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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Pipescs
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by Pipescs » Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:03 am

Hey Chris,

I notice We have totally high jacked/Pirated your original thread.

With all this info floating around I just ordered the Solid Works for Veterans. I did this after watching all the learning tutorials on line to get a grasp of how much learning curve I would have as I have only ever used AutoCAD 2002.

I have used the AutoCAD 2002 for many years (no classes, just books and friends helping) and have always been told it was hard to learn but would do everything you would ever need as it was the industry standard. The newer CADs seem very user friendly.

The order process on the Solid Works was easy although when ordering it the site implies there is a $20.00 shipping fee on top of the $20.00 cost. But when I went to PayPal for check out the total was only the cost of the Disk.

Looking forward to hearing of your experiances
Charlie Pipes
USMC Retired

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2.5 Baldwin 2-4-2/2-4-4/0-4-4 Conversion (What ever)
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Chris Hollands
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by Chris Hollands » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:52 am

I have no problem with what you have done , if there are more CAD / 3D programs that suit our hobby then go for it , we all learn from it , and there is always something new that many of us do not know about or may have had the wrong impression of like Autocad Fusion 360 .

I'm still using Autocad 2001 LT for most of my stuff plus Draftsight like you I worked it out myself basically .

hanermo
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by hanermo » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:33 pm

The rs stuff was thinly disguised buyware.
Dont remember source - did not look so much.

The adesk fusion 360 may become good - and is pretty ok to so-so today.
Adesk has very poor 20+ year track record of crippling/hobbling/abandoning users.
Ive lived with it for 25 years, in various iterations/forms.

If I, and many others, thought adesk would continue/keep with fusion- and policies, it would be a great option.
Imho, ime, in my professional very experienced opinion.

Current deal is great for home/small shops re:fusion.
Its exactly what they should do.
Free till 100k revenue.

If development continues .. it may become the nr 1 sw in the sphere.
Right now..
Its 80-90% of a 50.000€ seat of NX with all the goodies.
And 70-80% of solidworks with all the goodies.

Today - it does not matter.
Tomorrow (this year/month, Very Soon Now) it will matter a lot.
Db - aware CAD sw will become extremely important.

Today, its NX, Solidworks, basically. (Best interfaces). Fusion.
Catia.

For free .. ?

I use Rhino 3D. And may go to Fusion. Adesk history is major bummer. CAM/db is major, major, major benefit (== sw).

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Loco112
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by Loco112 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:25 am

You guys can also use older versions of AutoCAD and Inventor. AutoDesk gives them away. They do not expect guys like you to pay for those packages. They like you to learn on a version that is a few updates old so you will be attached to their programs and not want to change. That sells them more copies by familiarizing more potential users
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Will's 2882
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by Will's 2882 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:46 am

Will you tell us more about how you can get older versions of Auto Cad programs. I'm still using Auto Cad R14, this is not 2014, it's goes back before 2000. I have no problem using it with the things I draw, but sometimes I will get a drawing that is made with a newer version that I can't read and would like to.
Thanks Will

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Harlock
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by Harlock » Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:57 pm

Will's 2882 wrote:Will you tell us more about how you can get older versions of Auto Cad programs. I'm still using Auto Cad R14, this is not 2014, it's goes back before 2000. I have no problem using it with the things I draw, but sometimes I will get a drawing that is made with a newer version that I can't read and would like to.
Thanks Will
If you want a 2D-only program similar to earlier versions of AutoCAD, you can download Draftsight for free from Dassault, the Solidworks people.
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warmstrong1955
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by warmstrong1955 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:05 pm

Harlock wrote:
Will's 2882 wrote:Will you tell us more about how you can get older versions of Auto Cad programs. I'm still using Auto Cad R14, this is not 2014, it's goes back before 2000. I have no problem using it with the things I draw, but sometimes I will get a drawing that is made with a newer version that I can't read and would like to.
Thanks Will
If you want a 2D-only program similar to earlier versions of AutoCAD, you can download Draftsight for free from Dassault, the Solidworks people.
And with Draftsight, you can save to several older .dwg formats, as well as several .dxf formats.

I have a friend who is using AutoCad 2000, and he can't open newer .dwg's.
I save files in R2000-2002 format before I send them to him, and he can open 'em. A handy feature.

Bill
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by Harold_V » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:35 pm

Loco112 wrote:You guys can also use older versions of AutoCAD and Inventor. AutoDesk gives them away. They do not expect guys like you to pay for those packages.
How would one go about getting such a thing from Autodesk?

Harold
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Pipescs
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by Pipescs » Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:01 pm

Also look at Autodesk 123D, Also a beta program for free.
Charlie Pipes
USMC Retired

Current Projects:

2.5 Baldwin 2-4-2/2-4-4/0-4-4 Conversion (What ever)
Little Engines American Restoration
Bobber Caboose

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applejak_2000
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by applejak_2000 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:06 am

I used AutoCAD R12 & R14 a long time ago. I really liked them back then. Even got up to AutoCAD 2002 (in university). But then I got SolidWorks 2004 right afterwards; and (I'm up to SolidWorks 2012) now can't imagine designing and producing Live Steam parts strictly with AutoCAD anymore. Would be awfully slow and cumbersome especially assemblies like a three cylinder marine engine for example. (a shay engine actually). Even just a lubricator or axel pump. With programs like SolidWorks you can turn parts of the assembly partially transparent (ghost like) see how things fit, get in there and measure clearances, etc. You can sometimes download accurate SolidWorks 3D models of O-rings, check valves, clutch bearings, gears - all kinds of stuff to check how they fit in your assembly.You can make "left handed" 3D parts from right ones with a click. You can scale a whole 3D part up or down. I can't name all the things you can do, there's too many. Almost endless possibilities (well not really endless, but far greater capability than you'll ever get in 2D AutoCAD)

The only thing I use AutoCAD for now (occasionally) is if I want to include xy coordinates on a print for the shop intended for my DRO on the mill. There isn't a super easy way to do that in SolidWorks as far as a drawing you want to print out and carry to the shop, AFAIK. You can do it, but it's not convenient. But apart from that I rarely use AutoCAD for my Live Steam Hobby.
The short of it is:
If I were going at it, just starting out? probably OnShape rather than SolidWorks or any of the others like ProE Catia and the like.
Bear in mind some of those guys designing OnShape used to work for SolidWorks. ....AND....the price is right! Word up. Just my 13 ¢ worth (inflation)

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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by kcameron » Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:10 am

We are using Fusion 360 at college and the current license is free for students "and users who's income generated from using it is less that $100,000/year". So for the hobby, all people using it for their own work and not selling things, zero problem. For those selling some stuff on the side, you very likely stay well below the limit. If you do manage to go over the limit, $300/year isn't going to hurt you.

We are seeing the update cycle (about every two weeks) working well. The CAM area is always fixing things and we are finding few things to manually fix in the generated G-code. But giving them the feedback seems to get things fixed and improved.

I didn't know about the veteran option for SolidWorks, I will have to investigate.
-ken cameron
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Chris Hollands
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Re: Free and easy to learn 3D CAD

Post by Chris Hollands » Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:50 pm

I suppose all these programs have there good and bad points , at some stage you have to just bite the bullet and go with one .

Onshape sounds good but the reviews are mixed , being a new program it seems to have limitations which I'm sure will be fixed .

Designspark Vs ACad fusion , I find them about the same to use they both have features I find easy to use , Designspark has a couple of

features that I find easier to use than ADesk .( selecting veiws to work with )

I may stick with Adesk as I want the cad/cam feature which Im not sure weather designspark has ?

As Ive said above you really just have to make a choice and then learn that program .

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