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Thread: ViaCAD info needed.

  1. #1
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    Default ViaCAD info needed.

    I've downloaded the free 14 day version of ViaCAD and must confess to having more luck with it than any other cad program. I am still having some problems and the tutorials done at break-neck speed are very little help to me although I've watched them a hundred times. He moves the cursor so quickly I can't get a eye on where he's going. Also, the scripted tut's are extremely basic. As an example, he doesn't mention which tools are only used in the trimetric mode AND, which ones require you "select" before or after choosing the tool.

    But I can see where this program will work for me but I could sure use a little help. Does anyone know if you buy the program box at the store, does it include tutorials? I've had the box in my hand and read the entire thing it makes no mention of what's in it. It's heave, likely has a book but my guess is probably the same information they give you in the scripted tuts'. Are there tutorials available for it? I've searched Borders and there are no books available yet that I can find.

    Also, Sir John, you were going to look at this you mentioned. Do you think it will work for a backyard cnc setup doing fairly basic 2d parts?
    Last edited by Your Old Dog; 10-09-2007 at 06:46 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default

    YOD

    I bought the program and there is a manual included in the package. There isn't much more in the way of tutorials however.

    This is a very early release of this program with lots of the tools etc. borrowed from Punch's other offerings. I have been following the forum over there and the way it sounds there is a new release, or fairly comprehensive "patch" in the not too distant future.

    I bought the program as its advertised as being compatible with Sketchup, this may be the case with Mac computers, but it fails miserably on a Windows system. This will supposedly be addressed in the upcoming fix.

    I have thrown in the towel temporarily and have gone to Alibre ( thank you Sir John ) which I find to be a great program.

    rollin'

  3. #3
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    Default ViaCAD

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Old Dog
    I've downloaded the free 14 day version of ViaCAD and must confess to having more luck with it than any other cad program. I am still having some problems and the tutorials done at break-neck speed are very little help to me although I've watched them a hundred times. He moves the cursor so quickly I can't get a eye on where he's going. Also, the scripted tut's are extremely basic. As an example, he doesn't mention which tools are only used in the trimetric mode AND, which ones require you "select" before or after choosing the tool.

    But I can see where this program will work for me but I could sure use a little help. Does anyone know if you buy the program box at the store, does it include tutorials? I've had the box in my hand and read the entire thing it makes no mention of what's in it. It's heave, likely has a book but my guess is probably the same information they give you in the scripted tuts'. Are there tutorials available for it? I've searched Borders and there are no books available yet that I can find.

    Also, Sir John, you were going to look at this you mentioned. Do you think it will work for a backyard cnc setup doing fairly basic 2d parts?
    Thanks YOD.

    The BIGGEST PITA is that the "boxed" stuff (ViaCAD 2D/3D) is only sold in the USA and Canada - the rest of the world has to down-load it - all 600 MB (yep 600 mega-bytes) for each machine. That is a VERY long time for me at my slow ADSL (8 hours!!). It cannot be copied across to my other machine. One of the down-loads had a "miss" in it so I had to repeat it, but it installed on my W2K machine. I had a problem after down-loading it on my XP machine and have to down-load it again.

    "Help" line wasn't much help at all - more or less "Tough - re-down load it or get some-one you know in USA or Canada to buy it and post it to you".

    The "paid" version will allow 3 licences - 1 copy on 3 machines.

    If you like I will email you the email traffic on this matter.

    My main problem is that if I buy it over the net (down-loaded) how will I get on if my machine "crashes" and has to be re-loaded from "Scratch". Down-load it again? How do I prove who I am and that I have paid for my copies? etc. etc.

    I was advised that my "trial Period" (14 days) has started on the machine I have it installed on and that the other machine trial period will start when that is eventually loaded. I am damned if I am going to "get into" that program with that sort of doubt as to whether I will eventually get it hangs over my head.

    I am just about ready to abandon it - your report re. "demo" etc. has just about finalised it for me.

    I am more inclined to go for "Alibre" as advised by rolin45in a separate post on this thread. He too has "Sketch-up" as do I and I was counting on using ViaCAD with that as well - but he says that is a "no-go".

    I'd appreciate anyone else who has loaded "Alibre" to let me know how they get on with it and how it performs.

  4. #4
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    Default Alibre

    Quote Originally Posted by rollin45
    YOD

    I bought the program and there is a manual included in the package. There isn't much more in the way of tutorials however.

    This is a very early release of this program with lots of the tools etc. borrowed from Punch's other offerings. I have been following the forum over there and the way it sounds there is a new release, or fairly comprehensive "patch" in the not too distant future.

    I bought the program as its advertised as being compatible with Sketchup, this may be the case with Mac computers, but it fails miserably on a Windows system. This will supposedly be addressed in the upcoming fix.

    I have thrown in the towel temporarily and have gone to Alibre ( thank you Sir John ) which I find to be a great program.

    rollin'
    Thanks rollin'.

    A very interesting commentary indeed.

    I am having problems with ViaCAD - see my previous post in this thread.

    How do you find the free version of Alibre Express? I take it from your post that you find it to be OK.

    Could you provide a bit more info please as on the face of it thus far, it seems that Alibre is the way for me to go.

    I have "Sketchup" on my machine as well.

    John Stevenson seemed quite enthusiastic about it too - and that's a good "rap" as well on the thread at:
    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=25679

    I am also thinking about TurboCAD - I had up version 6 (I think it was).

  5. #5
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    Default Alibre Express

    Oldtiffie,

    I like Alibre Express, I just wish I was better at using it. I downloaded it when Sir John first brought it to the attention of the forum. I find that, for me, the learing curve seems pretty steep. But I think that's just me in having difficulty getting my head around drawing in 3D and not being able to devote the time required (again, by me) to learing it well. I seem to pick it up, make a little progress, put it down then have to re-learn what I already went through when next I need it. Here's a very simple redition of a part I did for practise a few weeks ago.



    I have used 2D cad software for quite a while. I have the same learning curve issue with Autocad, but am very comfortable with another 2D cad at work called ME10. I learned ME10 first and since it does some things differently from Autocad I have problems switching back and forth. My problem and not the software really.

    Alibre Express was a long download but I think it's also available on CD for a nominal charge. Sure can't beat the price for a fully functional 3D modeling program even though the free version is limited in certain respects from the for pay version. It does more than I can use, at least right now. Once the 3D part is modeled the software will generate the 2D shop drawings for you. I don't know about translating the model into G-code or other CAD/CAM system as I currently have no need for that.

    I played with Sketchup at work and found it interesting but haven't downloaded it for home yet.

    Bill
    Bill

  6. #6
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    Default Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by wschoenbeck
    Oldtiffie,

    I like Alibre Express, I just wish I was better at using it. I downloaded it when Sir John first brought it to the attention of the forum. I find that, for me, the learing curve seems pretty steep. But I think that's just me in having difficulty getting my head around drawing in 3D and not being able to devote the time required (again, by me) to learing it well. I seem to pick it up, make a little progress, put it down then have to re-learn what I already went through when next I need it. Here's a very simple redition of a part I did for practise a few weeks ago.

    ...................................
    I have used 2D cad software for quite a while. I have the same learning curve issue with Autocad, but am very comfortable with another 2D cad at work called ME10. I learned ME10 first and since it does some things differently from Autocad I have problems switching back and forth. My problem and not the software really.

    Alibre Express was a long download but I think it's also available on CD for a nominal charge. Sure can't beat the price for a fully functional 3D modeling program even though the free version is limited in certain respects from the for pay version. It does more than I can use, at least right now. Once the 3D part is modeled the software will generate the 2D shop drawings for you. I don't know about translating the model into G-code or other CAD/CAM system as I currently have no need for that.

    I played with Sketchup at work and found it interesting but haven't downloaded it for home yet.

    Bill
    Thanks Bill - appreciated.

    More grist for the mill I suppose.

    But I am leaning more toward Alibre as much because of the "service" and "attitude" regarding ViaCad.

    I am awaiting more info from the forum before making any firm decisions.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Well finally managed to get signed up for the Viacad forum.

    It seems there are issues with dimensions and other points in the 2D module.
    Some choices don't stay ticked and have to be repeatedly reset.

    Possibly early days before making a decision ?

    .
    .

    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.




  8. #8
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    Default

    Here is the page where you can download Express, which is the free version.

    http://www.alibre.com/products/default.asp

    If you wander about their links, you will see they have a Google Sketchup publisher.

    I have a "pay for version" of Alibre (for a week now) and I am finding the learning curve to be not too bad. I worked with TurboCad from versions 3 through 10 although I didn't get each and every upgrade as it came out.

    I find Alibre to be superior, although to be fair, I haven't worked with TurboCad since version 10 and they were just getting their feet wet with 3D.

    I did export a drawing from Alibre to Sketchup and it worked fine ( I do have the pro version of Sketchup), I have tried going the other direction only once and it didn't work out well, however, there are several other file formats I am going to try. I only did this once, and haven't had time to give it another whirl.

    I'm a long ways from being a CAD guru, and I do this for my own use and amusement. I do however, really like both Sketchup and Alibre. Neither of the programs are the most powerful out there, but between the two, I can do anything I want or need, and both are very reasonably priced for the capability of the programs.

    I like Sketchup for fast and dirty visualization, although accuracy and detail are there if one wants, however for meticulous detail and complex operations... Alibre is amazing!

    HTH
    rollin'

    here is a little video of Sketchup in action,, its speeded up but still pretty amazing .. upper right page

    http://www.youtube.com/user/SketchUpVideo
    Last edited by rollin45; 10-09-2007 at 08:12 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Stevenson
    Well finally managed to get signed up for the Viacad forum.

    It seems there are issues with dimensions and other points in the 2D module.
    Some choices don't stay ticked and have to be repeatedly reset.

    Possibly early days before making a decision ?

    .
    Thanks John, I may hold off. I've heard somewhere that a newer version is coming out. I have had many ticks that wouldn't hold. I have more of an issue with their tutorials being done so quickly that you can't really see what he's doing even if you watch it 20 times and know to be watching for a move.
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    Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

    It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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