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Looking for a CAD program

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#1 davela

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 02:39 AM

Can anyone recommend a free or very low cost CAD program capable of making decent 2-D engineering drawings? I am interested in designing some telescope elements such as machined lens cells for refractors, focusers, and similar items. I have PC's and Mac's available.

#2 Escher

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:19 AM

We use Solidedge here at work for simple stuff. Its free and has full 2D capability.


http://www.plm.autom...lidedge/free2d/

#3 John Jarosz

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:41 AM

I use Draftsight, it will work on Mac or Windows and it's free.

Draftsight

John

#4 cloudmagnet

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:10 AM

I'll second Draftsight - it's a dead ringer for AutoCad as far as 2D is concerned - files are compatible too!

#5 dugun

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 03:05 PM

Sketchup - easy to learn also.

#6 BoriSpider

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:07 AM

There is also '123D' by AutoDesk.
Also there is 'OpenScad' at openscad.org.

#7 dobby

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:37 AM

I used LibreCAD (free) on Windows and Linux for rebuilding my 16" Dobsonian.
I never printed out any drawings, but tried out a lot of possibilities and pulled off dimensions for parts.
It was invaluable for
  • Tailgate and wiffletree
  • Altitude bearings
  • Rocker sides
  • Truss tube lengths
Nick

#8 CosmicDave

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:28 PM

+1 for Draftsight. Good file compatibility and intuitive commands.

#9 allardster

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:10 PM

+1 for sketchup. I picked it up in a few evenings without previous 2d or 3d experience. Just go through a bunch of video tutorials that are online for it and try things out.

#10 JWW

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:59 PM

This was done in Sketchup.

http://www.youtube.c...channel&list=UL

http://www.youtube.c...channel&list=UL

http://www.youtube.c...channel&list=UL

-JWW:

#11 John Carruthers

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 02:20 AM

Alibre free is superb, you may have to register for a key.

#12 brave_ulysses

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:39 PM

might have a look here:

http://sourceforge.n...jects/free-cad/

#13 Chrispy

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:42 PM

Another vote for Sketchup.

http://www.sketchup....wnload/gsu.html

Chris

#14 JWW

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:25 PM

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=LKjiCVtRLvk

#15 scopemankit

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 04:56 AM

Google Sketchup! Brilliant!!

#16 Rick Huber

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:19 AM

DoubleCad XT - Great CAD program and is free - Fully compatible with ACad

#17 davela

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 04:14 PM

OK thanks a million to all of you for the insights. I'll start looking into all of these.

#18 BoriSpider

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 08:31 AM

So instead of making a new thread I'm posting in this one.

So there is a new CAD software coming out on 9/16/13.
It's free and even exports .STL's .
It's called DesignSpark Mechanical . It looks promising. Here is an article about it
at 3ders.org.

#19 BoriSpider

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 08:57 AM

And I found a video of it on YouTube.

#20 BoriSpider

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 10:42 AM

So DesignSpark Mechanical is now available for free d/l.
I thought about trying it out but you need to register w/
the website to d/l it, phone # and all.
I decided not to get it cause it looks like a glorified store
placed on your desktop wrapped in a free CAD program. It does, however,
import/export a wide range of useful file formats.

#21 BoriSpider

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 01:36 PM

Well I couldn't help my self. I d/l'ed the above ^^ program ^^.
Looks great. I just installed it(used fake info for registration.
Don't need to buy stuff from them.) and looked around.
I can post pics if I get around to modeling something.

#22 BoriSpider

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 10:51 AM

So I finally got around to messing with the tutorials in
DesignSpark Mechanical. Here is a pic a cube I made via the tut's .
So, yeah, I'm liking this CAD program. So far easy to learn
and I have only exp. in OpenScad which is very different.

#23 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 11:17 AM

If you have any educational connections, AutoCad will give you any full version that you want. These include full 2D and 3D capabilities. Printing with the educational versions is a bit more limited than with the commercial versions but not by much. Solidworks is my favorite for 3D (very pricey) but I really like AutoCad for 2D and you can't beat free for a price!
John

#24 Westseen

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 09:48 PM

+another on sketchup
The learning curve on this program is very short/fast and the operations are very intuitive.






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