View Full Version : Good cad SW??

Kerry Pinkerton
03-23-2004, 04:54 AM
I need some software to do basic CAD and drawings, primarily drawings. Something SIMPLE....and cheap (or better yet free).


03-23-2004, 06:05 AM
Try Turbo CAD, they have a website, www. IMSI.com.
I think that some of the older versions you can get for FREE.
Key CAD and others are available Free or cheap.
So many think that Auto CAD is the king. It is the baby compared to some of the programs that industry and design use.
Programs like Micro Station beat the best of Auto CAD but have a price per module.
I am not a CAD expert but have found that some of the Free and Cheap programs are easier to use and don't have a big learning curve. I feel if a 29 dollar CAD program can run a CNC machining center and keep tight specs its good enuff.
The other thing I look for is the ability to swap files. With Turbo CAD I can create a file and send it off to someone with Auto CAD and Microstaion and others. I can also recieve files from them in their formats with no problems.
For whatever reason Auto CAD doesn't like Micro Station and other hi end programs. I find it nice that I can swap files with the big boyz.
Turbo CAD is so simple to use, you don't need instructions, you can be drawing parts in minutes. I use it to make patterns and print them, then glue them to the metal and drill and cut to the lines. It does get rid of a lot of trial and error when making a part. Far easier to print a paper mockup then to scrap a piece of metal.
Try it You'll like it


03-23-2004, 07:03 AM
Try Turbo CAD, they have a website, www. IMSI.com.
I think that some of the older versions you can get for FREE.

I absolutely loved version 2. Great program for 2d drawings, it is still my favorite if I need to do a quick layout sketch.

Some versions have had trouble with line intersections.

I mean, you lay out something and where two lines intersect is the point you want to draw from. Common situation, that's why they have that "snap to intersection" tool in the toolbox. Problem was some versions don't "see" an intersection between a line and an arc.

Also in version 7, I was building a stair that had to have 10 steps.
So I draw 11 equidistant lines parallel to the ground (very easy in turbocad) and a diagonal top to bottom at the desired angle for the stringer.

I then went to check the length from tread top to tread top using the intersection snap to define the points to measure from.
The numbers should all have been the same, but they came out reading like a random number generator in the 4th place.
That came out as almost a sixteenth inch difference.
I was lucky I checked. A single sixteenth you might live with, but if I had taken that 10 times, I would not have been happy.

If you are relying on the intersection snap for precise dimensions, double check them.


03-25-2004, 05:18 AM
I picked up TurboCad Designer 2D/3D Version 9.1, at Staples, for about $30. It works well for layouts, and design. It also includes designer, which allows you to layout a floor plan, including furniture. I haven't tried it out yet, but may give it a shot in designing my new workshop, when I move this summer.


Richard K
03-25-2004, 10:00 AM

I have been using Turbocad for (well forever). It is a full featured package. Start with their free download and work up from there.

Richard K

01-21-2005, 01:29 PM
Kerry, I would ask around for a copy of 2001 Solid Works. Its outdated bigtime now, but still is a very powerful, and simple CAD software. If you can use AutoCAD, your overqualified for SW. Plus SW is way more intuative than any other CAD software that i've used. Heres a link to a post i did on a Porsche forum. http://forums.pelicanparts.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=188209 Half way down, one member "BurnsBros" made a Porsche 914-6 oil tank, and i made the 911 oil tank below that. If you have any questions about SW feel free to drop me an email. BigD9146gt@yahoo.com.

BRENT in 10-uh-C
01-22-2005, 04:40 AM
I'm with Kerry on this. I too would like to own a simple (first) and cheap (second) program that I could layout something and then use it to lay out a buck or tool.

I looked at www.imsisoft.com for their older version but I only sawa free download for Version 10.2. Is this the one you are referring too?

Also, I know what 2d and 3d is in "movie language" :lol: but what is the difference in the "drawing world"?? :oops:

01-22-2005, 05:32 AM
Brent, the difference between 2D and 3D is the ability to model in the X,Y, and Z axis. The solid model or 3D model can then be used to generate 2D views and sections. With a 2D drawing package all of the separate views would be created one view at a time.

Basically the 3D model has all of the necessary info to create all the detail drawings, and often the info to drive the manufacturing/tooling.

2d requires that all of the info is created in each view, not bad for planer layouts and printed circuits, but very complex when working on an assembly or objects with shape.

Here are two screen shots of the same model in 2D and 3D form.
The 2d show three basic views, each of these views would be projected and drawn induvidually with a 2D package. To get actual surface data say for creating a buck of the fuel tank, many more views would have to be rotated/projected and drawn.

With the 3d model I can go into the modeling package and create sections in any orientation imaginable and place them in the drawing, or just send the data straight to the tooling to cut a die or router out buck stations. There is still some work involved with these processes, but not nearly as tedious as creating each individual view. :roll:

Les Edmundson


01-22-2005, 06:55 AM
I need some software to do basic CAD and drawings, primarily drawings. Something SIMPLE....and cheap (or better yet free).



Maybe you could post a photo of an example of the type of part you want to document/design. With that perhaps some would be willing to post examples of models/drawings of similar pieces to help sort out which software suits your needs.


01-22-2005, 12:34 PM
Here are some opensource (aka free) CAD programs. I have no idea how good bad or otherwise they are. But the price is certainly right:

BRL-CAD (http://brlcad.org/): The BRL-CAD package is a powerful Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) solid modeling system. BRL-CAD includes an interactive geometry editor, ray tracing support for rendering and geometric analysis, network distributed framebuffer support, image-processing and signal-processing tools. The entire package is distributed in source code form.

FreeCAD (http://free-cad.sourceforge.net/): FreeCAD is an Open Source CAx RAD based on OpenCasCade, QT and Python. It features some key concepts like Macro recording, Workbenches, ability to run as a server and dynamically loadable Application extensions and it is designed to be platform independent...

01-23-2005, 12:31 PM
Hi Kerry and others,

While reading this post I had a thought. Perhaps there is an opportunity for some bartering between the CAD literate and others.

I have used Turbo CAD and it worked fine for me. I found I was less interested in learning the software well enough to really take advantage of it. I am speaking for myself and I find I already have enough distractions keeping me out of the shop.

01-23-2005, 05:55 PM
That's a good idea. Kerry if you do need anything drawn up let me know. I'd be glad to help.


01-24-2005, 04:31 AM
I can help with the drawings, too.


01-28-2005, 09:05 AM
I have the latest solidworks and autocad from my job. I am mostly an autocad guy but love solidworks.
here is the best deal. solidworks offers SOLIDWORKS PE (personal edition) for FREE. they do this to get people familiar with their product. contact a local solidworks value added dealer and they will have the discs to give you.
I have all the discs for solidworks and for autocad from 2000 to current that I would not mind making you copies of but you would need to come up with the registration or licence info on your own as I wont give out the companies info. there are pirate software out there that will analize a program and come up with generic software key


12-08-2005, 01:13 AM
shoot me a pm to solve that last little problem from the last post.


12-08-2005, 10:34 AM
Check out Master Cam Draft ver 10 $150.00 will do full 3D wire frame(no sold modeling) pretty easy to learn excellent tech support DXF IGS DWG and step conversion files
Dave Coffey

Renee n Jerry Conrad
12-08-2005, 07:52 PM
Kerry, I once downloaded minos cad, a freeware 3-D cad program. I never played with it much but it seemed pretty intuitive. It's still free and available along with lot of other related freeware, turbo cad lite is there too. http://freeware.intrastar.net/cadsoftware.htm

I'll pass your nice compliment on to Dad, it's like pulling teeth to get him to actually sit down and get involved in posting something here. (This is way better than he does anywhere else online - except shopping!) He is doing more than I ever thought he would online though and I appreciate everyone encouraging him when he does post! I am pressing him to take pictures of basic setups in the machine shop and do some tutorials on basic operations with the mill, lathe, surface grinder and such. I'll upload and type it in if he'll just take the pics. Wow - am I off topic here or what!?



12-08-2005, 08:04 PM

I, for one, would really appreciate and learn from anything else the Conrad master(s) could post and write up.

I find it interesting and seem to learn from lots of pictures since so much of the jargon (true now a days with almost any topic) is so new and nove.

Thanks for all you both have posted so far.

12-09-2005, 05:03 AM
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12-09-2005, 08:03 AM
If anyone needs any 3d drawings made up, let me know. Being a student, I have UG nx3 on my laptop, along with solidedge, inventor and I have access to anything else that anyone would need at school. UG is great for everything, solidedge is ok for everything, but assemblies are hard, and Inventor is amazing for animation of assemblies! Let me know if anyone needs anything and I'll see what I can do!