CAD program for woodworking

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BobN

New User
Bob
Anybody using CAD for their woodworking designs? I've been thinking about going to a CAD program for design, it would be more professional then my crude hand drawings that I now use.

A couple years ago I downloaded one that had a free six week used or something like that and after the time was up you needed a key to continue using it. The learning curve on it was to great for me and I give up after a few hours.

Anybody have any recommendations for one that does a good job and that us lazy folks can learn without to much of a problem.

Bob
 
M

McRabbet

BobN,

I've been using TurboCAD for several years and upgraded to Version 10.2 Professional about a year ago. It is popular among woodworkers and is quite powerful (supports 2D and 3D). You can read the specs about a free, but fully functional learning version at www.freecad.com by clicking on http://www.freecad.com/cgi-bin/dcd/html/CAD_Programs___General_Purpose/index-4.htm and scrolling down to TurboCAD LE. I don't think you can still get it from IMISOFT, but the version from Freecad.com includes two manuals and lots of info to get you started. You do need to register to download the software, but it is worth it. Oh, yeah. Be patient with the download :eusa_thin as it is about 15 MB!

McRabbet
 

clowman

*********
Clay Lowman
Corporate Member
I think that DavidF also uses CAD, but, you'll have to wait till he gets back from his cruise for any answers.
 

SteveColes

Steve
Staff member
Corporate Member
BobN said:
Anybody using CAD for their woodworking designs? I've been thinking about going to a CAD program for design, it would be more professional then my crude hand drawings that I now use.

A couple years ago I downloaded one that had a free six week used or something like that and after the time was up you needed a key to continue using it. The learning curve on it was to great for me and I give up after a few hours.

Anybody have any recommendations for one that does a good job and that us lazy folks can learn without to much of a problem.

Bob
I have yet to see a true CAD program that does not have a nasty learning curve.
 

woodguy1975

New User
John
I used a couple primary CAD programs. Neither of which are easy to learn. I use AutoCAD and Inventor. If I'm making a 3D model I use Inventor. For a kitchen plan view I use AutoCAD. Autodesk does offer AutoCAD light for folks wanting a decent CAD program without a lot of expense.

DaveF uses AutoCAD and Solidworks.

You might want to check out Sketchup. It isn't a true CAD program, but lots of woodworkers use it.


Good Luck,

John
 

Steve D

Member
Steve DeWeese
I use Delta Cad. it is a basic 2D program and quite functional. It is also one of the cheaper programs out there. I found it very easy to learn from their tutorial. for me, cad is very useful in designing pieces. It is a great way to work out dimensions, angles, etc. and you can make changes and save different versions easily. I also use cutlist for material layout to minimize waste. It is fantastic for sheet goods but also useful for rough lumber.
 

stoneskippers

New User
John Skipper
Your correct about the learning curve it is long and others longer and some continues. The money is another issue. They start about $50 dollar and up to $4000. Quickcad and Trubocad standard version are less than $75. I started with Autocad Lt 12 years ago and licsence then was $199 its $950 now. I currently use Autocad Architectural Desktop. the advantages of Autocad is that it is unlimited in the thing it can draw, but I believe the learning curve is rather long. It really depend on what and how must detail you want. I would suggest, if your just learning to start with Quickcad or Trubocad. 3D drawing should be mastered after 2D.
 

DavidF

New User
David
I agree with all the above - I do use Solidworks and the learning curve is steep. I also wouldn't advise trying to design a project before most of that curve is complete; you will certainly be tempted to change a design element because you can't draw the one you really want!

If anybody has a rough sketch they would like turned into an initial rendering, give me a shout and providing you give me enough time I will turn it into a 3D render for you.
 

Bernhard

New User
Bernhard
Bob,

Some months ago there was a review in FWW of CAD software. If memory serves me right, the review was limited to design software useful for furniture/cabinetry design. The article rated ease of use, applicability, 3-D rendering, and cost. If you are interested I can dig it out and email you a .pdf copy.

I have used AutoCad in the past ...and it is a pain to learn and to keep current, especially if you don't use daily.

I also got a copy of ecabinets. Havn't installed or used it yet. This is a full fledged program that is free. It links you with suppliers for ordering (if one wishes to do so - that's the reason it is free), has 3-D rendering, built in inventory, cutlist program etc. I think its best use is for cabinetry.

..my 2 cents.

Bernhard
 

BobN

New User
Bob
Thanks to everyone that responded to my question about CAD programming for woodworkers.

I have decided to stick to my crude pencil drawings. I may set up a drafting table as I used to be pretty good at drafting. I still have some of my drafting tools.

Again thanks,

Bob
 

Handturnedbowls

New User
James Holland
I gotta put my 2 cents worth in.

I have been a CAD designer/cnc programmer for 13 yrs and have used Solidworks since 2000. I think that is when it came out.

I have used at least a dozen 3d packages in my lifetime, but nothing beats SW for ease of use and learning curve. But the curve will vary between us. Since that is what I do on my day job I am well versed at it.

Its a shame it costs so much. Once you start being productive with it youre never happy with anything else.

I am going to try a few of the ones others here have recommended, hopefully they can satisfy my needs and I can afford them. SW is waaaay over my budget.

cad
 

JohnsonMBrandon

New User
Brandon Johnson
For those of use that work with CAD in industry we all probably prefer AutoCad, but as always its pricey for the average joe. If I did not recieve a liscense from work there is no way I would fork over that kind of money. I guess the thing to do is learn to use Turbo Cad or free cad and learn to use it well.
 

Dutchman

New User
Buddy
I also use autocad to draw/design furniture. If you are presenting something to a client, then a 3d rendering could be useful. If you are only going to use it to draw the piece of furniture to show the three views for machining, you only need 2d. Most production furniture is drawn 2d in autocad. Some of the production plants will then model the piece of furniture using pro-e , solid edge or some other type of modeling software. For all but the big boys, all you need is a 2d package.
 

stoneskippers

New User
John Skipper
I was at Staples this morning and noticed that they had "Turbocad Design" cad program for $29.99. Pretty good price for a cad program.
 

stoneskippers

New User
John Skipper
I know what you mean. I started with Autocad LT for windows in 1993 and the change from then to now is tremendous. I upgraded last week from Autocad 2002 to Autocad 2006 and added Autocad Electric 2006 and I've got some catching up to do.
 

Philip

New User
Philip
Just downloaded the Turbocad LE. I do hope the learning curve is not too long. Wish me luck. I will report progress.:roll:
 
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