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  • Thinking about...

    Hey everyone,

    I was thinking about taking a CAD course. It is really expensive however. $550.00. The seond lathe class is only $400.00. I just figured it would be good to have some knowledge of the program.

    My second options is to buy a cheap CAD program and just play around with it until i got the jist of it....

    What do you all think?


  • #2

    Learning on your own is a trait that should be acquired. This means one must have discipline, the ability and desire to do research, persistence, and common sense. To be accomplished at a job one must develop this skill or else one will be in a “formalâ€‌ school for the rest of their life. There are numerous references and how-to tutorials that deal with Cad programs. You need to start sometime learning on your own – why not now!

    [This message has been edited by Mike Burdick (edited 08-16-2004).]


    • #3
      My High School Chemistry teacher would say:
      "My job as a teacher is to teach you how to get along without a teacher!"

      As well an excellent book on Solid Works is:
      "Inside Solidworks" by Murray .It can to found on ebay.
      A great "cheap" CAD program is QuickCAD ~75.00.
      please visit my webpage:


      • #4
        If you can get an inexpensive CAD program or a free evaluation package try that and get used to it on you own. It all depends just what you want to do with the CAD software. I'm not sure if there is a free version of Intelicad out there or not any more (have to check). That one will do any thing you want unless you are going to do 3D solids or surfaces. If you want to try 3d work there is a demo version of Rhino 3D

        This good for 25 saves over an unlimited time frame IIRC

        For intellicads free trial version

        For the most part I pretty much taught myself to work in AutoCAD and when I finally took a class through work I showed the instructor some solid modeling I had done and he could not figure out how to any thing in 3d. After all as machinists, both working and hobbiest we are more used to thnking in 3d anyway

        [This message has been edited by Spin Doctor (edited 08-16-2004).]
        Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


        • #5
          I agree with what the the history teacher said.

          There is no better time to learn how to learn on your own than now.



          • #6
            Whoops. . .

            That was motorworks' chemistry teacher; not history teacher, but the history teacher probably would of said the same thing.


            • #7
              Not sure what the History teacher said,I was a sleep most of the time!!
              please visit my webpage:


              • #8
                I learned AutoCAD LT on my own; I bought a "How-to-use-AutoCAD-LT" book, started at the beginning, and worked my way through. It's do-able. I found that once I got my head wrapped around the AutoCAD conventions it suddenly got a lot easier, and that took only about 1/3 of the book.

                So...if you choose a CAD package that has some aftermarket "how-to" books available, you ought to be fine on your own, I think.

                Intellicad is fairly reasonably priced and remarkably similar to AutoCAD, so if you learn one you can use the other. IMO, in today's market AutoCAD, LT or otherwise, is overpriced.
                Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


                • #9
                  My 2cents worth is "take the course"...I understand completely what people are saying here about learnng on your fact, most of what I know I've learned on my own!! The problem with learn it "right" really need someone there to give you a few pointers. I copied R14 years ago(i know, i know...but i didn't do it for commercial purposes!) with the idea of "learning it"...and I might as well have beat my head against a wall...$400 on an autodesk evening course was a hell of a good investment!! You'll learn things from a good instructor in 5 minutes that might take you 5 years to stumble across on your own...

                  good luck!!


                  • #10

                    Know what you mean; sleeping in high school was one of my favorite pastimes. . .

                    Reminds me of one of my better naps when I woke up and didn't recognize a soul. Turns out the the bell had rung, the class had changed and nobody bothered to wake me when my class was over.


                    [This message has been edited by plm (edited 08-16-2004).]


                    • #11
                      I have taken several AutoCad classes at the community college for a whole lot less than that. But if it's the only thing available in your area it might be a good idea.



                      • #12
                        I too was going to take a CAD class this fall, in hopes of getting a full time job here at Village Press. I still may, but I've found that I've already learned a lot from Neil for free Of course, he's been working with these programs since they were first introduced, so he's got a wealth of information to share. I don't know if you have a similar mentor in the area.

                        I realize that I haven't given you much useful information, but if you find someone who is willing to share the tricks gained from experience (and they're willing to teach you), elect for that instead.



                        • #13
                          The vast majority of the time, I only use the very basic commands in ACAD.
                          If I was starting over and I thought I was going to be using the advanced stuff in a work environment, I'd take the class. Else, a couple of hours of self learning can give you a good start.
                          Tom M.


                          • #14
                            Hey thanks for your replies. I guess the general concensus is for me to go through some frustration and learn on my own. Ah good another challenge!!!

                            So part two would be what program should i get and how much should i pay for it. Please remember i live in Canada. My goals are to be able to draw gears, bushings, shafts with splines, etc. Mostly farm stuff.

                            Thanks Rob


                            • #15
                              I use Auto Sketch by Autodesk for drawing machine parts. It should work with what you are looking for, but is only 2D. The only complaint I have with it is the dimensioning isn't as customizable as I would like, but I'm using an older version and that may have changed by now.

                              I recall seeing it at the office superstore in Ontario a couple years back, so you should be able to get it. I think it is going for about $150 canadian.

                              If you want a more powerful program, then I would recommend Intellicad. I have been learning that program, but when I want to do something quickly I use the Auto Sketch.