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  • The benefits of simple CAD drawing.

    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 ?

  • #2
    Originally posted by 754 View Post
    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.

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    • #3
      Ok , now you mentioned CAM, I am talking a simple CAD program, how far will that take you ?

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      • #4
        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.
        If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 754 View Post
          Ok , now you mentioned CAM, I am talking a simple CAD program, how far will that take you ?
          I don't think that exists

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 754 View Post
            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.

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            • #7
              Dalee, thanks for that explanation, it helps a lot..

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              • #8
                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.
                If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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                • #9
                  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.
                  Brian Rupnow

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                  • #10
                    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.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 754 View Post
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tom S View Post
                        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...

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                        • #13
                          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
                          Salem, Oregon

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Danl View Post
                            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?

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                            • #15
                              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.
                              Last edited by lakeside53; 03-18-2019, 12:40 PM.

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