CAD Anyone? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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Default CAD Anyone?

Back when I was working in HVAC I did design build computer controlled zoning systems and needed to document those systems so the company I worked for decided we would go the route of using AutoCAD which I learned for my purposes of integrating the controls, duct systems, and wiring schematics into the building plans on new builds. We also did plumbing and electrical so we had all system documented as necessary, especially on commercial designs. Long story short, that's an extremely expensive and overkill program for a hobby woodworking shop. For those who use CAD, what program do you find easy to use and learn at a price that keeps things in perspective? It would be great if they could read .dwg files but not totally necessary. AutoDesk's Fusion 360 is free for hobbyist but seems way too much for most of our needs.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 08:03 AM
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I used to use Drafix which I found really easy to use and it did a pretty good job but it became outdated and my computers eventually wouldn't run it and it was too expensive to update. I started learning Sketchup but I just don't use it enough to remember what I need to know and it isn't as intuitive as Drafix was.
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Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 08:56 AM
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I use Fusion 360 every day, even for things that will never make it to the CNC. I also use CorelDraw and the two programs work well together. Some strengths of CorelDraw far outweigh doing the same task in Fusion 360 and vice versa. I work in both every day and find them easy enough to use but I don't typically do the high powered modeling Fusion 360 offers or the high end artwork I see people do in CorelDraw.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 10:57 AM
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I have AutoCAD and have been using it continuously since May of 1988.
AutoCAD may be a bit of an overkill at home for a hobbyist, but it's GREAT for what I do.
For someone to use AutoCAD only for work in a home shop with random projects - it is quite pricey.
In my business, I often need to produce 3d drawings; and AutoCAD is great for that - but there can be a lengthy learning curve.
I also have a nice plotter (for 2d output) that takes roll-feed media up to 36" wide.
I do not have the ability to make 3d plots in-house (a.k.a. Solid Models), but do fairly often send files exported to .STL (stereolithography) files for off-site parts.
If I wasn't a full-time inventor, I probably would not use AutoCAD - due to the price tag, but in my case it's justified.

Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 04:26 PM
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I've heard positive things about nanoCad and Libre, but haven't played with them since I have access to autocad. I Have done a lot of simple drawings in Word and Excel, because that is what I was limited to on the ships in the 90s.

I do quick drawings in aspire when I am brainstorming, but it's mainly for convenience and to practice

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OPG3 View Post
I have AutoCAD and have been using it continuously since May of 1988.
AutoCAD may be a bit of an overkill at home for a hobbyist, but it's GREAT for what I do.
For someone to use AutoCAD only for work in a home shop with random projects - it is quite pricey.
In my business, I often need to produce 3d drawings; and AutoCAD is great for that - but there can be a lengthy learning curve.
I also have a nice plotter (for 2d output) that takes roll-feed media up to 36" wide.
I do not have the ability to make 3d plots in-house (a.k.a. Solid Models), but do fairly often send files exported to .STL (stereolithography) files for off-site parts.
If I wasn't a full-time inventor, I probably would not use AutoCAD - due to the price tag, but in my case it's justified.

Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
I think the last version I used of AutoCAD was 12 and had gotten fairly proficient for my uses. I drew out my projects back then while I had access to it at home. Seems we could install on two computers as long as only one was used at a time. Seeing how I used it at work and was the only user home was a cinch. I've got DraftSight 2017 and https://nanocad.com/products/nanoCAD/ 5 both installed but really miss the interface of AutoCAD. The idea though of paying a monthly stipend for using the software for hobby/non revenue use is way overboard. Of the ones I've used seems DraftSight is closer to the interface I'm used to. Both have free versions so the cost is great. Fits my budget for sure.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 12:05 AM
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My first (and favorite) CAD was CadKey. It was a good mix of features and simple interface. AC 12 was the first version of AutoCAD, then 14. I was able to move quickly with keyboard commands, instead of having to look for tiny icons with confusing symbols...... By the time I got to 2000, it was like a lot of software, lots of features that you rarely used. I still have 2000 at home, but it doesn't like a lot of newly created drawings.

Daughter 1 was able to get AutoCAD certified in high school, and I played a little with the current version. It isn't bad, but I am a keep it simple kind of guy, I guess.
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