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View Poll Results: Which CAD program(s) do you use right now?
A9CAD (Free) 9 0.93%
Alibre Design 39 4.05%
Ashlar-Vellum (Argon, Cobalt) 9 0.93%
AutoCAD 2000 through 2009 158 16.39%
AutoCAD 2009 LT 24 2.49%
AutoCAD v.10 (DOS) 3 0.31%
AutoCAD v.12 (DOS & Windows) 8 0.83%
AutoCAD v.13 (Windows) 12 1.24%
AutoCAD v.14 (Windows) 45 4.67%
AutoDesk 3D Studio Max 5.0 11 1.14%
AutoDesk AutoSketch 9 7 0.73%
Autodesk Inventor 81 8.40%
Becker Cad 0 0%
Becker Cad Pro 0 0%
BobCAD 18 1.87%
CADKey / KeyCreator 9 0.93%
CADRA 1 0.10%
CadStd lite 8 0.83%
CadStd pro 2 0.21%
Caligary Truespace 1 0.10%
Catia 54 5.60%
CoCreate Modeling Personal Edition (Free) 7 0.73%
DesignCAD 2-D for DOS 3 0.31%
DesignCAD 2-D for Windows 8 0.83%
DesignCAD 3000 DesignCAD 3DMax v.17 12 1.24%
DesignCAD 3-D for DOS 1 0.10%
DesignCAD 97 for Windows 0 0%
devCAD 22 2.28%
DoubleCadXT (Free, emulates AutoCAD) 9 0.93%
Euclid 0 0%
FastCAD 3 0.31%
Flight Simulator Design Studio (FSDS) 0 0%
Generic CADD 4 0.41%
Modo 401 by Luxology 2 0.21%
MoI (Moment of Inspiration) 3D 4 0.41%
ProE 43 4.46%
progeCAD 8 0.83%
Qcad 18 1.87%
Rhino 3.0 21 2.18%
Rhino 4.0 99 10.27%
Sketchup (Free) 142 14.73%
Solid Edge 2D 7 0.73%
Solid Edge 20 2.07%
Solidworks 1997 through 2008 206 21.37%
Tsplines (Rhino plug-in) 7 0.73%
TurboCAD Deluxe 36 3.73%
TurboCAD Deluxe 10 12 1.24%
TurboCAD Designer 9 0.93%
Turbocad Designer V7 3 0.31%
TurboCAD Pro 30 3.11%
Turbocad Pro v. 14.2, with Mechanical pack 5 0.52%
Other 175 18.15%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 964. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Jun 01, 2014, 06:27 PM
Registered User
FliteMetal's Avatar
Joined Mar 2009
343 Posts
SketchUp files are by default 2D. However 3D can be edited within it and saved as a 3D
.stl with a kernal downloaded and appended to SketchUp.

For example a .stl hollow aka non-3D geometry object can be saved within SketchUp with
this appeanded Kernal to an actual 3D geometrical object capable of being CNC hot wired,
CNC milled, or 3D Printed.

How can be be helpful to your project?

We all know about the 3D skins created for gaming. There are some beautiful creations that
can be broken down for internal components like cockpits that someone has taken weeks to

You can buy the .stl skin saved as a SketchUp file format. Import the file into SketchUp (free)
then delete everthing except the cockpit without resaving. Now continue to break
the drawing down to the individual component level to "print" instrument panels, yokes,
throttle quadrants, seats, rudder/brake pedals, ejection rails, canopy frame, so on and so on
and reassemble the printed plastic parts as your cockpit...
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Old Jun 01, 2014, 06:28 PM
Entropy is happening!
Jim.Thompson's Avatar
Bellingen NSW Australia
Joined Aug 2008
6,464 Posts
"Should have......."

Originally Posted by FliteMetal View Post
You should have heard the term "cloud" and "point cloud" for a drawing. These
are 2D files if not saved explicitly within the confines of the cloud.
Maybe I "should have" as you say rc.
However, the truth is I've never heard of it before, along with much of the arcane jargon I'm being educated into as a result of this thread and others like it. It all helps to do two things concurrently in my mind: create a sense of just how much one has to learn and at the same time, make me truly intimidated by it!

Thanks for jolting me into a more realistic sense of what the term CAD can, and does, entail!

who is going off to look up the terms "cloud" and "point cloud"!
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Old Jun 01, 2014, 06:47 PM
Registered User
FliteMetal's Avatar
Joined Mar 2009
343 Posts
X,Y, Z = 3D, not 2.5D, or 2.75D :)

There are modules within the Vectric family of sign making/headstone software
programs that permit you to smurge through their lack of a legitimate Z axis. A
good example you can lie to the program by working the airframe up in halves
along the vertical centerline, and horizonal centerline.

You can then through what they and some other programs call "railing" establish
the elevation differential between two "half" cross sections or "half" formers so
the fore to aft fuselage contour is achieved with a mill.

Vectric has a download of their program...a free download to permit you to see
how simple this can be achieved.

One of their programs has a derivitive named "Cut3D" that is absolutely great
for those wanting to control a CNC mill using a solid .stl file to slice it to match
the mill depth of your mill....slice and dice...coat with contact adhesive and stack
back in the proper order to hold you model in your hand...

Internal cavities can be created to now only provide space for r/c gear, but place
to mount it most effeciently to reduce weight and keep CG where it should stay.

This works for everything if you maintain an X, Y, Z measurement for drawings.
Remember this is typically XXXX.XXXX for each of the dims.
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Old Jun 02, 2014, 09:18 AM
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Joined Jun 2014
1 Posts
I'm an ex-delivery skipper, sailing being a life-long passion. During the last 2 years of being home, I have built a cnc router with a working footprint of 1200 x 1200 mm. I have been mainly cutting 2D part till now. I would like to build a model of a cat and a trimaran. Most of my work has been done with TurboCad 15 Deluxe saved files as dxf and used ArtExpress to do the CAM work and the cutting files transferred to Mach3 which controls the CNC.
While doing the drawings for the frames I started to formulate the idea of cutting out a half hull profile in 3D out of foam which then can be transferred into a mold.
3D is all very new to me, I found that google sketchup (free version) has let me draw the frames into a semblance of a 3D drawing (Frames developed from a table of off sets I had lying about for a 7,8 meter hull reduced down to a 1 in 5 model). The main problem I seem to be having is to be able to get the drawings into a file format that will import into CamBam, I dont think I will be successful with artcam express.
Can anyone please offer some advise on how I should proceed.
I have 3d rendering in sktchup exported to dxf and stl formats, but the results when opened in cambam are no good.
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Old Jun 02, 2014, 09:58 AM
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FliteMetal's Avatar
Joined Mar 2009
343 Posts
Dxf :(

DXF/DWG AutoCAD points of origin for the protocol are more problematic
than 3D explicit programs and resulting file formats.

DXF is "spline-less" and therefore more problematic relative to smoothness
of surfaces and crisp edges.

Today's CAD/CAM programs are intended to satisfy the industry's need for
teams to work on segments which are more easily integrated when brought
back to the intended drawing point of origin.

Ashlar-Vellum = Problem Solver

Design Flexibility:

Yacht designer Antonio Dias, was frustrated with typical CAD programs.
Then he discovered that Ashlar-Vellum 3D modeling software, freeing himself
to focus purely on the art and precision design (to 1/1000 of an inch) of his

“There is no transition from 2D to 3D—no filling up pages with scads of
guesstimated properties—the software does all that for you! Not having an
engineering background, this definitely gives me a solid foundation to do the
work I’m good at.”

Read more about Tony’s success with Ashlar-Vellum 3D modeling software.

Antonio Dias Design

171 Cedar Island Road
Narragansett, RI, 02882

+1 401 783-4959

Antonio Dias and Arey’s Pond boatyard in Cape Cod teamed up to produce a
sophisticated new 18’ daysailer, the first of its kind to be offered by Arey’s Pond.

Together with G. Anthony Davis, Tony Dias, a small boat and yacht designer out
of Narragansett, RI, designed this kicked up, 18’ sloop for shallow water sailing.
Dias blended aesthetic beauty and new technology in the design of this fast, light-
weight and comfortable boat using Ashlar-Vellum Cobalt™ CAD and 3D modeling
software. Dias stated that the inspiration for the boat’s design was the Jaguar Sedan,
“elegant and comfortable, but with good performance.”

“In Cobalt there is no transition from 2D to 3D—no filling up pages with scads of
guesstimated properties—the software does all that for you! Not having an
engineering background, Cobalt definitely gives me a solid foundation to do the work
I’m good at.”In the boat design industry, many still cling to the old pencil and paper
design methods.

Dias credits his success, in part, to an early adoption of 2D/3D CAD design software.
In doing so, he joined the fast growing number of designers who have moved into high
tech and never looked back. To Dias the inherently slow process of pencil and paper
drawing was akin to “watching a tree grow.” To illustrate, he points out that the old
way adds an extra month to the design process just in outputting numbers, creating
full-scale grids and building models.

By switching to computer-aided drafting Dias advanced his level of experience because
he got a comparatively enormous amount of feedback in very little time. However, Dias
became frustrated with the typical CAD program’s inability to handle complex solids
and his own lack of engineering background. Then he discovered Ashlar-Vellum Cobalt 3D
modeling design software.

Cobalt freed him to focus purely on the art and precision design (to 1/1000 of an inch) of
his boats. For Dias, Cobalt ended his daily battle to maneuver the rough waters of the
typical CAD or 3D modeling program. Today, Antonio Dias and Cobalt are a team to keep
an eye on.
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