to retrain yourself each time it changes.
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The changes are slight. More additions that anything else. I can work between version 7 and version 10 without having to think about it much. The biggest adaptation between them is to remember that there are a lot of features not present in 7. Changes are unavoidable in any program that is completely icon and menu based. With something like AutoCAD, you never really notice much difference as long as you use the command line. If I had to use AutoCAD with nothing but the icons, I'd be lost. Never did learn them.

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