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best CAD software?

Old 02-02-2014, 02:02 PM
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flywilly
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Default best CAD software?

I just indulged in a new iMac desktop and would like to try some CAD design. Doing a google search I found several CAD software options, but only one, Punch ViaCAD, supports Apple. Any thoughts? I will only be using this for model design and enhancement. I'd to update a few of my personal favorites (some MK and Yoshioka plans) with lighter structure and possibly different sizes (like the multitude of Tiporares now available thanks to Doxilia).
Thanks,
Will
Old 02-02-2014, 03:01 PM
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Rendegade
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Are you looking to do 2D only, or 3D cad work?
Old 02-02-2014, 03:03 PM
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I've been on that hunt and thanks for mentioning Punch's tool. I've used their Home Design Studio and it is a fantastic program for home design, so will look into their CAD offering as well. If their CAD software is anything like Home Design Studio, it will work well.

Google CAD for MAC and you will find more offerings like Turbo Cad which has a version for Macs. Also put Inkscape on your radar as my laser cutter uses that program on their Mac.
Old 02-02-2014, 03:57 PM
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DraftSight is excellent 2D software. Very similar to AutoCad. I use the Windows version, but they do offer a MAC version here. The best part is that it's free, which is amazing considering what you get!

Ralph
Old 02-02-2014, 04:52 PM
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Will,

I too would suggest Draftsight. The learning curve isn't that bad and they have a very thorough Free Tutorial on the Draftsight website.

http://www.3ds.com/products-services...ght/community/

Too use the tutors you need to join the community and its free. Look in the lower right hand side of the above webpage where it says[h=3]"Check Out the DraftSight Resource Center"[/h]Tons of tips and tricks, flip books, etc.

Also since it uses all the Autocad 2D commands any Autocad tutor will teach you Draftsight. Youtube and the web in general have hundreds of Autocad and Drftsight tutors you can watch for free like the following.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/searc...sight+tutorial

Bryan

Last edited by Roguedog; 02-02-2014 at 04:54 PM.
Old 02-02-2014, 06:54 PM
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Hey Will,

good to hear that you plan to join in the re-design of classics!

I have to agree with others that DraftSight is likely your best bet for entry into 2D CAD. The fact that its freely available is nice due to the price but it is great in terms of what it implies. Open source and/or freely available software is the foundation of widespread use and development and indeed the sharing of ideas and concepts so you will likely find many users of this program (already a few here on the forum). They can help with the mechanics of the software and more specifically with design issues related to the model in question.

That said, if I were to enter the fold of CAD software today in this new millennium, I think I might go straight to learning and developing in 3D. For many jobs 3D is overkill but for model design, it is the way to go. Once you master the approach with 2D to project formers from side and top view fuse planforms as well as foils from top view wing planforms, it's not bad but there is a fair amount of "cross checking" involved when you work in 2D as the model is not "integrated" - we're merely working with projections and sections. In 3D, everything is interconnected so a structure such as a former "falls out" of the development of a fuse design. You can draw a "2D" fuse side planform, extrude it variably along its length and produce a 3D object which can be rotated and viewed from any angle. Sections (i.e., formers) can then be extracted by slicing the fuse at any given point - like a block of cheese, so to speak.

It is definitely a different way of thinking and also viewing the design of a model. It is not akin to the 2D plans we're used to viewing and building on so it takes a little adjustment. I think its worth it though.

For 3D software, I'd definitely go with Google Sketchup - also freely available for different platforms:

http://www.sketchup.com/

Sketchup is a "simplified" 3D program tailored to the masses but its core is one very solid piece of software called Revit. Revit is engineering and architectural software for professionals and is extremely powerful and extensible. Sketchup enjoys much of what Revit has to offer and has a very wide spread following. Indeed many an RC model has been developed in Sketchup and are available on public Sketchup user libraries - a great way to start playing with the software.

Last but not least, the idea of seeing 3D classics is very cool! Those models could even be integrated into flight simulators...

David

P.S. For fun I attached the fruits of what I whipped up in 2D CAD in a couple of evenings as a result of a nice glass DB60 fuse arriving at my doorstep. Even a glass/foam constructed model can benefit from a little CAD work. A Rossi 61 SE is already strapped in!
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Dirty Birdy 60 Glass CAD.jpg
Views:	591
Size:	314.9 KB
ID:	1964801  

Last edited by doxilia; 02-02-2014 at 06:56 PM.
Old 02-02-2014, 08:19 PM
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All the RC planes that I draw, I draw in 3D in Autocad. then I use the Section command to get ribs, formers, etc. Another good thing about Draftsight is I can view all my 3D RC plans in it. Although its slated as a 2D program it still is programmed on a 3D platform. You can make basic 3d shapes with it by using the "3d" Command.

Heres' an Arrow wing I did in Autocad opened up in Draftsight. So Draftsight is based on a 3d platform. You just won't be seeing the neat 3d commands being added to it as afterall it's programmed by the same company as Solidworks and Catia. I can say if you learn it you'll be right at home with any version of Autocad LT (light).



I agree that it's the best way to test fit before you actually have a kit lasercut. The Interference Command in Autocad is an awesome tool for checking the fitment of parts.

I've been slowly learning Solidworks.

I'm glad I learned Autocad as I now get paid for drawing plans for unpermitted additions. Seven sheets including a Title page and notes can drop $1250 in you pocket when someone needs a set of plans to get an after the fact permit.for closing escrow.
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	3d arrow wing in Draftsight.jpg
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ID:	1964812  
Old 02-03-2014, 06:54 AM
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flywilly
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Thanks guys,
I knew I would get very informative feedback here. My oldest daughter's boyfriend is an engineer and he told me the same the thing about 2D vs 3D: that you may produce 2D plans but it is very useful to be able to see (and work with) the plans in 3D. I also planned to use it to produce laser cut kits (at least for me) which I would 'sub-contract'. Maybe I should add a CNC foam cutter and a laser cutter (and a bigger workshop) to my list, oh yes and a 36" scanner so I can import plans. Well, at least it seems I can get the CAD software for free. I will post my efforts here.
-Will
Old 02-03-2014, 10:26 AM
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Hey Will,
You may want to check out Alibre Design (now called Geomagic Design). It is an easy to learn 3D solid modeling program that is very close to Solidworks for way less money. I use it to pay the bills as well as for my personal use. They have a free 30 day trial. Here is a link:
http://www.alibre.com/testdrive/
It also has a 2D drawing output utility. You can also export the 2D drawing into AutoCad (.dwg) format, which you can use in Draftsite. I find that the 2D drawing utilities that are a part of Solidworks or Alibre are somewhat limited for detailed 2D drawing. They are based on the model, and will give you the option to select you views. I usually export the drawings into .DWG format and do my detailing and dimensioning in AutoCad or Draftsite.
Welcome to the world of CAD!

-Robert
Old 02-06-2014, 05:34 AM
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Robert,

I have a cad question for you...Send you a email

Working on my 2 meter plane

Scott
Old 02-06-2014, 10:05 AM
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Ultimately, I would like to learn how to draw plane parts digitally, and then send the file to someone who does laser printing. Model Aviation provides a link to some free CAD software:

http://www.modelaviation.com/cad2011

Last edited by Trisquire; 02-06-2014 at 10:09 AM.
Old 05-10-2014, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by thailazer View Post
I've been on that hunt and thanks for mentioning Punch's tool. I've used their Home Design Studio and it is a fantastic program for home design, so will look into their CAD offering as well. If their CAD software is anything like Home Design Studio, it will work well.

Google CAD for MAC and you will find more offerings like Turbo Cad which has a version for Macs. Also put Inkscape on your radar as my laser cutter uses that program on their Mac.
Just tried to order ViaCAD 2D from Punch and they won't download or deliver to Thailand. Guess too much pirating of software goes on here. It sure looks like a great tool. Will have to get my sister to order a CD of it.
Old 06-14-2014, 12:27 AM
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Finally got my Punch Software ViaCAD 2D/3D and have to say it is a good package. It took a few hours of playing with it, but I just printed a perfect 1-to-1 page of an engine back plate I need to machine. I am just using it in 2D mode at the moment but I can see that in not too much time I can transition to 3D. Right now I just need to print out drawings I create. Also did some long fuselage drawings and will have to figure out how to get them into pdf or other format to bring to a print shop. Doing A and B size prints on my connected printer so far is no problem. I have a Mac so my choices were a bit limited but after trying out a few other solutions, I think I have one that I can use easily.
Old 01-21-2020, 04:02 AM
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I have been doing cad outsourcing services since 10+ years and use below softwares:

1) Autocad
2) Revit
3) Tinkercad
4) Tekla

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