RE: CAD programs

What are some favorite CAD programs for simple design work? What features do they include?
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Platform? Budget? 3D?
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Platform: Windows XP Home Budget: Less than $200.00 3D: Nice but not necessary Ease of use and intuitive design more important. Entering exact dimensions instead of dragging a line.
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The guys here are pretty happy with TurboCAD. I hear good things about DesignCAD as well.
The learning curve is always steep when starting off with a new program. Any CAD I have ever been exposed to, has always demanded a lot of attention to work-space, paper-space, units, scale, attributes etc. If you are unfamiliar with even the basic things like line- weights, there's a lot to learn. But learning CAD is very rewarding in the long run...and it all doesn't have to be as ominous and bulky as AutoCAD.
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I second the vote on SketchUp and can confirm that it is free and relatively easy to learn. There is an upgrade to a more professional version if you really need it.
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"Gary" wrote in message

The most intuitive I've found thus far is AutoSketch9, and I've used TurboCAD and DesignCAD.
I've been using it for about 5 years now (QuickCAD first, which somehow morphed into AutoSketch about a year ago, had been recommended in a magazine comparison of 2D CAD programs suitable for woodworking).
It does what I need for design/measured shop drawings, and until a few weeks ago I had never looked at the documentation.
About $100, IIRC.
A plus for me is that it'll allow me to import and edit my architects AutoCAD drawings.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 2/07/07
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I use Turbocad Pro and Intellicad. Both are probably more program than you need or want to learn. I have other uses for them. Best for the money would prbably be Deltacad. Quick to learn but quite capable. About $40.00.
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Gary wrote:

I've tried several times to get SketchUp to work for me and I just can't. I think the problem is that it defaults to treating everything as a skin-deep surface instead of an object with volume.
As bloated as it is, I use CorelDraw 12 for drafting. It lets you enter dimensions for shapes, you can edit the scale so you're talking about everything in the document in real-world size, you can place unprinted guidelines which you can snap to (or not), it understands when a node is moved to sit on a line or another node so you can line shapes up exactly, it makes it very easy/automatic to draw in dimension lines/arrows. I only wish it had more options for dotted lines.
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On Tue, 20 Feb 2007 08:33:14 -0500, Gary wrote:

SketchUp works great for furniture! The 3D visualization is so quick and simple it is more practical than the full blown AutoCAD Architectural Desktop I use as an architect.
IMO, if you can't model it in SketchUp, no CAD program will help you.
--
Steve Hall [ digitect dancingpaper com ]

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