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  • #16
    Check out freecad, I think it will do what you want and then some. Check the Tech Draw workbench for the patent drawings. As an alternative you could also export your model and use inkscape or gimp to add the shading or effects you are looking for.
    It took me awhile to mount the steep learning curve but I am pretty handy with it now.
    It amazes me what it can do but I am just a dopey sparky so YMMV.
    Cheers,
    Jon
    https://www.freecadweb.org/downloads.php

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    • #17
      Another pretty decent 2D drafting package is Nanocad:

      https://nanocad.com/page/Comparison

      They have both fully free and pay-for versions. If you decide that you need one of the paid versions, it's not insanely expensive. It's very similar (by design I think) to Autocad in the look and feel of the program and in the general way it operates. I've only recently started using the free version but so far I find it to be pretty good. No idea if it can do exactly the sort of shading you need, but it's free to download and try out.

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      • #18
        I will look further into freecad and Nanocad.

        I also found a reason to upgrade from the free version of SketchUp. This demo shows how to make patent drawing layouts according to the exacting standards of the USPTO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fRB14m9Dtc. The layout menu only exists on the SketchUp Pro version.

        The narrator has a soothing voice (sort of like that guy who years ago had a TV program on how to do landscape paintings). Further videos in this Patent Clarity series address the problem of adding shading, not with SketchUp but with Adobe Illustrator.

        I am comfortable with the basics of SketchUp, but I see I am now facing another steep learning curve. Well, any learning is steep when you are seventy-eight!
        Last edited by aostling; 12-02-2019, 09:15 PM.
        Allan Ostling

        Phoenix, Arizona

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        • #19
          I've been pretty happy with Sketchup, but I'm still using an older version that hasn't been too crippled. What I like about it is the idea flow it enables, I can quickly screw around with ideas, modifying the parts. I learned Freecad a few years ago to make a model to send to a CAM shop, and I found it so slow. I learned Solidworks some years back too, and returned to Sketchup.

          For 2d use one of the many inexpensive or free packages out there. Back around 1991 I spent $500 for DesignCad, and have upgraded and stayed with it since it's good enough for my needs and I'm fast with it. It's 3d is bad though compared to Sketchup.

          EDIT: just looked at the current website, oh crap, have they messed it up! No plugins without a Pro account!! Honestly, maybe I'll just be sticking with my old installable desktop version, the plugins I have, and finding new plugins in the dark corners of the internet. Wasn't there a headline here that they're doing the same "monetizing" to 360?
          Last edited by gellfex; 12-02-2019, 10:08 PM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by gellfex View Post
            ... No plugins without a Pro account!!
            That's true of SketchUp Free, the new Cloud-based free version. But Sketchup Make 2017 is still available, and it does have lots of extensions (plugins). https://download.cnet.com/SketchUp-M...-77424197.html. It is free to try, but the trial period does not seem to expire.

            Allan Ostling

            Phoenix, Arizona

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            • #21
              Originally posted by aostling View Post

              That's true of SketchUp Free, the new Cloud-based free version. But Sketchup Make 2017 is still available, and it does have lots of extensions (plugins). https://download.cnet.com/SketchUp-M...-77424197.html. It is free to try, but the trial period does not seem to expire.
              Is that the last version before they banned the plain .rb extensions? I have not devoted the time to messing around with the ins and outs of it, just found plugins do get me through. Always amazed me that they didn't include a mirror function!

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              • #22
                After killing more than an hour trying to figure out how to print, I stumbled on the file icon at the upper left hand corner and managed to print my "drawing" out. Any insights on sketchup are welcome.

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