Software for drawing your woodworking projects


I would like to know what kind of software to get that I can draw out my woodworking projects to go with proposals to my customers so they can see what to expect. Thanks
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Learn to correctly draw mechanical drawings and then you will know.
You do not do brain surgery before going to medical school.
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On Wed, 04 Jan 2006 23:32:49 GMT, "19.60.9.44.84"

You added nothing yourself. You could have pointed him to the many references in this newsgroup if he didn't have to wade through all the crap to find them. A Google newsgroup search might help though, and will avoid the forever discussions on which program is best.
To the OP: Any drafting program, 2D or 3D, will do if you learn how to use it. Better: Build some samples representative of the type and quality, and take photos to be able to present a portfolio. They should give any customer a heads-up on whatot expect. Get the order and a down-payment and go for it.
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I don't have to asswipe!
wrote:

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On Thu, 05 Jan 2006 00:48:19 GMT, "H.M.F.I.C.<<*>1369" <Zednikgives great snipped-for-privacy@aussieasshole.net> wrote:

Still in the Virginia gutter.
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No, but decent sanitation would argue that you should.
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Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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wrote:

If Stinky knew his rear from a hole in the ground he would realize that I gave good advise. But since he knows nothing about what he butts into he totally missed the point as usual.
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I agree. A drafting course is the easiest and fastest way there. Learn from professionals how to correctly lay out a plan and everything you draw will be much more useful. Contrary to popular belief, CAD software will not help.

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Leon wrote:

At the time I had no idea of its importance, but one of the most valuable classes I ever had as a kid was a course in simple mechanical drawing when I was 13 years old. I can't even begin to imagine how I could ever build anything beyond a pencil box without the basics of top, front and side. Such a simple thing but the knowledge ended up being absolutely invaluable.
I was lucky I suppose... I had a keen interest in mechanical drawing. When I was in my late teens I cobbled together a drawing board, bought a T-square and some triangles and would draw up anything and everything.
Several years ago I discovered DeltaCad and it was like a gift from the Gods. I could put away my T-square and mechanical pencils and draw my little heart out. I do the exact same thing I did with the hand drawing tools... only now I use a mouse.
Drawing is like woodworking... you don't start out with a bunch of power tools to learn basics... you start with hand tools. You first LEARN basic woodworking by hand, then you graduate to power equipment to make those tasks easier. Drawing is much the same. Without a basic knowledge of drafting, all software in the world isn't going to help you.
Joe Barta
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Give TurboCad a try. Steep learning curve. You can download a demo.
I am in the process of learning how to use it. Practice, practice practice...
--
Stoutman
http://home.triad.rr.com/brianmelissa/woodworking_frames.htm
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Leon is right, if you already know how to create a drawing, then you can setup to a CAD program. I use Autodesk's AutoSketch. Easy to learn and use, no 3D modeling.
Dave
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Hi: Are you asking about drawing programs, as opposed to drafting programs? I used to use Macromedia Freehand, and now use Adobe InDesign. I like InDesign better because of the "library" feature that allows you to draw a standard "building block", be it a 36" sink base with arch top doors, then a 18" drawer stack or whatever building block suits the work you do, then put the "building blocks" in the library and pull them out at will to apply to whatever drawing your working on. I can put together a kitchen or bathroom pretty quickly that way, add some fill colors and print it out. These programs aren't exactly cheap and I use a Mac, but I would bet you could find that feature on a less expensive Windows program.I find CAD programs to be clunky and slow, (of course if I used them more that might not be the case). And Idon't have any employees so there's no need to have anymechanical specificsillustrated My customers are mainly interested in drawings that give them a good idea of what the room will look like. Anyway that's what works for me. Dean
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I also use Macromedia Freehand its great and easy to use. The Education version is cheap. Here is a drawing of a new cabinet im making http://www.connoraston.com/files/music.pdf I do the drawing full size as you can see it means I can easily measure pieces and mark down their sizes even if I scale or distort items on the drawing Also just delivered a new bed to a client last week and thanks for all you help with the tennons. http://www.connoraston.com/gallery.asp
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If you already have Visio, then I would give that a try. It does everything I need. However, it is a little pricey for this purpose. There was an article in Fine Woodworking recently that reviewed several different packages.
Mark
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I'm guessing you're looking for cheap and simple to use too.
DesignCAD is best IMHO, some prefer TurboCAD. Both of these let you work with 2D drawings of things, then generate a somewhat 3D rendering to show to a customer. Good for furniture. There's a FWW multi-product review a while back.
For timber framing then you might want to step up to AutoCAD, but this gets expensive. This is _very_ expensive because you're often going to need AutoCAD, not even AutoCAD LT.
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You've seen virtual unanimity in the responses saying how important the basics of drawing are, and you can draw your own conclusion about the worth of the lone dissenting opinion<g>.
If your goal is visualizing a project and/or presenting it to clients, I'd strongly suggest you look at www.sketchup.com. A little pricey for my hobby budget, but appears to be a great tool. And their demo is the "right" way to demo a product--no crippled functionality or limit on calendar time. Just a limit on usage of 8 hours. You go through the tutorials and do a lot of designing in that time. I don't know if sketchup would also be useful in preparing working drawings.
Another approach is 3D parametric solid modeling. Very different from traditional 3D CAD, but can create 2D views and working drawings. This family of products is designed for mechanical design, but I have found it helpful for woodworking. One free product is at http://www.alibre.com/xpress /. Has a limit on number of "parts" in a model and is missing a few other features of the full-blown product, but you can still do a lot with it--the "parts" in a model just refer to sections of the model that can be easily moved around in relation to each other. A piece of furniture could easily be modeled as a single part. There is also a link on that page to user forums. Quite a few woodworkers are using that, although I suspect not nearly as many as sketchup.
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The alexy entity posted thusly:

I downloaded Sketchup (on dialup, unfortunately), and spent an hour or so doing one of the tutorials. After having read so many positive opinions on its ease of use, I must say I was surprised to find it (to me) totally unintuitive. Many of the operations resulted in completely unexpected screen displays, and I found many of the instructions (move the pointer up slowly until you gabble gabble something about the "blue edge" gabble gabble) to be incomprehensible.
I'll probably play with it some more, if for no other reason than to recoup my time investment, but it looks a lot like I will go with something else, like DeltaCAD, or even stick with my old friend CorelDraw.
For that kind of user interface, I would have expected a shareware fee of under $40.
Larry
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I agree with your assessment of Sketchup. The tutorials make it look easy. I started by trying to design a picnic table, which I thought was pretty easy, but I found it very difficult to position the offsets correctly. It seems more geared toward buildings.
Mark
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nheffley wrote:

If nothing else, I assume you can at least free-hand an ortho.
If you want a super-cheap solution, or a meantime solution while you shop around, use Excel. No, it isn't a dead-on AutoCAD solution (doesn't snap to grid very well), and yes, it is a time-consuming pain, and yes, it doesn't have as much detail as a CAD program, but you can actually scale the drawings, and include measurement calcs next to the drawing. I use Excel for all my drawings, but I'm not commercial, and I'm a cheap-ass.
Or you can go with a true AutoCAD type of solution, as mentioned in the other posts. Those are great fun to work with, but with all of them there will be a (steep) learning curve, and you may need to take a class to fully exercise the program, depending on your computer-ese level.
- Saul
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Rhino3D is a very handy 3D modelling program. I have a copy at work and use it for rendering ww projects all the time. You can snap to fractions like 1/16" and draw all your parts really quickly and easily. It has good boolean operators for hacking out rabbets and mortices. You can shade the parts and apply woodgrain bump maps, as well as all sorts of ambient lighting effects. If you've ever used AutoCad, it will be very easy to get started, and if you haven't it won't be much harder. Price? Dunno, I bought it years ago.
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Bob

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