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Forum topic by Dabcan posted 10-25-2015 07:43 PM 1223 views 2 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dabcan

252 posts in 2138 days


10-25-2015 07:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cnc mac osx 32 cad software

I’m interested in eventually getting a CNC. Likely a year away due to other projects/finances. I do woodworking professionally so this would be used in a low production environment.

I’ve been trying out sketchup lately in order to be able to do some 3D modelling, but as I see myself going towards a CNC, I feel I might as well learn a piece of software that will easily work with a CNC. I’d prefer to be on Mac as I’m already invested in the systems, but I’m willing to do what is best for the software.

So, any recommendations for CAD software to eventually use with CNC but for now use for 3D modelling of furniture pieces? My budget would be $400 max, but much happier to spend less (and buy a CNC sooner).

Thanks.

-- @craftcollectif , http://www.craftcollective.ca, https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftcollective?


17 replies so far

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Ger21

1047 posts in 2598 days


#1 posted 10-27-2015 03:58 PM

Autodesk’s Fusion 360.
It’s free for hobby users, and is possibly the only Mac CAD and CAM you’ll find.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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Fred Hargis

3949 posts in 1960 days


#2 posted 10-27-2015 04:06 PM

Interesting, I just asked the same question elsewhere and was told I’d probably have to get something for Windows.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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mramseyISU

419 posts in 1012 days


#3 posted 10-27-2015 04:50 PM

I think if you want to spend some money NX or SolidEdge will run on MAC. It’s been a while since I was paying attention though. The short answer though is there isn’t much out there for MAC when it comes to CAD/CAM software.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

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JeffP

573 posts in 859 days


#4 posted 10-27-2015 11:28 PM

AutoDesk, I second that recommendation.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

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Dabcan

252 posts in 2138 days


#5 posted 10-28-2015 11:34 AM

Thanks for the tips. I’ll look into Fusion 360.

-- @craftcollectif , http://www.craftcollective.ca, https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftcollective?

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oldnovice

5733 posts in 2835 days


#6 posted 10-29-2015 11:58 PM

Creo Elements Direct Modeling Express is FREE from PTC for 32 or 64 bit PC systems. This is a reduced capability version of the full very expensive version.

OnShape is very new, FREE (with some limits), and very promising. It is Web based any should work on a a MAC and their release notes that you will be able to even use it on phones and tablets.

I have been using the free Creo version since 2002 and gone through some of the OnShape tutorials which are fairly straight forward and show an innovative approach to 3D modelling.

I have also used SketchUp but prefer Creo and OnShape over that!

If you decide on a ShopBot Buddy BT48 you will get VCarve Pro ShopBot edition and Autodesk’s Fusion 360 as part of the package.

I am sure if you search around you will find many other free versions but if you want to build a business using a CAD solution your CAD has to be able CAD grow along with your business and totally free software may not be the answer.

That is just my opinion!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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Dabcan

252 posts in 2138 days


#7 posted 10-30-2015 01:46 AM

Thanks everyone for all the advice. Have been very busy in the shop all week so haven’t had much time to look too carefully at the many programs but seems like there is some promise.

I am willing to pay for software, I believe you “get what you pay for” and would rather buy software that will last than have to constantly relearn software as I outgrow it.

-- @craftcollectif , http://www.craftcollective.ca, https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftcollective?

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JeffP

573 posts in 859 days


#8 posted 10-30-2015 11:31 AM

Dabcan, it is hard for us old fogies to wrap our heads around it, but the definition of “pay for” has evolved.

These days one often pays for things by clicking and sharing and using in novel ways.

Autodesk’s least expensive offerings used to be hundreds and thousands of dollars…and only professional design shops had them. Today they still make big money off of expensive packages for pro’s…but they spend much less on advertising and marketing than they used to…primarily because millions of people have cut their teeth on the “free” stuff.

AutoDesk’s free offerings are “complete enough to be useful stuff from a large long-term successful CAD company”, rather than “free stuff from some dude who does software as a hobby”.

This dichotomy among free stuff is relatively new in this world, and hard for “pre-millenials” to relate to. Just imagine how much it would cost to “google something” if you had to pay for it the old way.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

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oldnovice

5733 posts in 2835 days


#9 posted 10-30-2015 04:21 PM

Dabcan and JeffP, OnShape is one of the best available for free and, if you want/need, you can upgrade to the professional version without losing anything.

The biggest advantage of OnShape is that in platform independent and it has a unique approach to CAD modelling which, in my opinion, is extremely elegant!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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Dabcan

252 posts in 2138 days


#10 posted 10-30-2015 08:55 PM

Has anyone tried Onshape on the iPad? I don’t have one right now but if it runs ok I might invest in one.

-- @craftcollectif , http://www.craftcollective.ca, https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftcollective?

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oldnovice

5733 posts in 2835 days


#11 posted 10-30-2015 11:29 PM

Dabcan, go to their Web site where they have a description of what they have done and what they are planning to do!

It is Web based so I don’t see any reason why an iPad is not going to work!

My interaction with them has been very positive!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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ChuckC

821 posts in 2402 days


#12 posted 10-31-2015 01:52 AM

If you can’t find something you like just get a VM for your Mac. That’s what I did.

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oldnovice

5733 posts in 2835 days


#13 posted 10-31-2015 06:18 AM

ChuckC, I think there are easier solution than bothering with a VM!
GrabCAD also has some option for MAC users, a lot of 3D models for all types of work, and an online workspace available for members.

In my opinion, OnShape is free and it is, or will be, platform independent and GrabCAD is also a viable alternative!

I am not MAC user so I have never searched the Web for what else is available.
However I would still consider a platform independent application to provide more options for any enterprise.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 859 days


#14 posted 10-31-2015 12:19 PM

old novice…just checked out onshape and it looks good.

Much like auto cad, they are betting the farm on getting people hooked for free so that they will recommend the enterprise version when they are in a startup company or the like.

Primary advantages you get with onShape’s non-free enterprise version appears to be customer support and ability to keep your designs private rather than public.

Would have to take it for an extended drive though to see how it compares in functionality to auto cad’s offering. The fact that it is cloud-based and browser-based looks convenient so that you can work on your design from the chairs at the DMV or check on a dimension while you’re wandering the isles at Home Depot. :)

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2598 days


#15 posted 10-31-2015 01:34 PM

If your moving towards CNC, note that Fusion 360 is both CAD and CAM, where as Onshape is CAD only.
Also, if you turn this into a business, Fusion 360 is $25/month, and Onshape is $100/month.

Both seem to be taking a similar direction, Cloud based and free for hobbyists.

My personal belief is that none of these will be free forever. They are both essentially still in beta, and I think that at some point they’ll try to transition their hobby users into a monthly plan.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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