What industry? What standard? In the industry I'm in (mechanical
engineering/manufacturing), Mastercam, Pro engineer, Catia, Solidworks,
Solidedge, Invetor, ect are the software you will encounter. AutoCAD is
slightly more prevalent than hen's teeth.
> However, if I'm going to shell out $500 + bucks for CAD
Nobody's mentioned Rhino3D, which I have at work. I have been using AutoCAD
for years as well, but Rhino is amazing for wood projects. It's a true 3D
program, in that you draw in 3 axes, and it's damn easy to learn. What I
love is how simple it is to add lights and shading and wood bumpmaps to the
model, to really get a feel for how something is going to look.
That's a good program if your goal is to draw a picture of your project. I
was thinking of buying Rhino a while back but it doesn't have any way of
generating 2D prints from the model. I use Turbocad Pro. Full 3D solid
modeling and 2D prints generated from that model.
CW (in tJqhg.2597$ firstname.lastname@example.org) said:
| IMSI now owns Designcad. They bought it a couple of years ago.
| According to users, it was a better program before they got a hold
| of it.
I upgraded from the MSDOS-only 2D predecessor to DesignCAD in 1999.
Other than some DXF file interchange issues with a CAM package, I
haven't had any problems with it - and haven't had any motivation to
do subsequent upgrades.
Probably doesn't reflect well on me, but I've never used it in 3D
mode. I'm just too used to drawing additional 2D views. :~|
DeSoto, Iowa USA
If you have had drafting training and are familiar with AutoCAD, IntelliCAD
is very inexpensive by comparison at about 1/8 the the cost and operates
almost exactly like AutoCAD.
CAD is still IMHO aimed at a target market and is not the type software that
a computer company would load on to every computer that they sell. The more
you know about drafting to start with the easier any CAD program will be to
learn. If you cannot spell, a word process will have a bigger learning
curve. If you cannot count, a financial program will have a steeper
learning curve. If you cannot draw with a pencil exactly what you want a
CAD program to do, well, you know the drill.
There is definitely a dimensioning capability. It doesn't seem to
like to do things on a fine scale, like to put a 3/8ths roundover for
example. I also ran into problems trying to do miters, but again I
didn't play too much.
Go to www.cadstd.com. Download the free trial version. It's kinda simple
and straightforward, a simple drafting program. But it will make drawings
(with dimensions). If you like it, the full-featured version is only $25.
Here's the thing. If you can make a drawing with a T-square and a pencil,
you can learn every feature in this program in about an hour (except for the
3D). The program won't make you an expert, but it will enable you to
produce nice, accurate, to-scale drawings in less time that you could do it
with a T-square. If you want more, you're probably going to have to pay for
I just checked the program again, and it enables one to create isometric
(3D) projections. I have never used the feature, as I see no point to it.
I started my career as a draftsman many, many years ago, so I am quite
comfortable with 2-dimensional drawings. If 3D is really important to you,
then I don't think Cadstd will be your cup of tea.
Cadstd does not have 3D. Isometric projections are 2D line drawings. Other
than visualization, there is little use for them. True 3D models are a
virtual part. They can be rotated and any side or feature can be measured.
3D solids have mass and a center of gravity. The advantage to the woodworker
are that a project can be entirely built on the computer, including all
joinery, before a physical unit is made. 2D prints can be generated from the
solid model with a few mouse clicks. No need to draw several views. I too am
a board trained draftsman, although it has been years since I've done it
that way. I do most all projects in 3D now, using 2D only for flat layouts.
The learning curve is steep. Probably more than most hobbyists would be
willing to deal with but, for those that do, it can do a lot for them.
I was looking for a cabinet (plus) software program that is free or
very inexpensive and I found a free (full) program.
http://www.ecabinetsystems.com/ . The learning curve is a little high
but you cant beat the features - 3-D drawings w/ wood type and cut
list, floor plans can be drawn, I recommened the program, I just fill
out the form and I got a Cd in the mail 3-4 weeks later.
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