Author Topic: Best 3-D CAD Software?  (Read 2483 times)

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Offline Peaky 556

Best 3-D CAD Software?
« on: March 23, 2016, 08:15:47 PM »
Can anyone give advice on a suitable CAD package for a beginner in 3-D?
I have an AppleMac to load it on.
Thanks, Tim

Offline Richard T

Re: Best 3-D CAD Software?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 09:10:23 PM »
Autodesk 3D design, it's free to download from Autodesk's site and there are tutorials on Youtube

Offline Richard T

Re: Best 3-D CAD Software?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2016, 09:12:57 PM »
Sorry it's called Autodesk 123D Design

Offline Peaky 556

Re: Best 3-D CAD Software?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2016, 10:38:52 AM »
Thanks Richard. Will it suit a Mac, and will I need anything other than a mouse, eg rollerballs or touch pads?
Tim

Offline Richard T

Re: Best 3-D CAD Software?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2016, 12:44:04 PM »

Offline Alan

Re: Best 3-D CAD Software?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2016, 06:41:59 AM »
Any suggestions Linux users?

LibreCad is sort of OK (ish) for 2D on a Linux platform but don't know of anything for 3D; expecially with good documentation.

Offline Gavin_B

Re: Best 3-D CAD Software?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2016, 09:42:33 AM »
I use freecad http://freecadweb.org/ on linux mint.

documentation can be a bit sketchy but there are good youtube guides.  Have used it to make etches and 3d printing for making masters for resin casting.

Gavin

Offline Peaky 556

Re: Best 3-D CAD Software?
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2016, 11:13:54 PM »
Hmmm... Auto desk site seems to charge £79 pa but this might be for some special premium support deal. Confusing ???? Reviews are not good.  For that price I can buy Turbocad outright for my Mac. Any thoughts on that?
Thanks, Tim

Offline IanT

Re: Best 3-D CAD Software?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2016, 10:52:33 AM »
I think I've mentioned before that I am a long time TurboCAD user Tim - ever since TC Deluxe V4 (not sure how long that is). I've upgraded through several versions since and I am now on TC/DL v15.

My use has been primarily 2D but TCDL is quite capable of 3D and I have dabbled with it recently.

My general view is that any serious CAD package is probably going to take most people quite a bit of investment in time and effort to get to the point where it is "easy" to use. Part of this is just not usng the 'tools' but also developing personal standards and methods of work (which will also tend to reflect the system you are using). So in terms of using the tools - it took me a while to figure out how 'snaps' really worked for instance. Then once I had the 'tools' figured out (e.g. just using the software correctly) there was another period where I had to start thinking about/learning how to use them consistently - for instance how to use 'layers' in my designs and what standards to adopt and stick to..  grouping, labels, dimensioning, scale/metrics, use of colour, file management/naming/versions/sub-versions, 1st/3rd projection etc...

In my view, moving to 3D (from 2D) needs another (very large) step up in the way you approach a drawing (you need to think very differently about constructing it) - instead of planning/drawing 'flat' outlines - you have to start thinking immediately in terms of 3D basic 'blocks' that wil get joined together, cut, shaped and modified. You need to be aware at all times what 'plane' you are operating on and how the perspective 'view' might be effecting this. This might simply be because of TC's 2D heritage - I don't know because I've not used other 3D CADs extensively.

I think there is one other point worth mentioning in relation to this. Although I can now 'design' in 3D (at least at a basic level) - I still prefer to draw in 2D. Again, some might think this is because of deficiencies in TurboCAD (and maybe it is) but I suspect it's probably more about the abilities and preferences of the 'user'. Before I ever started with CAD, I drew everything with paper and pencil and somehow 2D CAD still seems a more comfortable approach to me. CAD systems that have been designed to be 3D from the outset may well help with this. I don't know and currently have no plans to research any 3D alternatives. My plans are generally quite simple in nature and TC 2D is more than good enough for my current needs, indeed it has abilities I've never needed or explored.

So my advice is to take your time and think carefully about what you need to do with your CAD system (and why) and then (once you've picked a system) invest the necessary time to learn it well. This is what I've done with TC over the years and I'm not planning to change my CAD in the foreseeable future.

Hope his helps.

Regards,

IanT
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline IanT

Re: Best 3-D CAD Software?
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2016, 11:17:05 AM »
This simple module design was originally drawn using TurboCAD DLv15 in 2D and later modified using TCs 3D capabilities. I wouldn't use this to actually build one but it does (I think) help to visualise the concept to others a little better than just the 2D drawings...

Regards,

IanT
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline Peaky 556

Re: Best 3-D CAD Software?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2016, 01:38:00 PM »
Thank you Ian for the long and considered reply, much appreciated.
I think I do have some local expertise on TurboCAD, and this is probably the route I shall take.
Interesting that you are on V15, which I assume is for a Windows OS? The highest version I have yet seen for a Mac is V9.  Does this indicate that the Mac versions are generally less capable I wonder... Or instead that the latest of each version are pretty well of similar capability but they started the Mac version sometime afterwards..?????
Regards, Tim

Offline IanT

Re: Best 3-D CAD Software?
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2016, 04:51:39 PM »
I'm not sure you can read anything too much into the numbers Tim - as the 'versions' didn't necessarily come out annually. The version on sale last year was v20 (for the PC) but I noticed they are now advertising a "2016" version...

I purchased my v15 from Amazon some while ago and the (then) current version was v18 - but I paid about £18 (inc postage) for it and also got a printed manual with the boxed CD. As long as you check that the version will support your OS, I don't think it matters too much. There are so many 'features' available that most casual users are unlikely to ever fully utilise them all I suspect. So it's worth checking for a slightly older version on Amazon I think (wouldn't suggest eBay though...) 

As another suggestion Tim - have a look at the excellent Paul (The Cad) Tracy tutorials on YouTube. They will give you a very good insight into how TC 3D actually works (when used by an expert) and they are also extremely good at getting you off on the "right track" to begin with. It's very easy to get into bad habits if you try to self-learn - habits that will cause you real issues later as you progress.... (as I know only too well I'm afraid).

See:  https://www.youtube.com/user/paulthecadtracey/videos

Regards,

IanT
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline Moonraker

Re: Best 3-D CAD Software?
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2016, 12:40:14 AM »
For designing model buildings I find there is nothing to beat Sketchup; that's what it was originally designed for. However, for designing locomotive and rolling stock components for 3D printing I prefer 123D Design which does a better job of handling complex curves and assembling components.

Both are free.

Regards
Peter Lucas
MyLocoSound
Peter Lucas