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swat253
02-19-2007, 01:57 AM
I've seen several posts where the author has posted pics of CAD designs for a project. Is this a downloadable program, CD loadable or is it web based?

Most pics showed sketches and drawings; some with the actual fabricated piece in the end.

imagineer
02-19-2007, 09:26 AM
The designs I've posted were drafted in either AutoCAD 2004 or Autodesk Inventor 11. Both software packages came on DVDs.

lorenzo
02-19-2007, 11:31 AM
I use several CAD programs..... BobCAD, TurboCAD and Smartsketch by Intergraph. I don't know what your budget is but they are pretty pricey. All of them have a 30 day trail version that you can download, some may have limited functions but at least you can get a feel for what it's all about, if the sticker price doesn't kill you. LOL

MicroZone
02-19-2007, 12:23 PM
Very true, CAD programs are very expensive. The new step child of CAD is Alibre, they have several versions but are very inexpensive compared to the others. They also have Alibre Express, which is FREE, but has limited functionality in that you can't stack components or build sheet metal designs.

However, it is free...

IrishBrewer
02-21-2007, 04:28 PM
Also consider Google Sketchup. There is a pretty powerful free version that you can download with a tutorial to get you started.

I recently used it to draw up a tablesaw fence project that I wanted to weld up.

This is a 3D program but once you have the item drawn up in 3D, you can take 2D sections at any location.

deadman11699
02-22-2007, 10:48 AM
Ive got a online guide about geting into autocad. When I go back to school on monday I will post it so that you can see how it works.

imagineer
02-22-2007, 11:29 AM
For what it’s worth, I learned AutoCAD in about 15 hours. 1 – 2 hours a night, for a week. There was a job opportunity that required AutoCAD knowledge so I buckled down and learned it.

I knew one person who kind of knew AutoCAD, borrowed a copy of release 13 and asked a few hundred questions.

I found that it was much easier to learn by NOT using the AutoCAD tutorials. Their exercises are too long and boring and by the time you finish one, you forgot half of the steps and still were not shown WHY you did them. Too many people get bogged down by the Autodesk attempt to teach precision and structure, before they’ve been taught the very basic of concepts.

CAD is much easier to learn if you have a SPECIFIC PURPOSE for learning it.

First learn the basics of how to draw a LINE, CIRCLE and RECTANGLE, (those are the command names) then figure out something that YOU want to draw, and draw it. It could be as simple as a stick figure, or a room floor plan. Don’t fixate on accuracy or scale, just the basic concepts that are required to do CAD.

Once you have something drawn, then start messing around with adding dimensions and moving things around. You’ll find that as your confidence with basic drawing increase, the process of going after and learning the higher functions is automatic. You’ll be sitting there looking at your drawing and say to yourself, “There has to be a way to make AutoCAD do THAT”. “THAT” is the specific purpose that I reference before and is what will continue to push you to learn more.

A terrific recourse is the AutoCAD user group forum. http://discussion.autodesk.com/index.jspa
Post a specific question and a swarm of CAD professionals reply back.

Good Luck

MicroZone
02-22-2007, 12:40 PM
Hahaha, a swarm - they do have a bunch of people over there. Great post IMG.

deadman11699
02-23-2007, 01:45 PM
I almost **** my self when I saw what the program was going for. Now Im glad my uncle bought it for me. I love rich uncles.

jimmys
03-01-2007, 03:04 PM
Hi. New here, a builder during daylight hours. Want to second the mention of SketchUp from Google. I've used it for years (pre-Google) to show customers what a part of there building looks like, or draw small projects. Easy to use and intuitive once you figure out you're drawing everything from scratch and basic shapes. It's fun, too. I have the $500 Pro version but the Google one works just fine for home use, and it's free.
Jim

Doolittle
03-02-2007, 12:25 AM
I noodled around with turbocad years ago, took a mechanical drafting class (1 semester). I was just thinking I needed to dust off my book and get reaquanted with drafting technics in general again. Inspired again. Im gonna look at that sketchup.