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#1 Eclat Nov 06, 2012 03:08 PM

CAD Design. Where Do I start ?
 
Hello All,

After lurking for a long time I thought it was finally time to join the forum and with it post a request for help.

I am looking to restart designing my own near scale models and rather than sitting with pencil and paper in front of me I am looking at learning CAD and who knows maybe get kits cut from my efforts.

Can anyone offer advice on programmes, reading material to learn the subject and general advice etc etc.

A broad subject I know but I am all ears and genuinly wanting to update my skill set.

Many thanks in advance :-)

#2 rick.benjamin Nov 06, 2012 03:21 PM

Welcome to RCG
Learn to use "Search" to find a pleathora of information

#3 rcav8r2 Nov 06, 2012 03:45 PM

When learning CAD (3D or 2D) I found it best to start with something simple you can use later. Servos, motors, control horns, etc. This way you can learn the basics on something simple, and still use these drawings as part of your other drawings later. By the time you make a somewhat modest parts bin, you will have about 99% of the CAD skills to make a nice set of plans

#4 eliworm Nov 06, 2012 08:31 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi Eclat,
You will most likely try a few different cad programs to find the one you like. Play with a few and see what you think. One that I use is Qcad. I have tried quit a few others but I always come back to it. It's a fairly easy to use 2D program that has online manuals. I use it everyday to design and prepare my files for the laser cutter. Here is a photo of the Flyline Great Lakes I have put into Qcad.

Qcad information can be found here. http://www.qcad.org/en/qcad

Jim

#5 Dereck Nov 12, 2012 02:23 PM

Fortunately, when I started with DesignCAD - back around 1990, when it came from DesignCAD on two 3.5" discs - there wasn't as much choice as you have now!

Do some research into what's available - free, 'free' or even that strange event where you have to pay for something. Then get one, keep your fingers crossed that your research was deep enough to cover all you want to do, RTFM (Read The Flippin' Manual) and start from there.

My first CAD project - still have a paper copy, done on a dot matrix printer (if it hasn't disintegrated by now :)) was designing a low winged rudder/elevator pseudo old timer style slimer model of 36" span and laying the plan out to fit a magazine's full sized freeby pullout plan layout. If I can do it, so can you!

Little bit of irony. Not that long ago, when I still had room in shop for such trivia, I drew up a plan using ancient things like 'paper' and a 'pencil' aided by equally ancient drawing aids like set-squares. It took me far less time than it would have done CAD'ing it.

When you lay a pencil line down, you tend to put it in the right place as moving it is a pain. With CAD, you can move the line, make it wider, narrower or a different colour - all of which you will eventually tend to do and which all take up lots of spare time.

CAD is good - just try and use it to draw plans, not develop into a seperate hobby that takes up more time than building little model airplanes ;)

I once got to play with AutoCAD. After a week, my head hurt and I'd drawn a line... DesignCAD might be almost like a kid's toy to a seasoned pro, but for the traditional style of model aircraft plan I've been building from for a while nose, it does me fine.

Sounds like you can draw a model aircraft plan from scratch, good fun learning how to do it on your computer...

D

#6 Hutch Nov 12, 2012 03:46 PM

I use autosketch for my drawings. It's still available, affordable, easy to use and plays well with autocad. There are so many others out there, but I like autosketch because of it's CAD pedigree and the fact that it isn't specifically geared towards models.

I use it regularly for just about anything I need to cut out for my models. Having templates that are computer generated is pretty fun.

Good luck!

#7 wizard of odd Nov 12, 2012 10:30 PM

Here are some of my thoughts on what's essential and what's nice:

Firstly a CAD program- 2D is fine for starters. Whichever one you choose, make sure it has the ability to import files so you can trace outlines from 3 views of your chosen subject. It will also need the ability to export your drawings to .dwg or .dxf files, as this is what most laser cutters require. The ability to export your drawings to .pdf makes plan printing (as opposed to plotting) cheap and easy at the local printer's shop. The learning curve can be steep, so choose well, then once you have mastered your program you can stick with it, rather than having to re-learn a different program if your first choice was not ideal. I use Turbocad Pro as it's cheaper than many of the other brand name programs, and tutorial DVD's are available for it. A mate of mine who runs a laser cutting outfit likes DraftSight, which is a fully functional 2D CAD program that can be had for free (I've never tried it though). It also has a nice downloadable manual to get you started.

The other essential tool is a wing designing program, which typically has a library of airfoils and enables you to loft wing panels quickly and easily. Once this is done, the wing ribs (including your chosen spar slots, lightening holes, wing tube holes etc.) are exported in CAD format and can be imported into your CAD drawing program. I use Compufoil 3D, but similar programs like Profili are good too. BTW Compufoil has a trial version which you can download and test drive.

The other program I use is called DevFus, from the creator of Profili which I mentioned above. This is a nice little application which allows you to loft a set of fuselage formers from a simple plan and side view of your chosen subject (including stringers, lightening holes, oblique formers, decks/trays etc.) without any prior 3D CAD experience. Once done, you can again export the formers in CAD format to be used in your chosen CAD program. Not essential, but very helpful if, like me, you are not 3D CAD capable!

Good luck with your designs

Odd

#8 dpot Nov 13, 2012 10:24 AM

i am with you wisard of odd dxf dwg and davcad software is the way to go.
i prefer compuofil 3d to profil pro2

#9 Hutch Nov 14, 2012 02:24 PM

Definitely a Compufoil fan here as well. I've been using it for years. With it's DXF template output it is a great companion to any CAD design work you are doing.

#10 tom43004 Nov 17, 2012 07:04 AM

What's your goal? You say you want to do near scale stuff but are you looking for CAD to be a scaling tool, generation of ribs and templates, printing of plans, etc???

Depending upon which goals you have, there are dozens of packages to choose from. I make molds for composite sailplanes, so I use a 3D package (Rhino) but also do all of my 2D and 2.5D stuff in there. Find a package that has good online support in youtube for how-tos and try to pick something that's stronger than you are but not so complex that you bleed trying to learn.

#11 ARUP Nov 19, 2012 07:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rick.benjamin (Post 23199917)
Welcome to RCG
Learn to use "Search" to find a pleathora of information

Not a helpful answer. I wrote code (Fortran, Dec10, PASCAL, One Write Plus, COBOL etc.) with punch cards and can't stand computers to this day and went into the medical field. I would like to learn CAD but there is an 'inner voice' keeping me at bay. User experiences and recommendations are what this question is about.

#12 dpot Nov 19, 2012 11:25 AM

have a look at this it will show you what is possible, with the right software

fokker dr1 vid1 (14 min 42 sec)


fokker dr1 vid2 (9 min 28 sec)


fokker dr1 vid3.mp4 (9 min 26 sec)


Fokker dr1 motor 3d model gcode (5 min 18 sec)

#13 georgeg Nov 26, 2012 04:22 PM

Here is a good thread about using CorelDraw to design a scale model: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...=674112&page=1


Quote:

Originally Posted by Eclat (Post 23199800)
Hello All,

After lurking for a long time I thought it was finally time to join the forum and with it post a request for help.

I am looking to restart designing my own near scale models and rather than sitting with pencil and paper in front of me I am looking at learning CAD and who knows maybe get kits cut from my efforts.

Can anyone offer advice on programmes, reading material to learn the subject and general advice etc etc.

A broad subject I know but I am all ears and genuinly wanting to update my skill set.

Many thanks in advance :-)


#14 Eclat Nov 28, 2012 02:32 PM

Many thanks for all the comments and apologies for taking so long to post a reply. All comments are of course helpful to a newbie to the area of CAD.

Quote:

Originally Posted by tom43004 (Post 23290905)
What's your goal? You say you want to do near scale stuff but are you looking for CAD to be a scaling tool, generation of ribs and templates, printing of plans, etc???

Depending upon which goals you have, there are dozens of packages to choose from. I make molds for composite sailplanes, so I use a 3D package (Rhino) but also do all of my 2D and 2.5D stuff in there. Find a package that has good online support in youtube for how-tos and try to pick something that's stronger than you are but not so complex that you bleed trying to learn.

I am wanting to take scale drawings or in some case manufacturers drawings, scale and then create a model plan from it generating fuselage formers, templates etc.

My worry is something you touch upon in that I dont want to purchase a programme that is to complex for my skill base. I also dont want to spend mega bucks on something that will be a relative minor part of my hobby.

So far TurboCAD and also Rhino look good candidates. I like that there is a course that can be purchased to learn TurboCAD that teaches the aspects of it for model aircraft designers. Still reading and absorbing a lot of information however.

#15 SteveC68 Dec 01, 2012 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dpot (Post 23308096)
have a look at this it will show you what is possible, with the right software

Are there any tutorials out for DevCad? Those youtube videos are nice, but without a description of what you are doing and why you are doing it they don't really teach one how to use DevCad.


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