LOL, yes, pleez DO post in "Experimental Steam" as the opening statement was meant to say anyone could say anything without being kikt off.Discussions may not always benefit the original poster, and if rules are important, he could have done a search on this popular topic before posting.
Lurkers might be interested in other's past professional experience and how they use tools today. New tools and methods are constantly improving. Old ways of doing things without CAD are becoming valuable. Companies often switch hands and hold people's work hostage. All legitimate subjects for which CAD product one should chose. This benefits lurkers who wouldn't dare risk a post and might use a search function instead.
The mods could just delete all "Which lathe should I chose" posts...or they could banish the more illustrious characters to the experimental flash steam thread. For some it is a warm, happy place like Monty Python's Camelot...for others I work with in engineering disciplines, I could see it being an absolute nightmare.
This forum, along with the usual internet banter, has helped me formulate which CAD product I use today. Maybe these disorderly posts will help someone else?
I assume if I were in Oz right now, I'd be logging out for the summer!
IAs you can see, there are quite a few opinions on software here as well as any other site that discusses Cad or Cad/Cam software. If you never have used any Cad software, then there is going to be a learning curve you will have to go through. Everyone has a different approach on how to solve a problem, that's just human nature. It's that difference that makes people prefer one thing over another, including software.
Since you have been modeling over 65 years says you have been around the block more than a few times, like a lot of us here. A question you need to ask yourself is how many more times you can make it around that block. In other words, how many laps are you willing to give up learning a Cad Program? I am not trying to be facetious here, I am just trying to make the point that you want to keep that learning curve at a minimum. A lot, if not most 2D Cad programs work similarly to AutoCad. If you can sketch something out on a bar napkin and your buddy can understand it, then the 2D program won't take long to figure out. It will draw a straighter line and rounder circles than you can though.
3D in my opinion is horse of a different color. The learning curve is much steeper and the interface between the software and the user can be frustrating. I believe most all Cad products have a user group where you can ask for help, as well as here on this site. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a video is so much more. Vendors should offer instructional videos on their site or have them available on YouTube. You Tube can be your friend when trying to learn something, just don't pay attention to the influencers that try to compare Cad A to Cad B.
There has been some good advice given by others here, along with several capable Cad programs. Check out their websites for the programs mentioned and take advantage of the 30-day free trials. At some point you are going to have to put your toes in the water.
Alibre atom 3D. Free month trial, 100$ after thatI do not post here very often so may be well off track with what I want
I started out with Autocad version 3 . A green screen & watering eyes. I eventually progressed but found that Autosketch version 6 did all I needed. I had a joinery shop & a building business. I needed to do drawings for winder stairs which had dimensioned drawings of each winder tread, The housings for the newels. The shape of the strings at the winders & details for the machinists where to groove for the winders & risers complete with dimensions.
What I liked about autosketch was that I could open & close it in seconds, Store the files easily. Work on it whilst watching TV at night ready for the workshop next day.
I could do all the operations with shortcut keys at speed or with a mouse. I could cut & paste stuff at speed. I could do a complete cutting layout with printed sheets of all the components of a flight of stairs with winders top & bottom in 30-40 minutes ready to print out at work the following day. The machinist would just cut everything & assembler would assemle without much adjustment
I could also do the patterns for ramp to ramp handrail wreaths which are based around an elipse but that used to take a couple of hours as I only did one every couple of months.
So what I now want is a 3 D programme for my modelling hobby. But taking fusion 360 as an example- It is a pain to open having to wait for it to load then use my phone then my internet goes down or my WIFI drops out etc.I cannot just turn it on & off at will if doing several jobs at once. It is a pain to set up. Data entry is clunky compared with autosketch . I cannot get my head round the key strokes with 1 finger, whilst using the mouse with the other hand like I did with auto sketch
So can someone tell me which CAD programme is easiest to use in respect of:
1- fast easy data input 2- Short cut keys 3- file storage & access 4_-learning curve-5 Freebie at least for trial, then cheap if I have to buy it
I am not so worried about the finer features, I just want something that I can knock out some 3d drawings. For instance I want to design & sketch out dimensioned drawings for a windvane steering gear for my yacht
Apologies for the rant
If you want to dispose of msux office download completely free LibreOffice. It does everything msxu office does and it's FREE. It's very good, I've been using it for many years.My requirements for a cad program, and other software programs are: (1) The program must be user friendly and easy to learn for my limited hobby use. (2) The operation must be on my computer, not the cloud. I am not working on anything particularly secret but it is mine and I do not want it out in cyberspace where I do not have control of it. (3) I must own the program not pay a yearly fee to keep using it where they can decide to raise the price or just quit supporting my program. My work can just be inaccessible due to some software company.
I played around with Fusion 360 until they decided that they were no longer going to permit hobby users to have free access. Fortunately I had not done very much work on the program because I found it hard to understand. If I had continued longer I may have eventually made sense of it. I then tried Free Cad and again I just could not get comfortable with it. Again if I had tried longer I probably could have made it work. Recently I made a concerted effort to use Alibre Atom and so far have been happy with it. It does not do everything that the high price programs can do but this is a hobby and I want to be making chips, not sitting at a desk fighting with the computer. So far I have been kind of making detailed models/drawings as I need them so the present design is still not complete.
I have the same problem with other software programs. I am still using Microsoft Office 2007 because they went to a subscription service. If that stops working I will go to one of the free office programs. When I was in business I used Quick Books and it worked fine so I continued to use it for personal use and to retain access to old files until they went to a subscription service and stopped supporting my old program and I could not even print. I found a copy of QB 2018 on eBay and I have been using that. I suspect that at some point that will also quit working.
Ho ho. So your instructors all know you and at opening day in Sept. they all say "Here comes that Carlstedt character. Don't look".Well I won't get into the plus and minus's of the many various CAD programs
My suggestion is to check out local colleges and see if they have a senior or military discount.
Our local tech college allows (62 age+) to enroll in "not filled" -open seat classes for far less ( a $ 200 class is $40 ie)
because you do not earn credit ( no tests too). So at the age of 76 , I enrolled in Solidworks.
And as a student I get the program free for study use for a year. having a teacher guide you through the basics is worth the money ...double
So for the past 6 -8years I have enjoyed the use of a top CAD program --yes, I have taken the same program class multiple times -
-I am slower than a 18 year old.
Also if you join EAA, you can get Solidworks for about $ 100 a year.. but it comes withpout instruction--I think ?
I'm not a beginner yet I do the same as you--that is, put in isometrics for easier understanding. Occasionally a drawing is nearly impossibl;e to understand without an isometric.Regarding drawings, as with everything the Computer won't do it all for you. It still needs some thinking about as to where you place the dimensions, what views to show, is a section needed, etc. though it does make it a lot easier than pen and paper. I find the ability to add a small 3D vie wof the part useful as a lot of my shared/published designs are aimed at the beginner who may have difficulty visualising a part from 2D drawings
Beware that some of the free programs won't output things like DXF or DRW files only pdf so not much use if you want to send off and get a part laser or waterjet cut or simply have a basic 2D CAM/CNC need.
Couple of examples of drawings from Alibre
I have read many, many times that Blender is a VERY steep learning curve. Based on my little bit of experimenting with it, I think that is correct. But it is super impressive what it can do!Hmmmmmmmm - - - wondering if its time to give Blender a whirl.
It certainly seems to be used for some interesting kind of stuff!
Thanks for the reply. I have looked at some tutorials & I reckon i could work with that. I have not tried the 30 day free trial yet as I do not want it over Xmas as there will be 2 weeks where I will not get much time to use it. So I will take that up in january & then have a detailed experiment without too much interuptionAlibre atom 3D. Free month trial, 100$ after that
I agree.I disagree about the learning curve for 3D cad being steeper. I thimpfk 3D CAD is easier to learn than 2D.
I also played around with "FreeCad" & I did not like the "Workflow" of it, it seemed clumsy to me & unproductive. When I did experiment with it, I remember it seemed I had to switch "Environments" between "Sketching" & "Modeling" & it seemed cumbersome (This may be because of my misunderstanding of it..)
The one thing that seems lacking in these programs is their drawing packages, they seem very adept at creating shiny 3D models for looking at, CAM, or 3D printing, but what about creating GOOD drawings? I see alot of the nice modeling done here & am impressed. But what if you want to share your drawings? Personally, I would rather not share my solid files, there has been to many instances where your files turned up on "GrabCad" or other sites (& in some rare cases, over seas where they were copied & mass produced).
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