What CAD Program for Personal Projects
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default What CAD Program for Personal Projects

    Hey all,

    If you do personal projects what design software do you use and why?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    74
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    11
    Likes (Received)
    51

    Default

    The ones I am comfortable and fast with like AutoCAD (older, non-cloud), solidworks, mastercam (why use 2 programs?). Also if I'm in a pinch I'll use some of the free linux stuff but not often.

    Why? Because I don't have a manual drafting board anymore and CAD is faster haha.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Eastern Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    5,947
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    5430
    Likes (Received)
    5623

    Default

    If all you need is 2D DraftSight is very good and has almost the same command line shortcuts as older versions of AutoCAD.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Washington
    Posts
    3,195
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1285
    Likes (Received)
    1381

    Default

    Fusion 360, for me, because that is pretty much all I have. But I think it is hands down the best free program out there, free for what you describe.

  5. Likes Veteran Bicycle, empwoer, gkoenig liked this post
  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    British Columbia
    Posts
    40
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    21
    Likes (Received)
    6

    Default

    I use Onshape (https://www.onshape.com/) for projects for our local makerspace. Browser-based. Lightweight. Can export DXF for our laser cutter. Can share live project files with others to view/edit/etc. Only catch is that for personal use, your projects are public, not private.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    187
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    64
    Likes (Received)
    15

    Default

    anyone ever use QCAD?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    965
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    15
    Likes (Received)
    146

    Default

    I like fusion but draftsight is easier for me to control what is printed out. It may be I just haven't figured it out but fusion prints out all the dimensions to the same decimal place set. I would prefer to switch from 2,3 and 4 places on the same page.

    Dave

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Country
    PHILIPPINES
    Posts
    2,789
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    787
    Likes (Received)
    1161

    Default

    For just basic 2D cad? Deltacad or Turbocad. Stupid simple to use and you're not expecting Jesus to come back before it finishes opening.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Country
    UNITED STATES MINOR OUTLYING ISLANDS
    Posts
    5,207
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2307

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by moto367 View Post
    anyone ever use QCAD?
    Built it for Unix a while back because I wanted something simple for simple stuff.

    It was a waste of time. Unless it's made tremendous progress, don't waste your efforts.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    173
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    29
    Likes (Received)
    64

    Default

    Fusioin 360. It's free for hobbyist, very powerful and there are a lot of resources for learning it.

    Ted

  12. Likes empwoer liked this post
  13. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    331
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    28
    Likes (Received)
    78

    Default

    I recently upgraded my linux distribution to Debian 10 (Buster) and in the process realized the FreeCAD (of which ver 16 had been the standard) was not included in the new distribution. I grabbed the latest from their site (Ver 18) and it is miles ahead of version 16. After a recent problem with Fusion 360 (which has yet to be addressed by AutoDesk), I've been taking a new look at FreeCAD. It is certainly in the running now for general CAD, but the CAM has a ways to go.

    FreeCAD: Your own 3D parametric modeler

  14. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Pittsford, NY
    Posts
    1,101
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    781
    Likes (Received)
    713

    Default

    I've been using the free version of DraftSight for a number of years. I've been very happy with it, but they recently announced that they are going to eliminate the free version and start charging a subscription fee of $100/year. This prompted me to try a number of the free/low cost options (freecad, qcad, librecad, etc) and they were terrible to use compared to Draftsight(may be familiarity bias, though). They were also very poor on compatibility with a complex drawing. I have a topographic survey of my property with a lot of layers, and none of them would open the drawing properly, while DraftSight opened, modified, and saved it perfectly.

  15. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Canandaigua, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,032
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    151
    Likes (Received)
    1397

    Default

    Visual CADD is a great program that grew out of the old Generic CADD. If one took advantage of a trade-in deal or otherwise got in early, it's a bargain, but IMO it's too expensive for the hobbyist if you have to pay full boat. I like it because it handles presentation tasks well and I can make a drawing look exactly the way I want in terms of line widths, text and photo insertion. You can also customize the interface to a great extent (as shipped isn't the best) and run macros to plot data from Excel. They give good access to the lower level engine. TriTools.com You can download a demo to play with.

  16. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    I'm looking for something that will where I can do 3D designs and prints. Solid works has a nice student program, but the full program is costly. I have no problem paying for a good program, but under $500 is best. There's lots of free stuff out there as well.
    I should also state, this is being used on a laptop - 16GB RAM, 2.2ghz processor - pretty good but half of what Solidworks requires.

  17. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    331
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    28
    Likes (Received)
    78

    Default

    Interesting fact: you can get the student edition of SolidWorks as a member of the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) and an EAA membership is only $40/year.

    Member Benefits & Discounts

  18. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    California
    Posts
    735
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1373
    Likes (Received)
    349

    Default

    really hard to beat fusion 360 for personal stuff. its free, there are MILLIONS of how-to videos on youtube and the forum community is pretty good with help. and its super easy/intuitive to use.

  19. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    NE Ohio USA
    Posts
    689
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    134
    Likes (Received)
    267

    Default

    I recently downloaded LibreCad free version. It seems very AutoCad 13-14 like. I didn't have too much trouble doing simple drawings with it. But I've too little experience with it to give a qualified opinion.

    Anyone here have experience with it? What are your thoughts?

    Best Regards,
    Bob

  20. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New Jersey
    Posts
    230
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    79
    Likes (Received)
    106

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GenePoole View Post
    Interesting fact: you can get the student edition of SolidWorks as a member of the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) and an EAA membership is only $40/year.

    Member Benefits & Discounts
    They also have a program for FIRST robotics teams (they only list FRC but they will support at least FTC as well).

    FIRST Student Robotics Contest SOLIDWORKS

    This is probably of limited use, as you have to be a mentor/coach for a FIRST team.

    Personally, I pay for Solidworks and HSMWorks (comes with a paid Fusion360 license).

  21. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Tennessee
    Posts
    584
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    181
    Likes (Received)
    156

    Default

    Shark or viacad pro. super clean models, feature based, clean interface without the acad window hogging, snappy with opengl tuned cards. Catia kernel, and cheap.
    without video card 3d cad programs kinda do not work well, acad is directx, desault is opengl - it helps to know when picking graphics card. Acad on my laptop with firepro card and an older i5 hurts, solidworks and shark never a hesitation. I have viacad 2d (sub 100 dollars) on my tablet, which is fine. Also direct imports illustrator which I import my paper (fun) drawings into first.
    viacad 3d was sub 500, but doesn't import sldprt, catia, or dstv and does not have g3 surface functions. The auto cut bill function in all of them does not work...rendering on any level is not so grand...

  22. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    2,602
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2667
    Likes (Received)
    1170

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by memphisjed View Post
    Shark or viacad pro. super clean models, feature based, clean interface without the acad window hogging, snappy with opengl tuned cards. Catia kernel, and cheap.
    without video card 3d cad programs kinda do not work well, acad is directx, desault is opengl - it helps to know when picking graphics card. Acad on my laptop with firepro card and an older i5 hurts, solidworks and shark never a hesitation. I have viacad 2d (sub 100 dollars) on my tablet, which is fine. Also direct imports illustrator which I import my paper (fun) drawings into first.
    viacad 3d was sub 500, but doesn't import sldprt, catia, or dstv and does not have g3 surface functions. The auto cut bill function in all of them does not work...rendering on any level is not so grand...
    That's the first time I've seen Shark mentioned here- I've been using it for years, anyone I've mentioned it to have never heard of it including folks I know who work for Autodesk here. It's definitely fast and easy, couple of the young guys who've been through the shop would use it over the Inventor that's on the other computers to spit something out quickly to feed the CNC.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •