View Full Version : CAD softwares

Sat 22 November 2008, 14:23
Hello everyone
I am building a machine using this forum and the MM plans. This is very straight forward and about as complete as it gets. This is without a doubt one of the most valuable things anyone has ever given me. Thanks, I am greatful.
I use AutoCad 2004 to draw plans in 2d for my work. I have played with Rhino and the 3d features in AutoCad but I haven't accomplished much. It seems that AutoCad is limited and Rhino seems difficult to learn (I might be totally wrong here). I want to be able to create individual parts and then be able to use these parts to create assembly's and have the ability to move parts to other assembly's. I have a lot to learn to get to this point and I want to know the easiest, quickest and most painless (least expensive) way to get there. I can probably get access to AutoCad Inventor without paying the big bucks but I don't know if it is the right software for me. If I use Rhino I will have to buy the license which is OK if it will do the things I want. Does anyone have any suggestions for me.

Sun 23 November 2008, 00:57
Hi Paul,
The 3d (dumb solid) on Autocad 2004 are not limited at all. You can create just about anything in it. The surface functions will allow you to draw compound curves. I am not sure if this surfacing can be converted to G-code.
Inventor will give you even more functions and futures. With both programs you can create individual parts and constrain them in assemblies.
I have never worked on Rhino.

Greg J
Sun 23 November 2008, 08:14

The below thread has a good discussion on AutoCAD Vs. Rhino.


Mon 24 November 2008, 00:27

If you know AutoCad, and have AutoCad...learn to model in AutoCad. I've been modeling 3D in AutoCad since 1988 (version 10 I think) and honestly I don't think there is anything that you couldn't model with it. Sure organic, curvy shapes are very challenging, but they can be done. So unless you plan on modeling those types of things most of the time I would stick with the interface and toolset that you are already familiar with.

Fri 05 December 2008, 14:51
Hi, new to the forum here. Although you can use ACad to do this and it does have some 3D capability, it is extremely archaic and the solids are all "dumb" unlike solids made with conventional 3D software. I've used numerous solid modeling packages over the years, namely Unigraphics and CATIA. While these are huge overkill for most users here, there are similar alternatives...even free ones. One that I stumbled on years ago and find it to be a fantastic program is called Alibre. They even have a FREE CAD/CAM version! Even their most expensive version is far less than many competing products and I used to get emails from them all the time offering the software for 1/2 price. One version they offer that might be well suited to this crowd is the Alibre Design Workshop (http://www.alibre.com/store/pc-18-4-alibre-design-workshop.aspx) as it's geared towards wood shop production. I know I must sound like a salesman for them, but I think it's a super value adn a good program. However, I don't own a CNC (but I have deisgned many parts that were created via CNC using other software) so I cannot comment on how compatible it might be with the MechMate...but I think it uses industry standard G-code for output in the CAM module.

Fri 05 December 2008, 20:29
I think that most people dealing with wood will draw in 2D. Most of the people here that I have heard of doing any kind of 3D are using a wood carving program called V-carve. My purpose for moving into 3D modeling is to manufacture parts and assemblies. The CNC will be used as either a mill or a plasma. I want the ability to design individual parts and then plug them into sub assemblies and sub assemblies into assemblies and see how everything fits. I want to be able to design tubing assemblies that will automaticaly have the data necessary to cut notched tubing ends and possibly for a CNC tubing bender. I know that AutoDesk Inventor will do everything that I want. Problem is I will probably have to download the 30 day trial version everytime I want to use it. I have a trial version now and the learning curve seems long. I have heard of Alibre. Lots of people have claimed it to be a good program. Do you know of a version that would be suitable for what I have described? Thanks.

Fri 29 May 2009, 03:37
Try to use AutoCAD 2009 this will help you a lot in your projects. It is easier to create some 3D objects in AutoCAD 2009. I'm using this software for my projects in mechanical design and architectural designs. You can visit some web site for the tutorials.

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Gerald D
Fri 29 May 2009, 04:42

We do not allow signature lines on this forum. Thank you.

Wed 10 February 2016, 03:31
like i said replying another thread here:For 2D and even 3D has y'en among these software are free but limited to CAD: Minos, DraftSight, double cadxt, DraftIt, LibreCAD, freecad, CadStd, autodesk123D, NanoCad, for me I use Badog cad / cam is perfect for me, I can even import files from AutoCAD, Solidworks, IDEAS, NX, CorelDraw..hope i helped