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PTSideshow
05-22-2007, 09:14 AM
Free design sketch software from google. Haven't tried it yet but it does look interesting and got good reviews in the current issue of make magazine. It also has a lot of cool downloadable componets as models and materials for different subject matters.
http://sketchup.google.com/download.html

rollin45
05-22-2007, 03:38 PM
I've been using Sketchup for about five months, in fact I liked the free version so much I went ahead and bought the Pro version. In my opinion this is the easiest drawing software available.

There are several online tutorials which give an overview of the tools and their function/use. With very little practice, one can draw to about any level of detail wanted. The cool thing is that it is native 3D, and has inferences built in, which makes keeping track of axis' quite simple. If you have ever spent much time trying to draw things with a CAD package and wrestled with the problem of trying to keep track of just where you are relative to the world, you will appreciate this.

It lacks a bit on being able to print 2D drawings with the proper line widths etc. but if you simply want to draw an idea, with dimensions and all the visual help 3D implies you might want to give this software a whirl.

rollin'

Alan Smith
05-23-2007, 04:20 AM
Hi PT you will like Sketch up but it's not really a Cad facillity in the way of Autocad or SolidWorks. As rollin says above its real purpose is for sketching up ideas/concepts. It's really quick to learn but can be frustrating sometimes.
I design and build furniture and I use Sketch up to show my clients an idea in development, how it will look in a room setting etc. For final measured drawings and templates I still use Autocad although I'm about to start learning to use SolidWorks.

PTSideshow
05-23-2007, 06:02 AM
thats all I'm looking for as the wifey does autocad,autowire and catai and some others for a living. It depends what flavor of the month software bribs the auto companies to buy and then doesn't support LOL.:D

rollin45
05-23-2007, 11:26 AM
Alan,

You might take a look at a new release by Punch software, VIACAD 2D/3D.

http://www.punchcad.com/


They are claiming compatibility with Sketchup and it appears to be a pretty full function CAD program. It also has the inference points like Sketchup, but lots more of them. It moves from 2D to 3D on the fly.

I bought a copy a week ago, and have been playing with it and even I am starting to get the hang of things, which is remarkable in that short a time frame. It costs 100 bucks so its not a program that will break the bank.

No affiliation with either of these outfits, just a happy customer.

rollin'