Check out ViaCAD here http://www.punchcad.com/
I've had great success with this software
I am a relative beginner to CAD Software.
First I am only a home shop player. A man grew up in physical dimensions but deep inside he is still a boy. Only his toys are getting more expensive.
I have been looking for a CAD software to use to design what I am doing in my home workshop. I am here referring to a few projects like:
Knifemaker's belt sander, milling attachment, QCTP, tool holders, knife sharpening jig, several jigs for my lathe, camping equipment, a cigarette lighter, bullet mold, attachments for my muzzle loading equipment, etc. So it is for hobby use and not for commercial.
I have played with Blender 3D, Wings, but this is not actually for CAD, but more for 3D films. There are not the ability to draw up a set of plans. I am prepared to design something in 3D and screen capture the 3D part to an open space of the 2D plan and just add dimensions, but I know it is out there somewhere. Blender can round off the edges perfectly but that influence the scale.
I then bought TurboCAD 3D Deluxe 17 (all I could afford). The learning curve for the 2D is not so bad with the 2D, but the tutorials for 3D you have to pay nearly as much as the program itself.
If you look at the comparison card between the Deluxe and the Turbo at:
I feel that I have wasted my money for a 3D package, but not for 2D. The following elements are not available for the Deluxe but only for the Turbo and Platinum:
3D Solid Modeling and Editing
3D Terrain Modeling
3D Shelling, Lofting and Surfaces
3D Deformable Modeling
3D Pattern Copy Tools
Extrude to Face, Twisted Extrude Tools
Parametric Part Maker and Manager
History Tree with Editor
I have search further and there were some other free 3D software but what stood out are the following:
1. Autodesk 123D (I have played with it so far. It looks promising but still lacks, as it is designed to be either free or cheap. You have to publish to online Autodesk WS for plans. If they decide to ask money for the final it will have to offer something for the hobbyist or he will not spend money on that.
2. Delcam's Powershape-E Student version. This is free but can only write plans to A4 pages.
3. T-Flex Student version. This is basically the same than Powershape-E.
The last two options are the same as the full version, with the exception it can only print to A4 with a note marked as such on the edge of the page. Both can only print to itself (the pro can not open the student version. I am currently playing with T-Flex as their first tutorial made an impression on me, It is brought over to me in both writing as well as a video. I feel can still use another 2D program for the 2D and screen capture the 3D on that as an image should I really need to print larger than A4. Most of my projects will fit on an A4.
When I first bought the TurboCAD 3d Deluxe I was overwhelmed by the pictures I saw on the cover box, but I was not familiar with the 3D Modelling terms. I know it is fine for 3D houses and buildings but I do not want to draw that. Only machine tools as mentioned. What also amazes me is that I have searched for 3D video tutorials for TurboCAD but I only found those for which you must pay. The engineer tutorials are only available for Turbo.
Tell me, Was the purchase of TurboCAD 3D Deluxe so bad? Maybe I must try to buy an older version of say TurboCAD 3D Turbo 16 or of another program.
I will check it out. Actually busy downloading the bolt video.
I am not looking for CNC or Lathe / milling software.
My lathe is manual and of screw cutting ability. It is a Quantum (German and certified). Currently my milling abilities are restricted to small jobbies that I can attach to a Myford ML-7 Milling attachment.
So I am only looking for 3D software to draw a model in scale and to animate it to a certain extend so that I can see how something will behave.
But I need to draw a plan in 2D and possible a page or two with a 3D (Isometri9c version that is both solid and wire frame).
I need to make bolts, pulleys and gears (worms as well) and then stuff like angle iron, tubing, bearings, motors, bushes, etc.
Blender can do it but is not really meant for CAD as I can only draw the thing in 3d. I need to export or project to a 2D plan as well. The 3D part (the designing) of Blender is perfect.
As I have mentioned, I have played with Autodesk 123D, but it is still in Beta and limited. Blender for example will allow to remove a polygon out of a model and to add an additional poit and to make new edges and polygons. 123D can not.
I know software is expensive, but I am now very scared to pay and the software can not deliver. Or if I have the software but there is no proper tutorials to learn the program. As you know CAD is not the easiest to learn.
I have bought a few tutorials from Cartoonsmart about Blender. The author carried over his message so clear that you get results in a very short space of time. Just to make sense of an interface is sometimes very difficult.
Blowlamp, I will check this program out and read a few reviews to see if I am happy with it. The page that you have mentioned shows a picture of a model that is better than what I will need. So maybe this is my luck.
You can get a download if you click on the PunchCAD!Blog link on the right of the Home page and there are some more videos too .
If you do try it and need some help, then send me a message and I'll see what I can do.
I have committed myself to Punch's ViaCAD Pro v7 after I have checked the Internet.
While searching I came across this link:
ViaCAD Pro Discount Coupon (30% OFF) at SoftCns.com
It worked and I received a 30% discount from Punch.
So I paid just Below $194.00 and it is the pro version.
So I will update this post in the future on how I find the software.
Thanks for the information.
I guess his is what a forum is also for:
To assist idiots like me!
Turbocad Pro 16 Mechanical was what you needed. Available at amazon.com or Candandgraphics for $200.
Cadcourse.com sells the tutorials for $50 for two dvds with hundreads of hours of tutorials. Tubrocad was developed in your country initally. Has been around since 1985.
Actually just Turbocad pro without the mechanical add on will do mechanical. The mechanical version just adds a few fancy tools. Just ignore the architectual bias in some of the tutorials. I use Autocads mechanical engineering training books for Turbocad.
No cad program is easy to use/learn, not even the most expensive ones. The best tutorials for Turbocad are from Cadcourse.
With respect to TurboCad Deluxe, they cant give you a full blown 3d program at the price you pay for the Deluxe version. Yes it does a lot of 3D, actually more 3D than most people would ever use. The Pro version does it all in 3D. You were correct in your assumption that buying an older pro version was the cheapest way. I have 12 Pro Mechanical running on Windows 7 64 bit. Version 15 or 16 Pro can be found for $200.
If a person had the $2500 for Autocad, that would be the way to go since there are so many users, and its the standard in many industries. Soldiworks comes in 2nd for expensive software in my opinion, its good too.
But for the money, TurboCad stands out as a clear winner in value, quality and features, both 2D and 3D, in my opinion.
I also have ViaCAD Pro and so know it quite well.
If you want some help with learning to use any of the features, then I'll do my best and I'm sure others will also.
Can I suggest that you join the forum at Punch! Cad Forums - Powered by vBulletin for additional assistance, if you need it?
I'm confident ViaCAD will meet your needs, with a little learning on your part.
All the best, Martin.
Thanks. I have joined the forum, but is now just waiting to be activated.
I have worked through the first 3 tutorials and all goes well so far. So far everything makes sense. So let,s hope for the best.
Do you perhaps know if a user manual is available in pdf format to download?
Thanks, I found it. I just saved a copy and will use it now when necessary.
I am now almost halfway through the tutorials and I must say I am extremely pleased. The interface is very easy to understand and not so much different from Blender in principle, although Blender is a Linux interface.
Compared to Autodesk 123D and T-Flex I must say it is not difficult to grasp the terms and principles. So far so good.
I am now off for another two days that my employer owed me (2 of several) and I am also recovering from a double knee restructure surgery I had last Monday, so now I have the opportunity to work through it.
I will not labour this thread but thanks for the advice. I will definitely recommend this software to anyone.
I have watched the tutorials right through, went to bed and after I came back from hospital, I started using the program. What an experience.Check out ViaCAD here 2D / 3D Cad Design and Drafting Software, CAD CAM Software for Mac and Windows | PunchCAD
I've had great success with this software
Th program is easier than Blender, TurboCAD, Powershape-E, T-Flex, FSDS3,5 and GMAX.
I designed the first side of my design in 2D (with two holes and a half circle cutout and with one step extruded it to a 3D model. You can roughly do anything and just type in the correct size. The snap functions are brilliant.
Not to speak about the boolean functions. You just draw the two shapes in the position you want and you use the boolean icon with two clicks: first what you want to keep and second what you want to disappear. As easy as that.
The icons make sense. I have not even once gone back to the tutorials (Believe me I will), because it is so easy. I finally found what I was looking for.
My next step will be to try to change a few shortcuts to make it even more friendly to use. You only pick up speed by knowing the program and bu using shortcuts.
What make the program a further winner is it's Windows integration. If you for example draw / design a belt sander, it is not necessary to design the pillowblock bearings of the main wheel shaft. If you have a model of it available, just drop it on your workspace (work plane) and it is there (must be compatible though like autocad). Just scale it and texture or colour it.
I know this program have less options than Blender but it is made as a CAD designer and not a movie maker.
It works fine on my Laptop and is not heavy on resources. The purchase of this software was money well spend. I will recommend it to any beginner or small scale model builder.
Thanks Martin for the advice.