CAD Questions

I must purchase a new CAD program soon. I won't spend much money on it simply because it will be used rarely I could spend a hundred or two on it. The drawings would be fairly simple. I don't need 3D, but it would be nice.
Although some of the stuff I will be designing may look complicated, it all breaks down to component parts. And the parts are all fairly simple and straightforward in terms of design and construction. I just need to draw the component parts for the fabricators. Most of this project will be made from square tubing with assorted wood parts.
I have had extensive mechanical drawing experience in high school and beyond. I have used a few CAD programs years ago. I used Generic Cad and TurboCad.
I had an old TurboCAD around here that would not work with XP. I understand that IMSI was bought out and service/support has declined. That is what has me concerned about both TurboCAD and DesignerCAD.
DesignerCAD looks good to me. I am just concerned about support, etc.
I bought a copy of CADpro and it sucked big time. A certain number of the functions simply did not work at all. I contacted the manufacturer by e-mail and nobody responded. After repeated attempts to contact them failed, I gave up on them. It wasn't a bad program if it worked as advertised. But it didn't.
I guess this is the face of much software these days. Pitch a flawed product and perform zero support functions. I wonder where they learned that business model?
And if all else fails, there is always DeltaCAD. It looks kinda simple, but it will work, I am sure. I was just hoping for a little more features and maybe some 3D capabilities.
Any responses or suggestions would be most appreciated. I want to get the program fairly soon. This will allow me to learn the software before I need to produce the drawings.
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Hello, I can't offer any firsthand experience, but the current Wood magazine (Issue 177) has an article about CAD software for woodworking, with a comparison of 9 programs including most of those you mentioned. Hope this helps, Andy
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If you are familiar with CAD programs, Intellicad is a good program and is pretty much a clone of AutoCAD. It is not a toy program.
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I don't have any problems with Turbocad support (I'm still at V7 Pro. I have heard that V 11 is good and solid. I'd get the Pro version. Maybe you can buy a used copy on E-Bay? Even versions back to V 7 or so should do for your intended use, including 3D.
Pete Stanaitis ---------------
Lee Michaels wrote:

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spaco wrote:

Agreed. I have 7 also and it's great for woodworking, even the occasional 3-D dwg if I get up the gumption. The current version BTW is 7.1: They have an update on the site for download and it fixes a few bugs that were leftover in it.
I just got an ad for an update to V 14. Upgrade version is "only" $299!!!!!
Guess I'll stick with 7,1!
Pop`
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On May 21, 12:25 am, "Lee Michaels"

I have to say this about that. You can't possibly lose by learning and using a solid drafting program. It is way easier and cheaper to erase 30 pieces of drafted sections than to fabricate and discard 30 pieces of material. I know a proper drafting program costs a lot, but experience (mine and others) has taught me that inadequate tools will hand-cuff your development. That's true for the woodshop as well as in the drafting environment. You do not NEED to spend 4 grand on AutoCAD and their associated bullshit. 12 ways to draw a line is NOT my idea of a user-friendly drafting environment. What you 'need' is a scale-accurate drafting program, with accurate dimensioning tools. To be able to take that drawing and punching it into the 3rd dimension, takes a bit of a learning curve. Fortunately, most wood-working requirements don't call for complex NURBS. Simple extrusions and clipping and adding tools will suffice. But ( you may recall the shit I got into in here for suggesting a Biesemeyer fence??) to buy less than what you need is not a good move. (That last gallon of gas will get you across that desert)
Yes, I appreciate your desire to do this on the least amount of money as possible. So here's my suggestion: Sketch-Up. For now. It's free. It is powerful enough to make it real clear to you what it is you'll need later on in your quest for design tools.

Yes indeed. You've got the big hurdle licked already. All parts are pieces of simple parts.

You already know all the right expressions.

You'll find out quickly enough that you are your own support, regardless of the program you buy into.

TRY to find your way to Vectorworks. It is a bit pricey, but you will never regret it. It is as intuitive as CAD gets. 3 years from now you will e-mail me and want to send me a gift-basket. <G>
Vectorworks allows you to buy into the discipline you need without having to buy all the crap/libraries you'll never use.
(When I wrote my 3D AutoCAD exam at the local college, I did my assignment in Vectorworks on my PowerBook and exported it via .dxf to my puter at school and aced the fricking exam. No cheating, just a better tool.)
Lee, if you're anything like me, you want to get the job done. You want repeatable and predictable results. Don't waste your time on 'almost' programs. Learn a good one, bite the bullet and get over it.
(Don't tell anybody, but the architects working on Bill Gates' house, use Vectorworks. That's kinda cool because it grew from a Macintosh environment and works like a dream on a *coughs* PC.)
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"Lee Michaels" wrote in message

it.
nice.
What I find most useful in woodworking CAD is just the simple ability to _intuitively_ draw, and accurately dimension, sub-assemblies/components.
I keep trying other CAD programs, own several, but keep going back to AutoSketch9 for all my woodworking projects.
Previously I used QuickCAD, which was recommended a few years ago as a good, basic 2D CAD program for woodworkers by a few magazine articles, and which has subsequently been absorbed by AutoSketch, which is identical in all respects to QuickCAD.
AutoSketch also allows me to open and manipulate AutoCAD files from my architect, a valuable plus for me. Because most of what I do are my own designs, I thoroughly plan and draw out every project in detail before beginning. Thus far AutoSketch has done all I need, and I'm sure that I haven't even scratched the surface of what it will do.
Might want to check it out.
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?id '53027&siteID3112
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 2/20/07
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Where did all you you get your basic CAD skills?
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I've been using TurboCad since V2 (floppies); currently V7 Pro (still) and recently V12 Deluxe (NOT Pro) which I've hardly touched. I downloaded IMSI DesignCad (V17) trial several months ago and the 30 days ran out before I could manage to dabble with it. I mostly use it anymore for dimensioning my projects. I've turned to Sketchup (Pro V6) for most all design and layout in my remodeling projects. I did a semester of MicroStation at University of Houston back in '96 or '97 as part of my Construction Management curriculum. But, like AutoCad, there are way too many hoops to jump through, certainly far more than I need now.
--
NuWave Dave in Houston



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He probably got them from the same place I did. A good old timey drafting class or two many years before CAD was around. For me CAD was a very natural step up from drawing on paper. IMHO 99% of easing into a "good" CAD program is knowing the tricks and short cuts when drafting with a pencil and paper.
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Absolutely! The best CAD drafters I ever met started out with paper and pencil on a table. If you KNOW in the root of your sould how to draw, then using a CAD program can(not willl, but can) mae you a better draftsman.
If you don't know how to draw, IMNSHO, the best you can truely hope for is to be a fairly good detailer.
The local vocational has actually removed all the tables from the school, so the only thing to learn on is a computer. <heavy sigh>
Oh, well...I'll get off my soapbox now and go make some more sawdust
Mike
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Lee Michaels wrote:

Google Sketchup (free). See demo here.
http://sketchup.google.com/
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Have you tried running it in Win 9X or WinNT/2000 compatibility mode? I have had pretty good luck with older programs.

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No, I haven't, but when a friend heard it wasn't that version working on my machine, he immediately appropriated it for an older machine of his.
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Lee Michaels schrieb:

As far as i can remember, it was just a .dll which had to be replaced...
cheers Gunther
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February 07 issue of Woodworkers' Journal reviews 12 affordable home-shop CAD programs. I found it helpful Hope you do also.
Pumis
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Did any of the programs in the article mention, which if any, offered "Direct Distance Entry"?
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