CAD for simple 3-D metal & wood projects?

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Things I want to draw... ...wood boards ...aluminum flat bar, square tube, round tube, rod ...holes through materials ...bolts, washers, and nuts ...wheels In other words, I want to draw things you might make at home.
Is 2-D CAD appropriate for drawing three-dimensional objects, like boxes? Do they typically allow you to enter a third dimension when placing an object? I don't mind having limited views, like a front view and a side view, but most of us work with three-dimensional objects...
Thanks.
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On 11/20/2013 6:09 PM, John Doe wrote:

No. Unless it will allow ISO, isometric, drawing.
Do they typically allow you to enter a third dimension when

No.
I don't mind having limited views, like a front

Your absolutely best bet would be to down load Sketchup Make 2013. Do a Google search it to find it. Free 3D drawing and countless YouTube videos to watch as tutorials.
I have been using CAD programs that I have paid for for 27 years and the last program was AutoCAD. I switched to Sketchup about 6 years ago and have not looked back.
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Leon <lcb11211 swbelldotnet> wrote:

The Pro version has "solid modeling tools". Is that something important the free version doesn't have?
Thanks.

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If it's for making custom parts, like for making your own parts library, it's not important to me.
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On 11/20/2013 6:32 PM, John Doe wrote:

It is very likely that you will not need the 'solid tools' features. With the free 'Make' version of Sketchup, you can create you own 3 D component, assemblies, projects, etc.
The free version does have most of the functionality of the 'Pro' version.
The 'Pro' version does include some features for documentation and layout that you might find useful. However, I strongly suggest that you try the free version first. It will probably do all that you want.
Dan
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phhhhhttt! Sketchup is worthless for 3D CAD. It's a drawing package, not a CAD package!
If you don't know the difference between drawing software and CAD software, you don't need CAD.
Lloyd
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On 11/21/2013 6:00 AM, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:

SketchUp is actually "3D modeling software", not a "drawing package".
It is true that SketchUp is not "CAD" in the traditional sense, but SketchUp is much easier to use for what it does _using faces and edges to model in three dimensions_- than a traditional CAD program.
They both have their strong points and, as with any tool, the choice and use depends upon the job.
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'modeling' is a pretty loose term as pertains to Sketchup.
Using Sketchup, I've build full photo-realistic panoramic 'models' of theme park sets for designing fireworks presentations. I love it for what it's intended to do. It's simple, quick, and CRUDE. You don't seem to quite understand what underlies its drawings.
I defy you to get any precise measurements or 'fits' out of any Sketchup model. Vertices don't align, vectors overlap and/or mis-match at ends, 'snap' points randomly 'fly' to other dimensions, textures just 'float' in the same plane as the surface to which they're applied, and are transparent from some viewing angles... it just goes on and on. It was _designed_ to make pretty, "3D-looking" shapes for on-screen presentations, not for creating detailed items for machining.
Sketchup models can _look_ pretty, but they aren't representations of any real solids, and cannot be used (even crudely) for creating a part from a drawing, unless measurements don't matter a whit. Even then, it's a stone bitch to translate a Sketchup model into something CAM can handle.
I'm saying all this from the perspective of a (past) _heavy_ user of both Sketchup and several true 3D CADs. It doesn't sound to me like you have extensive experience with either genre.
LLoyd
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On 11/21/2013 7:53 AM, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:

Define precise, I'm an old AutoCAD user and find that for woodworking Sketchup is plenty precise.
Vertices don't align, vectors overlap and/or mis-match at ends,

Until I learned to use Sketchup sufficiently I had that problem too. What you are describing is not a problem that I have noticed any more.

Define Machining. Works great for machining wood. perhaps not steel.
AAMOF I use very few dimensions in my drawings of furniture. I use them to verify over all dimensions. Like a piece of furniture that has many components so do my drawings. From the drawing I use a plug in program to recognizes, list, and import those components into an optimization program that takes my on hand inventory of materials and tells me which inventory pieces to use and which components to cut from them. Often it is only at that point that I actually know the over all dimension of an actual component. Then If that particular component needs to have dado's, rabbets. mortises, and or tapers I reference the drawings.

Nor you.
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On 11/21/2013 8:13 AM, Leon wrote:

Can't blame the software for operator ignorance.
Lloyd definitely has a short between the keyboard and chair by exhibiting his ignorance above of SU's "inference engine", which he has apparently failed to understand.
The "precision" of SU can be fully realized/appreciated when using Ruby Scripts, bypassing the inference engine altogether.
But then again, that takes an in-depth understanding of the internal operation of the program, the ignorance of which makes mistaking opinion for fact, as the first above.

LOL ... it's been pretty well demonstrated where that "extensive experience" is lacking.
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Swingman <kac nospam.com> wrote:

Or he's trolling for more information...
I probably won't use it frequently, and not for very complex stuff, so ease-of-use is most important to me.
Thanks to the replies.
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On 11/21/2013 11:20 AM, John Doe wrote:

For drawing simple 3D shapes It cant get much simpler than with Sketchup and it can probably meet any future need you might have for some time to come.
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John Doe wrote:

I use it a LOT. How precise it is depends entirely on the user. There are tons of add-ons and scripts that can make it much more powerful.
--
Steve W.

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On 11/21/2013 2:04 PM, Steve W. wrote:

Yeah buddy.
Having a strong background in CAD, I first starting using SketchUp about eight years ago, and shortly thereafter built a $350k construction budget residence, using it to provide the framing plan and all permitting, bidding and construction documents (in conjunction with Layout), I quickly became a believer in the programs power and versatility.
At that time not a single architect I worked with had heard of the program. Things have changed, and folks like this architect have taken SketchUp to a new level, architecturally speaking:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Nick+Sonder+Architect&sm

AAMOF, I'm currently actively advising an architect on use of the program, as well as Layout, as we speak, which is poetic justice ... as it is damned hard for a General Contractor/Builder to teach an architect anything. ;)
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On 11/21/2013 8:40 AM, Swingman wrote:

Maybe he has only installed and used the program two times. If you will recall you and I had to install it 3 times before the light came on. LOL
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wrote:

I think it was Swingman who turned the light on for me, finally getting it through my filter that it wasn't a CAD program, rather a 3D modeling program. I picked it up really quickly after that realization.
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On 11/21/2013 8:13 AM, Leon wrote:

All of the above are why DesignCAD's unique "gravity snap" feature is so important. Fine that point easily and accurately.
Some of my work... http://www.home.earthlink.net/~cavelamb/draft.htm
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On 11/21/2013 11:21 AM, Richard wrote:

I really don't have any issues with snapping while using Sketchup unless the drawing is zoomed out too much and there are several end points that are closer together than the snap cursor. Simply zoom in and there is no issue at all.
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On 11/21/2013 7:53 AM, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:

Oh, no more than a few million dollar homes, dozens of kitchens, and countless remodels, hundreds of cabinets and furniture projects, all using SU to good effect for _accurate_ shop drawings, design, including construction documents for permitting, bid and build, four shared collections on 3D Warehouse, with over 40 separate models of furniture and cabinetry.
Many, but not nearly all can be seen below ... .. let your fingers do the walking.
Now, can you show us yours?
BTW, you apparently are the ignorant one regarding "precision".
SketchUp actually has the same internal precision as AutoCad, 1/1000th of an inch.
Look it up ...
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On 11/21/2013 8:25 AM, Swingman wrote:

1/1000th inch? Is that all???
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