Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Related to all sorts of CAD and CAM tools. Users should post questions, comments, and recommendations with respect to their favorite CAD and CAM tools.

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Chris Hollands
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Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by Chris Hollands » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:57 am

A little off topic but I think it would be perfect for a lot of people on this site thats why I posted it here .

I have wanted to get a 3D CAD program , but I could not justify spending money on Solidworks etc .

I came across this a few weeks ago and down loaded it , it has very good reviews and there is no strings attached .

Having never done 3D before , I watch a couple of tutorials on utube from the company that makes the product and I was drawing parts for my loco within a few

hours , so if I can do it anyone can , like any program it takes a little playing to get going and using the online utube videos makes life a lot easier .

I did'nt have much luck reading how to use the program but once I looked at the videos away I went , a bit at a time .( within 3 hours I had my first part drawn )

- Designspark mechanical is the program by RS instruments - its neat to do your first 3D drawing and spin it around looking at the complete item .

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DanSmo
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by DanSmo » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:21 am

Thanks for the tip Chris, I struggle to get my head around 3D and CAD. I'll give this a go!
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

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dwilloughby
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by dwilloughby » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:43 pm

How about the URL

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Gary Armitstead
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by Gary Armitstead » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:08 pm

Gary Armitstead
Burbank, CA
Member LALS since 1980
Member Goleta Valley Railroad Club 1980-1993

mspetersen
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by mspetersen » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:02 pm

I would suggest Audesk Fusion 360. $300 a year license, but FREE to hobbyists. Also includes excellent CAD/CAM software so no need to but anything else. It's free so check it out.
Mark Petersen

12" x 36" Logan Lathe
Lagun FTV-3 Mill

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Pipescs
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by Pipescs » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:58 pm

There is also a way to get Solid works if you are a US Military Veteran

Solid Works offers a Student Version to Vets (You do not have to be enrolled in a school to get it). The Link to it is at

https://store.solidworks.com/veteran/de ... mand=Step1

You have to submit a current ID card or a Scanned in DD 214 with your SSN whited out.

They will mail you an install disc with a license for one year. This has to be renewed yearly. Last time I checked the price is $20.00 per year.

Tutorials are on line.
Charlie Pipes
USMC Retired

Current Projects:

2.5 Baldwin 2-4-2/2-4-4/0-4-4 Conversion (What ever)
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Bobber Caboose

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Fred_V
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by Fred_V » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:36 am

mspetersen wrote:I would suggest Audesk Fusion 360. $300 a year license, but FREE to hobbyists. Also includes excellent CAD/CAM software so no need to but anything else. It's free so check it out.
That free deal seems to be misleading. Looks like a free month trial for hobby/student.
Fred V
Pensacola, Fl.

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Chris Hollands
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by Chris Hollands » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:40 am

I think Fred is right there , I looked at autocad awhile ago and yes its free but with strings attached , there is quite a few 3D CAD programs out there , but either cost money or have strings .

Designspark from what I see is very orientated to 3D printing side of things , I do not know about converting to cad / cam from this program , I'm sure it would work that way with a cad/cam program .

There is a video of someone using a picture of a electric cabinet fan ,and outlining the picture to get the same diamensions and making a 3D image of the item .

GS14403
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by GS14403 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:53 am

About Fusion 360, I downloaded and once it was installed it allowed me to register as a hobby user at no charge. I believe each renewal is good for a year. They state the program will remain at no charge and I do hope that is the case. Like all 3D programs I have encountered so far, there is a learning curve. A lot of my current knowledge about 2D drafting carries over into this program and that helps some. 3D drawing adds a lot of new commands and techniques. Along with a lot of new language that at times seems counter intuitive to those only experienced with 2D drafting. Fusion is designed with cloud storage of the drawings which allows others, only after given the link, to collaborate or share with the drawings. The drawings can also be stored locally on your computers hard-drive. Fusion 360 also has a direct link to McMaster Carr and their library of fasteners and other hardware is available to be added to your drawings. So for example, instead of drawing a 4-40 set screw, you can download and position it to your part.

Before finding about Fusion 360 I was going to have my dad buy the military version of Solidworks. May not need to do that now.

It is great that there are several different options available for us hobbyists.

Donald

kvom
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by kvom » Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:26 pm

I have the Solidworks veterans/student license. McMaster SW parts can be downloaded and used in assemblies here too.

Another free option is OnShape, a cloud-based system that's free to hobbyists. It's quite new, but is quite powerful.

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ThisGuyTwo
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by ThisGuyTwo » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:42 pm

All current Autodesk Products are free for students through their education program. Fusion 360 is indeed free for hobbyists (with the strings attached that say that you do not use their product for commercial use.)
“When you want to know how things really work, study them when they're coming apart.” ― William Gibson

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Chris Hollands
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by Chris Hollands » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:10 pm

I down loaded my free version of autocad will see which one is easier to use .

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