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Old Dec 13, 2009, 10:24 PM
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United States, NY, Endicott
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What do you recommend as a good CAD program for model design

Hi All,

I've just started looking into designing some models of my own from scratch, and it seems like a good CAD program which could be used to output files that could be used to plot the plans and component drawings would be better than trying to use the T-square and triangle method. While I enjoyed mechanical drawing in high school, I no longer have a drafting board large enough to do the required plans, and I wouldn't have any place to store it when I wasn't using it.

I have a copy of Profili which I use to generate rib templates and it can output DXF files, which I believe are used by CAD programs. I would like a program that could be used to import DXF files, allow the rest of the plans to be drawn, and then output a data file that could be taken to Kinko's and used to print a full sized set of plans.

I've heard of Model CAD, and I'm sure that there are other CAD programs on the market, but can any of you suggest an application that would do what I've described above and also be relatively easy to use?

Thanks in advance.

Bob
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 05:44 AM
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Turbocad and Corel draw are the two favourites here. I found the move from board and pencil easier to make to Corel.

Rhino is the equivalent of Corel in 3D and Solidworks the equivalent of Turbocad.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 07:27 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
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Your head, you heart, your imagination, and a roll of paper.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 07:29 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
South Wales U.K.
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The alternative seems to be a cad program, , a bog standard home printer, loads of sheet paper, and a lots and lots of sticky tape.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by eflightray View Post
Your head, you heart, your imagination, and a roll of paper.

As mentioned, use what you got right now. Do not invest another nickel into some software that is going to become obsolete come January first of 2010.

Invest into some adult high school training instead. From there learn the basics, and then you can aask the intelligent question to the salesman when you are examining the box the software came in.

How does this work with....
Do I need a special printer or can I use what I got here....
If I decide to add on a ____ what drivers do I need to make it work then....

Most of the above you cannot get off the side to the box, other than.. "Powerfull, " You can do... or how about Compatible with other users.....
I have read of quite a few on the sides thereto, but never 'Go to School before using this product. Do not use this product unless properly trained.'

Wm.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 11:04 AM
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France, Auvergne, Lapalisse
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have a look at devcad for the price it is good software

i use auto cad and prefer ver 2006
it depends on Wat you wont to do and how long you wont to spend in front of a computer you can pick up old ver of acad of the net
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 11:10 AM
mcg
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I notice the author of Profili now has a program for fuselages.

I use AutoCAD 2008 and Rhino3D, about 5% and 95%, respectively. Rhino has a little galaxy of "plug-ins", many of them free, which you can use for specialized tasks, e.g., gearboxes, airfoil downloads.

But I started with AutoCAD, and took a 4-day course in it. I agree with Will on the value of some kind of formal training. Without that basic CAD instruction I probably would have had a hard time picking up Rhino. Many of these programs are derivative of AutoCAD, so it is a good place to start.

There is a valuable ongoing thread on this board for Rhino users. It might give you a sense of what can be done with Rhino3D, and of what problems and frustrations arise with it.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1113526
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 01:05 PM
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Seattle
Joined Aug 2009
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Sketchup. It's free. Has a very active user community using it to create airplanes. Lot's of plug-in modules that add features like splines, lofting and so on. There are a number of threads in the scratch built foamies section on this. There are a whole pile of tutorial videos. Unlike a lot of free SW, this is one very high quality piece of code.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 02:32 PM
B for Bruce
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A quick use of the Search function will turn up legions of past threads on this exact same topic. The same question comes up at least monthly and it's been well addressed at length in the past. I'm not trying to be snarky. Just trying to save all of us re-typing the same answers again.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 08:49 PM
mcg
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Maybe it should be a sticky.

In fact, maybe there should be an autonomous CAD forum. If we had one, this type of thread would make a logical first sticky.

Could we propose a new forum devoted to CAD or CAD/CAM? There seems to be quite a bit of interest in it.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 09:36 PM
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After trying a number of different CAD's of various types, I finally settled on 'DevCAD' in the 'Professional' version. It has everything which a modeller needs, and has been created, I am certain, with the needs of modellers in-mind, unlike a number of others, which might be brilliant for architecture etc. but prove to be hopeless for modelling. DevCAD has a facility built-in whereby you are able to copy, assemble and scale the views of 3-view plans to best suit your own needs, then simply begin your task by tracing over the outlines to get your drawing underway. It uses 'dxf' predominantly, to communicate with the other programmes from the same source (eg 'Profili' and 'DevFus'), plus the rather more recent 'CAM' version of 'DevFUS' and the CAM version of 'DevCAD'. Everything integrates well, in a way which CAD's adapted from other purposes to modelling generally don't; at least not nearly as well. I'm currently researching various 3d CADs to assist me in what I do, plus I am also looking into computer animation software for a video organisation I belong to. I've put a fair bit of time and trouble into all of this, and still find that nothing performs better for modelling purposes all-round than 'DevCAD'. If you are lucky enough to have a local print-shop which copies and scales your model-plans to decent-sized sheets, a good 'PDF' programme is not a bad investment, either.

Ian Smith
Dunedin, New Zealand
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 09:42 PM
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Just as an afterthought; 'dc1', DevCAD/DevFus's native format also allows easy integration between the programmes, so although 'dxf' is included in the packages it's not generally needed for 'in-house' work and is usually only called-for (in my case at least), if you step outside the 'Dev' stable and wish to integrate with other brands of software.

IJS.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 09:48 PM
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A lot depends on your needs too. I have tried many CAD programs and found that the plans they output were not to my liking. I have settled on Adobe Illustrator with the Cad Tools plug in. It outputs high print quality plans but will also output DXF or DWG files for laser cutting as well as PDF for plan printing. It does everything I need and more.

Mark Miller
Isthmus Models
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Old Dec 15, 2009, 01:26 AM
Sink stinks
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United States, GA, Atlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage1 View Post
Turbocad and Corel draw are the two favourites here. I found the move from board and pencil easier to make to Corel.

Rhino is the equivalent of Corel in 3D and Solidworks the equivalent of Turbocad.
Not sure what you mean by that. TurboCAD is a 3D CAD program and is not all that similar to Solidworks.
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Old Dec 15, 2009, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Montag DP View Post
Not sure what you mean by that. TurboCAD is a 3D CAD program and is not all that similar to Solidworks.
aha. It wasn't last time I used it!
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