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What Do You Use To Draw/design Projects?

Discussion in 'DRAWING, LAYOUT & CAD' started by Nels, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. benmychree

    benmychree United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I am old fashioned, took mechanical drawing in school (50 some odd years ago) and am fairly good at it, have a 3X4 drawing table and a Universal Drafting Machine of about first world war vintage, and all the other accoutrements. I find a hand drawing much easier to read than computer generated drawings, especially when a bit of line work is done; I generally do full size drawings on D size paper, or scale up or down for clarity as needed. I know there are advantages to computer drawings, especially, the ability to peel off details to improve clarity, and especially the fact that my hand lettering is not to a very high standard.
     
  2. Groundhog

    Groundhog United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    TurboCAD 18
     
  3. seatlanta

    seatlanta H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I've tried many in the past, from pencil and paper to AutoCad to Microstation to Inventor.

    All are good programs, but I've just begun using Fusion 360 and I love it. It does what I want it to do. It has a very intuitive interface that suits me just fine. I think it's the program I'll use from now on.
     
  4. rpicinic

    rpicinic Canada Swarf Registered Member

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    Today I have been using Fusion 360 for every project I do. From my RC Hobby to my bathroom vanity. I slowly converted a mini mill to CNC and did most of the components in Fusion 360 (early parts were designed in Inventor).
    Simple to use. All in one package and free for hobbyists. Even would gladly pay if I had to.

    I spent my early life as a designer on a drafting board. Moved to AutoCAD then various 3D packages from high end expensive CAD/CAM systems to the norm of the Windows platforms.

    Can't say it enough. The product of choice is Fusion 360 today. Can't live without it now.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  5. Rehcaet

    Rehcaet Canada Iron Registered Member

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    Some things I use good old pencil, straight edge, and graph paper. For serious drawings I use Mastercam which I can also toolpath from.
     
  6. WayneP

    WayneP Canada Iron Registered Member

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    I have been designing machinery for 30 plus years. Of course at some point I switched from vellum and lead to the computer. Odd as it sounds, I have managed to use the "same" program ever since I switched. It started out being called Generic Cadd and it morphed over the years with different operating systems...ie dos and all the various flavours of windows. They call it General Cadd now.....I stopped at version 5 and still use it to this day. I am now retired but have a hobby business and I still design all my products with it. Its 2D. Since I started way back when designing on paper...2D is fine for me as I can "see" the third "D" in my head. I don't need the pretty picture pictorial (3P??) on the screen in front of me....my brain can handle it just fine:) I have many times thought about learning a 3D program but I just don't need it to get the job done. I've never been able to get a 3D software salesman explain to me the "design process" in a 3d program. I'm sure it can be done but I don't see how....my problem really....but until I can find someone to explain it to me I don't feel the need to change.
     
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  7. whardin

    whardin United States Swarf Registered Member

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    I tried Onshape and really liked it a lot but it didn't support Drawings and Cam although it may now support both. The reason I stopped using Onshape was they are too limited to storage available for free. You end up having to make all your drawings available to the public. I now am using Fusion 360 and have grown to really like it and it is a full program with CAD/CAM and Drawing capability. I get by the cloud problem by down loading all my data to my computer in STEP/IGES format which is pretty much recognized by all Cad programs just in case they decide to start charging for the free program later on. I did the same thing when I was using Onshape so I still have all my data available for that program on my computer also.

    I am a hobbyist and can't afford a high dollar system. I own Bobcad V25 and I hate it (some people like it) because I learned Cad systems when I was working at Raytheon Company and I was using Solidworks (best ever program out there). I want a good free program for my little hobby shop and for now it's Fusion 360. If I had a business I would buy Solidworks. I say go for the cloud (Fusion 360 or Onshape) but backup all your part files to your computer in a format that can be read by all programs (IGES or STEP).

    Good luck to everyone
     
  8. whardin

    whardin United States Swarf Registered Member

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    I understand what your saying here. My office mate was a Mechanical Engineer for 35 yrs and was told he had to start using Solidworks. They sent him to training classes and he just couldn't get the 3D. After a month he decided to retire. I took Solidworks home on Friday and on Monday I took over his design and that's what I did for the next 10 yrs. I had no 2D design experience and I think that's why it seemed so easy to me. Out of the 3 designers we had that used 2D only one finally staring becoming efficient with 3D design techniques. Funny how our minds seem to resist change.
     
  9. LaVern

    LaVern United States Active Member Active Member

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    I use DeltaCad and have used it for quite a few years. It's only 2D but works for me. I have tried SketchUp several times and find it too frustrating even after watching several YouTube demos.
    LaVern
     
  10. Artemetra

    Artemetra United States Active User Active Member

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    I use SolidWorks and still use Cadkey for .dxf's to go to the milling machine, although SW can actually do that. Just convenient to still use both.

    Here's the thing: Good old pencil and paper and/or a drafting table are still a means of putting some details and instructions on record, but a CAD system on a computer is truly a time-saving engineering tool. It's because of 3D modeling and assembling, mainly, then you get a quick means of making the drawings. That combined power is huge.

    Competitively I don't think a company could survive without it. And personally I would pay for it myself if I had serious projects to do (now that I know how to use it of course.) Or find a way to borrow. Also, one can earn a decent living just by being good at an in-demand CAD program like SolidWorks or Catia, Inventor, and others. One more thing - it would be well worth it to get an old license of something, or use Sketchup or similar, without the need to pay for ongoing support. It pays.
     
  11. 7milesup

    7milesup H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Amen to everything you said there. I am just learning CAD and recently started learning Autocad 2016. Then I discovered Fusion 360 and will be learning that instead, although there seems to be some transfer from AutoCad. Look forward to being able to utilize the built in CAM side (I think is is HSM).
    I am currently working on a 93" span Beaufighter from scratch. Electric powered. Looking forward to the day I can draw a part and CNC or laser it out! Like you said, I would gladly pay a yearly fee (not more than a few hundred though) for the use of Fusion 360. To have that level of program for free is just absolutely outstanding.
     
  12. 7milesup

    7milesup H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    One of my best friends that lives just down the road from me is one of the 10 or so guys that developed the re-entry program for Mercury and Apollo. Jim is really an incredible man. He has gone from slide rules to CAD; both of us are learning Fusion 360 concurrently. Not to often you get to meet a guy like that, and then to have him as a friend is really great.
     
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  13. legacyiron101

    legacyiron101 United States Swarf Registered Member

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    Usually paper for the rough idea then sketchup to help me quickly work thru changes then Solidworks/Solidcam for the final.The key is just finding whatever works best for you.I know there are more eficient ways but I still struggle a bit with the higher end cad and cam.When I first started working with cnc the cad was basic and cam was in its early stages so most of the code was done on the fly manualy..hell the first cnc lathe worked with was a Rockwell miniturn 2 that had been converted from a tape reader and still had pushbutton rotory dials !
     
  14. Chophead69

    Chophead69 United States Iron Registered Member

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    Graph paper,steel rule and a compass. I had a drafting class in 6th grade which was the basis for what became my career choice as a machinist. I am and always will be a better manual machinist then a programmer. But I hAve the ability to write programs which I do for my self. I was given a complete powerstation 2000 system to learn from so I will be trying to teach my self how to draw in cad and I do hope this will help me make some even more complex parts on my cnc mill.
     
  15. edstoddard

    edstoddard United States Iron Registered Member

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    I used SketchUp for a long time but got tired of 3D printed holes not being round. Moved to Fusion 360 and don't regret it at all. Great intuitive, for me, interface and outputs to 3D print, CNC Lathe or Mill. Lots of tutorials and information. Oh, and it's FREE...
     
  16. Elektroniker

    Elektroniker Germany Iron Registered Member

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    I use Viacad Pro because of its intuitive way of creating designs and its import and export possibilities.
     
  17. tlwalsh

    tlwalsh United States Iron Registered Member

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    AutoCad and Autocad Inventor, Bobcad/cam Handles 4 different CNC machines, router, plasma, mill, lathe. also Linux for Sherline cnc mill and cnc lathe
     
  18. Trent.R

    Trent.R United States Iron Registered Member

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    Fusion 360, its free and really is a great product.
     
  19. uncle harry

    uncle harry United States Active User Active Member

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    I spent 6 months back in '69 as a "rent-a-grunt" drafter/designer @ Allis Chalmers AEPD division in Milwaukee. We were developing fuel cells for Apollo and the Manned Orbit Lab (MOL) projects. After we landed on the moon the Gov. abandoned fuel cells in favor of solar. No CAD but working on cloth on a 7 foot layout on a 5 foot drawing board was at best, frustrating. Yes meeting & working with these people was totally cool & an excellent learning opportunity.
     
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  20. LarryJ

    LarryJ United States Iron Registered Member

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    If I had thumbnails and tar, I'd do as John does.

    As it is, I do it in my head (sm proj) or use graph paper/rule/mech pencil, while I learn BobCAD/CAM.
     
  21. gradient

    gradient United States Gradient Registered Member

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    SolidWorks 2015 for 3D/2D, Solid Edge (free from Siemens) for 2D only quick design.
     
  22. KarlB

    KarlB United States Swarf Registered Member

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    I use Fusion 360. The program is robust, and so far it's capabilities far exceed my own.
    I'm trying to learn Sprutcam, but have limited access to Windows computers.
     
  23. savarin

    savarin Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I am not a machinist so all my design is a scrap of paper jobbie for a couple of itterations.
    Then I have a go at modelling it in an old 3d modeling and animation program called TrueSpace It has limitations or probably it would be more truthful to say I am the limiting factor.
    I've just downloaded fusion 360 and must say it appears at first glance to be very good.
    I'm finding the interface and modeling technique very similar to my old program and in a couple of mins had a couple of simple bits knocked up with threaded holes etc.
    I'm looking forward to learning more about this program, just need a good project to start with.
    Thanks to everyone who mentioned it and so gave me the push to update.
     
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  24. ovenpaa

    ovenpaa United Kingdom Iron Registered Member

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    I use Sketchup free version for all of my final design work in 2D and 3D even if it is often just confirming dimensions or angles, it is incredibly easy to use and it means I can keep a nice clean electronic copy as well as my oil spattered and amended working prints
     
  25. tonymcnulty

    tonymcnulty United States Swarf Registered Member

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    I use AutoCad 2000 Lite for quick 2D work, but will have to shift to something more modern as my XP becomes more and more outdated. Guess I'm going to start goofing around on Fusion 360 -- I'll keep my old XP relic running (offline) for as long as possible.
     
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  26. therbig

    therbig United States Active User Active Member

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    As others already suggested, I highly recommend Fusion 360. I always design in full 3D so I can "see" the whole thing and check for any assembly problems. Used to use SketchUp, but it had too may limitations. What I like about Fusion 360 is:
    1. Free for hobby use. Important for those of us who don't have a budget for SolidWorks, or don't have it from work
    2. Easier to learn (for me, at least) than SketchUp. SketchUp seems easier for the really simple stuff, but it becomes pretty darn hard for anything more ambitious
    3. Fully parametric. You can change design parameters later (if you design carefully), so that you can change earlier design choices
    4. Ability to insert commercially available components. You can pull down any 3D model from McMaster, with a built-in link. Don't have to buy from them, but their 3D models pop right into your design
    5. Dynamic link from 3D model to 2D manufacturing drawings, including BOM. If you change the model (within limits), the drawings will follow
    6. Dynamic link to CAM, although I haven't used that
    7. Designs (and all previous versions) are automatically saved in the cloud, so you're not dead if your hard drive crashes. You can also work off a local copy if you're not on the net
    8. Runs on different platforms. I needed something that can run on Mac OS X
    9. Allows for collaboration, although that may not be quite as important for this crowd
    And no, I don't work for them. And they don't pay me for this, either ;).

    Tom
     
  27. Norseman C.B.

    Norseman C.B. United States Steel Registered Member

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    AMEN !!!! I say....
     
  28. speed01rcr

    speed01rcr United States Swarf Registered Member

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    Believe it or not, I use Microsoft Word. I made a size A template, then just paste in a shape or shapes. Then I type in the dimensions in inches or mm in the format box. If is a small part that fits in the paper at full scale, the 2D will be accurate to the 1/128". I have Turbocad, but I need help to learn it. The push for me to learn something that can be exported in a CAD file is starting to be felt.
     
  29. jagwinn

    jagwinn United States Steel Registered Member

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    I attempted to download Fusion 360, but site would not as I have unsupported OS (32bit Win7Pro). Says it requires 64bit.
    I use daily AutoCAD LT 2000i. For more deeper, serious features, I use AutoCAD 2000. Both running without problem on Win7 with OS properties set to Windows 2000.
    I have SketchUp and Home3D for making pretty presentations.
    TinyCAD is a great, very small, lightweight Schematic and Wiring Diagrahm drawing program.
     
  30. ariscats

    ariscats Greece Active User Active Member

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    I use autocad 14 and also back of the envelope sketches.I'm trying to learn Autodesk Inventor.Too many
    things to learn,so little time available.
    Ariscats
     

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