Help with a most vexing problem

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Help with a most vexing problem

Post by psient » Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:05 pm

Hi all:

I'm moving forward with my efforts.

What I need from someone is a &%$# 2D drawing software program that will let me do what I used to do with my ruler and graph paper.

I'd like to have a software that makes the task automated to some extent.
For instance:

1. scale the drawing to the scale I specify
2. let me draw shapes and lines
3. interpolate the dimensions of each component of the drawing
4. place dimension lines, markers, and legs on the scale drawing

I bought design cad . . . forget it :x .

I tried Inkscape . . . forget it :x .

Everything that seems to do this is 300 bucks or more :x .

I am pretty miffed :?: .

I know I'm missing something here. Anyone able to help?



10 Wheeler Rob
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Try Turbo Cad

Post by 10 Wheeler Rob » Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 pm

look for a copy of Turbo Cad, spelling may not be correct.

It is basically a copy of older version of Auto Cad, mine is about 10 years or older, but still works fine. Came with a tutorial too.


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Post by Ridgerunner » Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:17 pm

A few years back I bought a copy of AutoCAD LT 2000 on Ebay from a company who was updating their AutoCAD software to a newer version. If you do purchase a used copy of AutoCAD make sure that you obtain from the owner the validation code so that you can load it - otherwise you have a program which won't work.

AutoCAD is intuitive but you will need a book to use as a ready reference until you get the basics down.

There a multiple versions available: AutoCAD (the full version), AutoCAD LT (which is a slightly scaled down version which is more than adequate for anything we need in the shop) and the student version which is just the bare basic program which you may find lacking in some areas once you are more proficient in its use.

It's worth looking into. Here is a link to a copy currently available: ... 3a53f6db5f

Satisfaction is using a tool whose capabilities exceed the abilities of its user.

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Post by mechanicalmagic » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:20 pm

I hated Turbo CAD, my intuition and their interface were out of sync, YMMV.
Same for anything AutoCAD like, very steep learning curve, and the need to keep up the use, to remember what does what.

My preferred program is out of your budget. But I would suggest you try the trial versions of any program you can find. You need a program that fits your style and intuition. Hopefully folks here can offer some more suggestions.

Dave J.
Every day I ask myself, "What's the most fun thing to do today."
9x48 BP clone, 12x36 lathe, TIG, MIG, Gas, 3 in 1 sheetmetal.

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Bill Shields
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Post by Bill Shields » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:32 am

Just a thought about CAD that you may not have considered.

In general, you always draw things full size in CAD, then if you want to 'scale' them, you scale the dimensions.

OR, draw full size then use a SCALING command (autocad has one) to shrink the entire drawing after the fact.

Using CAD is an uphill learning curve, always steepest at the start, so don't get too frustrated.

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Post by Inspector » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:14 am

Since the subject is being discussed would Google SketchUp make 2D drawings? I know it isn't a cad program but the price is right. :D


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Post by Diesel II » Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:08 am

I also have turbo cad but I can use Auto Cad at work. I agree there is a lot of learning curve to using it. I did all the tutorials when I purchase turbo cad and never got proficient at it until I took an Auto Cad class at the local community college. Doing this got me a one year subscription to Auto Cad. This was well worth the time to take the class since I never had any drafting classes it also covered some basic drafting techniques and make reading drawings much easier.

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Post by GlennW » Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:16 am

There was recently a thread where quite a few free download cad programs were listed.....but I can't locate it!

Perhaps someone else remembers.

Operating machines is perfectly safe......until you forget how dangerous it really is!

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Post by JimGlass » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:34 am

Here is a link about CAD programs. ... hp?t=77389

Tool & Die Maker/Electrician, Retired 2007

So much to learn and so little time.

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Post by tmcd » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:59 am

A very basic program that works pretty well is DeltaCAD. I have very basic needs for drawings and find it suits my needs. They have a demo version. Cost if you like it us $39.95.


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Post by easymike29 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:36 am

Try ProGECad. Free for registering. If you use the command line instead of the dopey click-on icons it is pretty intuitive.


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Post by pkastagehand » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:35 am

I use VectorWorks (Originally MiniCad). It is also probably much more than you want to spend. I have it at work and so didn't have to pay for it and it is educational price to boot so I don't know what it costs. Not as much as AutoCad but not cheap either.

In response to Bill's comment about drawing and scaling. VectorWorks draws in "full size" units, no matter what scale I choose to work in. If I want a feature to be 6 feet long I draw it 6 feet long according to the screen units and when I dimension it, the dimension says it is 6 feet long. If I start running beyond the paper size at that scale I can rescale and still work in full size units but the whole thing will be smaller and thus fit on the paper size I'm working with.

VectorWorks does both 2d and 3d and add textures, lighting effects, etc If you model first in 3d you can have the software extract the orthographic views for you. Very powerful and a strong competitor to AutoCad.

AutoCad just baffles me. I find it non-intuitive and it seems like they go out of their way to make things more difficult than they need to be. I did use AutoCad LT for a short time but never really liked it much.

Generic CADD was an old DOS product that AutoCad bought and squashed and was a good starter CAD for me years ago. I might have tried a TurboCad early on but can't remember for sure. I have not used anything else.

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