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Forum topic by Michael Brailsford posted 2156 days ago 1333 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Michael Brailsford

241 posts in 2189 days


2156 days ago

I am interested in purchasing a cad program. Who has had experience with it? And what program do you reccomend? It has to be a windows based program.

-- Michael A. Brailsford


22 replies so far

View lew's profile

lew

9937 posts in 2351 days


#1 posted 2156 days ago

You might want to try Sketchup, it’s free and does pretty much everything you will need. Check out Betsy’s blog on how to use it http://lumberjocks.com/jocks/Betsy/blog/5302

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View jtdyal's profile

jtdyal

74 posts in 2245 days


#2 posted 2156 days ago

Google Sketchup (free) has all I’ve needed. But the Sketchup Pro has some real nice to haves. It does have it’s limits. But none that I can see wood working using. And the exchangeable with other woodworkers is awesome!

ProEngineer is the cream of the crop. It has functions that are just crazy kool. But I think it is a lot overpriced ~$5K unless you are can use those features.

Solidworks my favorite for the most complicated of designs. If you were designing a puzzle box with more than 3 pieces, I would use Solidworks. But I have “access” to it with out forking out the ~$3K

I have also used “Alibre Design” ~$1000. It will do most of what Solidworks and ProE will. Like saying the lenth of a table leg is always (.7 x the length of the table – .75”) But I felt like I was on my own and when Sketchup came out I stopped using it. I have never tryed there new Alibre Design for Workshop $1000

And then there is this page on (WOODWEB) There you will find things like how do minimize the # of 4×8 sheet you need to make 500 kitchen drawers.

Hope this informs you.

-- ~jtd

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2244 days


#3 posted 2156 days ago

After working with different types of CAD systems, I now work with Sketchup exclusively for woodworking purposes. it has everything you need for woodworking design, measurements, and details at an easy learning curve and intuitive tools, and it’s free.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

19308 posts in 2447 days


#4 posted 2156 days ago

Michael, the free version of sketchup is excellent. I also us turbocad V5 but it’s a bit dated now.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2531 posts in 2553 days


#5 posted 2156 days ago

I am a big fan of AutoCAD..been using it for many years on a daily basis, and for me it’s hands down the most accurate and the best professional CAD program out there. Sketchup comes in a close second, especially because its free. But if you work with large models with allot of textures, curves, organic geometry, and pre made components SU tends to bog down and slow to an annoying crawl. I am hoping that Google is planning to beef up the next release of Sketchup and address these limitations, because I really like it allot. I have used Rhinoceros, and a few other cad programs but those two are my favorite. I have a Solidworks trial setup, (thanks to a generous LJ! thanks!) and if I ever find the time I want to sit down and try it out so I cant say how that is..but from what I have seen other people do with it it looks pretty cool.

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

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jcees

946 posts in 2394 days


#6 posted 2156 days ago

SketchUp Pro would be my choice. I’m only learning SKetchUp but it’s a fairly powerful program with a constantly growing list of plugins. Google was smart for picking this one up and making it available to the masses. Sweet!

For professionals you gotta use AutoCad. It’s the standard by which all others are measured.

always,
J.C.

-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View Michael Brailsford's profile

Michael Brailsford

241 posts in 2189 days


#7 posted 2155 days ago

I am seeing a pattern here…...
Sketchup it is.

-- Michael A. Brailsford

View Michael Brailsford's profile

Michael Brailsford

241 posts in 2189 days


#8 posted 2155 days ago

I have watched some of the tutorials for sketchup and all I can say is it sure beats drawing on the back of a napkin.

-- Michael A. Brailsford

View CROC's profile

CROC

7 posts in 2164 days


#9 posted 2155 days ago

With advent of the CutList 4.0.5 plugin sketchup is by far the best way to go for Woodworkers. Every time I think I have reached the limits of Sketchup I always find a way. I have a used TurboCad for years and while it works OK I much prefer Sketchup. I started to learn AutoCad and was overcome by a very steep learning curve even after using TurboCad for years.

I taught myself how to use Sketchup and it took about 90 days to really begin to get up to speed just working at night in front of the TV. After two years now I feel very comfortable in my abilities to draw just about anything I want. Two of my best teachers were DaveR and Tim Allen on the FWW website blog. The Sketchup website has great tutorials and many, many more on YouTube.

Hope this helps with your decision

-- CROC

View Michael Brailsford's profile

Michael Brailsford

241 posts in 2189 days


#10 posted 2155 days ago

Thanks Dave. I might just take you up on it.

-- Michael A. Brailsford

View jtdyal's profile

jtdyal

74 posts in 2245 days


#11 posted 2154 days ago

For the Record AUTOCAD is the WORST Professional CAD program out there. Unless you were forced to use it at work its so unintuitive no-one would chose it. Inventor (another autocad product) is significantly better. But that maybe just my opinion :)

-- ~jtd

View Michael Brailsford's profile

Michael Brailsford

241 posts in 2189 days


#12 posted 2153 days ago

Well I have downloaded sketchup and been messing around with it and so far I like it.

-- Michael A. Brailsford

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Michael Brailsford

241 posts in 2189 days


#13 posted 2153 days ago

I sure will. Thanks Dave

-- Michael A. Brailsford

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2531 posts in 2553 days


#14 posted 2153 days ago

For the record, AutoCAD is not the worst..I have to disagree with you jtd.. I have been using it for over ten years and I happen to think it’s a great program. Sure, the core of it has been essentially the same..but I like the fact that most of the commands I used in Rls 14 still work in v2008. It was created in an era when software still needed some intelligent input and control from it’s user…it was designed as a tool… an extension of the draftsman and his creativity, not a replacement for it. I remember using the DOS version when you had to actually know how to use the coordinates… say that to any young kid who thinks they know AutoCAD, and they look at you like you have three heads. Ya, you may have a point that AutoCAD isn’t very intuitive compared to Inventor or Sketchup, and by the definition of “intuitive” : readily learned or understood (software with an intuitive interface) you are correct. It is a fairly complicated, involved program that is not easy to learn and takes years of using to become really proficient at. My first AutoCAD instructor said once that it takes at least 2 years of 40 Hr+ weeks of use to become “decent” at using it. But these points do not make it the WORST software program. If it was so terrible, then why is it “the” standard in the drafting industry. Inventor and even Sketchup were designed as a platform to work up ideas quickly with easy to use tool sets that made working in them fast and easy. Thats great and I like both of those applications but I almost always involve AutoCAD in every project I do. And, believe it or not I am not forced to use it…I choose too…amazing, huh seeing as it’s so unintuative…but then I don’t need my design software dumbed down for me!

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

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Slacker

178 posts in 2296 days


#15 posted 2153 days ago

After getting the “trick” to sketchup, I use it all the time. I am even designing the layout for my house of dreams to be built on a hill overlooking the sea in Rincon, PR in the next couple of years (I continue to hope). It gives you a sense of perspective, and lets you catch flaws before you spend money on wood. It is by no means perfect, but really good enough.

One of the tricks is to make each part of the piece you are making into a group or component. It permits you to make modifications to one part of the design without changing others. If you make components, you can bring them into other designs.

-- Adapt, improvise, overcome

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