Affordable 3D CAD Application?

Discussion in 'Software' started by Steve S, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I'm afraid that I don't use many of the apps --- mostly just OpenSCAD and 2D vector drawing in Macromedia Freehand and Inkscape, with a bit of programming of METAPOST in lualatex, usually using the JSON from OpenSCAD so as to get a parametric design, see:

    http://community.carbide3d.com/t/cnc-finger-joint-box/8880

    If you want traditional 2D CAD, I'd be hard put to try anything other than DraftSight. (or if you want opensource, FreeCAD, brlcad, or LibreCAD) --- some folks really like AutoQ3D.

    The tools I really want to find the time to learn / use are SolveSpace: http://solvespace.com/index.pl and (if I can find the justification to spend the money) Moment of Inspiration (or Shapr3D if I get an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil).
     
  2. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    @WillAdams : Nice box render; I like the shading. A couple of quick comments in response to your suggestions:
    • I've only used DraftSight as a print interface for MoI, which curiously has no native capability in this regard. Apparently it was a trial copy, which has now expired. IIRC, DraftSight is a product of Dassault, but to what extent it might resemble Catia, I don't know. From my perspective, a Catia-like UI would certainly be OK...
    • I've also tried LibreCAD but didn't think that it was sufficiently powerful for my purposes. I haven't heard of AutoQ3D; I'll make it a point to look at it...
    • As for MoI 3.0, I confess that I'm a little conflicted about it. I originally bought it because the UI was (more or less) tailor for a tablet interface and in that regard, I think it is OK. However, the overall UI is just sufficiently different from a historical NCAD, Unigraphics or Catia UI so that I've never felt entirely comfortable with it; I keep having to look at the documentation. As a portable CAD, I'd still recommend it, but for desktop use, I've decided that I want a more traditional UI...
    • PS: MoI's strength is in solid modeling and I think it does that well. Coming from a (now ancient) wire frame to lofted (solid) surface background, I'm not as comfortable with solid modeling techniques as I would like to be. Part of this has to do with the complexity of the shapes that I'm trying to develop (think: streamlined shapes)
    Thanks for your (always) helpful comments!
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  3. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The box render is the default for what OpenSCAD does --- thank the programmers --- I'm hoping to do a Kickstarter for a book of cusotmizble CNC projects where folks suggest projects to make, and the ones selected are set up to allow one to customize them in OpenSCAD (or a website like Thingiverse), and then once one has the dimensions the system will output a file ready to cut out the parts to make the customized project.

    My understanding is Draftsight is free to use (might have to renew the license annually as one must for Autodesk Fusion 360 for startups and hobbyist folks who are earning less than $100 thousand per year.)

    If you like old-school CAD though, you really should try brlcad.
     
  4. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...If you like old-school CAD though, you really should try brlcad...>>

    ...OK; another for the list!
     
  5. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    doobiedoobiedum likes this.
  6. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    OK OK... my first experience working in digital art was an early version of 3D studio but I never comfortably made the transition when it went "Max." Funnily enough, it was when it was being developed for the US military as an early visualiser / simulator.

    Been a while but I want to try CAD again. Might give this a serious try, I've hated some 3D modelling software - can't always work the interface.

    Lovely little program, does things that Illustrator can't do but it's very flaky with large files. It writes a strange version of the .svg format which other software can't always open. It's fin if you save your vector files in a .pdf because Illustrator will open them just fine.

    (especially if you simply change the .pdf to .ai)
     
  7. carnageX12

    carnageX12 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    So is MoI3d still working out? I went to the website and looks like v3 is still the current release, although there looks to be a v4 beta in their forums, and looking at this thread v3 was released almost 5 years ago. I have mostly experience with Solidworks (expensive now that not in school), Fusion360 (constant internet connection), and FreeCAD (odd UI choices), but looking for something better.
     
  8. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...So is MoI3d still working out?..>>

    @carnageX12 : MoI Ver 3 works OK but as I commented here and elsewhere, I found the UI to be, not bad, but unfamiliar since I was coming from a more traditional UI. I could make MoI do what I wanted, but I kept finding myself referring to Help because I didn't remember the tool command syntax. A couple of years ago, I decided to buy TurboCAD, and I find that much more familiar and therefore more comfortable. Of course, that means that I'm back to keyboard and mouse, but I'm OK with that.

    I still use MoI when I'm out and about and I can't or don't want to break out a desktop. If it appeals to you, I wouldn't get distracted by Version 4. The developer works at his own pace and it could be a long time before he declares Version 4 "finished." In the meantime, Version 3 will do pretty much anything you want within reason. @WillAdams and others have cited several other CAD packages in this thread, and several of them are worth a look. There's no need to pay a $2000+ yearly subscription for a decent CAD package!

    PS: See the most recent couple of pages of this thread for some discussion about SketchUp and MoI. After looking a bit at SketchUp, I have to say that I'm intrigued, but I'm also put off by the $600+ price tag for the full app.

    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/threads/zbook-x2-just-announced.73074/page-2

    (Note that I view most recent posts first, not last, so scroll in the thread accordingly.)
     
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