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Martin - RAM Models07/11/2012 08:47:57
84 forum posts

I am looking to restart designing my own near scale models and rather than sitting with pencil and paper in front of me I am looking at learning CAD.
Can anyone offer advice on programmes, reading material to learn the subject and general advice etc etc.
I have done a bit of reading on other forums and I am starting to narrow down the programmes which appeal for ease of use and also cost but would be interested to hear thoughts from users on this forum.
Many thanks in advance
Danny Fenton07/11/2012 09:16:41
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9198 forum posts
4044 photos

Hi Martin, I did an online course with a scale modeller in the States, Gary Hethcote. The recordings of the session are for sale if you are interested. It covered the basics assuming you knew nothing right up to designing a model, in 2D. Not free but tailored exactly to what a modeller would need to know...

The Software was TurboCAD which was perfectly acceptable.

Be warned its addictive.

Cheers

Danny

IanN07/11/2012 09:35:13
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1675 forum posts
119 photos

Good q. I'm in the midst of writing a piece on this very subject. Pretty much penned, just sorting out how to illustrate it

TurboCAd gets good feedback from users. Draftsight and SolidEdge are two other fully specified free 2D applications

The really big advantage for the beginner of the industry leader, Autocad, is there is a massive wealth of books and reference material available, much of it v cheaply indeed on Amazon, Ebay etc. You can also pick up earlier versions of Autocad LT (2D) quite reasonably but there is an element of "buyer beware". You don't have to trawl far on the web to find tales from people who have bought 2nd hand copies, then tried to register after installation (necessary to keep then programme working) only to have Autodesk - who guard their EULA rights fiercely - refuse to play ball. Its a complex subject and rulings varies from country to country. Earlier versions - certainly up to 2004, maybe 2005 - where the reg code is included on the box (before Autodesk introduced their online license reg system) should work fine and will be all you need. Bottom line is exercise same level of care as you would when buying any other used item, and use a vendor who accepts responsibility and returns in the event of any problem

GrahamC07/11/2012 09:52:20
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1233 forum posts
196 photos

Draftsight and youtube!

It's interesting Ian that you make mention of books for learnig software. I think that is something which very much belongs to people of my generation and older. [ I'm in my 40's] I've watched my son master google sketchup by the time he was about 14, to the point where he was teaching the design teachers at school how to do things. He has more recently become fairly proficient with programming in C++ and he never once looked at a book. He got it all from youtube!

I've recently moved most of my designing from DoubleCad to Draftsight, although I still use both. Both are free. DoubleCad is MUCH better at printing, and produces very accurate tiled plans, but that is really all I use it for now. Draftsight is probably easier when sketching out a design. It's also better supported by youtube videos, and so it is relatively easy to find out how to do something you are struggling with.

I have wondered about starting a Draftsight thread here [I've not checked to see if there is one] but iI know there are a number of users who use this forum I thought it might be a way of helping one another become more proficient.

Martin - RAM Models07/11/2012 10:21:15
84 forum posts

An interesting point you make about guide books being a generation thing Graham.

Some of the programmes I am looking at have guide books available for purchase others don't and that is something that could potentially be a contributing factor in my decision.

Interesting that TurboCAD was mentioned early on as that is one of the candidates.

Olly P07/11/2012 10:32:55
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3215 forum posts
181 photos

I use a combination of books and online help for all PC related stuff - I'm quite proficient in Excel, programming macros and so on to simplify my everyday jobs, but if I get stuck I'll search online then check my textbooks. some of the more obscure commands aren't written about online, but do appear in the text, some are the other way round!

Stefan Hafner07/11/2012 11:42:18
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382 forum posts
15 photos

I use ProEngineer, but thats mainly becuase I got it while I was a student (not sure how much a licence actually is) but its superb, as it does full mass modeling, that way you knw how ur model will balance and how much it will weigh,we got within about 5% accuracy for planes at uni.

I would say though that unless u have a huge amount of patience (and maybe a spare monitor cheeky for when it drives u mad) stick with the easier programs as it isn't the friendliest to use.

Andy Green07/11/2012 11:46:43
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2279 forum posts
67 photos
2 articles

I use DevCad, works well.

I have the course from Gary, and its very good, and the differences between DevCad & Turbo cad aren't noticable.

I think you can download a sample to see if youlike the style.

Andy

Greybeard07/11/2012 13:11:55
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726 forum posts
6 photos
Posted by Andy Green on 07/11/2012 11:46:43:

I use DevCad, works well.

I have the course from Gary, and its very good, and the differences between DevCad & Turbo cad aren't noticable.

I think you can download a sample to see if youlike the style.

Andy

You can download a sampler. It's worth playing with as the 3D viewing option is useful.

bouncebounce crunch07/11/2012 13:35:29
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1739 forum posts
212 photos

Are you asking about James Hewitt? well i will tell you about that mongrel, he was a dirty rotten scoundrel, bitten by fleas, and ridden by more jockeys than that horse that never won a race, he chewed tobbacco when others chewed gum, but never one to let his side down at any local cricket match, twas his turn to bowl, he bit the side off the ball which turned out to be an apple and bowled it to the Australian, the batsman strode forward and was clean bowled by a new bowling technique "The Strudler" used for the first time and we hope this was the only ocurrants.

Plummet07/11/2012 13:44:40
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1401 forum posts
41 photos

You might have a look at Free CAD for Linux

Even if you have to use Windows, you may be able to use some of them.

Plummet

Edited By Plummet on 07/11/2012 13:46:19

Edited By Plummet on 07/11/2012 13:47:16

IanN07/11/2012 13:52:09
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1675 forum posts
119 photos
Posted by bouncebouncecrunch on 07/11/2012 13:35:29:

he bit the side off the ball which turned out to be an apple and bowled it to the Australian, the batsman strode forward and was clean bowled by a new bowling technique "The Strudler" used for the first time and we hope this was the only ocurrants.

There's just no raisining with some people

WolstonFlyer07/11/2012 16:16:56
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2104 forum posts
189 photos

Have you had a look at SketchUp8, it is free and can do complex 2D drawings and 3D models

kc07/11/2012 19:05:58
6052 forum posts
169 photos

Well i dont suppose you will listen to me if you have made your mind up to spend lots of time learning CAD.............but I bet I could design a model using a pencil and drawing board quicker than you can learn CAD! Probably have my model designed before you even worked your way around the built in faults in TurboCad! And my drawing will be fullsize without any printing errors.

I find it's much more enjoyable with paper & pencil than staring at a computer screen for hours. More enjoyable with less eyestrain & frustration.

But it's your life & your choice.

Herri07/11/2012 19:27:30
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491 forum posts
695 photos

Very interesting!

I too have been looking at CAD for some time. I remember reading, that files made with Sketchup couldnt be used to laser cut ribs for example. You had to have them converted. Is this the case with Turbocad?

I see a great advantage of say having a set of ribs cut by laser. Anyone know?

Thanks

Herri

Danny Fenton07/11/2012 20:07:01
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9198 forum posts
4044 photos

Hi Herri, You can laser cut from Turbocad files.

The problem with learning these CAD packages, certainly by You Tube or books, is that they are based on engineering, or architectural stuff. And you have to wade through tons of irrelevent information. They are not aimed at the modeller. The reason I suggested Gary's course was because it is written by and delivered by a model designer. So you don't spend hours learning about stuff that you (modeller) will never use.

I agree KC you could probably sketch out a plan on paper quicker, but if that model was to be super accurate and involve overlaying photographs and 3 views to check for errors then the computer will probably come into play anyway. And when you do have the required skills you do get quicker at doing it.

Cheers

Danny

Herri08/11/2012 18:01:13
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491 forum posts
695 photos

Thanks Danny,

I had a quick look at that course, looks good.

Cheers

Herri

Martyn K08/11/2012 18:14:33
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4977 forum posts
3624 photos

Hi Herri

I tried SolidEdge but since moved to DraftSight which was far more (to me) inuitive. I printed off the 180 page 'Getting Started' guide and worked through that as a tutorial. I agree with Danny that its not all relevant to modelling but still useful stuff. One thing I really liked about DraftSight is the ability to underlay 3 views and simply 'draw' round the outline then scale up to whatever size suits.

I agree with KC that pencil drawing may be quicker, but when I screw up my CAD produced drawing, I can simply correct and reprint (usually using tiled A4 paper). It is also very satisfying when you get it right.. To me it is just another skill to help in this diverse hobby of ours.

It is worth persevering with.

Martyn

kc08/11/2012 19:42:11
6052 forum posts
169 photos

Martyn, a rubber is an essential accessory with my type of drawing! Saves paper, save trees!

Martin - RAM Models14/11/2012 21:52:17
84 forum posts

And there is highlighted the wonderfull thing about our hobby something for everyone. Rubber or not

I love drawing with pencil and paper and for a while yet will be continuing to do so. I have some exciting plans I want to draw and really have the bug to crack on with them. At the same time though I also see the advantages of CAD and will learn the task. I think its TurboCAD for me. A reasonable price, I like the idea of the course which Danny mentions and I think this weekend some money will be spent and we will be setting off on learning a new skill. Wtahc this space as they say.

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