CAD program - Where to begin

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Need some help here folks.
I have a copy of TurboCad and am trying to learn how to use it. I'm about to go back to pencil and paper!
Is there a good tutorial on how to draw? TurboCad has a tutorial but it is too detailed (ex - "Lets show you how to turn on your computer. Great! Now lets show you how to start up TurboCad.....").
I'm looking for something that explains how to make drawings. Ex. Use the polyline tool and draw all the lines of your drawing. Don't worry about getting the perfect, we will show you how to correct that in a minuet. OR visualize your end drawing. Draw rectangles and circles for each piece then we will show you how to put them all together.
2D or 3D, I don't care, I just want to make some simple to medium, blasted drawings.
Any thoughts, ideas, web links or book names would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks Pops
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to
AHH feel yo pain. I tried to make Turbocad work for me for nearly 10 years making drawings for my physics teaching but finally abandoned it for SmartDraw. http://www.smartdraw.com/ Most any decent CAD program is not for the casual user and is not intuitive. Since you've probably already pained(pun) for the TurboCad my remarks probably help little. Larry
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Lawrence L'Hote
Columbia, MO
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I suspect everyone goes through the same thing when thrown in the deep end of the CAD pool.
I finally decided to start thinking like a woodworker; if I need 4 stiles for the project, I draw a _perfect_ stile, then make copies, ad infinitum ... that's where the time savings come in. Once the parts are drawn, I "zoom in" to a gnats ass perspective and put them together.
Biggest problem I still have is getting the scale right to start with. Once you figure how to make a rectangle/shape of the correct dimensions by inputting the dimensions in with the keyboard with the correct units, and with a scale you can live with, you're on your way.
Don't know if this is an accepted method or not, but after struggling with CAD programs, it at least allows me to turn out shop drawings, which was the point all along. It's amazing now how many of my projects actually look like what I dreamed up in my mind before starting. :)
Actually look forward now to using the CAD program and CutList to really 'think out' projects before starting ... it does make a notable difference in the final product.
FWIW, I bought a copy of QuickCAD ... can't quite put my finger on it, but it seems more user friendly to me. YMMV
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Swingman wrote:

OK I"ve just startede looking at these programs myself. I've looked at DeltaCAD, and EasyCab and I"ve got eCabinetSystems on the way. Why would I use a full blown CAD system to do cabinets? From my limited use of cabinet software I can tell it how I make my cabinets, butt joints, rabits or dados and when I say the cabinet is for instance 32" high by 18" wide that the piece I cut for the bottom is going to be 32 3/4" wide to extend into the rabits at the bottom of the sides. From what I've seen in this DeltaCAD I have to crate each individual piece so if I change construction methods I need to create new objects instead of just changing the check mark in the construciton techniques. Then what do I have to do in a CAD system to get a cut list? Are there cabinet making ad ins for CAD systems? I would guess there is for AutoCAD but what are we talking in price here, probably into 6 figures.
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Swingman wrote:

I'm sitting here trying to figure out what you mean by "scale". Are you talking about proportions of the pieces or are you doing your actual drawing to a scale like you would normally with pencil & paper? I ask because the only time I concern myself with "scale" is when I'm ready to print out the plan to fit the paper, the plan is actually "drawn" at 1:1. I use Visual Cadd and am not familiar with how Turbocad works, had imagined the same but it sure wouldn't be the first time I was wrong today. :-)
Scott
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Turbocad works the same way. Draw 1:1 in model space, insert in paper space and scale to suite. There are different methods (in detail only) and there is even a setting that will let you think that you are scaling the model space drawing but you are still drawing 1:1

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CW wrote:

My cad instructor said if there is one thing to take with us when we leave his class, that is to draw to full scale. 1:1
I took drafting at the 'university' in the late 70's. Went back to school a couple years ago, figured I should do a refresher so I took drawing 101 (paper and pencil). I got an A. If I had turned that work in back in the 70's I would have probably had to have taken the class again.
How things have changed.
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Mark

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"Mark" wrote in message

There you go ... I took drafting in HS and engineering drawing in college, but having never taken a CAD course, that _is_ valuable information to me, and something I've never heard before.
With regard to 1:1, what about "grids" for alignment of your drawing ... do you use them?
I don't have my program on this computer (QuickCAD) so I can't bring it up to check, but at 1:1, what effect does that have on the size of each grid square?
Before I figured out how to enter things like length of a line with the keyboard using my current program, I used the grid squares like graph paper to do that, and it could be a battle to get the scale right in order to work in 1/32nd increments, etc.
It's those little, non-intuitive things, with no quick answers to be found in the Help files without some lucky searching, that makes the hill steeper.
I've been around software for a long time, beta tested programs and operating systems long before they hit the street, wrote a commercial program (accounting) back in the 70's, co-authored pre-Internet modem to modem communications software, and find most GUI software intuitive ... but find CAD both intuitive as to concept, but often non-intuitive as to methodology.
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Swingman wrote:

As Mark said, always draw at full size (1:1). I never use a grid when I'm doing a drawing because I find it to be something of a distraction. I find that a blank screen and working in ortho mode are all I need 99% of the time. As you've discovered, keyboard entry of the distances is the easiest & most accurate way to go. Does QuickCad have a users group that you could get help from?
It's really a damn shame that programs today have such poor manuals. When I began with Generic Cadd 15 years ago it came with a terrific ring binder manual that I still reference to today. I've never had a reason to go looking for 3rd party info so have no clue as to what to recommend to others.
Scott
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Swingman wrote:

I have AutoCad-LT (ACad), a 2d educational version. I have access to the full blown 3d at school. I'm unfamiliar with QuickCad and it's terminology.
In ACad the grid is a series of evenly spaced dots. Do I use the grid? yes and no. The grid is only useful for a visual reference.
ACad has 'snap' which one type of snap 'zeros in' on intersecting lines of imaginary graph paper. Do I use it? Rarely after the first two lines are created.
If rule 1 is always draw 1:1 rule 2 is always start your drawing at a snap point that's a whole number. If you don't snap to a whole number the start point could be a number to (I think) the 13th decimal.
Snap and grid can be set to different spacing. I always set snap to a even multiple of grid, 2 or 4 snaps per grid. I don't think I have ever used 8 snaps per grid. When I drew the deck (16' x 20') I had the grid set for one foot and snap set to six inches.
Snap is mostly shut off as lines and intersections rarely fall on snap points.

You and I and others know what a scale is. It's that funny three sided 'ruler' with 6 scales, and if you want to draw a line 1' long at half scale you would draw a 6 inch line. We draw to scale because of the limitations of the medium, the size of the paper.
Throw that thinking out. Forget it.
With cad programs the 'paper' in infinite (to the limits of the program and processor). There is no reason to scale anything (at least not while drawing).
I believe Dr. Boyl gave the example of why to never draw to scale: You draw one part 2:1 and its mating part at 4:1, now put them in the same drawing. They won't match. They can be made to match, but why hurt yourself?

Direct keyboard entry is imperative. This is why I don't worry about and generally don't use snap/ grid spacing for drawing. Fact snap is a hindrance as the machine wants to go to a snap point which may have nothing to do with the drawing.
But then like I said, my spacing are whole numbers.
How do I get fractional points? Geometric construction. Same as with pencil and paper.
Except with CAD it's lots easier to erase construction lines.

Let's not go there. ACad is infamous for having functions that don't appear in pull downs, tool bars, can be accessed only by keyboard, and some aren't documented.
Generally help files are frigging useless. I think companies went to on line help files so you would have to buy their book(s). That backfired because it created a market for third party instruction.
Hope this helped, like I said I'm familiar with AutoCad. I don't know what QuickCADs capabilities are, what they call their features and functions.
BTW, I've also had instruction in parametric drawing.
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Mark

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Damn ... learned more about the basic, conceptual side, of using CAD from your post than I have in a year of trying the various programs ... every little bit helps.
Thanks!
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Swingman wrote:

Welcome.
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Mark

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I'm trying to learn autocad. I cant even figure out how to tell the program I want the line to be a certain length. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Darrell
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A book. "Autocad 2002: No Experience Required". By David Frey. ISBN 0-7821-4016-5.
It's essentially a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw the plans for a small cottage. But if you follow it, page by page, you'll learn all you need to know about autocad and can then apply it to your own drawings.
Rather lengthy, took me about a month @ 2hrs per day, but it was time well invested.
If you have a different version of autocad, dont worry about. The basic commands havent changed in a long time.
On Sun, 09 Nov 2003 23:23:10 -0600,

<snipped>
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..
On the later programs that use Direct Distance Entry, simply type "L" to start the line command, click a start point, drag your mouse in the direction you want to go, type in the distance, and hit enter.
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Reaper wrote:

Apparently I wrote something good earlier in this thread. It dealt with grid, snap, scale and how to start the drawing.
What Leon said, pick the start point, hit 'l', enter the length on the keyboard, make sure the lines going the right direction, hit enter.
Always snap the first endpoint of the drawings first line to a whole number.
Remember, the Esc key is your best friend, it terminates all active functions. If you find yourself going down a path you don't like use Esc and start over. Erase if you need. Don't worry, there is no eraser dust or indents in the paper to deal with. If you start a wrong procedure (I.E. trim instead of extend) use Esc.
I have resisted making a 'look how smart I am' posts because I'm not that knowledgeable. I've had a couple of classes but that doesn't make me a freaking Guru. But I do have a firm grasp of the basics, and the basics are what's needed to get started in anything. Ask any question, if I can answer it I'll be happy to.
Where do I begin all but the simplest CAD drawing?
With a hand sketch of the concept with the basic dimensions and such. It's like writing a term paper, some people have a solid vision and can start and work straight through, the rest of us should make an outline.
Oh Hell, I see my first post is here, OOps. Well, I took the time to write my opening, I'm not deleting it.

After posting this I went to get my sketching equipment. I hadn't even picked up a scale and I realized the above is wrong. It's the funny 3 sided thing with 10 scales and a ruler.
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I actually figured this out after I posted the message. I stayed up way to late. But you dont have to enter l on AC 2004. You just get it going the right direction you can just enter the length or distance and hit enter. Thaks for all the help, Darrell
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Humm... I have not seen your version but you mention that you do not have to enter "L" to draw a line. Perhaps you click the line icon instead. If not that, how does the program know that you want to draw a line and not something else. Does the program default to the draw line command when a previous command has finished executing?
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Leon wrote:

It was my mistake, in a post I wrote :
pick the start point, hit 'l', enter the length on the keyboard
When I meant/ should have written :
hit 'l' (starts command), pick start point, enter length from keyboard, (Which is what you wrote).
I had it backwards.
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Reaper wrote:

Your right, what was I thinking? Apparently not on what I was writing.
'L' starts the command.
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