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754
03-18-2019, 11:18 AM
Now I am curious, what will CAD on a basic level do for you.
I do my drawing with pen or pencill , often on napkins, and it works for me.. not so goid to expect others to be able to understand them.
I have made lots of parts that were drawn on CAD.

So what does it do for you ?

I heard one fellow say, I have CAD on my computer, now I can design things. Will it, or wil, it just give him nicer drawings ? What is your views on it ?

Sparky_NY
03-18-2019, 11:26 AM
Now I am curious, what will CAD on a basic level do for you.
I do my drawing with pen or pencill , often on napkins, and it works for me.. not so goid to expect others to be able to understand them.
I have made lots of parts that were drawn on CAD.

So what does it do for you ?

I heard one fellow say, I have CAD on my computer, now I can design things. Will it, or wil, it just give him nicer drawings ? What is your views on it ?

Seeing a 3d representation of your part helps a LOT to visualize what the finished part will look like. Where cad/cam really comes into play is with cnc machines. Ease of measuring features is real handy too, angles, distances between points, things like that. I find it makes the odds of surprises FAR less.

754
03-18-2019, 11:34 AM
Ok , now you mentioned CAM, I am talking a simple CAD program, how far will that take you ?

dalee100
03-18-2019, 11:39 AM
Hi,

I do pencil sketches, 2D CAD, and 3D CAD/CAM.

What CAD, 2D or 3D, will do is make dimensional errors harder to make. Ever do a pencil sketch and jot down one number when you meant another? That should be neigh on impossible with CAD as it can only report the actual size of the feature. It will allow a limited assembly view to check if all the parts will fit.

With 3D CAD I can create assemblies to see if not only the parts all fit together, but I can check for proper movement. Or instantly pull all geometry from a model and create a 2D print from any axial view in seconds to use on the shop floor.

A good sharp pencil still has it's place, but a CAD program can do some much more and much faster when you get the hang of it.

Tungsten dipper
03-18-2019, 11:39 AM
Ok , now you mentioned CAM, I am talking a simple CAD program, how far will that take you ?

I don't think that exists

Sparky_NY
03-18-2019, 11:42 AM
Ok , now you mentioned CAM, I am talking a simple CAD program, how far will that take you ?

Everything I mentioned was Cad related. Many of the softwares are Cad/Cam, if you don't need or want the cam functions, just pretend they are not there.

I would recommend Fusion 360, its not a "simple" program BUT it is simple to use. The support is fantastic and there are tons of tutorials on youtube that will get productive in short order. It being free for hobby users does not hurt either.

754
03-18-2019, 11:45 AM
Dalee, thanks for that explanation, it helps a lot..

dalee100
03-18-2019, 11:50 AM
Hi,

There are a number of free 2D CAD programs you can try and use if you wish to see if CAD is for you. I've used DraftSight and LibreCad for those who like to use Linux and/or Windows. And LibreCad is pretty lightweight on older hardware. DraftSight takes noticeably more horsepower to run. But it does have more features than LibreCad.

I don't think everyone needs to CAD everything all the time. But you should at least be conversant with a simple 2D program.

brian Rupnow
03-18-2019, 11:51 AM
I spent 30 years on a drafting board. Then I learned 2D Autocad. In my opinion, 2D cad doesn't do a lot for you that you can't do as easily and quickly on a drafting board. It's basically the same thing, only done on a computer screen. Then after three years I transitioned to 3D cad.--WOW!!!! 3d cad is magic. It has so many benefits that it is unbelievable. I have never used the CAM aspect of what I do, but I can send my files out as .dxf files to a shop using a CAM program to run their cnc machines to make the part.--However--You have to know how to make a 2D sketch in 3D cad before you can extrude the part into the third dimension.

SLK001
03-18-2019, 12:06 PM
I also use pencil and paper, but more and more I have begun to rely on CAD drawing to do the final drawing. I always draw full scale, so that problems in a design will show up first on the screen, not in my shop. The ability to rapidly change things, uncluttered, on the screen greatly exceeds the pencil and paper method. IMO, 3d is really not needed. All my drawings are simple plan drawings, front, top and side. Designs have been successfully completed with this method for centuries. 3D drawing is nice, but it has a pretty steep learning curve to overcome.

Tom S
03-18-2019, 12:09 PM
I heard one fellow say, I have CAD on my computer, now I can design things. Will it, or wil, it just give him nicer drawings ? What is your views on it ?

Being able to use a CAD program does not make you able to design things. It may (and this depends on the person doing the drawing) make it easier to communicate your design, and 3D programs make it much easier for someone to visualize the design. Too many schools have confused designing with being able to run a computer program.

Lew Hartswick
03-18-2019, 12:15 PM
Being able to use a CAD program does not make you able to design things. It may (and this depends on the person doing the drawing) make it easier to communicate your design, and 3D programs make it much easier for someone to visualize the design. Too many schools have confused designing with being able to run a computer program.
Yep, Not just schools but people too. Design is mostly in your head. The drawing, whether on a scrap of paper or a "Beautiful" printer output, is just the communication media. :-)
...lew...

Danl
03-18-2019, 12:18 PM
Cad saves on erasers. I agree with Brian on this one. Find a good 3D Cad program (Fusion 360 is my choice) and start with the very basics, watch YT for tips and tricks as well as all the additional 'stuff' you can do with it versus pencil and paper.

Dan L

Tungsten dipper
03-18-2019, 12:23 PM
Cad saves on erasers. I agree with Brian on this one. Find a good 3D Cad program (Fusion 360 is my choice) and start with the very basics, watch YT for tips and tricks as well as all the additional 'stuff' you can do with it versus pencil and paper.

Dan L
Isn't Fusion expensive?

lakeside53
03-18-2019, 12:37 PM
I do 2D cad a lot, even for simple stuff. It lets me "think" on paper, and when inevitably moving stuff around I instantly get the moved dimensions. And.. when making the parts when I realize I need a particular dimension, I just go back to the cad and measure it. And... I build parts as assemblies, so I can "test fit" each grouping and adjust mating parts as needed. For my mill, I then just punch the results in my conversational mode or import a DXF.

Example (lathe) ... rotary vacuum coupling with 4 O-rings and many other features. I "redrew" it many times before getting it right, but after the first it was a simple "adjustments". Then during production I needed to convert to relative offsets from fixed, and account for a worn grooving tool.. easy.

And for welding... I measure weird angles off the cad (no trig) and sometimes print out "part of the part" 1:1 and use the paper as a pattern.

But there is a learning curve. I can create a drawing faster then sharpening a pencil, but it took a long time to get like that.

lakeside53
03-18-2019, 12:37 PM
Isn't Fusion expensive?

free for non business use...

Doozer
03-18-2019, 12:40 PM
I have used Solidworks since 2000.
Every engineering job I have ever had uses Solidworks.
Yet every college or school I have heard of teaches Autocad
or some cheap 3D cad program. Teaching what industry does
not use is ridiculous. Autocad 2D is just about useless.
People in academia need to wake up.

-Doozer

dalee100
03-18-2019, 12:41 PM
Hi,

No, they offer it free to hobbyist users. Go ahead and try it. And other to look at is OnShape. Also free to hobbyists.

Dan Dubeau
03-18-2019, 12:46 PM
Cad is great for assemblies. Checking fits, and proportions, and also designing things for manufacture and stock nesting. Wanna easily see how many parts you can get out of that sheet? Wanna be able to change your part a little bit so you can get a few more out of that sheet? Even easier. Pencil sketches have their place too, and I still do both. It all depends on what the work, and part is. I lean to cad about 98% of the time, because for me it's so quick and easy. For a good part of my day I'm sitting at a desk staring at a monitor with cad at my finger tips. Naturally I lean towards that, as it's the path of least resistance.

Another BIG plus for cad is edits. Having an "undo" button is a lot easier than an eraser.... Speed is another. Once you get the hang of it, it's actually a lot faster (for some stuff).

It all comes down to what you're used to. I grew up with graph paper and a pencil, but learned CAD in college, and took to it like a duck to water. I've always viewed it as just another tool though. I spent time learning proper modeling techniques and workflow and can jump from different cad platforms with relative ease. I liken it to driving a car. They all DO the same thing (get you from a-b), some just different than others. Buttons might be in different places, named different things, and some might be a terrible driving experience, vs a different system that offers a much smoother ride. But you learn how to DRIVE, not drive a specific model. If you approach it with that mindset you might have an easier time. Or you might not, everybody learns different.

Parametric 3d is very handy when prototyping and developing assemblies. But 2d cad is still very beneficial, and probably still the meat and potatoes of manufacturing. I still do a lot of stuff in 2d, then export to CAM to drive cutter paths off of. I use 3d where necessary, but 2d is still quicker, and more than adequate for most of what I do. Again, it's just another tool that may or may not help you achieve what you seek to accomplish. It's not a magic wand.

sid pileski
03-18-2019, 12:47 PM
I think this is a very similar question to the other thread about the usefulness of printing parts versus machining them.
All of these processes are jut like any tool. You can apply the tool to the job. If all your doing is making plates with holes, a napkin and pencil may suffice. If the problem you are solving requires complicated surfacing (like car's fender for instance), it's hard to beat the ability of a cad package like ProE (now Creo) or Solid Works. Sure, in my example, very stylized fenders were made with out the benefit of CAD for many years, but not with the speed that CAD brings to the party. Plus, the ability to make design iteration one after another and see the results instantly.
(then spit any one, or all of those iterations out to be printed)
I use Creo in my daily and personal business. The ability and benefits go way beyond just making a "good looking drawing". At work we often have multiple people working on the same project. in some cases the same part. While one person is designing, another is doing an analysis on the same piece. We often use skeleton modeling techniques where, the major parameters are defined and regardless of who's designing what, the parts will all interact perfectly as defined in the skeleton. If you want t make a change to those relationships, change the skeleton and it updates all the parts. It's a step beyond the parametric benefits of a good 3D package.
These days, as has always been the case, time is money. The design/engineering/testing cycle is always being scrutinized to do more, faster, better.
Every tool has it's place when properly applied, from a pencil to a 5 axis machining center and beyond.

Sid

DR
03-18-2019, 12:48 PM
Isn't Fusion expensive?

No, it's free to hobbyists and business startups. I don't recall exactly where or how you download and register in the free categories. I have it on three computers all free.

I make a point to save files only to my computer rather than the cloud. I suspect if you save to the cloud lots and lots of files Autodesk might be suspicious whether you using it for business.

I also run it offline by turning off my internet connection. No special reason other than it seems to load faster, maybe because it doesn't have to do any updates. I have noticed that after a certain time period when starting the program you have to login online though.


One thing I worry about.....when Autodesk has everybody in the world using and familiar with Fusion they'll start charging big bucks like other CAD/CAM people do. The company claims they won't, but in the past Autodesk has not always been honest with users of their software. After all, they aren't a non-profit.

Bob La Londe
03-18-2019, 01:10 PM
I sometimes do quick rough pencil sketches for parts I am designing as I make them. My first TC tap holder was made that way. Of course the negative is it took me three tries. LOL. A long time ago in high school (80/81) I took a mechanical drawing class for two semesters. One of the first things I learned was that a lot of folks are good at tearing apart ideas, but not so good at coming up with unique ideas of their own. The instructor didn't have much good to say to me for two semesters, except one thing I think he meant as an insult. He told me my drawing skills weren't good enough to keep up with my thought processes.

I used a few of those mechanical drawing skills for laying out fire alarm plans over top of black line drawings when I was a contractor, but 99% of the time I found I could get points across faster with rough free hand sketches. Any intelligent person with fair to good visualization skills could follow along just fine. I did use some of those skills when I wrote a manual for my satellite installers (94/95). In fact the company we were contracted to install for stole my manual.

Wow I sure went off on a tangent there.... anyway. Yes I use hand drawings all the time for one off design on the fly parts. Mostly just to keep track of dimensions long enough to cut or cut the mating part. I used to have notepads everywhere and often I'd run across an old notepad that for the life of me I couldn't remember what any of the drawings were about, and often those I did remember were something I'd never have a use for again. Then I started making custom low pressure injection and casting molds for OTHER PEOPLE. Lots of those customers send me hand sketches. Some quite good. Some quite bad. LOL. Interestingly those who send me CAD drawings and 3D models often have more issues than those who send me hand drawn sketches. Now often for feedback I find its faster to hand draw something to illustrate a point, snap a picture of the sketch and email it back to them. More notebooks full of sketches. Then one day I went, "DOH!" and smacked myself in the forehead. White board. I have 3 or 4 small page size white boards I use like I use to use notepads. Recently for a video I screwed a larger white board to the outside of the shop door into my main machine room and used that draw live on camera.

Now being a CNC machinist as my day job (after retiring from contracting) I do CAD drawings every single day. Even a basic part requires a 2D model to do 2.5D machining. Most of my work requires atleast one 3D model as well. Often I mix both.

So, yes! Hand drawings are very important to me. CAD drawings and models are also very important to me.

Black Forest
03-18-2019, 01:42 PM
I like to use CAD 2D and 3D. 2D is great for making bolt circles and plates with holes. I just make a 2D drawing, print it out to scale and put it on the plate I am going to drill and center punch the location of the holes right through the paper drawing using the cross center marks on the drawing. I have a printer that will tile a drawing if it is too big to fit on one page. Then I tape them together and have at it. It is also handy to punch center marks even if I am using my mill with glass scales accurate to .005mm. It just lets me feel more comfortable that I am in the right spot.

754
03-18-2019, 01:52 PM
Being able to use a CAD program does not make you able to design things. It may (and this depends on the person doing the drawing) make it easier to communicate your design, and 3D programs make it much easier for someone to visualize the design. Too many schools have confused designing with being able to run a computer program.

This I think wil, be the big benefit to my inexperienced friend.
He had zero draughting training, does not know the terminology, when asked to make a quick drawing...cant.
So basically simple Cad would at least het him a drawing and allow him to communicate with others.

754
03-18-2019, 01:55 PM
I like to use CAD 2D and 3D. 2D is great for making bolt circles and plates with holes. I just make a 2D drawing, print it out to scale and put it on the plate I am going to drill and center punch the location of the holes right through the paper drawing using the cross center marks on the drawing. I have a printer that will tile a drawing if it is too big to fit on one page. Then I tape them together and have at it. It is also handy to punch center marks even if I am using my mill with glass scales accurate to .005mm. It just lets me feel more comfortable that I am in the right spot.

I usually lay out the work or part of it, never punch it or use paper to transfer.
I use rotary table a lot for bolt circles, sometimes the coordinate method... no dro.. I use the machinery handbook to calculate coordinates , and sometimes chord length to set dividers..
So far it's got me through everything I do..

BCRider
03-18-2019, 01:57 PM
At it's most basic 2D CAD is a replacement for pencil, paper and a bunch of measuring doohickies. It won't let you suddenly design anything. But after the steep learning curve I found it made it easier for me to do accurate drawings faster and certainly a lot more neatly.

I also found that during my own self training on 2D cad that there was a point where I got good enough at it that I if I'm just doing a conceptual sketch I'm OK with pencil and paper. But if I want to do a sketch with any sort of accuracy to it where I need to see how close this will be to that or I need to "design" even a simple part where an angle or measurement needs to be done with care then I find it's faster to start up the CAD and do it that way instead of reaching for even a ruler and protractor or adding up dimensions....... BUT.... It took me a lot of hours of learning and using it to reach that point. And you need to push yourself to doing drawings that force you to use the program often enough and on complex enough items that you use those features a lot so they become as automatic as using a pencil, ruler, compass, protractor and triangle. Otherwise you'll never cross that point where the 'puter is quicker. For me that cross over took place quite a few years ago and I can easily draw up simple or complex 2D drawings a lot faster than I could do them on paper.

So 2D vs 3D? When I started with CAD 3D was just beginning to appear on the higher end and higher priced programs. So it wasn't even on the radar for me as a hobbyist. So I learned 2D and still use 2D. But I also came up from the days when 2D was all we had and isometric drawings were the only 3D representation there was. So I'm fine with the "limits" of 2D for 99.9% of my things.

I've started working on learning Fusion now that we have a nice 3D option that is free to HSM and other hobby types. But in the end unless we're doing CNC or 3D printing we're still going to do a 2D print anyway. So my main goto program is still going to be my 2D TurboCAD for most things for some time to come. I'll have to see if I live long enough for Fusion to become so comfortable to use that it takes over from 2D CAD like 2D CAD did with me for accurate and careful pencil and ruler drawing.

One thing for sure though.... Learning either 2D or 3D is a steep uphill learning curve to learn the program and get to where it's quicker to do anything more than a basic conceptual sketch. Plan on a lot of hours where doing the CAD drawing is a lot slower.

Starting out like you are? My first bit of learning to use Fusion is going well enough that I think I'd say that even if you only "need" 2D that you might as well just jump into Fusion and learn it. Most of the learning is going to be learning to find and use the various tools. And if you can get away with that you may as well just do it once instead of twice like I'm having to do. And as we've seen from some of the nice 2D drawings that Brian has posted from time to time it's easy enough to turn the 3D drawings into printable and shop usable 2D.

Illinoyance
03-18-2019, 02:01 PM
I have SolidWorks and use it for designing almost everything I make.
I use 2D CAD instead of using trig to figure dimensions. I sometimes use the sketch function in SW. Sometimes I use Solid Edge ST8 (free).

One of the most important features of CAD is that it lets you re-use and modify work you already created.

Dan Dubeau
03-18-2019, 02:21 PM
I have SolidWorks and use it for designing almost everything I make.
I use 2D CAD instead of using trig to figure dimensions. I sometimes use the sketch function in SW. Sometimes I use Solid Edge ST8 (free).

One of the most important features of CAD is that it lets you re-use and modify work you already created.

That's a great feature of CAD. Back when I was designing fixtures full time I used to put a lot of time into designing fully parametric assemblies for families of parts. All the other guys would clean slate design each fixture to suit each part. For something like a seat rail fixture, I'd make one master design, then up date the parameters (rail width, length etc) for each part, and the design would update all the other feature automatically. It was a HUGE time saver. Ya it took a bit more time on the front end, but that was payed back rather quickly the more differing parts you had.

5 minutes ago I just had to make a 3d model of a machining fixture I had made months ago. When I built it I only made 2d profiles of some stuff because that's all I needed to machine it. The customer just called and wants a model now, so I had to go back and extrude all the profiles into solids to give them a model. No idea why. They probably crashed the bajeesus out of it, and are trying to get replacement parts made somewhere else......

dalee100
03-18-2019, 02:41 PM
I have used Solidworks since 2000.
Every engineering job I have ever had uses Solidworks.
Yet every college or school I have heard of teaches Autocad
or some cheap 3D cad program. Teaching what industry does
not use is ridiculous. Autocad 2D is just about useless.
People in academia need to wake up.

-Doozer

Hi,

With common file formats, that's not such a big deal anymore. And as time passes, even 3D software is getting more and more alike. Buttons might be in a bit different place, but how it works is still pretty similar and one should be able to pick it up pretty quickly. I found it easy to flip between SolidWorks. Fusion, and OnShape as needed.

I have used SolidWorks to make a living, and it's not always the best software, it's got some kinks that will bite you. There are others I prefer these days.

As far as 2D CAD goes, there are still a fair number of businesses that use nothing else. I recently applied for a job as a Draftsperson at a cabinet shop. When they asked me if I could use AutoCAD, I told them that it's been a while and the last version I used was 2000. I've done 3D modeling for the last 10 years and it's ubiquitous in the machine shop world because the geometry reigns supreme, not the pretty picture. But evidently cabinet shops are still hung up on 2D CAD as the go to. I did not get the job because I don't have real current ACAD experience and I'm now too old to hire.

fixerdave
03-18-2019, 03:25 PM
... One thing I worry about.....when Autodesk has everybody in the world using and familiar with Fusion they'll start charging big bucks like other CAD/CAM people do. The company claims they won't, but in the past Autodesk has not always been honest with users of their software. After all, they aren't a non-profit.

Onshape did that. Went from 10 "free" private models to all public. Bye... never went back. No idea what their current licensing is, and don't care. I think Fusion 360 will be better. They have a lot of non-free stuff attached to it, like generative design, and that's probably enough bait for serious people to pay. They also have Inventor and all the rest. Besides that, while Fusion 360 seems pretty amazing right now, the world has a way of catching up. I'm hoping that by the time they start gouging for Fusion 360 (or whatever it grows into), there will be open-source alternatives... to what Fusion is now. There's always a lag, but there's always choice too. Trimble is learning that too as the rants on the SketchUp forums are getting pretty harsh, and thin (last time I went back to look). It's amazing what a cheap bastard will do, including learning a new application, to stay cheap.

I think, bottom line, Fusion 360 is intended to be a SolidWorks killer. Where I work, a college, we get all kinds of Autodesk stuff for free. Free to use, free for instructors to use, free for students to use at home... They're just giving it away. We pay for Solidworks... that's what we teach now. We tried Inventor but there was a lot of industry pushback... had most of a graduating class go through remedial Solidworks training after graduation. Autodesk is trying hard but I suspect the only way they'll really bite Solidworks is to saturate the free side until everyone has experience with it, even if they know Solidworks too. Then, they can actually undercut Solidworks on price... and actually get some takers. I don't think I'd be buying any Solidworks stock over the next while.

David...

Wheels17
03-18-2019, 03:45 PM
I use draftsight all the time. Very simple and it saves a lot of mistakes. I'll do up one copy of the part with all the normal measurements that you might have on a part. Then I turn on a new layer and re-dimension it in the machining sequence, normally all offsets from one direction.

It's great for "calculations" too. For example, I needed the centers of two holes in a gearbox. Measure the diameter of the holes, and caliper between the edges of the hole. Lay it out in cad and stick a dimension on the centers of the two holes.

Another one. I bought a broach and bushing. But the bushing is too short for my hole. I can't easily measure the depth of the slot, because the diameter has been taken down at the edges of the slot. I measured the distance from the bottom of the slot to the other side of the bushing. I spent literally 10 minutes putting it into draftsight, found what the dimension is from the upper diameter, and now know how far down to mill after I touch off. Sure, could have done it manually, but it's surer this way.

Dan Dubeau
03-18-2019, 03:51 PM
While I'm not a fan of fusion's interface and workflow for the type of work I do, it's an amazingly powerful platform considering the price. I honestly can't believe Autodesk has been giving it away this long. I figured they would have set the hook by now and started reeling in. It's coming.

Paul Alciatore
03-18-2019, 03:53 PM
I have designed and built a lot of things, both professionally and personally in my garage shop. I like to do a design first to check for problems, but I tend to go with the simplest method that will serve the task at hand.

I never used napkins except while at lunch. For pencil/pen sketches I like to use graph paper. I keep a pad or two of the 1/5" grid graph paper in the shop and here at my office desk. The grid helps with the scaling and many things are simple enough that this is quite enough.

My training in drafting was only a one semester class in high school. Pencil and paper and ink it in for the final exam. When computers and CAD (2D) came around i rejoiced. Corrections and changes were SO much easier. And those changes were almost THE reason for going to 2D CAD. The ease of making a change probably saved untold millions and millions of man-hours in just a few years from it's introduction.

A pencil sketch maybe OK for a simple part, but when they get more complicated or when many parts must fit together, then CAD with proper scaling is almost essential. I have had to design systems that filled large rooms and each part had to go together properly. Racks, spacers, bases, electric, ventilation, etc., some parts fabricated on the spot and others purchased, while still more had to be custom fabricated by others. All of it had to fit. A pencil sketch just was not going to cut it. Likewise for something with a lot of mechanical parts, like an engine. And even 2D CAD can point out a lot of problems with features that interfere with each other and other problems. It is the precision scaling.

If you are good at it, 2D CAD can take you a long way, but at some point of complexity, 3D CAD is a life saver. Before 3D CAD things like new aircraft were made by trial and error. The designers drew 2D drawings and the shop made the prototype from them. Problems were found when parts did not fit and changes were made. It was a laborious process. 3D CAD saves much of that.

So, which do I use? ALL OF THEM. I am not going to do a 3D CAD drawing of a simple bracket. No Way! But for something more complicated then 2D or 3D CAD is the tool of choice. And I use that one. I guess I have enough experience under my 75 year old belt to know which to start with for any particular project. You learn by DOING!

Heck, for some really simple parts I don't even do a pencil sketch: just grab a piece of stock and start cutting and drilling. Do the planning (layout) directly on that stock. That works too.

Tungsten dipper
03-18-2019, 04:32 PM
Just downloaded Fusion 360 from the App store on my Mac. Can't find where it is free to individual users, except under educational use. Since I'm not enrolled I can not download it. How do I get it for free?

BCRider
03-18-2019, 05:43 PM
When I registered my copy (I seem to recall that it will expire otherwise) one of the options there was student or hobbyist. It wasn't obvious until you get into the "type of license" screen or something like that. But it does show up at one point before you actually need to input your credit card number......

PStechPaul
03-18-2019, 05:52 PM
In high school I took Mechanical Drawing all three years, with the last year concentrating on electronic schematics (which was mostly self-taught, not a usual option). My main interest was electronics, but I had assumed I would have a career as a draftsman, and I had a couple summer jobs doing just that. But fortunately I got a scholarship to Johns Hopkins and I entered their EE program. I hit a roadblock with higher math and changed my major to computer science, but I was unable to graduate. I took a job as a draftsman, using pencil and ink on Mylar and vellum, and then I worked as a TV/radio/stereo repair tech, followed by instrument tech and finally electronics engineer in 1977.

Much of that work also involved sheet metal work and machining, and I worked closely with several draftsmen and machinists for that part. My electronics designs were started as pencil schematics and sketches in my engineering notebooks, and then those were transferred to finished drawings with pencil on vellum or Mylar. I think my first experience with electronics CAD was around 1983 with Futurenet, which ran on the IBM PC with a proprietary video card similar to the monochrome Hercules graphics adapter. When I went on my own in 1989 I purchased my own copy of Futurenet, for about $2000, and used that for schematics and net lists. PC boards were still done using tape on Mylar, or occasionally ink. We submitted one design to a company that had high end layout software with an autorouter that sometimes ran all night long. I bought an expensive ($1500) all-in-one package for schematics, layout, and autorouter, but it was buggy and eventually went out of business. Finally I purchased my present Mentor PADS design suite, with $500 annual "maintenance" for upgrades, which eventually I discontinued. I'm still using their 2004 version.

I started my mechanical CAD experience with "Generic CAD", which was an inexpensive program that ran on MSDOS and had many nice features. But eventually they were bought by AutoCAD and priced out of my reach. I discovered TurboCAD when it was at an early stage of development, perhaps 2.0, and I grew proficient at it and liked it. But it was all 2-D, although it had some klunky 3-D options. While working at ETI we hired a couple draftspeople part-time, who were experienced at AutoCAD, and preferred to work in 3-D. Eventually I learned more about 3-D and grew to like it, and used it for almost everything. But the boss at ETI, and his main techs, did not understand it, and proclaimed that they would only accept drawings in 2-D.

I still usually start off a design with pen or pencil sketches literally on the back of envelopes or notepads, but I found that I often lost them, so I try to put them into my engineering notebook, which has graph paper pages. I also use it for test results, parts comparisons, and transcripts of phone conversations and meetings. Eventually, though, I will use TurboCAD to finalize mechanical designs, and I might use LTspice for simple schematics for simulation, and then PADS for more complete schematics that might eventually become PCBs.

J Tiers
03-18-2019, 06:21 PM
I spent 30 years on a drafting board. Then I learned 2D Autocad. In my opinion, 2D cad doesn't do a lot for you that you can't do as easily and quickly on a drafting board. It's basically the same thing, only done on a computer screen. Then after three years I transitioned to 3D cad.--WOW!!!! 3d cad is magic. It has so many benefits that it is unbelievable. I have never used the CAM aspect of what I do, but I can send my files out as .dxf files to a shop using a CAM program to run their cnc machines to make the part.--However--You have to know how to make a 2D sketch in 3D cad before you can extrude the part into the third dimension.

This ^^^^^

Then the ability to go back and change something in any part, or assembly, at any time, without necessarily having to change everything else from that part up to the final assembly. Depending on the change, the models may automatically adapt, or if a feature is deleted, and you used it to align something, you will have to fix that.

With 2D CAD, YOU have to do all the work of figuring out if things will fit, etc. It works, of course, I have done enough drawings for blue-line to know it can be done. But it is much faster with so-called "parametric_ 3D CAD, because you can easily change things, and it is very simple to make things fit, etc.

Rather than having to do all the visualization yourself, and make a separate assembly drawing for every view you want to see the device from, you make ONE "model" and can look at it from any angle, hide parts so you can see other parts, transfer holes from one part to another to be certain they line up, etc,etc, etc. It is really no joke to say it is very probably 100x faster and far more accurate than 2D work, particularly with complex assemblies.

Can you foul up bigtime with 3D CAD? Yep..... but it is a lot harder to do. You have to ignore so much that is showing you the problem. I have done numerous projects for work and for myself which were 100% done in 3D CAD, and they fitted together ant worked perfectly the first time.

I cannot emphasize enough the ability to pull in the part to a drawing format, and almost instantly make a dimensioned drawing, with section views, etc, ready to take to the shop and make the part. If you have either CNC or a 3D printer, the part can be sent as geometry to the programs that convert it to a CNC program or 3D printing input. Any decent 3D CAD will output STEP, IGES, STL files, and possibly solidworks files. Also various image files, JPEG, PNG, and a nice addition is files for a rendering program such as Keyshot

Not all 3D CAD is the same. It is not worth fooling with most of the non-parametric varieties of CAD. They offer far fewer advantages over 2D, and are a good deal more trouble to use. I have used "Turbocad", and while it IS better than 2D, it just does not offer much if you have any further choices.

I primarily use Alibre, but I have used Solidworks, and Pro-E (now Creo). They are generally similar, with detail differences. I had very little trouble with Solidworks, since I had already used Alibre. Once you know how to use one of the parametric CAD programs, most of the others will be similar.

elf
03-18-2019, 06:55 PM
Just downloaded Fusion 360 from the App store on my Mac. Can't find where it is free to individual users, except under educational use. Since I'm not enrolled I can not download it. How do I get it for free?

You have a 30 day trial period after which you can register as a hobbiest or small business.

Tungsten dipper
03-18-2019, 07:08 PM
You have a 30 day trial period after which you can register as a hobbiest or small business.

Thank you all!

RMinMN
03-19-2019, 07:40 AM
While I'm not a fan of fusion's interface and workflow for the type of work I do, it's an amazingly powerful platform considering the price. I honestly can't believe Autodesk has been giving it away this long. I figured they would have set the hook by now and started reeling in. It's coming.

I think Autodesk is playing the long game. Get people using the program, hopefully some younger ones. Get them some experience with it and hope they then found a new company that is successful and when that happens, they have the need and the money to pay for the license. Just how much does it cost them to give away a free license? How many paid subscriptions that they gain does it take to pay that back?

Sometimes the grocery store will have free samples of a product. Same idea, get people to try the product and some will buy it that would never have without the free sample.

vpt
03-19-2019, 08:46 AM
I use CAD (cardboard aided design) all the time.

https://i.imgur.com/KLqpvx4.jpg

SLK001
03-19-2019, 09:17 AM
I use CAD (cardboard aided design) all the time.

Wow! It's in 3D even!

Tungsten dipper
03-19-2019, 09:23 AM
I use CAD (cardboard aided design) all the time.



Nice welds!!!

Stepside
03-19-2019, 10:17 AM
I use RhinocerosV6. It is not free but you own it outright. It feeds laser engravers, 3D printers, out puts to CAM software and does 2D drafting.

One of my important uses of 3D models is to explain/discuss a project with a client that cannot read a 2D drawing.

IdahoJim
03-19-2019, 11:22 AM
I used to wonder why people needed drawings, but as my skills grew, I found out why. Building stuff with moving parts, and possible interference problems, you need CAD to be sure it will all work together. Not to mention determining part dimensions, angles, etc. I couldn't do without it. It won't cure every problem, but sure cuts down on the time, and material waste.
Jim

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-19-2019, 11:43 AM
I used to wonder why people needed drawings, but as my skills grew, I found out why. Building stuff with moving parts, and possible interference problems, you need CAD to be sure it will all work together. Not to mention determining part dimensions, angles, etc. I couldn't do without it. It won't cure every problem, but sure cuts down on the time, and material waste.
Jim

Yup.. I've had access and the means for CAD/CAM software but without enough knowledge and experience using it, I've always found it was easier to just design and build my machine shop projects as I go but often ended up redesigning around issues that pop up. I knew if I had the knowledge how to pre-design in CAD I would have avoided a lot of mistakes and re-designs...

J Tiers
03-19-2019, 12:04 PM
I used to wonder why people needed drawings, but as my skills grew, I found out why. Building stuff with moving parts, and possible interference problems, you need CAD to be sure it will all work together. Not to mention determining part dimensions, angles, etc. I couldn't do without it. It won't cure every problem, but sure cuts down on the time, and material waste.
Jim

Well, to be fair, people did some very complex stuff without any CAD. Pretty much all of the space program, huge ships, submarines, including the first nuclear subs, engines such as the Merlin, etc.

Admittedly, with ships and large buildings, much detail was left to the people doing the assembly, but that actually might have been for the best, as it tended to avoid good-looking layouts that are virtually impossible to build or repair.

metalmagpie
03-19-2019, 12:05 PM
Years ago when I worked for a big software company I got very used to a drawing tool called Adobe FrameMaker. It's strictly 2D, not smart at all, all dimensions must be added manually, etc.

I start by deciding on a drawing scale that will allow me to draw my piece on an 8.5x11" sheet. I do math calculations in Excel. I draw each line exact to the mathematically calculated length. If some calculation
is wrong, the drawing will show it. That's the first big advantage. Angles, arcs, etc. are all calculated. I enjoy the shop math as much as anything else.

Of course, after the project, I generally don't delete the spreadsheet or drawing files from disk. This means I can go copy from earlier projects, or parts of one. Also very handy.

I can easily PDF my drawings and post them online, and others can easily read them, at least if they know how to read blueprints. Plan view, front view, side view.

No, it doesn't read DXF or write it either. I've tried a few other things (Sketchup, Visio) but I am too impatient to have to learn a new tool again, with a whole new (usually hideous) user interface.

When I'm done, I can print my drawing and fabricate from it. If I burn it up with welding sparks, I can print another.

metalmagpie

754
03-19-2019, 12:21 PM
My preference is CAD.....cerealbox aided design.
I have no doubt before cad that they used scaled cutout parts of maybe poster or art board to check clearances in assemblies.
Lucky almost all I build does not use parts that swiveling turn against other pieces, and are not usually stacked or layered.

Dan Dubeau
03-19-2019, 01:13 PM
My preference is CAD.....cerealbox aided design.

I do lots of that too. All depends what the job calls for. In this case, it was a case of sleemans that provide the C for the CAD template. :)
https://i.imgur.com/ZAhDj6ll.jpg

Edit: they make handy quick gaskets too. Lets see a computer do THAT.

754
03-19-2019, 01:22 PM
That is .... BAD.... beerbox aided design..
Sleemans... mmmmmm...

Dan Dubeau
03-19-2019, 01:28 PM
That is .... BAD.... beerbox aided design..
Sleemans... mmmmmm...

Don't forget about SPAD either. Smoke pack aided design. Don't see those much anymore. Digital has taken that over too....

john hobdeclipe
03-19-2019, 06:27 PM
Now I am curious, what will CAD on a basic level do for you.
I do my drawing with pen or pencill , often on napkins, and it works for me.. not so goid to expect others to be able to understand them.
I have made lots of parts that were drawn on CAD.

So what does it do for you ?

I heard one fellow say, I have CAD on my computer, now I can design things. Will it, or wil, it just give him nicer drawings ? What is your views on it ?

I work from anything from a mental image to a paper sketch, paper drawing, or CAD drawing.

Here's what I like about CAD: I can draw some device or other, then copy all of the drawing to another location on the screen, then start making changes without losing any of the original. And I can do this an unlimited number of times. As a design progresses, I have in front of me the entire chronicle of the changes. When I'm finished, I can draw a box around the design I want to use so it's easy to find, and I still have all of the other versions. I don't have to start over just to make some modifications.

Here is a pic with another example: Once I drew the machine frame, I simply made a string of copies to use to experiment with various gear combinations. (Gears are yellow in this drawing.)

http://www.auldooly.com/imagehost/gear study 103.jpg

This image only shows about 1/3 of the whole group. If I had to redraw the basic machine parts for every gear combination, I probably wouldn't do it. And once I drew a gear of any given size, I merely had to select it, copy it, and use "snaps" to drop it into place wherever I want it.

Another time saver with most CAD programs is the ability to create multiple layers that can be drawn on independently of the others, you can make them visible or invisible, and assign colors to each layer to separate them from other layers. In my scheme of things, I always use magenta for construction lines, hidden lines are always red, center lines are always yellow, etc. And you can "lock" a layer to keep from accidentally editing the entities on it.

Like someone else here said...it saves a lot on erasers!

But CAD will not enable you to design things. If you have no imagination, CAD won't furnish you with one. If you have the capability of imagining and designing things, you can do it with a stick in the sand, lacking anything else.

J Tiers
03-19-2019, 10:02 PM
That seems to be 2D CAD.

With 3D CAD, of the parametric type (Alibre Atom, for instance, IIRC at $200, or Fusion if you go that way), you get what you just suggested, but you also get the ability to change anything you want to, by going back and editing the history of the part.

Here I have selected extrusion 5 on a random part from the past, to edit for a different version of the part. If you looks closely, you see that it is highlighted (made bold text) in the list. You can also see a blue line that indicates where in that history the view as you see it is as far as what has been done to it. At the bottom, it shows that ell the listed constructions and actions are represented. The selected extrusion feature is shown in yellow on the model as it appears after all operations.

http://i.imgur.com/tVVCxnk.jpg (https://imgur.com/tVVCxnk)


So, by selecting that, I can go back in time and change what I did, at any time, to evolve the part, or to make a new but similar part. Here I have gone back, and the circle that defines whatever it was can be changed. (witht that circle, I actually wanted to create a recess, so I filled in that part to a certain depth. I could change the diameter, or the depth. A diameter dialogue window is open, and the highlighted diameter dimension number can be changed). You can see the blue horizontal line that was at the bottom of the list, is now moved up to be just under the feature being edited. The part has bee taken back to that stage of its existence, but all the subseqquent actions are still there, they just are not done to it, not being shown in the part view, and the part, if used somewhere, would look like the view. I could choose to move to any later stage of the part, or go all the way to the end, depending on what features I wanted to be included.

http://i.imgur.com/PxXgk8E.jpg (https://imgur.com/PxXgk8E)

Any of the things in the history at the left of the first pic can be revisited and edited. That is extremely powerful in both design and re-use of a part. And, once that is done, any assemblies that use that version of the part (that filename and that copy of it) will be updated with the change.

So you can decide to change some feature of a part after you have it in an assembly, and a minute later, you could have that change implemented in the final assembly model.

It is like using "blocks" in 2D, but many times more powerful.

And, having it all in a 3D solid model means that all the information about that part is in the one model, I can do a drawing of it easily, with any views I want, and never have to draw any other view of the part

Here I have a dialog box allowing me to pick any or all of the 10 views shown, or a custom view, and turn the part any way for the center one of them, to put in a drawing. I am showing a blank page, but I could select any drawing template I would like to use among whatever I have set up. I can do a section view in a few clicks, etc, etc.

http://i.imgur.com/bLm1Geo.jpg (https://imgur.com/bLm1Geo)

I could export the part in any of a longish list of formats, if I wanted to send it to CAM processing and CNC.

I know this does not seem like "simple CAD", but the reality is that it is a lot simpler to use overall than a 2D program, due to dealing with what amounts to a "real" part in the "model". And, the ability to easily turn it into a drawing for taking to the shop is an additional simplification.

I would say that it cuts errors and time taken by 80% at least. I think that is "simple" CAD the way it should be.

If you wqnt to make one simple part, it is not worth the time. But if you want to make something that has, maybe, 4 or 5 parts, or that has complex part shapes, that fit together, then it rapidly becomes easier to figure it all out in CAD and then make the parts.

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-20-2019, 07:16 AM
If you have a CNC machine with a decent conversational interface, you can easily transfer CAD drawings with just the relative dimensions, angles, conrads, etc. It also doesn't matter what CAD program you use, even if the drawing only has a minimum set of geometric details.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8Pazb-KNMU

lakeside53
03-20-2019, 10:08 AM
That what I do. Like yours, mine also solves for unknown intersections of complex geometry etc.

The problem I have with 3D CAD for CNC is you buy into the entire package of generated g-code and tool paths. Yep, works, but now many times more complex than 2D import to conversational, and limited ability to really see what is happening and make on-screen (cnc screen) adjustments. There is a place for both simple cad and "the whole works".

Dan Dubeau
03-20-2019, 11:03 AM
There is a place for both simple cad and "the whole works".

That's one of the reasons I still like and use Mechanical Desktop (anybody still remember that?) It's both A "Dumb" 2d simple autocad AND a fully parametric FEATURE based solid 3d modeler (also a dumb solid modeler). I despise HISTORY base modelers. I really wish Autodesk wouldn't have shelved it in favour of inventor. I've always felt it was superior to Inventor, and offered a different way of doing things that was better than trying to compete with the newly emerging solidworks, by trying to be a better solidworks (which is wasn't by a long shot).

I also use rhino a lot for 3d surfacing (another big component of my job) and simple 2d stuff. I also really wish Rhino, being based on autocad like functionality would pick up where MD left off and offer Parametric solid modeling, and Modelspace/Paperspace like MD used to. What a dynamite package THAT would be..... Wishful thinking.

In the meantime I'll still plug away with 2006 MD the last supported version that we bought. Although I do get to use rhino 5.0 (havn't updated to 6 yet). And occasionally dip my toes in the fusion world.

sid pileski
03-20-2019, 11:55 AM
If you have a CNC machine with a decent conversational interface, you can easily transfer CAD drawings with just the relative dimensions, angles, conrads, etc. It also doesn't matter what CAD program you use, even if the drawing only has a minimum set of geometric details.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8Pazb-KNMU

In that example from Trak, I think you need the dxf output from your CAD package. Easy, but true?


Sid

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-20-2019, 12:10 PM
In that example from Trak, I think you need the dxf output from your CAD package. Easy, but true?


Sid

You can import DXF if you like but that's a different process/procedure. The SWI video example is just showing how to use the conversational/A.G.E method for entering a design from a drawing (No electronic connection to the design).

If you want to import a 2D/3D design, you can do that with the ProtoTrax SMX as well:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cEMqesqtOs

J Tiers
03-20-2019, 12:27 PM
That's one of the reasons I still like and use Mechanical Desktop (anybody still remember that?) It's both A "Dumb" 2d simple autocad AND a fully parametric FEATURE based solid 3d modeler (also a dumb solid modeler). I despise HISTORY base modelers. I really wish Autodesk wouldn't have shelved it in favour of inventor. .....

Both have their advantages, why do you have such HATE for history type modelers?

Dan Dubeau
03-20-2019, 12:38 PM
Both have their advantages, why do you have such HATE for history type modelers?

Because I want to go back and edit a FEATURE, not add to the HISTORY of the part. If I add a fillet to a part, then later want to change it bigger or smaller I just want to click on THAT fillet. HISTORY based keep a record each time you make an edit of a feature. It's very cumbersome, and adds useless history and complexity to a model IMO. Some guys LOVE working like that, but I DESPISE it. Cimatron is a good example of a history based program that I've spent some time with. It keeps track of every line, offset, fillet etc you've made. I just don't need to work that way. FEATURE based or "feature tree" modeling makes the most logical sense to me.

Edit: I should add, that most all feature based modeling IS history based to SOME extent (you can't have a hole in a part before you create the part....). But what I was referring to explicitly is history base in the sense that it remembers EVERY move you make (line offsets, surface offsets, trims, extensions, etc) and not just the features that you create based on those moves.

J Tiers
03-20-2019, 01:20 PM
I have absolutely NO problem going back and altering that one feature, as I demonstrated. No clue what the issue is, actually. Maybe I have not worked with a true history based program. I am not sure how you can separate the features from their history.

The "history" I am familiar with is of the "feature" operations, .. There IS a "history", but that is changeable, go back and edit, add, or delete a feature at any point in the history... no problem.

Are we (or am I) conflating the existence of a history with it being "history based"? Alibre remembers the sketch used to create the feature, obviously, but not every erasure of a line. Once you have exited the sketch, the process to arrive at that sketch is lost, the sketch remains. I have never seen one that is essentially a keystroke recorder.

The "history" aspect of it related to the fact that a feature is based off a prior feature, unless you provide absolute co-ordinates for everything you do. Since it is off a prior feature, the history is important because you need the base feature to add the new one to, and obviously must do that later in the history.

If I created a hole, with no part, and later put a part feature there, the part would not have a hole in it, the part feature would over-ride the previous hole.

C_M_H
03-20-2019, 01:39 PM
It's not a CAD package per se, but I find GeoGebra really useful for figuring out linkages and other mechanical relationships.

https://www.geogebra.org

Free, and supports multiple platforms.

It has bit of a learning curve, but once you get it going it's very unique in it's flexibility. You can create sliders for any attribute, and see the results of adjustments in realtime.

I can't figure out how to upload GIFs, so stills will have to do.



This is a study to visualize the details of an ornithopter wing mechanism. While it's playing back and flapping I can adjust the length of any of the linkages as well as their positions;

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=4883&d=1553101801

I can't find the source, but this is a brilliant use of GeoGebra. A dynamic folded bellows generator. Made for a large format camera, but works for a variety of applications.;

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=4885&d=1553101965

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=4887&d=1553102782

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=4888&d=1553103492

I wanted to get my head around the kinematics of a bi-pod plotter. This really helped me understand the approach and solution. Really good in motion;

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=4886&d=1553102361

Dan Dubeau
03-20-2019, 02:11 PM
I have absolutely NO problem going back and altering that one feature, as I demonstrated. No clue what the issue is, actually. Maybe I have not worked with a true history based program. I am not sure how you can separate the features from their history.

The "history" I am familiar with is of the "feature" operations, .. There IS a "history", but that is changeable, go back and edit, add, or delete a feature at any point in the history... no problem.

Are we (or am I) conflating the existence of a history with it being "history based"?

The "history" aspect of it related to the fact that a feature is based off a prior feature, unless you provide absolute co-ordinates for everything you do. Since it is off a prior feature, the history is important because you need the base feature to add the new one to, and obviously must do that later in the history.

Kind of. Every model has a "history". It has to. You cant add features to something before it exists. Therefor there is a inherent history to every model. Every parametric base modeler works like that to some extent*. When I refer to "history based" I'm referring specifically to the way that Cimatron (and another who's name escapes me at the moment) work. They record a history for everything thing you do as a parametrically editable item. And you can go back in time and edit any of them and the model will update itself (maybe it will, maybe it wont......) IMO not everything needs to be parametrically editable. Wanna make a sketch and extrude it to create a feature? sure, have the final rendition of the sketch editable, not all the offsetting of lines, and trimming you did while making the sketch.

Most parametric modeling programs are feature tree based, meaning you can edit the feature you created by going through the feature tree (that is created based on history, but you can reorganize features up and down based on dependency). IMO that is the most logical way to work. Everything you need, nothing you don't. Create a sketch, extrude/revolve/add/subtract it etc. Need to go back later and edit it? click on the sketch in the feature tree (or directly on the feature in the part window).

*CadKey/Keycreator is a different program in that's it's both parametric feature based, AND a direct editing modeler bring in any dumb solid and want to edit a fillet or hole?, just click on it, and edit it and it will update the model, no feature tree required. Out of all the programs I've used over the years that was the one that gelled the most with my brain. I took to it instantly, and really loved the workflow of it. I really wish we'd upgrade to it here, but it was deemed "too expensive" (it's one of the cheapest....).

It's tough to describe via text, but it's very apparent when working with a program like that. For the type of work I do with surfaces (****ty ones, customer supplied, leading to non water tight solids), I always found it very frustrating and it would lead to many model instabilities and crashes of models not able to update themselves. Of course everybody being different there's probably lots of people who love cimatron (I worked with a few), and would hate something like keycreator. Everybody's brain works differently, the world would be a pretty boring place if we all functioned the same.....

Cimatron DID have some AWESOME parting line creation features though. And the CAM side of it does have some nice pluses, So they have that going for them I guess.....

Still can't think of the name of that other program though. This was back around 2004/5 when the place I was working at was trying to move away from Mechanical desktop as Autodesk was discontinuing support for it trying to push inventor (You had to buy inventor to get MD). We demoed a ton of software packages trying to find a suitable replacement. In the end we just stuck with MD, and the place went bankrupt a few years later. (not because of that....). The next place I went to was where I was introduced to Cimatron and had to choke that down for almost a year before I moved on..... There is no "perfect" package though, they've all got some head scratching and frustrating features IMO.

PStechPaul
03-20-2019, 03:06 PM
As I mentioned previously, I have been using TurboCad for well over 20 years, and my present version is 15.2 Pro. It does everything I need to do, including special mechanical and architectural functions. But with the "upgrade" from Win8 to Win8.1 and Win10, it no longer runs, even in compatibility mode. So I am weighing my options:

1. Installing a VM using Win7 or XP for my present software.

2. Running it on a separate machine (I have several)

3. Upgrading TurboCad to a more recent version (probably at least $500).

4. Installing another CAD package, hopefully inexpensive or free, similar to TurboCad, and able to import TC files.

Any suggestions? I definitely want 3-D capability with solid modeling.

Outright purchase of TurboCad Pro Platinum 2018 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/TurboCAD-Pro-Platinum-2018-Professional-2D-3D-CAD-Design-Software-Download/333118237579?epid=23025943227&hash=item4d8f64eb8b:g:zZAAAOSwsn9b7dL-) is $1300, upgrade is $1000. Their Deluxe version (https://www.ebay.com/itm/TurboCAD-Deluxe-2018-Mini-Box-CAD-Design-Software/382842862714?epid=19021333640&hash=item5923367c7a:g:Zk4AAOSw-QBcR6bK) is only $130, but I'm not sure what features I would lose.

dalee100
03-20-2019, 04:38 PM
Hi,

Unless you absolutely need to maintain the best secrecy of product development and design with no internet connection, just switch to either OnShape or Fusion and be done with it.

Doing so will always get you latest up to date version so that the software never ages out like you are experiencing now.

scottly
03-20-2019, 11:15 PM
Now I am curious, what will CAD on a basic level do for you.
I do my drawing with pen or pencill , often on napkins, and it works for me.. not so goid to expect others to be able to understand them.
I have made lots of parts that were drawn on CAD.

So what does it do for you ?


Frank, say you want to drill three holes in a triangular pattern on a manual mill. With CAD, it would be easy to calculate have far you have to turn the hand cranks in each axis for each hole, which is pretty damn hard to do with a pencil.;)

754
03-20-2019, 11:24 PM
That's funny , I can remember noting on drawings that had a 3.5 inch between centers, as 17.5 turns..
Never having had DRO I always count turns.

PStechPaul
03-20-2019, 11:25 PM
Has anyone tried FreeCAD? It is 3-D solid modeling software with import/export capability from/to many file formats. Also runs on Windows as well as Linux.

https://www.freecadweb.org/


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzfT-ZDp0Wo

J Tiers
03-20-2019, 11:26 PM
Frank, say you want to drill three holes in a triangular pattern on a manual mill. With CAD, it would be easy to calculate have far you have to turn the hand cranks in each axis for each hole, which is pretty damn hard to do with a pencil.;)

Trigonometry.... same way it used to be done, BC.

(Before Computers, when a lot of very big and very complex stuff was made.... Allegheny and Big boy Locos, Battleships and huge liners, airplanes and aero engines, etc. Someone had to figure out how big each part was to be made.....)

RB211
03-20-2019, 11:37 PM
That's funny , I can remember noting on drawings that had a 3.5 inch between centers, as 17.5 turns..
Never having had DRO I always count turns.

Old school works, but what you are running into is majorly philosophical differences and people being adamently opposed to doing things a certain way. I could replace my mill with hand files, and power my tools with flat belts lubricated with mouse guts, and sell my daughters off to the highest bidder as well. I'll take the DRO, VFD, and allow my kids to live there life without counting on a large dowery.
And I will also take the PARAMETRIC MODELING CAD program. I'd sooner find a new interest than not have those things..

lakeside53
03-20-2019, 11:37 PM
I just hover the pointer over my intersection points and it tells me x/y based on an origin point. I lock that flag and move to the next until all done. Print out then just DRO... or CNC if I want to.

Smokedaddy
03-20-2019, 11:51 PM
I was a draftsman way back in the 60's, including ink and mylar, then moved onto cad in the mid 80's. Having drafting skills is still valuable in my opinion, even if it's a sketch. I would hate to think the time it would of taken my to design and/or draw this manually.

https://i.imgur.com/0gGruO0.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/znalOiq.jpg

-JW:

754
03-21-2019, 12:08 AM
I just thought of something that made me chuckle.

Every Western star Truck, Constellation Cab on the road has holes drilled in the roof and back of cab panels, on fixtures I made on my non DRO manual mill.
A few years before the Portland move, and for quite a time since, they are probably still in use.
The drawing though we're done on Cad.,

Often my work was checked on a fairly pricey portable CMM machine..

fixerdave
03-21-2019, 02:38 AM
Has anyone tried FreeCAD? ...

I think it was one of the ones I went through when trying out OnShape, being one of the few ways at the time I could actually get a drawing OUT of OnShape (that being a primary requirement of anything I'm going to learn).

It worked, but after Fusion 360 I never looked back. I'm a big proponent of Open-Source, but, dang, Fusion 360 is hard to beat.

As stated before, I think Autodesk is giving away Fusion 360 to kill Solidworks' lock on industry, and Solidworks isn't going to die anytime soon so Fusion 360 should be around for free for quite a while. Maybe in a few years, the Open-Source stuff will catch up to what Fusion is offering now, but -right now- it's not even close. Just try it.

I mean... look here (https://myhub.autodesk360.com/ue2bd9c11/g/shares/SH7f1edQT22b515c761ecfa848a66211ff5d). Free hosting of designs in a web viewer, with collaboration, and that's not even Fusion 360... that's just A360, which is linked to it. Fusion 360 is so feature-rich I don't know the half of it (not anywhere near half) and it's still growing.

Just submit to the Borg and try it. All I can say,

David...

RMinMN
03-21-2019, 08:20 AM
As stated before, I think Autodesk is giving away Fusion 360 to kill Solidworks' lock on industry, and Solidworks isn't going to die anytime soon so Fusion 360 should be around for free for quite a while. Maybe in a few years, the Open-Source stuff will catch up to what Fusion is offering now, but -right now- it's not even close. Just try it.

I mean... look here (https://myhub.autodesk360.com/ue2bd9c11/g/shares/SH7f1edQT22b515c761ecfa848a66211ff5d). Free hosting of designs in a web viewer, with collaboration, and that's not even Fusion 360... that's just A360, which is linked to it. Fusion 360 is so feature-rich I don't know the half of it (not anywhere near half) and it's still growing.

Just submit to the Borg and try it. All I can say,

David...

I tried FreeCAD and while it is free, it really is a long way from Fusion 360. There must be something with having a big paid staff to program these things. I still struggle to design things in Fusion 360 but dang, it has features.

RB211
03-21-2019, 09:36 AM
I think it was one of the ones I went through when trying out OnShape, being one of the few ways at the time I could actually get a drawing OUT of OnShape (that being a primary requirement of anything I'm going to learn).

It worked, but after Fusion 360 I never looked back. I'm a big proponent of Open-Source, but, dang, Fusion 360 is hard to beat.

As stated before, I think Autodesk is giving away Fusion 360 to kill Solidworks' lock on industry, and Solidworks isn't going to die anytime soon so Fusion 360 should be around for free for quite a while. Maybe in a few years, the Open-Source stuff will catch up to what Fusion is offering now, but -right now- it's not even close. Just try it.

I mean... look here (https://myhub.autodesk360.com/ue2bd9c11/g/shares/SH7f1edQT22b515c761ecfa848a66211ff5d). Free hosting of designs in a web viewer, with collaboration, and that's not even Fusion 360... that's just A360, which is linked to it. Fusion 360 is so feature-rich I don't know the half of it (not anywhere near half) and it's still growing.

Just submit to the Borg and try it. All I can say,

David...

I am amazed how Fusion360 makes flawless stl's for 3d printing, and the built in CAM is a life changing revelation in its own right.