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Unread 02-16-2015, 01:30 PM   #1
BeepBeepGoJeep
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Inexpensive Beginner CAD Software?

Ive been wanting to use some type of cad software for a while now but it always seemed hard to get unless you were a student or payed a ton of money.

Anyone know of any cad software for a beginning user that isnt crazy expensive? Im good with computers but im sure itll take a little while to get used to. Id like to have cad for welding projects and fabrication mainly. thanks.

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Unread 02-16-2015, 02:46 PM   #2
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Are you simply wanting to play with designs and get measurements? If you aren't looking to actually machine stuff CNC directly from the files, a good simple program for playing with designes is Sketchup. Even though I have access to much more powerful software, I still sometimes use Sketchup to design furniture and other projects. It's plenty good enough to play with dimensions, shapes, and kind of flesh out your ideas.

If you want actual CAD though to send out to be machined or cut, sketchup probably won't do you much good. I don't know any thing specific that would be inexpensive.
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Unread 02-16-2015, 04:57 PM   #3
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I saw someone had solidworks and found out its like 4000 bucks so i pretty much crapped myself. Something that could be used to make my own parts, brackets, bumpers, armor, gussets, stands stuff like that. i wouldnt have access to anything with CNC but i liked how solidworks you could get so mechanical with the designs of fasteners and how things took shape.
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Unread 02-16-2015, 07:23 PM   #4
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Well, that's part of why it's not cheap, Solidworks it's a very robust piece of professional software It's used in many industries, and has been refined over almost 2 decades. Usually something like that is not free/cheap. There's alot of programming and designing work put into it.

I'm sure there are free CAD software out there, they just probably won't be near as robust. But you most likely don't need 75% of the features in Solidworks.

"Cubify" may be an interesting one to look at, even the full version is MUCH cheaper than solidworks. $200. I've never used Cubify, but from the screenshots and video it looks like it's laid out very much like Solidworks. So if you ever do move to solidworks, it doesn't look like it'll be a complete 180 different. There's a free 14 day trial, that should give you enough time to get your feet wet before you decide to pay for it or not.

http://cubify.com/Products/Design
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Unread 02-16-2015, 08:15 PM   #5
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Alright i downloaded sketchup guess its just a free trial, not sure how much it is to buy but ive been playing around a little with it, gonna take a while getting used to.
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Unread 02-17-2015, 09:13 AM   #6
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Try that Cubify as well, it looks very similar to Solidworks.
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Unread 03-29-2015, 09:35 PM   #7
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http://librecad.org/cms/home.html
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Unread 04-03-2015, 08:27 AM   #8
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http://www.freecadweb.org/
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Unread 04-07-2015, 02:32 PM   #9
R3dRid3r
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related but not identical question:

is there similar software for floor plan design?

Thanks
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Unread 04-07-2015, 10:41 PM   #10
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I use Cadstd for all my 2d stuff. Works great for stuff to be sent to the cnc cutter.. It would work for a floor plan too.
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Unread 04-08-2015, 01:22 PM   #11
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For making simple 3D designs at home, sketchup is my favorite. I use it at home on a 5 year old mid range computer.

At work I use one of Solidwork's competitors, SolidEdge. They are both WAY more full-featured than you want to mess with. I had 9 credits of college classes to become generally proficient at SW. There's 2 more levels and multiple concentration certifications available also.
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