Good CAD program that isn't AutoCad?

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Since I'd rather spend $3000+ on a Laguna band saw than on AutoCAD, does anyone have a recommendation on design software other than AutoCAD 2005?
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Geoff wrote:

AutoCAD
I had one a few years back called DesignCad. Seems like it was around $399 for the 2D version, the 3D version was a little more. It worked pretty well and was fairly easy to use. It helps to have a digitizer board to go with it but not absolutely necessary.
Fred
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proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
It's now around $60-70US from Amazon. I am using it, but still learning. it has some funnies. People keep telling me it's my fault. I am not so sure. but in general it's a powerful and useful programme.

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This is asked several times a year. A search will reveal most common suggestions, however, I have recently been using AutoSketch 9. Made by Autodesk and it works well enough for my uses.
Dave

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Wow Dave , Auto Sketch 9. My last version of that program was 2.1 and that version was pretty impressive. I have been using AutoCAD LT since leaving 2.1 AutoSketch.
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Leon, I was using QuickCad but they decided it was so similar to AutoSketch they just combined the features and released version 9 and abandoned QuickCad altogether.
It works well enough for my needs and it will also read AutoCad files. It makes my job much easier.
Dave

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I've been using TurboCAD for several years and I like it. Last time I looked, it was available in several flavors ranging from free to a few hundred bucks. I started with the free version and decided I liked it and upgraded to one that was ~$60-70 IIRC and haven't needed anything more.
Published e-mail address is for spam collection only. If e-mailing me, use jc631 at optonline dot net
-- jc
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John did you get my email???
Brian
wrote:

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What are your needs? AutoCad will let you design a 747 complete. What did you have in mind?
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So will a pencil and paper but there are better ways than either.

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I wasn't being facetious. Autocad is WAY over the edge for the simpler needs of woodsmiths. Knowing more specific needs [2D, 3D, modelling...] I'd give better directions.
...But forget it. This topic has run dry in any case.
Just incidentally, don't knock pencil and paper before oyu decide "better". I used to teach construction drawing as well as math and computer programming/applications, and have done and keep drawings that are dead-accurate using simple drafting tools, as well as using software [DeltaCad and Solid Edge for two.] Look up "the Carpenter's Square" for a great book on layout, and then try to find the math behind all of that. It's simple, and it works ...not the math, but what it produced.

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Geoff wrote:

Try DesignCad. It has the power of AutoCad but costs less than $100.00. it does 2d and 3d drawings. My wife has been using it for years doing architectural drafting and I use it for shop projects and business site plans. Here is a link to their site:http://www.imsisoft.com /
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Hi Bill, I looked at Sketchup and decided that AutoCAD LT is still better for me. I'll have to look at DesignCAD again. Old habits are sooooo hard to break as I am quite comfortable with AutoCAD LT.
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Geoff wrote:

AutoCAD
Hi Geoff, I use an older version of TurbCAD (ver. 8.0 standard to be exact). I picked it up 7 or 8 months ago for about $14 because it isn't the latest and greatest version, but it's more than adequate for my designs. It does 2D and 3D, auto-dimensioning and a whole lot more that I haven't figured out yet. I got it because one of the woodworking mags. recommended it and I decided that for $14 and since I was used to drawing my plans by hand, even if I didn't like it I wasn't out much. I hope that helps. Happy sawdust. BC
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Geoff wrote:

Well, if you've got three grand to spend then Ashlar-Vellum Cobalt is pretty nice.
Intellicad is a fair AutoCAD clone for $50-175 depending on options--you can give it a free try at "https://www.intellicadms.com/store/secure/intellicad-demo/download.asp ". If you've never been trained on Autocad though plan to spend a while learning it.
<http://www.freecad.com/ has a list of free and/or inexpensive CAD products one of which might suit your needs. You might want to go through them before you buy anything.
If you can find someone with a copy, many years ago Cadkey put the fully-functional DOS version of their product up on their Web site as a Christmas present to their user community after the Windows product had become established--if you can find someone who has the download it's still a very, very capable 3D CAD program--I'd email you a copy if I hadn't lost mine.
--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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AutoCAD "LT" about $700.
You really do not need the 3D perspective with diminishing points of view for woodworking that AutoCAD offers.
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I just found a 3d modeling package called SketchUp (www.sketchup.com). You can download a full version that lets you use it for up to eight hours. It seems to be really intuitive and easy to learn. There are demo videos on the web site. I you have a high-speed internet connection, they'd be worth a look. It does lighting, even seasonal lighting if you're doing architecture, surface textures, and animations. It's around $450, I think. Give it a try and see what you think.
Tom Dacon

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FWIW, I down loaded this program to try out and went to the site for a quick overview of the program. The speaker on the demo stressed that Sketchup IS NOT a CAD program, which the OP is looking for. IIRC it is a design program.
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The OP asked about CAD in the title and design in the text.
If you are looking to a software solution to aid in the conceptualization of a design, then Sketchup is wonderful. Less good if you are looking to use it as part of a CAD-CAM process.
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Will Sketchup so Dimensioning?
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