Can anyone recommend a good CAD package?

Page 1 of 2  

Actually, I'm not even sure if CAD software is the correct terminology for woodwork planning. Back on my last job, the mechanical engineers used CAD packages to draw all sorts of 3D pictures. These packages could get amazingly powerful ... with amazingly high prices too!
I'm just looking for something that would allow me to draw generic pictures showing relative thickness of boards, placement of screws or dowels or joint types, etc.
Now, I happen to have (purchased via Internet) Pat's plans for a really nice fence. The pictures in his download file are far more elaborate than I would need (albeit really nice!).
Anyway, I'd appreciate any suggestions for looking at various software packages. I'm profient at CorelDraw, PowerPoint and others like that. But they don't make construction drawings any easier.
Thanks!
Jack
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote in message

Welllllll No CAD program is easy if you have no drafting experience or CAD experience. You have to know how to draw first, read that as drafting training, and then the CAD programs will seem easier. I had formal drafting training in the early 70's and just in the last 8 years have found a CAD program that I like. AutoCAD.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Funny things CAD operators do when they don't have drafting experience, its like someone with power tools without knowledge of hand tools. AutoCAD is what, $4,000 now plus you are forced to paid for the upgrades or you investment will be worthless. Not for the average woodworker unless you're already using it. AutoCAD LT, much cheaper at $725 but still pricey, still much more than what the OP needed. For what he needed there should be some free downloads or cheap CAD packages. TurboCAD for $50 comes to mind and still more drafting power than what the OP needed.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My reference was from my experience of using CAD programs. The first I used was in 1985 and have graduated up through several brands since. I am probably on my 8th program that I have purchased my self. I realize the AutoCAD is quite expensive and I actually neglected to reference the possible use of AutoCAD LT. AutoCAD LT is actually what I use and have been for the last several years. I was fortunate enough to be able to up grade from way back where newer versions only cost me in the $200 range. That said, Auto CAD LT does not supply what the OP was actually looking for. He mentioned 3D and LT simply helps you draw Isometric drawings. Not really a perspective type 3D drawing. As for TurboCAD, I used it in the late 80's and personally was not impressed nor IMHO opinion did it operate like a draftsman thinks. Today's version may very well be better.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Must be the way different people see things. I had used Turbocad for several years before using AutoCAD though I started with version 6, much later than what you had tried. I found the similarities so great that going from one to the other was not at all difficult. Turbocad is far superior for 3D (what I do most) but I rather prefer AutoCAD for 2D.
As for TurboCAD, I used it in the late 80's

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

CW, I think mine was v1.0. LOL.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I can understand that then. We have a machine at work, a waterjet, that has it's own cad cam system built in. It's based on Turbocad 1. Rather than use that weak system, we program it off line with Autocad, Cadkey or Matercam. To show it's age, this was one of the first waterjets on the market.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Okay, forget that I used the acronym CAD.
Do you know of any easy "drawing package" that I could use for designing projects in my woodshop?
Jack
Leon wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote in message

Define easy. AutoCAD LT for me is easy. Easy for you may equate to simply using a drawing board, T-square, a 45 degree and 30-60-90 degree triangle. No drawing software does the drawing for you. You are still in charge of the drawing. If you know the fundamentals of drafting, drawing/CAD programs will make the drawings go more quickly and more accurately.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 04 Sep 2005 23:22:00 GMT, "Leon"

it every day in your profession? It has been my experience that those that have the opportunity to use a package eight hours a day every day it becomes relatively easy to them.
I'm in the category that I used AutoCad infrequently and struggle. I have had drafting and design training and know the basics of drafting, but it seems like every time I bring it up (release 14) to do a design which might be once or twice a month I struggle to relearn the routines.
I suspect that most powerful CAD programs are like that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Egg-zactly my experience.Well said.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Take in mind that I had used probably 4 or 5 CAD programs prior to AutoCAD the previous 12 years. AutoCAD was easy from the first hour of install for me. I have always used CAD programs as an aid to my less than a full schedule wood working business. I retired 10 years ago at age 40 and turned my hobby into a fun job. Basically I on average use AutoCAD about 1 day out of the week on average. Some weeks I don't touch it, some I use it everyday.

Well if you have the dradting fundamentals down, IMHO AutoCAD should be easier to learn. Let me bring up something that you may or may not be aware of that made the program very easy for me to use. AutoCAD used DDS which translates to Direct Distance Entry. Older programs required you to TYPE in a beginning coordinate and and ending Coordinate relative to the beginning coordinate. That was truely a PIA. With DDS you click a starting point any where on your model space and then simply drag the mouse in the direction you want the line to go and then type the distance and enter. You can do it either way with AutoCAD but the DDS way is FAST and easy by comparison. From there learning all the short cut commands represented by the icons speeds productivity further.

May be.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Only works, though, in ortho mode and at angles you have preset the ortho to. Otherwise, ending coordinates are it. You do have the option of absolute, incremental or polar coordinates just by the way you type them in. That's something that annoys me about Turbocad. Seperate entry boxes for every kind of input. Puts great wear on the tab key (and wastes a lot of time). BTW, Turbocad will also do DDS.
Older programs required you to TYPE in

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well actually DDS does work if Polar coordinates and Ortho are turned off BUT it may as well just be a hand drawn sketch at that point. It seems like I recall TurboCAD being a bit non-intuitive in the respect that you mentioned. And yes DDS is for certain available in other programs. My first experience with DDS was in AutoSketch version 2.1. I had been using 2.0 AutoSketch and when I learned that 2.1 had DDS I was all over it. From there I progressed to AutoCAD LT 97 and have been upgrading AutoCAD LT since then.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote in message

used Harvard extensively, I could get the simple stuff done pretty quick. (During a recent move, a couple of the old 3.5 inch Harvard disks disappeared, and I'm out of the "Harvard business" permanently, I guess.
At any rate I've bought a copy of TurboCAD now, and let's just say...the learning curve is damn steep, even for someone use to command line entries and back in the Jurassic period, had extensive training in drafting techniques. My thinking is, I've got the computing power, now it's a question of RTFM........
James...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I had one of the early versions of TurboCAD and it truly was not an easy program to use. It was pathetic. IMHO AutoCAD products and its clone products are pretty darn easy to learn if you have a drafting back ground to begin with.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hope you have found your way to the Turbocad forum. The one on their website, not usenet. Best learning tool there is for this program. Very active and very helpful. http://forums.imsisoft.com/forums/index.cfm?CFApp 0

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon's right. Without a drafting background, you're jumping in at the middle, trying to get everything at once. Be prepared to put in quite a lot of time to learn. Considerable time. If doing 2D, Deltacad is about the easiest to learn cad program I have seen. If you would like the interface and compatibility of AutoCAD without the high price, try Intellicad. Intellicad is an AutoCAD clone. The programs are so similar that if you can run one, you can run the other. For 3D, Turbocad Pro will model about anything you want and has about the most performance for the price available. Honestly though, with the amount of time and effort it takes to get good with one of these programs(good as in faster with it than on paper), most find paper and pencil their best option.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ah ... I see how I mis-spoke. The only "3D" effect I'm looking for is that of looking at an object that "looks" 3D .. you know, like a box.
I don't want to use true-3D routines where you can rotate the object and stuff like that. I just want to be able to draw pictures of boards without having to play the games required in Corel or in PowerPoint.
Jack
CW wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 04 Sep 2005 12:58:32 -0600, "mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote:

This question comes up about once a week around here.
Unless you're a professional, who needs to present drawings to a client, you're better off drawing on paper.
Sketch to get general shapes and proportions and then draw it up full size if you feel the need.
There's no such thing as an intuitive CAD program. I've been through DesignCad, TurboCad, AutoCad, and currently work in AutoDesk Inventor 10. These programs all have a steep learning curve. This takes away time from your goal, which I would presume is to actually build something.
The rudiments of isometric drawing are relatively easy to learn but even that is not required for furniture design.
You'd be even better off by working on a 2d paper drawing, using only elevations, plans and sections, and then moving on to a mockup of the piece, using Foamcore or even MDF, buttered together with a cheap glue gun.
Even the best 3D program can't give you the intuitve impact that a mockup does. Why? Because 3D programs are really only 2D programs tarted up, and woodworking is sculptural, or truly 3D.
At work we draw things up in our 3D program (at $5000.00 a seat) but still have to build a prototype for the customer. When you mock up, and if the customer is you, you've accomplished what is needed in fewer steps.
Tom Watson - WoodDorker tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/ (website)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.