Anyone use CAD software to design projects?

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I'm looking for opinions/suggestions for a 2D CAD program that's inexpensive (yeah, that's vague, but figure <$100) and useful for designing furniture. This is purely weekend hobby work, but I'd like precise drawings of my designs. I also imagine that it would be useful to generate a bill of materials, a cutting list, maybe a "map" of cuts on a sheet of plywood.
I'd also appreciate links to CAD reviews from a hobbyist woodworking point of view. (This article is what got me thinging - http://www.woodcentral.com/bparticles/cad.shtml )
I'm a computer programmer, so I'm not afraid of a steep learning curve.
Thanks, Michael
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I use two CAD programs. Turbocad Pro and Intellicad. Turbocad will do an excellent job for you and the 2D version is free. It's relatively easy to learn (no CAD is easy but this one is better than most). No bill of materials though. The other is Intellicad. An AutoCAD clone, it is, like AutoCAD, harder to learn but has the advantage that tutorials for AutoCAD are prevalent all over the net and are applicable to Intellicad. It will also run LISP routines (automation). Free LISP routines are all over the web. There are additional bill of material add ons available for it. http://www.intellicadms.com/store/default.asp
http://nct.digitalriver.com/fulfill/0002.16

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In rec.woodworking
I use AutoCAD Lite and it works fine. I don't think you can get it for under $100 though. I think I paid over $300, but I use it for work also. I draw almost everything I make and for small patterns and such, I print full scale. This weekend I made some bandsaw candle holders and just printed out the patterns full-scale and glued them to the stock to cut. Works great.
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Nothing wrong with ACLT but I wouldn't pay what they want for it. I use Turbocad Pro and Intellicad.
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In rec.woodworking

I would too if I was paying but my company pays and that is what they chose. And, I don't have to convert to take to work and plot full-scale.
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wrote:

If I'm working for somebody that uses something different, that's what I use.
And, I don't have to convert to take to work and plot full-scale.
Neither do I.

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I would definitely go with MSC.Patran to do the solid modeling. You can then link in other modules to do finite element analysis, thermal analysis, etc. Oh, wait, did you say $100 or $100K? An average person can probably pick it up in a couple of weeks. Since you're a programmer, I'd allow a month.
todd
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Michael,
While I don't use it for my woodworking much I have been using QuickCad by Autodesk recently. We are about to build a house and I've been using it to generate ideas for inside the house and land placement. It works well for me. It was well under $100. and will export in many of the popular Cad files. Can even export into one file format then import into .jpg if need be.
It will generate lists but will not create cutting lists. But the lists are a simple database you might be able to export the list out to another sheet cutting program.
As far as reviews. From what I remember on rec.woodworking this program is not rated very high on the list. I don't know why because I've not used the other programs. I suggest you do a search here to get some of the previous discussions.
Roy
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"Michael Press" wrote in message

I have both TurboCAD and QuickCAD 8. I settled on the latter for measured shop drawings and to use as a basis for a developing a cutlist. It fits you're criteria for inexpensive +/- $50.
For cutlists, I use CutList Plus from Bridgewood Design and _highly_ recommend it. As a programmer you will appreciate the professionalism of the author and his responsiveness to his customers input.
I am a rank amateur when it comes to CAD, but if you want to see a paltry example of what a newbie can do with the program in a few minutes, check out page 5 of my projects page, "708 style writing desk" ... just two simple views, and not exhaustive by any means, but serves multiple purposes for me for planning and execution of projects as I normally work without plans.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 2/13/04
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Lastweek I purchased Autodesk QuickCad 8 at Staples for $53 w/tax. I am pleased with the program, and have used it to lay out the next couple of projects. The learning curve isn't too bad as it seems pretty intuitive. There's features I would like have included...but for the money, I won't complain.
Good luck!
Darwin

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Have a look at SketchUp (www.sketchup.com). I have been evaluating it and it works very very well for woodworking projects, and the learning curve is not big at all, I can use it and I'm a programmer too. :-)
Anyway, I love this program already, I'm buying it.
--
gabriel

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i agree that sketchup is great... but it's also $500.
gabriel wrote:

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David Zaret wrote:

Yeah, the only downside. I had a really good look at it, I made a sample woodworking design and a sample bathroom remodel (with cabinetry, of course) in the alloted tryout time.
It's amazing to me, that I could do three things in 8 hours of use (the alloted tryout time): 1) Learn to use it with the online videos, 2) Design a sample cabinet for my garage, and 3) Remodel a bathroom (toilet, tub, shower, and cabinets) so that you could walk inside and see the texture, color, and size proportions.
The really cool thing about SketchUp is that you can do a rough design first, and then if you like it, you can refine it later. You do not need to design stuff down to the millimeter at first. This is what frustrates me about CAD. I need to see if it's a good idea first before I spend hours and hours on details.
Even though I am not a pro, $500 is worth it because of the time and material saved (I have made expensive design errors in the past), and because I can use the program for our home improvements.
--
gabriel

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gabriel wrote:

I'm not familiar with sketchup - but I noted that there's a version 3 package on eBay - current bid: $70.
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Morris Dovey
West Des Moines, Iowa USA
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When I use a CAD it is Turbocad. However I find it more a pain in the ass and time consuming for general projects and only use it for specialized situations or when I want to play what if.
Now cut lists, sheet layouts, pricing, and pick lists are a different story and I highly recommend Cutlist plus http://www.bridgewooddesign.com /. They have a limited trial version and three levels of working models.
As a side note on cut list plus. A lot of people I recommend the program too are interested in many of the functions but indicate that pricing a project isn't something they worry about because they do it for fun. We all run into friends and relatives who want something built for them and will "give you a little something for it". I strongly suggest that they run the job through cut list plus. You'd be absolutely amazed at what that "little something" actually comes out too, even without labor and overhead figured in. And, when you quote what that "little something" might be, it's nice to have it in black and white. Even nicer to have the job also run with overhead and labor charges figured in so you can show them both.
--
Mike G.
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You can pick up copies of CAD programs on EBay very cheaply....mjh
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"Michael Press" < snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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says...

vicious attacks on illegal users and autodesk licences are not transferable....
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I am not talking about anything illegal . I am talking about copies of turbocad. Ihave an old version 6.5 that Ibought from turbocad . From that I learned the basics, enough to do my basic drawings, for a room I was paneling . then I realized even with this version it would be years before I could take advantage of the total program. CAD programs are so extensive there are no end of stuff you can do with them . simple two dimensional drawing doesnt even scratch the surface Autodesk is probably the rolls royce of cad priograms and of course it comes with a rr pricetab, turbocad in my opinion is a good alternative,and as Isaid earlier versions can be found on ebay...mjh
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"Russell" < snipped-for-privacy@flodder.net> wrote in message
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I just checked Ebay there are versions on ebay for $30 you cant go wrong. when I did the last library I used a local millwork company's moldings . Their brochure had their molding shown full size and drawn to scale .I just added this to my Turbocad library so I could add their moldings into my drawings ..... If nothing else get a TC version just to learn on .
These programs not only have CNC applications but the later programs have rendering features that show designs in almost any aspect with photographic quality . Thjere are not that many customers that understand blueprints/drawings but most do comprehend pictures...mjh
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"Mike Hide" < snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net> wrote in message
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Turbocad's license agreement states that it is transferable. AutoCAD's days of being top of the line are long gone. Technological advancements have seen to that. You can get far higher performance for far less money. Turbocad, in various versions, shows up on Ebay all the time. Version 8 Professional (they're up to 9.5 now) can often be had for less than $100.00 and has capabilities that you will probably never take full advantage of. Be aware though that Turbocad comes in three packages: Designer, Standard and Professional. If 2D is all you want, any of them will do. If 3D is in your future, Professional is the one to get. Done in version 8 Professional: http://www3.imsisoft.com/turbocad/community/galleries/v8gallery/index1.html

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