I am presently a New-be and I'm looking for a nice 3D software package for
new projects. I know you seasoned chippers will just say "Just Do IT". I
know but I have to learn for myself. Please advise.
there is a nice review of various CAD programs as they relate to woodworking
project design/planning in the latest Workbench magazine. I don't have it
in front of me, but IIRC DeltaCad received kudos for ease of use, but
something like 3D Cad Max or something like that was the author's favorite.
Design Cad was their pick. I used the program back in the 80's. It is a very
complete software. It's been around for a long time. I have and use AutoCad.
I don't model woodworking projects in 3-d (I am trained in 3-d). I do make
sketches and plans of nearly every project, including cut lists.
3-d design is time consuming and yields (IMO) very little. Just so you will
know, my 3-d training came when I used the Rebis software. That doesn't make
me an authority, but an informed source. :-)
I find 3D much faster than 2D (although, if I had to use AutoCAD to do it, I
would agree with you). I build a project complete, including joints ect, and
assemble it. 2D prints are easily and quickly generated from the 3D model.
BTW, for 2D work, AutoCAD or Intellicad are my pick.
Of what I heard, his top pick was Designcad. Price had a lot to do with it.
Designcad is IMSI's low end program. I use IMSI's high end myself, Turbocad.
The first thing you have to ask yourself is, "am I willing to put that much
time and effort into learning CAD". I have taught CAD to a number of people
and would say, on average, it will take somewhere along the line of 40 hours
practice to become reasonably productive.
According to a study done by Boeing Aircraft, 1/3 of the population would
never grasp 3D, 1/3 could be trained to do it and 1/3 would do well. Were do
On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 13:04:55 GMT, "Brian in Hampton"
So do I, but I seriously doubt he want to pop for $3,995 + $1295 first
I'm anxiously awaiting for further development of LignumCAD at
Looks pretty cool.
Great info everyone.
I wasn't wanting to spend a lot of money, just enough so I give my wift
(finicial advisor) an idea of what I am planning to build. I'm an
electrical engineer and I know that doing this 3D work first will be time
consuming and I am sure I will agree with you Lowell but like I said
earlier, this is just something I'm going to have to learn myself.
I am going to pick up a copy of Workbench Magazine. thanks Mike.
I've used IronCad but (years ago), I thought it was tailored for sheetmetal
work. What do I know, I might check it out again since I see a possible use
Thanks again everyone
If you want to go free, there's a 2d/3d CAD program, originally designed
for Linux, but also, I think, available for Windows:
On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 23:29:26 +0000, sblake wrote:
Worth a look! Try also solid Edge. They might still have a demo
which is fairly rich if not absolutely complete.
I still prefer DeltaCad for the little I do. More powerful tools are
like more powerful cars ...safer in better hands.
As a fellow EE, I can assure you that using 3D CAD tools is much more
time consuming than generating system models using tools like Matlab or
solving problems using Maple.
I have been using TurboCad for 3D drawing and have found it useful. The
3D aspect is helpful in making sure that the design is rational. It is
Well 3 out of 3 EE's agree. As an EE I also agree that using a CAD is
somewaht useful but very time consuming. I've tried Turbocad but found
each time I use it I need to retrain myself. Obviously I don't use it
| Well 3 out of 3 EE's agree. As an EE I also agree that using a CAD is
| somewaht useful but very time consuming.
I'm not an EE; my training is mostly ME. CAD, the way it's often meant to
be used, is usually about optimizing enterprise design, not necessarily
one-time informal designs by individuals. That's why I'm a little leery
about people just assuming they need CAD for woodworking projects. I want
to know what advantages they think they're going to get from it. That helps
me make a meaningful recommendataion.
For those who don't use it often, I also suspect most CAD packages are of
little use, supporting your thoughts. As a retired EE who used to do some ME,
I've seen people who live with CAD programs, and can effectively design on
them. For the rest of us, I think a simple CAD program (or good drawing
program?) can be useful for small tailoring of existing designs, or if you
need to make many small variations of a design.
For the rest of it, I made a drafting table, and bought a cheap machine on
eBay. That changed my hand sketches to reasonable drawings and, in many cases,
ended up being faster than drawing it with a CAD package. While some CAD's 3D
drawings might be nice, they take too long to produce, and my isometric
drawings are just as effective.
The last initial design use I had for CAD was in designing the drafting table
that replaced it.
As an aside, a previous post here noted FWW's choice of Design CAD, how the
price was under 100 and it came with several tutorial CDs. So I got a trial
copy and found out the rest of the story. Turns out they released a new
version. Don't know if this is a change, but the program itself does NOT come
with any tutorial CDs, instead you have to pay more for them. Design CAD did
appear to have potential, but their help text was next to useless and I gave
up on it and went back to my many-years-old copy of Intellidraw, which is
intuitive enough I can quickly relearn it whenever it's needed.
The changes are slight. More additions that anything else. I can work
between version 7 and version 10 without having to think about it much. The
biggest adaptation between them is to remember that there are a lot of
features not present in 7. Changes are unavoidable in any program that is
completely icon and menu based. With something like AutoCAD, you never
really notice much difference as long as you use the command line. If I had
to use AutoCAD with nothing but the icons, I'd be lost. Never did learn
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