I have read in the past posts that some of you recommend TurboCAD, I would
like the to know which Cad you use. Designer, Deluxe or what other version?.
I would like to draw out my what I make better than using MS Publisher.
I am going to make my work tables and other projects. Steel and wood
I would like to take a night class to learn more in cad also just for
personal use. It seams I am dumb as a box of rocks trying to use cad
software at this time. I see what others have drawn out and wish I could do
that also but I know they been using the programs longer.
Any info would be appreciated.
Don, it may not matter which version you use if you do not know the
fundamentals of drafting or how to work with a CAD program to begin with.
Good CAD programs generally have a steep learning curve. You are however on
the correct train of thought. Take a night class and you will never regret
it. The class will steer you in the direction as to which program and
version to buy. I had formal drafting in school about 34 years ago and 22
years ago learning CAD programs was no trouble at all for me with the
exception of TurboCAD. IIRC TurboCAD was the 3rd CAD program I had
purchased. Now I am on my 8th version IIRC and the last 3 versions have
been AutoCAD LT.
CAD program speed your drawing and speed revisions but do not teach you how
a draftsman draws.
My experience with CAD started with TurboCac and the high end packages
selling for $2500+ in the 1980's. Then I found Design-CAD. It was
cheap, easy to learn, had conversion capabilities for exporting, and a
language of its own that you could add bells and whistles with.
Unfortunately, Turbo-CAD bought up the company and has modified it so
it doesn't work as well as the original version, but is available for
about $65 with 3-D capability.
Not to knock TurboCAD, but when I went "shopping" for a CAD program about 4
years ago, I found the best choice for me was Intellicad. It has gone up a
bit, but still a bargain at about $50.
You are bang on there. It's the great fallacy of computers in
schools. All they have to do is sit a kid in front of a computer, and
there are no limits. Learning is still hard work where I come from.
I did a bit of "perspective drawing" a long time back, and got hold of
a good 3D CAD program through my son in law who uses it all the time.
"All you have to do is this, this and this." he said. Sure. Months
later I decided to just stick to what I knew... pencil and paper...
and I've worked with computers for a long time now. For me, it's
faster and easier.
A good course of study is the way to go, if you think it's worth it
for you in time and money. A better program won't make a better
programmer in general, but some are a bit more intuitive. DeltaCad is
simple and powerful enough for 2D. Solid Edge has great tutorials,
but is still a steep learning curve before you start easily producing
what you want. It will not come easy.
Why a Cad? If you know joinery [how to bang two bits of wood
together] then a sketch will do. DeltaCad will help for something
requiring a little more detail, or to lay out an exact template for a
curve. I'd use a powerful 3D CAD only if mass producing, or if the
detail became very complicated, and stay away from a computer unless I
really, really needed neat drawings for the woodworking book I was
writing, or I'd hire my sister in law the artist for that part.
You know, I agree. I use Autodesk's AutoSketch for some of my furniture
projects. However, all drawings begin on the drafting table then move to the
computer if I plan on publishing or otherwise distribute the plans. As most
of my plans change during construction, making changes with a pencil and
paper make it easy and faster. That said, most of my favorite projects, are
only from the drafting table.
Learning a new CAD program is daunting. Not from the technical side, just
the time required is significant. Wood/metal working is my hobby. Not my
occupation. If it were, I would take the time and effort to learn AutoCAD.
I think I used AutoSketch 1.0, 2.0, 2.1 and then moved up to AutoCAD LT in
1997. IIRC AutoCAD LT was a very easy move up from AutoSketch. Back then
there was little interface difference as far as command icons but there were
many more that I instantly fell in love with. Moving up to the LT version
of AutoCAD may not be much of a challenge for you if you are pretty good
My Architect uses AutoCAD LT and I use QuickCAD. Until I added another 128
megs of memory to this old box I had trouble with his .dwg files because of
the layers, but with more memory that hasn't been a problem with QuickCAD.
I would love to have AutoCAD LT, but just can't overcome the reluctance to
spend that kind of money when QuickCAD does what I need, lets me open and
manipulate .dwg files, and I am used to it. Too bad it is no longer
supported because IMO it is a pretty decent 2D program for the woodworker.
I also have DesignCAD 3D MAX 16, but it frustrates the hell out of me just
trying to use it in 2D.
I took two years of mechanical drawing/drafting in HS back in the 60's when
you actually learned something in school, so I am sure that knowledge helps,
but even then there are a couple of things in QuickCAD that still baffle me
(still can't dimension rectangles easily).
Nonetheless, I often wonder how easy it would be to step up to AutoCAD LT
Yeah, LT had become expensive. You might inquire into an upgrade offer. I
was able to upgrade for under $200 in 1997 and upgrades have been in that
With AutoCAD and LT deminsions are almost easier than drawing a line. Click
on the demension command icon press enter and then click on the line you
want demension. Press enter 2 times and do it again over and over.
Hard to say but I would be happy to get you going if you decide to go in
that direction. I do not know everything as a lot is not documented.
A neat feature with AutoCAD LT is that it checks for messages and tips on
the internet when you load the program and the tips can be big time savers.
I used autoCAD for years at work before I found turbocad. My experience
is TurboCAD blows away AutocadLT and It used to cost less. Deluxe
version still does I believe. Full autocad is nice because of all the
fancy costing and inventory and database stuff that you can buy to go
with it. Its a corporate program really, but is probably taking a solid
thrashing from unigraphics, CATIA, et al.
I dont like autocad for home use. Try out turboCAD for free. It is
great with dimensioning. it can be scary since they do present a lot of
3d stuff at you that you probably want to do without. there is a 20th
anniversary sale going on now.
"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
Autosketch is the replacement for QuickCAD. They work the same so upgrading
to AutoSkecth is no problem for a QuickCAD user. AutoDesk reports they plan
on improving it in the future.
As to jumping to AutoCAD LT, I just can not justify the price. Although not
as complete or sophisticated, AutoSketch can create, read and modify DWG
files just fine. The Architects I use all use AutoCAD and are happy to get
my revisions back (for them to clean and incorporate properly) in a format
they can use.
Have you looked at Delta Cad? Its not as advanced as TurboCad, which
I've never used, but it costs $40 and you can download a free demo
version to try out ahead of time. I used it right away without reading
much if any of the help section. I did take 2 years of drafting in HS,
but that was a long time ago and don't know how much it helped. If you
just want it to design projects, you may want to try the demo before
buying TurboCAD and you may not even need to take a class. Its pretty
intuitive. I use is to design all my projects(cabinets, drawers,
tables, joints, shelves, and cutting lists). If you have any
questions, feel free to email me.
One more thing. I have used turboCAD for all sorts of projects. I find
though that its easier to rough design it on turboCAD so you can get a
sense of proportion, or how it will fit into the room. But dont
restrict yourself by your CAD design once you start making it. Feel
free to change stuff. The real CAD design will be taken from your first
"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
The dirty little secret of software is that the greater its capabilities,
the greater its learning curve. About the simplest CAD program available is
something called CadStd. It's available FREE from the website
(www.cadstd.com). Download it, spend at least four hours reading the
tutorial and attempting to make some simple drawings. If you like it and
it's useful (in you opinion) the full-featured version is available for $25.
Note that it's probably not as sophisticated as any of the other CAD
programs, but it's cheaper, takes less time to learn, and will probably
suffice for anything you ever want to do.
Mostly version 6 professional and version 10 professional.
If you intend to do only 2d drafting, version 4 professional aka
Turbocad LE is sufficient. It's free.
There are many free 2d cad packages, but i haven't seen as many
tutorials for them as for Turbocad.
I think it's well worth the money. For 3d, get version 8 or better.
I just received TurboCAD Deluxe Version 9.2 today in the mail from an Ebay
seller. I will see what that looks like and see if it is upgradeable also.
But I will still try to see about going to night school at our college.
I have been getting info on Version 11. and 2 disc training for $100.00.
Not that I have cash coming out my back side.
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