FREE 2D CAD (Solid edge) - Page 2

1. Here's a screenshot of the option box at the top of the screen when you draw a line.

You can specify the length and angle here before you draw the line.

2. Originally Posted by hq308
Specifying exact dimensions is easy, you enter the dimensions in the box at the top of the screen as you draw and you can also enter change the dimension after it is drawn by using the 'smart dimension' tool. Spend a few minutes doing the built in tutorial and it should make it a bit easier to work out.
Thanks for the info.

How about for positioning an element (such as the center of a circle) to specific coordinates?

3. Originally Posted by doorknob
Thanks for the info.

How about for positioning an element (such as the center of a circle) to specific coordinates?
I'm not aware of a way to actually specify the coordinates but at the same time I'm not sure that you would actually need that as there are many ways to accurately place an element. For example say you already had a circle drawn and you wanted to draw another 3cm over on the x axis and 2 cm up on the y axis, first use the line tool and hover over the first circle so the the centre highlights and you draw a line from the centre 3cm along the x axis then another of the end of that 2cm along the y axis and position the centre of the second circle on the end of the line.

There are many other ways to do it but it all depends on what you've got in the drawing to guide you. If you look at some of the options in the "Draw" section of the ribbon you'll see they have an arrow next to them which gives you different options, for example with the circle command you have the standard option of circle by centre but you can also do a circle by 3 points or a tangent circle as well as oval shapes by clicking the arrow.

It's probably also worth playing with the settings under grid options. Click on the drop down next to the grid (see below) and select grid options. Make sure 'Show readouts' is selected and you'll see the coordinates as you draw and 'Snap to grid' helps if you're trying to position something at an intersection of the grid. Changing the setting in 'minor spaces per major' can help too.

4. Originally Posted by hq308
I'm not aware of a way to actually specify the coordinates but at the same time I'm not sure that you would actually need that as there are many ways to accurately place an element.
Thanks for the detailed explanation.

The problem that I was having was that I wanted to lay out the drawing for a bracket that has twenty holes to be drilled, with three different drill/hole diameters, each with precisely-known coordinates (with the ability to show or hide the dimensions on a printout, and maybe also the capability of using the drawing as input to a CAM program that would automate the drilling and tool changes). Having a way to quickly specify the coordinates for each circle would be a huge time saver (over constructing each of the coordinates by relative reference to some fixed location).

I had expected that entering the coordinates manually would be a trivial operation, but was surprised to find out that apparently it was not.

5. Hi Doorknob,

I too am surprised by the apparent lack of a co-ordinate system. Draftsight has it, Alibre has it, my cam software has it, etc.

I just tried a workaround. Create a vertical and horizontal line to represent your X & Y axis and put these on a separate layer. Lock these in place with the lock button (not the dimension lock button). Assuming all your holes are the same size, draw one circle and dimension it. Now do copy and paste, click the paste button for the number of holes you want. All the copies are placed directly on top of each other so it looks like there are no copies being created but they are there.

Now just drag all these (already dimensioned) copies to approx locations in the part then dimension them from your "X & Y axis". I reckon this is just as quick as manually entering XY co-ordinates and size for each circle. That's like a modified Draftsight / Autocad style drawing method but easier to do (at least I think so).

Now you could delete the XY lines or just make a DXF from the main sketching layer.

What do you reckon.

Keith.

6. It might be worth a try. I guess that I need to make a decision soon and concentrate on one drawing tool.

I haven't really needed a 2D CAD package in the past, so up to this point I have only kicked the tires of both SolidEdge and DraftSight without really learning either package in any depth.

However now that I have some big iron machines ready to go into my garage it looks like I need to get serious about choosing a tool to get some real work accomplished, and so I am going to have to pay a lot more attention to the suitability of those tools (or others) to the specific kinds of work that I expect to get done. It helps to have a "driving problem" to guide your learning, otherwise you have no particular reason to choose one set of capabilities over another.

7. Doorknob,

my personal advice is go with SolidEdge. This is thinking towards the future. SolidEdge is closer to Alibre Design, Draftsight is an eternity away from it. If you are ready to fork out the \$200 later on, Alibre will be easier to learn than if you had been using Draftsight. Then later on again you have other options: Alibre Professional for about \$1k I think or Alibre Expert (I want that) for between \$1600 & \$2k. SolidEdge 3D is \$5300 at the moment but it has something called Synchronous Technology which I get the impression makes models a lot easier to make and modify (according to what I've read) than Alibre or Solidworks. This like I say is looking down the track but why re-learn later on, may as well set the seeds now.

Join the SolidEdge (at Seimens or PLM or whatever it is) forum too, and there's probably more websites out there with forums that have a SolidEdge section.

Good luck with your choice whichever way you go.

I've sent you a PM by the way. Got something to ask you after reading your last post.

Keith.

8. Hi Hq308,

Doorknob to add to what I said earlier, you could use the snap to grid to position the X & Y lines exactly on zero, then with show readouts ticked that's great for getting your circles almost exactly where you need them before dimensioning them to the exact co-ordinates.

Also noticed a couple more buttons with the grid options button (this is getting me excited). One of them is to relocate the origin of the grid and this could be helpful for a second sketch - you could place the grid origin somewhere else, like at the bottom left corner of another sketch then you don't have to do offset co-ordinates for the 2nd sketch.

Keith

9. Hi, what can this free 2d drafting export as, file types.
Thanks, keith.

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