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Help! CAD Software Suggestions (Again)

Which CAD would you recommend?

  • Blender

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • DoubleCAD

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    2

Inq

Well-known member
#1
I've read through many of the suggestions of CAD software on the forum and try to avoid the flaming wars like, "That CAD software sucks and why do you use that?" Many of the suggestions I can't use. Here is my situation and my requirements...

Situation
  • I come from a background where I used several high-end CAD programs on workstations professionally. None of them are available on PC.
  • For years, I've used an old version of SketchUp that Google owned (not Trimble). It has served me well and really there are very few features I miss, but there are a couple. I also have work-arounds for the few of its failings.
  • I will be teaching a course starting next month at my local public library. The main focus is for people wanting to create their own models for 3D Printing. Like many places we have all levels of wealth here. However, there are no high-paying jobs in the area and so families with children tend to be living at the "new" standard of living... near poverty as defined by the government.
Requirements
  1. It must be FREE
  2. There will be un-supervised minors in the class. It must not have a sign-up requirement. If it legal for me to sign-up and distribute it indiscriminately, that would be acceptable.
  3. We have very poor Internet availability in the area. Many households do not have it. It must not be an on-line version. It must not have a "phone-home" feature that would keep it from working on non networked computer.
  4. It must be available on Windows and Mac.
  5. It must 3D.
  6. It must support STL exporting for 3D printing.
  7. It must support importing of common standards, ie... DXF, DWG, IGES, STL
  8. Extensive Internet tutorials and public forum to ask for help on features.
  9. Probably goes without saying, but it must have Booleans (merging, intersecting bodies), fillets, chamfers. Think - creating the wing root of a scale Spitfire.
Supermarine-Spitfire-Vb-AB910-SH-F-1090x500.jpg


At the moment, these are the ones I am prepared to download, and start learning in preparation for the class. I've also added a pole to this thread, in case you don't want to reply, but do want to offer your recommendation. Any other CAD programs, I'll add if you leave a post.
  1. FreeCAD
  2. Blender

Thanks for your help.
 

Merv

Legendary member
#2
I use SketchUp, the free version, with an add on, it will make a stl file. I am beginning to learn Fusion 360, the free version, it’s far more capable than SU, also far more difficult to learn.

I have used OpenScad, if you are a programmer, this the one is for you.
 

Inq

Well-known member
#3
I use SketchUp, the free version, with an add on, it will make a stl file. I am beginning to learn Fusion 360, the free version, it’s far more capable than SU, also far more difficult to learn.

I have used OpenScad, if you are a programmer, this the one is for you.
  • The last time I checked, the free version of SketchUp is on-line only. Has that changed?
  • SketchUp - One of my biggest beef's with SketchUp is the fillets. Compared to what I've see other people do with other (Blender) fillets are brutal in SketchUp. The variable radius fillet of the wing-root would be near impossible in SketchUp.
  • Fusion 360 - Although powerful, requires an adult to sign-up for it.
  • OpenScad - Although I am a retired developer and will take a look at it for myself, the average student will not be.
 

Merv

Legendary member
#4
...The last time I checked, the free version of SketchUp is on-line only. Has that changed?...
I think I’m using a 2016 or 2017 version of SU. I believe it’s still available as a download, look in the archive section. It is a download, no other internet required after the initial download.

Hopefully others will have better solutions.
 

Piotrsko

Master member
#5
Since everyone seems to have a phone, especially poor kids, is there anything reasonable that would run on a somewhat recent phone? Blender might and file transfer can be done wifi or hotspot or even bluetooth. How many fillets does the average draftsman do? Optimally everything done off line.

In my experiences work interviews tend to be software name specific instead of skills, "no I don't have 123, I use librecalc". " (,Sorry, you don't have autodesk experience."

Edit: have a bluetooth keyboard that interfaces with everything I own via bluetooth, has a mouse pad
 
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Inq

Well-known member
#6
Since everyone seems to have a phone, especially poor kids, is there anything reasonable that would run on a somewhat recent phone? Blender might and file transfer can be done wifi or hotspot or even bluetooth. How many fillets does the average draftsman do? Optimally everything done off line.
I've seen several programs (Fusion 360...) that allow you to look at your drawings over the Internet/Cloud and make light changes mainly for collaborative, annotation type changes, but doing fine control of nodes, lines, patches and solids usually takes more fine mouse work simultaneously with keyboard keys. I may be wrong, but I can imagine using a touch based device. I've tried it on an 80" Smart Board and I wouldn't do it again. :sneaky:

In my experiences work interviews tend to be software name specific instead of skills, "no I don't have 123, I use librecalc". " (,Sorry, you don't have autodesk experience."
I haven't thought about it till you mentioned, but I don't plan on my class being college/employment training... just community volunteering to help people out so they can make 3D models for the Library's 3D Printer.
 

Inq

Well-known member
#7
I think I’m using a 2016 or 2017 version of SU. I believe it’s still available as a download, look in the archive section. It is a download, no other internet required after the initial download.
I'm still using version 7.0.10247. It was the last one that included DXF import ability. But... I'll check the 2016/17 versions out. I'll also add it to the vote thing above although I don't think people do those things. :sneaky:
 

Piotrsko

Master member
#8
i haven't thought about it till you mentioned, but I don't plan on my class being college/employment training... just community volunteering to help people out so they can make 3D models for the Library's 3D Printer.
I added a comment while you were posting a reply about my $5.99 bluetooth keyboard, haven't been in the business last 5 years so I am obviously obsolete. However with zoom and the bigscreen tv and a LOT of patience you can get really fine resolution. Unsure if your target or your hardware requires that.

Wasn't intending you to be job training, but the skills you are providing with this class are indeed that. An awareness of the arguments against is helpful.
 
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