CAD Program

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Charliesolo

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Nov 29, 2020
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I recently bought half interest in a CNC table with router and laser. The co-owner knows how to upload files, run the machine, etc., but doesn't have experience to teach me about the use of CAD programs to create designs.

I have several projects in my head, but don't own any CAD software and know nothing about using it. Looking for some direction.

This is for personal / casual use only, I can't justify buying / subscribing to autocad ($1700 / year) or even autocad lt ($420 / year).

Is there a CAD program in the $50-200 purchase range? If so, are there tutorials or references available? One of the nice things about autodesk products is that there is so much info out there about how to use it.

Thanks in advance!

Kevin
 

Hot Wings

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If fusion 360 is too much money, you might consider joining EAA and getting the free Solidworks? Lots of tutorials on YouTube.

Another option might be TurboCad. It is a one time purchase and seems to have developed into a usable 3D program. I started out with it years ago in 2D and still keep it on my system for 2D work but I have never bothered to learn it's 3D so i can't say how good it really is for 3D. There are tutorials on YouTube for TC as well. If all you need is a 2D program for your 2 1/2D system it could be a good option for you.

If all you need is a 2D program DeltaCad is only 20 bucks and does simple things with a very easy to learn menu.
 

Wanttaja

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If you're an EAA member, you can download the educational version of Solidworks for free. In my experience, it's a steep learning curve (it's meant for full-time professionals) but there are a lot of online training aids.
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Ron Wanttaja
 

Jay Kempf

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Design CAD or educational version of Fusion360. You need a tool path solution for the router. The laser is free software for tool path and job setup.

There are open source 3D modelers out there. Haven't tried any of them. freecadweb.org is one. If you are only doing circles and squares should be adequate. Also, the Sketchup community has gotten really strong.
 

cpatelaero

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Apr 13, 2020
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Take a look at SolveSpace as well. With a single executable file and no installation required, it offers a good deal of basic CAD capability. It does not do everything that SolidWorks or Fusion 360 can do, so please consider the needs of your model before you spend a lot of time on it. SolveSpace - Features
 

Wanttaja

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Nice model of a Lewis gun. Where are the sights?
The rear sight is folded down.
1608057560870.png
There is a hinge pin, not shown, a black #6 screw. The cap for the gas tube has a hole in it for a front post sight. I did design one, but wasn't happy with the product from my 3D printer.

Lewis gun installations varied widely. Sights were often removed from guns when they would have been of little use the user, such as those mounted atop Nieuport wings.

My design also left off the ejection port on the receiver, and I haven't actually installed a handle on the bolt. I've got it on a shelf in a rather crowded home office, and stuff like the bolt handle and front sight might tend to get snagged.

Full details, and all the Solidworks files needed to build the gun, here:


This is primarily the Mark III Lewis gun, but the files include the design for the Mark II Lewis gun. Haven't built a Mark II yet.

Ron Wanttaja
 

ToddK

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The EAA Solidworks is a great deal. I recently downloaded it, and have been working on learning how to use it.
Another option is FreeCad. Been thinking about building a Gatton or LowRider V2 CNC my self.
 

rv7charlie

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Solidworks for EAA members, and Fusion 360 to any hobbyist or even small business, are both free. You do need to 'push the right buttons' when signing up.
 

Mad MAC

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Given its a router and a laser depending on what you want to do, a 2D program might suffice, draftsight would be one example. It might be possible to find a free copy of draftsight, if you find a copy of an early version from when it was free.
 

Geraldc

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Weird - I think my computer is spying on me.Just reading this thread and an email pops up from solidworks offering me great deals.
 

Voidhawk9

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Weird - I think my computer is spying on me.Just reading this thread and an email pops up from solidworks offering me great deals.
What concerns me more is when I talk about something with my phone nearby (not on a cal or anything) then ads pop up later on my PC related to that conversation. But all a bit OT...
There are quite a few CAD options around. Some free, some not. Some REALLY not as you noted.
Do you have any specific file type requirements, etc. for your applications?
 

Billrsv4

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If fusion 360 is too much money, you might consider joining EAA and getting the free Solidworks? Lots of tutorials on YouTube.

Another option might be TurboCad. It is a one time purchase and seems to have developed into a usable 3D program. I started out with it years ago in 2D and still keep it on my system for 2D work but I have never bothered to learn it's 3D so i can't say how good it really is for 3D. There are tutorials on YouTube for TC as well. If all you need is a 2D program for your 2 1/2D system it could be a good option for you.

If all you need is a 2D program DeltaCad is only 20 bucks and does simple things with a very easy to learn menu.
Hi Hotwings,
I’m a solid works pro that is semi-retired. I have my own seat and I’m willing to work with fellow pilots cheap to free. Depending on how complex and or interesting the project is. The best way to get a good cad program is as some have mentioned to join the EAA and use the free download of solid works. SolidWorks does have a fairly steep learning curve, ha! That means it is hard to use at first, but if you run through some of the totorials you can catch on pretty quick. If you would like to work with somebody do a private message and I can help.
T.O. Bill
 

rotax618

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I built a CNC a year ago, have made many useful parts from alloy and steel, I use Freecad to design and create paths for the CNC. My CNC uses Grbl post processor so I use Universal Gcode Sender (all of the software is free public licence)33B0F75D-B563-412D-9FF2-9F1A1E95AEF8.jpeg42F6007A-A061-4430-B574-C37B752D54AB.jpeg79EDC8FC-4DED-4A98-9A15-20C47BE4D6BF.jpeg
 

DreamersE/AB

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I built a CNC a year ago, have made many useful parts from alloy and steel, I use Freecad to design and create paths for the CNC. My CNC uses Grbl post processor so I use Universal Gcode Sender (all of the software is free public licence)View attachment 105314View attachment 105315View attachment 105316
@rotax618, nice looking rig! Did u build from a kit, one-off design? Happen to have a write up on the machine somewhere we could read about? I have interest in a combo CNC / laser cutter.
John
 

Speedboat100

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I recently bought half interest in a CNC table with router and laser. The co-owner knows how to upload files, run the machine, etc., but doesn't have experience to teach me about the use of CAD programs to create designs.

I have several projects in my head, but don't own any CAD software and know nothing about using it. Looking for some direction.

This is for personal / casual use only, I can't justify buying / subscribing to autocad ($1700 / year) or even autocad lt ($420 / year).

Is there a CAD program in the $50-200 purchase range? If so, are there tutorials or references available? One of the nice things about autodesk products is that there is so much info out there about how to use it.

Thanks in advance!

Kevin
Funny my old computer broke down ( actually both ) and other had ACAD Lt on it...I switched it to repaired old machine where is worked a month as unregistered version..then it demanded activation code....and I never got it from Autodesk...as mine ACAD LT in older than 2010.

I paid a hefty money of it back in the day.

Luckily I did print the R/C model plans for my motorglider design the day before before it became inoperational.
 

Hot Wings

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SolidWorks does have a fairly steep learning curve
Yes, steeper than the DeltaCad I linked to - by an order of magnitude.
Also, we forget to add that it is an ongoing learning curve. There are so many features and ways to do things that I still end up searching for a YouTube after a decade or more of using the software to learn a feature I didn't even know existed.
We do have a thread here on HBA (maybe more than one) with tips on how to use SW for aircraft design.

SW may be a little harder to learn but IMHO it is worth the trouble if one is serious about their aircraft CAD.
 

John Halpenny

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Apr 16, 2020
Messages
3
I looked at the Solidworks offer from EAA, and it seemed pretty useful. Then I got to the recommended hardware section, and it wanted a huge solid state disk and a $7,000 video card. What do I really need to run it?

John
 

Wanttaja

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I looked at the Solidworks offer from EAA, and it seemed pretty useful. Then I got to the recommended hardware section, and it wanted a huge solid state disk and a $7,000 video card. What do I really need to run it?
Running mine off a pretty ordinary ~5-year-old PC. Nvidia GTX-750 video board, pretty good for 2015, pretty ordinary today. 250 Meg SSD, but am keeping the files on a second, conventional hard disk.

Solidworks sometimes gives me a "check your hardware" alert, but I really don't notice any operational problems.

Ron Wanttaja
 
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