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HELP!!! What type of drawing set up

Discussion in 'DRAWING, LAYOUT & CAD' started by Jeff May, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. Jeff May

    Jeff May United States Active Member Active Member

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    Location:
    Western Maryland
    City:
    Hagerstown
    State:
    Maryland

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    I'm looking for some incite on just exactly what most home/hobby machinists use these days to do layouts, designs and drawings.
    I'm currently looking at an old drafting table with 2 drafting heads and a bunch of older drafting supplies in the drawers.
    My questions,
    How many still use the "old" school way of sketching up drawings of the parts you want to make?
    How many have switched over to a CAD program for the same purpose?

    I don't know much about CAD other than what I have seen on videos of people explaining their projects.
    I really like the idea of staying "old school" and getting the drafting table and contents, but at the same time from what I've seen CAD appears to be the way to go
    At least its on the computer and not a large desk sized object taking up a lot of room in the shop.

    Can anyone recommend an entry level CAD program that can be self taught?

    Thank you for any info you might be able to provide...
    Jeff in Hagerstown

    I just saw the earlier posting answering my questions...
    Should have read further down,
    Please remove this post...
    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  2. Shadowdog500

    Shadowdog500 United States Active User Active Member

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    City:
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    Try Fusion360! It is free for hobbyists like us. It is also pretty easy to learn especially with the amount of youtube videos showing how to use it. It is also all you need if you want to get a 3D printer or CNC equipment.

    I used Fusion 360 to make a simple design of a u-joint pusher for my jeep in about 10-20 minutes.
    You can see the drawings at the beginning of this video. (I'm still on the learning curve on using a mill proficiently.)

    I still have my drafting arm and T-square but don't use it much anymore.

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  3. Billh50

    Billh50 Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I still have my templates and electric eraser from the old days. But they haven't been used since I learned Cad. I was lucky enough to learn Cad when I was in engineering. Designing special machinery. When I went from the floor to engineering everything was done on paper until their customers told them they should go to Cad. I started out on Cadkey and since then have used AutoCad, MasterCam, SolidWorks and ProE. They all have a slight learning curve because as they add different features there is something new to learn.
    One nice thing with Cad is that almost all companies have downloadable Cad drawing. Whether it is a simple air cylinder or a complex assemble, it only takes seconds to put it on the screen and print it.
     
  4. Glenn Brooks

    Glenn Brooks H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I do a lot of small part design on white boards. When ever I am making one off somethings with the lathe or mill, I usually make a dimension drawing - full size, free hand sketch. Usually all three views with erasable marking pens on the white board. Then figure out dimensions and mark up the drawing and make the part. Always keep an extra small white board handy to track critical roughing and finishing cuts while turning down stock. Once done, whipe it clean and go onto the next thing.

    If I know I will likely make some part again the future, then I draw it out on paper and store it away in a drawing file.

    Some day will learn fusion 360 and start keeping everything in the cloud. But after 15 years of GIS work and massive amounts of time engaged in managing very large data sets, I just can't interested in more digital gut work. Whiteboards for sketch up and makin' parts is just fine with me.

    Glenn
     
  5. Pmma-Granville

    Pmma-Granville United Kingdom Active Member Active Member

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    Hello!
    I'm quite new to machining, only finished my apprenticeship a few years ago! I learnt both cad and drawing by hand. At work I do 90% of stuff in cad. It's quicker than by hand, easier to store the data, takes less space and all that. But for me, I find drawing by hand quite easy and while I'm doing it I'm already getting to know the part, iv had to think more about everything iv drawn. I don't really get that from cad, i just program it and run it.
    Iv got the student version of autoCAD. I downloaded it off their website for free and didn't have to prove I was a student! You could download that and watch some YouTube videos to get you going!
     
  6. Bill Gruby

    Bill Gruby United States Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have used the Drawing Board for my entire career. Tony Wells calls it Pencil CAD. Until they come up with a standard for all CAD Programs they can keep their CAD. If I am the last man with a pencil and T-square in his hand, so be it.

    SHORT VERSION

    The can take my pencil and T-square when they can pry them from my cold dead hands.

    "Billy G"
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
  7. richl

    richl United States Active User Active Member

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    I have been doing mine by pencil and paper, though I am starting to look into doing more numerical data points from cad drawings on the manual mill/dro setup.
    Many of the things I play around with now are flowing lines with tubing, the machining is mostly jigs, gusset plates and hubs. So it works quicker most times to just sketch it up. (As a hobbist, any of this is subject to change )

    Rich

    Rich
     
  8. coherent

    coherent United States Active Member Active Member

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    Do some research, read lots of comments and folks thoughts and advice and then pick a cad program that you think will suit your needs. Preferably and most importantly pick one that's commonly used by lots of people, with lots of tutorials, videos and help on the web. Stick with it and learn it. The task may sound daunting but if you know someone near you who knows the software and is proficient, they could have you producing drawings and annotations etc in just a few hours. It takes a bit longer if you have to read and teach yourself but easily do-able. It'll all "click" and come together for you much faster than you think. Go to a book store and get a book with tutorials, a disk with sample files and examples and complete the the steps and stages. You can then easily add on more complex techniques as you come across the need and you practice and learn. It really isn't that hard. In my opinions MS Word or Excell is more complex and has a steeper learning curve, especially for the complex tasks.

    Hand drawing basic designs and ideas is fine, but the ability to produce cad drawings that allow precise annotations, measuring and the ability to produce 1:1 print outs and templates quickly and easily is extremely helpful. The ability to accurately align, adjust etc without having to erase and/or redraw... priceless!
     

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