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Apr 29, 2018, 12:13 AM
Registered User
propsnapper's Avatar

What's your tips on drawing plans using computers?

Does anybody know how to draw plans using computer programs like CAD and vector image editors and transferring them to paper? It would be great to share and add tips on how to do this.
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Apr 29, 2018, 05:39 AM
Rapidly aging user
raw89's Avatar
You might want to look here:
Apr 29, 2018, 04:40 PM
springer's Avatar
Lots of tips in this thread:

But, do you want to make plans old school type, or templates that can be reached on foam like we do now?
Apr 29, 2018, 10:53 PM
Scratch building addict
rotagen's Avatar
I had no time to mess with anything with a learning curve. Sketchup worked Ok, just exporting to pdf was messed up, they need to fix that, I worked around it.
Apr 30, 2018, 01:48 PM
springer's Avatar
I just checked your other posts, and am I correct that you are currently in the 8th grade? (my grandson is in 8th!) Welcome to the hobby, guy!

I gather that you are looking to create designs for your own scratchbuilts, so the freeware version of sketchup should work well for you, unless you have an option to get another cad system cheap or free through your school. Might check that.

As long as you remember that sketchup is always, only lines and surfaces (flat, single plane surfaces), it is pretty easy to use. All curves and curved surfaces are made up of smaller flat surfaces. If you are making templates, they will have "segmented look", but when you cut the foam out, you can sand off the "segment intersections and make smooth curves if needed.

Let us know how your CAD adventure works out!
May 01, 2018, 08:35 PM
Retired CAD guy
birdofplay's Avatar
Several CAD folks have STUDENT plans for purchasing their Programs.

Rhino 3D CAD is a terrific 3D CAD package,
but even it has a $195 cost for a student license.

Well worth it IMHO
May 02, 2018, 07:44 PM
Registered User
TyberJV44's Avatar
Autodesk fusion 360 is also free for students, there is also Onshape which in a browser (chrome,Firefox) also has a free account. Apparently solid works also has a free student version but it might be hard to setup an account.

I use Fusion 360 but it has severe limitations even though they try to sell it as an industry ready program. However it has similar features to inventor and the CAM is very good. Lofting and such is not as powerful as the big guns but it’s decent.
May 02, 2018, 10:39 PM
Registered User
Punch ViaCad is available from Amazon for 39.99. It is a great program, easy to use, great for resizing plans and has a short learning curve. It is much like the old DrawingBoard program from Ashlar but upgraded for the newer computers.
May 16, 2018, 03:09 AM
Registered User
davereap's Avatar
Originally Posted by rotagen
I had no time to mess with anything with a learning curve. Sketchup worked Ok, just exporting to pdf was messed up, they need to fix that, I worked around it.

There is a correct way to export your sketchup plan drawing to a pdf... you must be drawing in 2D, and not making a 3D model
First use "scale" to get the size correct in sketchup.. working in the top view, with the camera set to parallel, arrange your parts...
It is important to get them arranged into the smallest area

2D plan as a pdf export from sketchup and printed through adobe (2 min 54 sec)

NOTE on the adobe print selection panel I forgot to check the small box that gives cutting marks..the trim marks do help..
Last edited by davereap; May 16, 2018 at 03:25 AM.

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