free 3D cad software?

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What industry? What standard? In the industry I'm in (mechanical engineering/manufacturing), Mastercam, Pro engineer, Catia, Solidworks, Solidedge, Invetor, ect are the software you will encounter. AutoCAD is slightly more prevalent than hen's teeth.

> However, if I'm going to shell out $500 + bucks for CAD

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Around here (SoCal) its Architects, Civil Engineering and cabinet/funiture companies. Dave
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Nobody's mentioned Rhino3D, which I have at work. I have been using AutoCAD for years as well, but Rhino is amazing for wood projects. It's a true 3D program, in that you draw in 3 axes, and it's damn easy to learn. What I love is how simple it is to add lights and shading and wood bumpmaps to the model, to really get a feel for how something is going to look.
--
Bob

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That's a good program if your goal is to draw a picture of your project. I was thinking of buying Rhino a while back but it doesn't have any way of generating 2D prints from the model. I use Turbocad Pro. Full 3D solid modeling and 2D prints generated from that model.

went
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2D models can most certainly be printed with Rhino, not unlike AutoCAD outputs.
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Bob

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Generate 2D in Rhino, export to a cad program, correct linestyles, add details, add section hatching, ect. There are better ways.

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CW (in tJqhg.2597$ snipped-for-privacy@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net) said:
| IMSI now owns Designcad. They bought it a couple of years ago. | According to users, it was a better program before they got a hold | of it.
I upgraded from the MSDOS-only 2D predecessor to DesignCAD in 1999. Other than some DXF file interchange issues with a CAM package, I haven't had any problems with it - and haven't had any motivation to do subsequent upgrades.
Probably doesn't reflect well on me, but I've never used it in 3D mode. I'm just too used to drawing additional 2D views. :~|
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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said:>

Me too I dont do 3D however I will do Isometric drawings for that fixes 3D appearance. I do not really need the perspective views.
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"CW" wrote in message

to
IMSI is not unlike Intuit and Roxio ... they acquire then extort, instead of develop and add value.
--
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Quite true. They hired a new CEO about a year ago and they listed as his main asset was that he was an experienced corporate raider.

of
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If you have had drafting training and are familiar with AutoCAD, IntelliCAD is very inexpensive by comparison at about 1/8 the the cost and operates almost exactly like AutoCAD. CAD is still IMHO aimed at a target market and is not the type software that a computer company would load on to every computer that they sell. The more you know about drafting to start with the easier any CAD program will be to learn. If you cannot spell, a word process will have a bigger learning curve. If you cannot count, a financial program will have a steeper learning curve. If you cannot draw with a pencil exactly what you want a CAD program to do, well, you know the drill.

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There is definitely a dimensioning capability. It doesn't seem to like to do things on a fine scale, like to put a 3/8ths roundover for example. I also ran into problems trying to do miters, but again I didn't play too much.
-Leuf
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Go to www.cadstd.com. Download the free trial version. It's kinda simple and straightforward, a simple drafting program. But it will make drawings (with dimensions). If you like it, the full-featured version is only $25.
Here's the thing. If you can make a drawing with a T-square and a pencil, you can learn every feature in this program in about an hour (except for the 3D). The program won't make you an expert, but it will enable you to produce nice, accurate, to-scale drawings in less time that you could do it with a T-square. If you want more, you're probably going to have to pay for more.
BruceT

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I downloaded it and could not find any hint that it supports 3D. Do you mean it takes more than an hour to find the 3D features?
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I just checked the program again, and it enables one to create isometric (3D) projections. I have never used the feature, as I see no point to it. I started my career as a draftsman many, many years ago, so I am quite comfortable with 2-dimensional drawings. If 3D is really important to you, then I don't think Cadstd will be your cup of tea.
BruceT

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Cadstd does not have 3D. Isometric projections are 2D line drawings. Other than visualization, there is little use for them. True 3D models are a virtual part. They can be rotated and any side or feature can be measured. 3D solids have mass and a center of gravity. The advantage to the woodworker are that a project can be entirely built on the computer, including all joinery, before a physical unit is made. 2D prints can be generated from the solid model with a few mouse clicks. No need to draw several views. I too am a board trained draftsman, although it has been years since I've done it that way. I do most all projects in 3D now, using 2D only for flat layouts. The learning curve is steep. Probably more than most hobbyists would be willing to deal with but, for those that do, it can do a lot for them.

you,
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Have a look at Turbocad. I bought last year's version, still shrinkwrapped, on ebay for around $20.

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John wrote:

Hey John
I was looking for a cabinet (plus) software program that is free or very inexpensive and I found a free (full) program. http://www.ecabinetsystems.com/ . The learning curve is a little high but you cant beat the features - 3-D drawings w/ wood type and cut list, floor plans can be drawn, I recommened the program, I just fill out the form and I got a Cd in the mail 3-4 weeks later.
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