Need opinion on purchasing a simple 2D CAD program
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  1. #1
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    Default Need opinion on purchasing a simple 2D CAD program

    Admittedly complex CAD is something that I have never been able to figure out and don't even wish to try anymore. But, we are taking on many more construction projects and almost every one requires me to make Shop Drawings. I am tired of diddling around on my drafting table.

    I am not looking for 3D capabilities but I am looking for a simple program. It does not have to be free but I would imagine most very basic software programs are fairly cheap anyway.

    I did a little eBay search and this is what popped up first - Designcad 22 IMSI 2D Design CAD Program AutoCAD DWG Compatibility XP Vista 7 8 | eBay

    It's cheap but that is what makes me wary. Plus I would prefer a program that I can download rather than buy a disc. And, although there are plenty of conversion programs available, being able to export in PDF is something I would need.

    Suggestions?

    Walter

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    I would use Draftsight. It is from Dassault Systemes, the Solidworks and Catia people. It is a pretty fully functional 2d system. Like anything it has its own learning period. I don't really see why anyone would pay for basic 2d cad. It is free.

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    +1 on Draftsight. Functional equivalent to AutoCAD, 99.9% of the commands are identical. And although they don't advertise it, the 3D stuff is all in there. Best part is that you can use DWG or DXF cad blocks and other objects, and have a standard interchange with other cad users. It does PDF export directly.

    It will do anything you could ask. Don't fear the price (or lack of it). It's a loss leader for Dassault, as they want you to buy Solid Works. It's not crippled, it's not nag-ware, there are literally no strings.

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    I got my start with Draftsight. It's a pretty good deal! And the price is right!

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    Check out DeltaCad--simple but very easy to use. Draftsight and all the AutoCad "emulators" are complicated because they try to mimic ACad--OK if you're planning on "upgrading" at some point in the future. If that's not in your plans then DeltaCad should work fine; I've used it for years...

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    Yea! Big F'n plus on draftsite !! It's solid works counter to fusion 360. Fusion 360 is or was in beta and the price was something like 30 bucks a month for the full boogie 3D.i also think it had some kind of free use if you were a student or "enthusiast" just trying to learn and use for your own us or something like that. The minus is it is all cloud based and I think your prints are all stored there too. At least that is what I've been led to believe! Dassault has the tutorials for solidworks on their home page as well. Sounds very good to me! You should check out both!

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    Another vote for Delta Cad Delta Cad - World's easiest CAD program, CAD software . Cheap and very user friendly.

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    Another vote for DeltaCAD. Been using it for 15 or so years. Quite simple and intuitive to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter A View Post
    Admittedly complex CAD is something that I have never been able to figure out and don't even wish to try anymore. But, we are taking on many more construction projects and almost every one requires me to make Shop Drawings. I am tired of diddling around on my drafting table.

    I am not looking for 3D capabilities but I am looking for a simple program. It does not have to be free but I would imagine most very basic software programs are fairly cheap anyway.

    I did a little eBay search and this is what popped up first - Designcad 22 IMSI 2D Design CAD Program AutoCAD DWG Compatibility XP Vista 7 8 | eBay

    It's cheap but that is what makes me wary. Plus I would prefer a program that I can download rather than buy a disc. And, although there are plenty of conversion programs available, being able to export in PDF is something I would need.

    Suggestions?

    Walter
    .
    i use librecad
    .
    it is free and open source and there are youtube tutorials on it.
    .
    librecad is good at 2d drawings and freecad is ok at 3d models. freecad will make drawings but it is
    not as good as librecad which is made for and better at 2d drawings

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    I have a hard time recommending Draftsight. It's a clone of autocad. Lots of people see that as a good thing. I hate it.

    I work in 3D mainly, but SolidEdge 2D is the best free 2D cad IMO. Modern interface, fully relational sketching, supports all common drawing standards, GD&T dimensioning etc. If you've had a hard time with old school cad systems in the past I think you'd like it better.

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    I've tried at least a dozen CAD programs from very small to full seat network versions of Microstation; if you can still find R7.0 Design CAD 2D thats the best I ran across.....but probably long gone. 2 cents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter A View Post
    I am not looking for 3D capabilities but I am looking for a simple program.

    Walter
    What kind if stuff do you design? Unless all you do is lay out profiles for a laser or something like that, nearly every drawing can take advantage of 3D solid models. The trouble is, you won't understand the advantages until you get into it.

    OneCNC has a stand alone CAD module called Solid Creator. It's pretty good and easy to learn. You can create simple 3d solids very quickly and then generate the different views without any more tedium of actually drawing those views.

    You can evolve to using CAM on the same files, if you have use for it.

    I couldn't be bothered to have more than one CADCAM system on the go, I'd rather get smokin' good with the one I'm using everyday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuFlungDung View Post
    What kind if stuff do you design? Unless all you do is lay out profiles for a laser or something like that, nearly every drawing can take advantage of 3D solid models. The trouble is, you won't understand the advantages until you get into it.

    OneCNC has a stand alone CAD module called Solid Creator. It's pretty good and easy to learn. You can create simple 3d solids very quickly and then generate the different views without any more tedium of actually drawing those views.

    You can evolve to using CAM on the same files, if you have use for it.

    I couldn't be bothered to have more than one CADCAM system on the go, I'd rather get smokin' good with the one I'm using everyday.
    Right now I am drawing a sectional plan view of a building wall section that will have a handrail mounted even with roof edge above. The wall has various offsets and openings for windows and doors but the soffit and edge of the roof is straight. I then need to draw an elevation view of the same wall showing the handrail. It's a little more complex than it sounds as the railing cannot be attached to the roof only to braces mounted to the side walls. Since the building side walls have several offsets below the soffit each mounting arrangement needs to be different while keeping the handrail even with the edge of the roof.

    No need for CAM at this time.

    Walter

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    I downloaded the Deltacam software and started drawing right away. It was pretty smooth sailing until I got the where I needed to clean up some unwanted lines and line fragments. So far I found no easy way to do that. I have also downloaded the draftsight but have not installed or opened yet.

    Right now I have a simple CAD program as a part of our torch cutting software package. It's C-Cut and will do everything I need to quickly draw (and edit) 2D drawings. The only issue is that the program is not portable so I cannot put a copy on my laptop. The program is on a desktop in a back office where we handle material files and CNC Torch Cut programing. It has a Dongle Hasp that only lets you run one copy. You can do a demo but cannot save or print.

    Maybe my method of drawing will not work with other existing CAD programs?

    To draw I start with a box or line then add parallel lines where needed to show cut out areas or hole centers. On the C-Cut software a right click allows me to trim off lines and parts of lines that are not needed. The DeltaCad allows me to draw much the same way but cleaning up the drawing of unwanted line extensions so far has not been simple.

    Still working at looking for a shortcut to deleting stuff.

    Walter

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    Ok, OneCNC is not the CAD for you.

  18. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter A View Post
    I downloaded the Deltacam software and started drawing right away. It was pretty smooth sailing until I got the where I needed to clean up some unwanted lines and line fragments. So far I found no easy way to do that. I have also downloaded the draftsight but have not installed or opened yet.

    Right now I have a simple CAD program as a part of our torch cutting software package. It's C-Cut and will do everything I need to quickly draw (and edit) 2D drawings. The only issue is that the program is not portable so I cannot put a copy on my laptop. The program is on a desktop in a back office where we handle material files and CNC Torch Cut programing. It has a Dongle Hasp that only lets you run one copy. You can do a demo but cannot save or print.

    Maybe my method of drawing will not work with other existing CAD programs?

    To draw I start with a box or line then add parallel lines where needed to show cut out areas or hole centers. On the C-Cut software a right click allows me to trim off lines and parts of lines that are not needed. The DeltaCad allows me to draw much the same way but cleaning up the drawing of unwanted line extensions so far has not been simple.

    Still working at looking for a shortcut to deleting stuff.

    Walter
    In the select tab, draw a box (or shape) around anything you want to delete. Hold clt in while selecting, you can select addition items or unselect specific items. Once selected, hit the delete button on the keyboard l, then hit enter and it should be gone.

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    Walter A

    I'm the guy on the other end who will checks shop drawings like you describe. Why not use the real thing. Last time I looked Autodesk made a lite version of AutoCAD that was reasonably priced. You would then be compatible with much of the construction industry right off the bat. The lite version is designed for just what you are doing.

    Warning....most CAD programs are simple to use but require a chunk of time and knowledge to set up for outputing drawings. Title blocks, layers, referencing, pen weights, compatibility etc. Etc....

    Might be best to find someone local you work with and see what they are using. Believe me when I say you will want a friend who can help you set the program up, whatever CAD program you wind up with. Also a community college type CAD class might yield better insight and possibly some basic setup programming.

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    I'm a fan of Draftsight. I taught myself in a couple days. Im unorthodox with how I do things but fast. There are a couple tools I use ALL the time (offset, extend, and pattern). Easy learning curve. Fun part comes when learning to draw ISOs! Also, the help function in the program tells you how to do everything. My only complaint is I wish there were more key stroke shortcuts. Hard to beat free.

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    I use MasterCam; which is probably way more than you want for what you need.

    I know plenty of guys that use draftsite with good success, but if you want a nicer program for a little bit more money, TurboCAD is a great program for the price. I used it a lot before the company went with MasterCam.

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