CAD Programs and their usage

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CAD Programs and their usage

Postby An Ol Timer » Mon Jul 25, 2005 3:28 pm

I was wondering if, any of the many plans that are out there for sale, furnish you with actual blueprints in say .dfx format so that you may put them onto your own CAD program and make changes to suit your needs?

I have never seen any other plans, as I used my own. Over a several months period, I made 14 full (17" x 22") prints and 12 quarter sheets (8-1/2" x 11"). I used these to do my build.

It gave me the option that each time I came to a place where something just didn't work out right I could go back and bring that print up and make changes.

You can add or delete elements. You can pick up a single element, or several elements, and move them to a new location, maybe just fractions of an inch away. Then you can see if the changes has effected any of your other critical measurements.

If everything is OK then you bring that print up-to-date.

In my shop I use an old 700meg Celeron with Win XP and a $29 CAD program. (I have AutoCad, but it's overkill for small projects) The program along with a $32 Lexmark printer gives me very nice prints. A 17" x 22" print is just printed poster size in 2 x 2 landscape. The quarter size are just single sheet prints.

I know that there are others out there using CAD and doing similar things, and was also wondering what other ideas there are floating around on the forum.
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Postby Marck » Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:06 pm

Heck, I just wish I could learn to USE CAD.
I look at Mike or Andrew's CAD layouts, and have to guess. I DL'ed a few free cad proggies, but don't know step one where to do anything.
You want to build WHAT?????

40 isn't middle aged....
IT'S YOUTH PART II
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Postby Chris C » Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:15 pm

Ol Timer, I have to agree................just wish I were savvy enough to use the darned things. I did find one a little while back that I think might work really well for designing tears................just didn't have the courage to dive into it. You might be interested in looking at it.

http://www.cadstd.com/
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Postby Chris C » Mon Jul 25, 2005 6:00 pm

Ol Timer,

I was just looking at Andrew's Kampmaster drawings and lo and behold, he used the CAD program I gave you the link to. So obviously, if you know how to use it, it must be good. (has to be if Andrew uses it!) ;)
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Postby An Ol Timer » Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:44 am

Chris,

I bought CadStd Pro from John Apperson several years back. It is the CAD program that I was referring to.

I used the free version for quite a time, but then I upgraded to the Pro version.

I have designed many things with it including boats, trailers, decks, small buildings, etc. I find it to be a great little program and priced right.

John is a very interesting man.

Here is a quick read on him - http://www.cadstd.com/john.html
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Postby Chris C » Tue Jul 26, 2005 1:03 am

Okie-dokie!
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Postby angib » Tue Jul 26, 2005 4:30 pm

Learning to use CAD is quite a step and requires a bit of re-programming the way you work. Some of this relates to the particular software you may use, but a lot is universal. The difference between CAD and drawing on paper is rather like the difference between word processing and using a typewriter.

Here are four tips I made in a similar discussion some time ago:

1) It is important to understand that a CAD entity (a line, a circle, etc) is not a final product, like a line drawn on paper - there is often a good reason to draw something and then modify it - I often draw a line overlength and then correct its length afterwards. Equally you can draw construction lines that you might delete later.

2) Learn to use the 'snap' functions of your program, instead of trying to move your mouse to 1/64 inch! You will want to use both a grid (to place the end of lines on a 1" grid, for example) and individual 'snap points' (for example to make a new line start exactly on one end of an existing line). Also learn how to input dimensions when creating new entities - if you've drawn one side of a floor, you want the line for the other side of the floor to be exactly 48" (or whatever) away, not 47.637"!

3) Learn to use the parallel line function, rather than drawing each line individually. A large number of lines in a trailer are either vertical or horizontal and it's much easier to place them accurately if you create them as a new line parallel to an existing line. Some parts need to be a fixed distance from another part (for example, the inner roof from the outer roof), so you need to learn to use the command that lets you copy or offset an entity a specified distance.

4) Learn to zoom in and out while drawing (I now think a wheel mouse is essential for CAD!) so that you can position entities correctly - a pencil line on paper can never be in exactly the right place, but a CAD line can be - if you learn to put lines in the right place to start with, you will find that many functions of a CAD program work better or more easily.

And, of course like all software, load it up and start playing - don't expect to draw your final design on day one. Alternatively, consider not using CAD at all - it isn't essential, it's just a nice, sometimes efficient, tool to use.

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Postby Chris C » Tue Jul 26, 2005 4:35 pm

Andrew, you make it sound so simple........................that is, until I try to do it myself! :lol: I've learned everything I've done in my life by myself, but believe me, that's been the hard way. Just wish, for once, I could find someone to actually sit down and teach me something. I'm so computer illiterate. :frustrated: Just drives me nuts to not understand what everyone else thinks is so easy. Oh well, we all process, mentally, in different ways. I'm just slow.............but that's okay, I'm old too!! :lol:
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Postby angib » Tue Jul 26, 2005 5:32 pm

Chris C wrote:Just drives me nuts.............

Yeah, CAD is very good at doing that. CAD software programmers don't seem to think the same as other people and so the menu arrangement never seems logical - though I think that's mostly frustration talking. And then you've got the specialist terms - to do a 3D subtract in my program, I have to know what a 'subtrahend' is. Wazzatallabout?

But you must endeavour to persevere* - do you remember when backing up a car seemed hard?

Andrew

* Today's pop quiz - who said this? Get one point for the old Indian in The Outlaw Josey Wales, or ten points for Abraham Lincoln in an address to the Cherokee Nation.
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Postby surveytech » Tue Jul 26, 2005 7:33 pm

construction lines are very useful as well, just like when drawing on paper.
except you can make those lines not print when you need it.
you can create a layer and turn those on and off as well.
layers...........think layers!
offset is good to know, so is extend and trim.
draw the end of a two by four and copy and paste it where you need it.
create a block if you want.
cant live with out snap. gotta have snap. takes out the guesswork.
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Postby An Ol Timer » Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:05 pm

I use different layers for different things, usually red is my favorite for dimensions, black for hard lines and blue to set something apart. I only wish that some of the other layers in CadStd were of better colors. the gray and the yellow are almost useless. Being able to shut off layers lets you see things from a better perspective, especially as your drawing becomes more complicated.

Another feature that I use quite often is the "Include File" feature which gives me the ability to bring another CadStd drawing into one that I'm working on. As an example I drew the galley and inner cabinets separately and when done I sized them to match the Tear and then brought them in and put them in place.

Back in the late 40s, when in high school, I had to do 3 sets of mating bevel gears using good old pencil and paper. Then for a final exam, I had to do one of them in ink, showing all teeth and full dimensions.

Believe me when I say, that I'd take the crappiest CAD program over that any day.
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Postby ABXGuy » Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:40 pm

Not much help in regards to the original topic but I use CadPro 4 and am still learning the how and where of using it.

I also have AutoCAD 2000 but way to complicated to learn on your own.... some day I may take a class for that one.
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Postby Chris C » Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:01 pm

The old indian in The Outlaw Josey Wales
Chris :D

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Postby An Ol Timer » Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:30 pm

Andrew,
I'm not cheap, just very poor so I've always had a, do more with less, attitude.

It is one of the reasons that I use CadStd. I also usually use WordPad over Win XP Pro Office and MS Word.

I have a younger brother, who is an IT manager, so he sends the best, but I usually use the least. My best programs are like old shoes, well worn and comfortable.

I was looking at a couple of such programs this evening and was wondering if you had ever used either of them. I bet you have!!!!
=====================================
They are:

GRAPH PAPER PRINTER software
Copyright (C) 1998-2000 Philippe Marquis
E-mail : philimar@easynet.fr
URL : http://perso.easynet.fr/~philimar
version 4.20 - 26 feb 2000 - Freeware.

Description
-----------
Graph Paper Printer is designed to print out numerous variants
of graph papers , music manuscripts, pattern papers, and
tables with user-defined size and colors :
-Rectangular, polar, triangular, hexagonal, isometric and
axonometric diagrams
- Linear scales (metric, imperial, time, equal divisions,
customizable)
========================================
The other one is:

Cool Ruler it's free and easy to use

- Very easy to use with your existing programs.
- Measurements can be set for Inches, Pixels & Centimeters.
- Create as many rulers on your screen as you need.
- Adjust the angle of the ruler to a vertical or horizontal position.
- Works with DOS and Windows programs

http://www.fabsoft.com/products/ruler/ruler.html
=========================================

Both are free and both are Ur-op as well as Mer-kan
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Postby aussietanker » Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:28 pm

Hi all and greetings from Sydney, Australia ...

This is my first post here and am really keen on the TD concept .... it seems practical, efficient ....and really cute looking - all in the one package ....

i am trying to sort out my design direction and have started to develop a clearer direction and more definite ideas (along with lots of "how to tips" - thanks to all those that contribute to the forums knowledge base so freely :thumbsup: :applause: :applause: ) after lurking here for many months...

Recently i have attempted to try to get some of these ideas down "on paper" - via CAD based software ...somehow i stumbled accross a program called SmartDraw 7 - it seems reasonably intuitive - and and am sure that with persistance and practice i could become reasonably proficient with it ....

OK - don't laugh, but the main thing that i really like about SmartDraw is the fact that i can set it up so that it looks like the graph paper that i am so used to using from my old school days - that is, the "background" consists of little squares just like the old graph paper :)

the only problem is, i don't think that it saves your work in an ïndustry standard" format .... and this may be important to me at a later "build" stage .. so i would prefer to get to know a more widely industry accepted program like cadsts

so i then looked at some of the programs listed on thsi section of the forum ... especially alleycad and cadstd - mainly because a previous poster mentioned this....

Chris said ....

Ol Timer,

I was just looking at Andrew's Kampmaster drawings and lo and behold, he used the CAD program I gave you the link to. So obviously, if you know how to use it, it must be good. (has to be if Andrew uses it!)




my problem is ...

for the life of me i simply can't get any of these progs to show up with that "full squares graph paper" background - the best that i seem to be able to get is lots of little dots in cadstd lite ... but they are not joined into squares (which seems to be the default view in SmartDraw) ... :cry:

yet Andrews (expert looking ) graphs always seem to have these little squares in them :? :? :?

can anyone point me in the right direction please :worship:

Thanks all
Last edited by aussietanker on Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
With Kind Regards from "Down Under"
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