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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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Default CAD advantages

In my last 10 years of Shop teaching, I was forced to adapt my Tech.Drawing skills to include CAD. The old story - the best way to improve your skills is to teach it to students. (They seem to find the most difficult questions to ask.)
I cut my teeth on IMSI TurboCAD (very popular with many Australian High Schools) from Ver.3 to now Ver.16.
In retirement, I am mainly occupied with designing and constructing one-off custom
items of furniture for family and friends.
I would be poorer for the lack of a CAD program. With it, I can make my mistakes on the computer first, and when satisfied, print out a 3D graphic for clients to evaluate.
Furthermore, the program takes the guesswork out of some many (otherwise) mathematical calculations -eg. today, I needed to space slats of different widths along the ends of a cot. I drew it up on the program, printed off the spacing full size and used it to directly mark on the timber. Fitted perfectly!
As a bonus, it provides a perfect excuse to interrupt the monotony of repetitive machining.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 06:42 AM
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Hi Barry:

You pointed a couple of good reasons for using CAD. Another reason for me is the what-iffing that is possible. One can come up with a design idea, plug it into CAD and see where things need adjusting. Then one can copy the design and make a "what if" design change, without having to re-draw anything.

CAD is a great design tool.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 07:39 AM
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Hey Barry and greetings.
Years ago CAD programs were always thought to be too expensive for the average person unless your work warranted it, but today with new programs available do you know if there are any older CAD programs that are out there cheap or free that can be utilized by Joe average?.
Regards Albion.
P.S. hi also Cassandra.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 06:43 PM
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Albion, is free cheap enough for you? Check out Google Sketchup. It is a very powerful 3D program and you can download a free, full functioning version.

Fort Worth, Texas
City where the west begins.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-02-2010, 01:46 AM
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Hi Curiousgeorge
Thanks mate I'll be sure to check it out.
regards Albion
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-02-2010, 08:37 PM
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I second Google SketchUp i use it myself for all of my furniture designs. I had a pro version but there's an add on out there for free that allows you to export in stl dxf etc. Really invaluable in my shop.
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