Total new-comer to CAD. Which programme to choose.

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edholly

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I have been building and designing model engines now for quite some years and have been modelling for over 65 years. I have designed from scratch about 11 model diesel engines and built them and they all run - and have had a couple put on CAD by kind fellow enthusiasts.

I would like to have a go at learning CAD enough to make at least 2D drawings and hopefully in time be able to do 3D where the design can be rotated, but realize baby steps first..

I was reasonably good at maths 60+ years ago when at school - but sines and cosines etc mean zero now.

I am happy to spend some funds to get the right programme but there seems to be quite a number of them - so thought I would pose the question here and see if there are others like me that had the desire to conquer CAD and have succeeded.
 
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Jasonb

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have a read of this thread from a couple of weeks ago on a similar subject. Then look at Gordon's other recent threads.


I'd suggest going straight in to a 3D program that will produce your 2D working drawings rather than learn two separate 2D then 3D ones.

Alibre Atom would be a reasonable one off cost that will do what you want. They do a free trial.
 

Gordon

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I would recommend giving Alibre Atom a try. It is relatively easy to learn and the price is reasonable. I tried Fusion360 and Free Cad and they do more but I found them harder to learn. My previous 2D experience was actually a disadvantage because the concept is entirely different. Alibre will do everything you need for hobby use. Take a look at the two threads that I started.
 

Zeb

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Alibre Atom is on sale this week for 100 bucks. If they don't get Autodesk'd, you can upgrade for more functionality next year on Thanksgiving.
It is also used a lot in this forum.

F360 is more polished, but it is a money pit.

FreeCAD is hard to use but free. It's not a good platform to learn on. Basically what the others said.
 

RM-MN

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Whatever CAD program you start learning 3D CAD with, what you learn will help if you decide to change to a different CAD program later. It helps arrange your thinking. However, the commands names and locations will be different and that requires learning too.
 

TimTaylor

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I'll second the recommendations on Atom 3D. It has both 2D and 3D capability. For the cost, it's hard to beat, and Alibre's support is first rate.

I've used Alibre Design (which is Atom 3D's big brother) for several years and love it.
 

Richard Hed

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I have been building and designing model engines now for quite some years and have been modelling for over 65 years. I have designed from scratch about 11 model diesel engines and built them and they all run - and have had a couple put on CAD by kind fellow enthusiasts.

I would like to have a go at learning CAD enough to make at least 2D drawings and hopefully in time be able to do 3D where the design can be rotated, but realize baby steps first..

I was reasonably good at maths 60+ years ago when at school - but sines and cosines etc mean zero now.

I am happy to spend some funds to get the right programme but there seems to be quite a number of them - so thought I would pose the question here and see if there are others like me that had the desire to conquer CAD and have succeeded.
My suggestion is forget the 2D CAD. 3D is actually easier. I suggest to start out with Alibre Atom. It's cheap and does most of what anyone wojuld need.
 

SmithDoor

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I have been building and designing model engines now for quite some years and have been modelling for over 65 years. I have designed from scratch about 11 model diesel engines and built them and they all run - and have had a couple put on CAD by kind fellow enthusiasts.

I would like to have a go at learning CAD enough to make at least 2D drawings and hopefully in time be able to do 3D where the design can be rotated, but realize baby steps first..

I was reasonably good at maths 60+ years ago when at school - but sines and cosines etc mean zero now.

I am happy to spend some funds to get the right programme but there seems to be quite a number of them - so thought I would pose the question here and see if there are others like me that had the desire to conquer CAD and have succeeded.
I been using Autocad since 1995.
Works great. My formal training is in paper dating back to 1960's so I just 2D . I can use 3D since it easier to print 2D that what use.

Toubocad is close to Autocad and the they have a free version.

Dave
 

bluejets

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I have been building and designing model engines now for quite some years and have been modelling for over 65 years. I have designed from scratch about 11 model diesel engines and built them and they all run - and have had a couple put on CAD by kind fellow enthusiasts.

I would like to have a go at learning CAD enough to make at least 2D drawings and hopefully in time be able to do 3D where the design can be rotated, but realize baby steps first..

I was reasonably good at maths 60+ years ago when at school - but sines and cosines etc mean zero now.

I am happy to spend some funds to get the right programme but there seems to be quite a number of them - so thought I would pose the question here and see if there are others like me that had the desire to conquer CAD and have succeeded.

Almost like looking in a mirror here.
Very similar ...perhaps look at the free version of Fusion 360.
Plenty of video tutorials on youtube although some better than others.

I went down the same path around 10 years ago and although interesting, I found the time necessary to become proficient, drew too much on my building time, so I reverted to scale pencil and paper and have operated like that now for at least 5 years.

Like you, have a number of working engines and workshop accessories, all done via the latter, including patterns and castings.

You may find it different, however it's just not my cup of tea so-to-speak.

Cheers Jorgo ( rum city...Bundy)
 
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If only having a go, I would avoid spending any money at first. I am using Onshape. A free online 3d drawing tool that I find easier to use than both FreeCAD and Fusion360.
 

Bentwings

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you are right there are many to choose from anyone that has a program will jump in with their favorite some are nearly or free but as hsualnyou get what you pay for . I’m my opinion we’re I to purchase a new cad I think I’d go with fusion 360 it a powerfull and many featured program And not hard to learn . The first thing you need to consider thinking in 3D solid models most of the programs will output a 2d drawing some offer auto dimension so you don’t need any old school stuff . You need little geometry as the program swill do almost all geometry for you . Get used to thinking in terms of how you might machine or make the part . Most offer a way to create an assembly from parts you hav modeled there are ways to constrain these so you can easily do animations exploded assemblies are pretty easy too . I have solid works but some of the updates are missing . It’s been a while an I don’t see well so I have my la top connected to a small large screen tv for a monitor this trades resolution for a larger screen d so o I can see icons. However prints are still as good as the printer most systems have a toolbox that gives you bolt holes with or with out threads showing the d ss I’ve is still it just cuts down graphic required . Be sure to ask how much computer you need and how good your graphics need to be some gaming computers don’t do well with cad. Just ask. I think fusion will work on most My SW IS A HOG. BUT I HAVE TOP OF THE LINE I just don’t use it as much as I should. If SW gets lost I’ll go with fusion it costs a little but support is good and I think that’s valuable .
I have been building and designing model engines now for quite some years and have been modelling for over 65 years. I have designed from scratch about 11 model diesel engines and built them and they all run - and have had a couple put on CAD by kind fellow enthusiasts.

I would like to have a go at learning CAD enough to make at least 2D drawings and hopefully in time be able to do 3D where the design can be rotated, but realize baby steps first..

I was reasonably good at maths 60+ years ago when at school - but sines and cosines etc mean zero now.

I am happy to spend some funds to get the right programme but there seems to be quite a number of them - so thought I would pose the question here and see if there are others like me that had the desire to conquer CAD and have succeeded.
 

Zeb

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Onshape and Alibre where my top picks. I decided on Alibre after going through the F360 mass-exodus debacle. They threatened to hold everyone's clod files hostage and then sort of decided not to.
You can never really own Onshape, which was another personal preference.
 

Bentwings

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I like fusion also even with the messes it’s created .

I think the biggest thing is to consider that the programs only connect the shapes and lines it’s not intelligent . Many guys and gals can’t seem to get old school drafting out of mind . I YHINK most programs can generate drawing s some even do automatic dimensioning on drawings. But the bottom line is to begin thinking in terms of the finished product . Essentially you are creating this using solid shapes modified by cutting or adding features . You manipulate various icons to achieve this most have some kind of tool box that provides fasteners hole counter bores all ready for you to insert. . For example you could select a clearance hole through then a counterbore into the curvature of a ball bearing. It would not be fun to create in the shop but not impossible using some nifty machines in a work invironment you could expect a call from the shop asking if you really wanted this. What I’m getting at is you create the object using the cad tool or icons and text . Some programs are more powerful in that they may allow analysis option and wild coloring Woods can be colored shaded given grains . This is exotic area. I’m not real big on it unless it’s for some presentation. I usually thought of this as needless use of computer space. You design into the parts . Parts are made to the machines capability . The cnc shop will determine if equipment can do the job . If not they come up with a there is a lot more to it but others can add comments too. solution so it takes the machinist out of the picture. .
 
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