Books to teach 3D CAD for Apple

Help Support HMEM:

Motorman1946

Active Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
36
Reaction score
13
Location
Somerset, England
Hi - I have a MacBook Pro and use Turbo Cad Mac Deluxe V.11

I learned "Engineering Drawing", as it was then called, 60+ years ago and my CAD drawings skills are basically the same as 60+ years ago applied to a computer package. I am happy doing 2D CAD work, no worries there.

There is much talk of how 3D CAD is the way to go, and maybe it is for young people who have never been trained in the old ways of drawing, but I find at nearly 75 years old 3D very hard to get my head around; it is certainly not something I can just play with and pick up.

Brian Rupnow on another thread suggested an excellent book for Solidworks, which is as I understand a Microsoft product.

Does anyone know of a good book for teaching 3D for Apple users in general rather than Microsoft users and in particular TurboCad Mac please?

Chris
 

petertha

Well-Known Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
1,643
Reaction score
373
Not quite. Solidworks is not a Microsoft product, it is a Dassault product. It runs on Windows operating system (OS). Currently either Win-10 or Win-7, although I believe v2021 is the last version supporting Win-7. Anyways, it was not designed to run on Apple/Mac OS. Some people may have managed to run it on Mac OS 'emulating' Windows but not sure how successful, its not recommended.

So that you leaves you to run a 'installed' Cad application that is kind of endorsed by Apple like your TurboCad/Mac example or at least designed to run under their OS. And whatever learning resources come along with that.

Or, migrate to something like Fusion 360. I'll use the phrase loosely - 'cloud based' application that kind of removes the OS from the issue because you are running it off their server. This has pros & cons. Even so, they require a minimum OS version according to link. There are tons of learning resources for Fusion. Although their pricing model is getting more expensive (discussed in another post).

.

The thing that people miss is that every 3D model starts out life as a 2D sketch or entity. You could draw a 2D part exactly as you've drawn a 2D outline in any 2D application, extrude it to some real or fictional thickness & develop nice drawings from that. But the real power is carrying on the journey & making assemblies from these parts & so much more. There are lots of free YouTube videos that can give you a feel starting from very basic zero knowledge level.
 

Motorman1946

Active Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
36
Reaction score
13
Location
Somerset, England
Sorry - when I said a Microsoft product I meant a product that can only run on Microsoft and not on an Apple OS. Similar, but not exactly the same.

I appreciate that 3D starts out as 2D and then gets "expanded", for want of a better word, but folks swear by designing in 3D so every part all fits together all nice and cosy in every way, and then producing 2D drawings to manufacture from. The latter bit I do now, Its the former bit that defeats me. I can draw in 2D and add a thickness to a part, but then I am stuck with "and now what?" - I am stuck on what do I do next. Draw another part. Great - easy! Join with the first part - totally beyond me at the moment! Hence the need to have a book to explain things; people learn in different ways, my way of learning needs a book to tell me what to do, and why, and then to refer back to when I'm stuck - thats the way I am built, hence the need for a book!!!

Chris
 

petertha

Well-Known Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
1,643
Reaction score
373
I didn't do a lot of searching but I see there is a downloadable PDF guide from Turbo themselves & aftermarket book such as this.


I can draw in 2D and add a thickness to a part, but then I am stuck with "and now what?" - I am stuck on what do I do next. Draw another part. Great - easy! Join with the first part - totally beyond me at the moment!

You are probably further along than you realize. The theme that joins 3D part A to part B is generically called 'mates'. We do it intuitively with our hands on real world objects. Think of a couple blocks. They can be mated edge to edge, face to face, edge to face, corner (point) to edge or face, this hole concentric to that hole, this axis rotates about that axis.... etc. Many options, but you already have an idea of how you want them mated. There are only actually a handful of unique mates to know, depending on the combination allow you to define pretty much every real world situation. A collection of parts with some mates is called an assembly. The only difference between 2 cubes and a V8 is the number/complexity of parts & mates.

I came into CAD from manual drafting by way of 2D Autocad which was kind of 'the' standard back in the day. Once you learned the tools & concepts, it wasn't too bad to hop across to other 2D platforms because the concepts were essentially the same. They mimicked (and often improved upon) Acad & is probably still true today.

3D is another step change but I feel is different evolution. Some modelers are just not all that good, or very restrictive. So you could find yourself fighting on multiple fronts. Trying to grasp 3D concepts in general. Trying to grasp the nuances of how they accomplish 3D (which may or may not even resemble how the mainstream apps work). And potentially doing this in a partial vacuum with less instructional resources. That's an understandable recipe for frustration. I used Rhino for a while which was a great 3D program, similar to Acad in its 2D workflow, very powerful features. But it wasn't really suited (or designed for) more mechanical type work like assemblies. Can you 'make' something? Yes. But for what we (model engineers) do, its not the weapon of choice. I don't use Fusion or OnShape myself but I recognize the elements & capability of what makes it much more comparable to industrial tools like Solidworks or Inventor, but at reduced price. Your time is worth something too. So investing those hours into a rewarding path vs a dead end deserves some up front consideration. Even though Fusion has been playing games with pricing lately, its still seems to be good bang for buck. It seems to have a wide following & therefore lots of diverse learning resources in multitude of formats. But I'd encourage you to just watch some free & available YouTube videos to get a sense. Have a look at the range of models being created by people at various skill levels. If you are committed to TurboCad, thats fine too. There may resources or individuals that can get you over the hump. Hope this was of some value, happy modelling!
 

Motorman1946

Active Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
36
Reaction score
13
Location
Somerset, England
Hi Petertha, the touble with available books on TurboCad is that they are generally written for the Windows version which is different from the Mac version. I have asked the question on how different from my supplier and waiting an answer back.

Your advices however are very kind and has given me food for thought; I think I will initially do as you advise and watch some YouTubes as it may just give me an idea of how to approach my own particular package. I did get some tutorial vids but they kind of left me cold; yes I could see how this or that tool worked, but applying it to a drawing and building up a more complex object comprising even only a few bits, that all fitted together perfectly didn't seem to happen!

Chris
 

retailer

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2011
Messages
159
Reaction score
55
Something to think about, I started with Turbocad back in the days of 486 PC's with 4 meg ram - I have a shelf full of books on Autocad, Turbocad, and Inventor - I haven't really got past the first chapter in any of them. You should have the software setup and ready to go on your computer just reading about it or watching a demo isn't going to get you very far, as with any new learning experience you learn by doing. Find a good youtube channel on Solidworks/Fusion or what ever software you want to use and do a few of their tutorials then set yourself a task and if you get stuck then use your search engine google/bing or what ever it is you use and you should be able to work your way through it.

I have the non commercial version of Fusion360 and it is only since getting a 3D printer that I have started to use it regularly, my thoughts are that it probably becomes more powerful and useable if/when you migrate to CNC machining or 3D printing
 

ShopShoe

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
1,065
Reaction score
223
I have used multiple programs over the years, and I echo what retailer says above. You need to get the program running on your machine and try things out. Most of the tutorials are really demonstrations and I feel your pain.

I tried TurboCad on both Mac and Windows, but I also had access to the full industrial versions of the more expensive products, which did work much better for me. I also had access to training materials and classes for some of those, which seemed to demonstrate that the developers had the resources to produce good training materials and to train good instructors. In addition, indepenent publishers and developers will work to design and sell a training product that has a large installed base.

Getting back to the reason for the OP: I suggest that perhaps a multi-window or multiple screen environment might facilitate using online resources: Watch-Pause-Try-Watch-Pause-Try, etc.

I also can add that there is a benefit to working through a design problem of your own without following the tutorials directly. Choose something like one of the Elmer's engines and model one of the parts, like a baseplate or flywheel.

Choose two parts that have to match, then figure out how you could design them both from the mating surfaces.

I can provide a couple of hints at this point, but I am not writing a tutorial. You will probably need to investigate your order of operations and your constraints. You will also probably need to consider your setup menus and your starting point as well. (These are extremely general notes, as I haven't seen TurboCad for over ten years and I use these terms as I knew them in other programs, although there are similarities from package-to package, just sometimes different terms.)

I can add another hint for all elaborate design software, not only CAD, but video editing and professional art software: Name your drawing or model, then complete a portion and rename the file (v2, etc: repeat for each new part) That way, if you mess it up or get lost, you can return to the "last known" acceptable version. If your software has auto-save, turn it off or it will auto-save your mistakes, erasing your good work in the process.

--ShopShoe
 

awake

Well-Known Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
1,114
Reaction score
454
Location
North Carolina
I'm a bit confused - are you wanting to get more knowledge of TurboCAD? My impression is that you're comfortable with that, but want to see what is available for 3d on the Mac.

One option to consider is FreeCAD - much discussed elsewhere, so I won't go into the merits and demerits here. But as I understand it, it presents essentially the same interface regardless of platform - Windows, Mac, or Linux; thus, tutorials should not be platform-specific.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
9
Reaction score
16
Location
Silver Spring, Md.
I have Turbocad delux for Mac, V12. Recently I tried the Windows version. They are very different programs. They told me that they purchased the Mac version and brought it into the Turbocad family. I liked the interface for the Windows version much better but the Mac is a little more basic and easier to get used to where things are. I 3D print and found the power pack a necessary addition to Mac Delux.

I have found a real hard time finding online videos and tutorials for anything other than the full version. I purchased the Windows version with the training package which was pretty good, but I thought, expensive. I returned it because it lacked some 3D print functions I required.

I used Autocad at work since it was on floppies. Turbocad for Windows was much closer to Autocad. Turbocad for Mac is typical of Mac based programs even down to the mouse and keyboard use.

I also use Freecad and Blender. Both have conceptually different interfaces. They will not help you learn Turbocad. Both have many more online videos and tutorials available. Watching their videos will help with how to visualize a 3D object. I think you will find that among the various CAD programs, they will all create a box, for example, but the how is specific to the package. As mentioned, basic 3D drawing starts with primitives and builds from there. I find that I use the add and subtract solid command so much that I created a shortcut and keep the them on the screen for quick access.

Place a box solid on the screen, then a cylinder solid and subtract one from the other watching the prompt in the upper left. Try that a bunch of times and try to visualize an object by adding or subtracting other solids. Once you get that down, you’ll find you will jump ahead on the learning curve. Good luck.
 

Latest posts

Top