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Author Topic: Easiest CAD Software to learn?  (Read 1635 times)

RichM

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Easiest CAD Software to learn?
« on: May 22, 2023, 10:13:25 am »


Ive got myself a Creality Halot Lite resin 3D Printer, finally! Along with the Wash and Cure station.
To say im loving it is an understatement!! Ive been on it for a week solid now and printed off enough stuff to kit out two 1/16th Fishing boats im currently building.
Ive around 300 parts all 'Sliced' in Lychee and ready to print so far.
What i'd like to know, Is i'd like to draw up a few bits myself but I am a complete novice where CAD software is concerned.
Is there something out there that is easy to use and learn?
I've tried TinkerCAD and dont like it as its Cloud based. Id like something that I can have on the laptop at all times that doesnt need the web ideally.
Microsoft 3D Builder?
Thanks in advance.
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Stumps

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Re: Easiest CAD Software to learn?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2023, 11:51:26 am »

I'm currently using FreeCad, which is a free and open source. There are a lot of tutorials on youtube and as a complete novice I've managed to create several items for my tug. It's well worth a look.
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Andyn

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Re: Easiest CAD Software to learn?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2023, 12:44:42 pm »

Fusion 360, by far the best free software you can get with endless tutorial videos on YouTube
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Damien Mac

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Re: Easiest CAD Software to learn?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2023, 11:19:37 am »

+1 For Fusion 360 , pretty easy to get to grips with, Use it to teach my son CAD Cam. (home edu) I use for both 3d printing and on my small cnc router..
Free licence needs renewing each year but its trouble free and cloud based. you can save you work cloud and locally.
You can have 10 models/drawing open at a time on free licence. No issue as just just set the ones not being use to read only till you need to work on them, Thats how we did it till we got our education licence (free also)
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Umi_Ryuzuki

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Re: Easiest CAD Software to learn?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2023, 05:19:57 pm »

I would also recommend Fusion 360.
Free for the hobbyist, not the trial... Free for the Hobbyist.  ok2
I did a quick tutorial for a bollard, and recommend Kevin Kennedy's tutorials on YouTube.
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=51312135&postcount=21
 
Other options might be
  • Onshape
  • SketchUP
  • Tinkercad - (simple)
  • Solidworks
  • Blender
Not sure Solidworks or Blender have a free to use option, butI have seen really great work by artiists using the software.
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ddmckee54

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Re: Easiest CAD Software to learn?
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2023, 11:06:49 pm »

Whatever CAD package you decide on, you need to look carefully at the licensing structure.

Fusion 360 is an Autodesk product, it will periodically need to phone home to mother and see if you are still allowed to use it.  If you are using it regularly this will be no problem.  If on the other hand you are like me, there are periods of heavy usage then maybe several weeks of no usage, Autodesk can and will disable your account due to inactivity.  DAMHIK!  Most of the "Free" software packages will do this if you don't check in often enough, and this now includes Designspark 3D.

Most "perpetual" licenses, even the paid licenses, will require you to check in with the head office - to be sure you're still on the nice list and not on the naughty list.  I think ProgeCAD is one of the few software packages that doesn't do this, but it's a paid "perpetual" license.  If I understand their licensing structure it works like this:
1) You buy the "perpetual" license, I think this is about $400USD - and they even allow you to install that license on up to two machines.  AND it's yours - forever, truly a perpetual license.
2) You have the OPTION of purchasing an annual maintenance package, not sure what that cost is but at the time I was checking into the licensing it didn't seem unreasonable.  This will give you each and every upgrade that comes along, provided you keep buying the annual package.  If you opt NOT to do this, you still have a perpetual license, at what ever the revision level was when you purchased the license.
3) If, 1, 5, 10, or whatever revision levels later you decide you'd like to upgrade to get more/better features, you pay a one-time upgrade fee and you're upgraded to the latest revision. I think the upgrade fee is the same as the annual maintenance fee.  You don't have to pay for each revision level, unlike some other software packages.
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Martin (Admin)

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Re: Easiest CAD Software to learn?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2023, 11:09:27 pm »


I tinkered with TinkerCAD for many years.
It is very limited but you can find some users on Utube doing amazing things with it!
( https://youtu.be/ouDhFvJSvx4?si=9wXEPFX17MChs2Ad )


I'm currently redesigning my ring light / camera holder in Tinkercad ... and although Free and very simple to use Tinkercad
.... it is very basic and I'm struggling aligning objects and fixing measurements.

I did try to learn a more comprehensive CAD at the beginning of Covid Lockdown
..... but it's such a steep learning curve and just sort of gave up .... {:-{



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ddmckee54

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Re: Easiest CAD Software to learn?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2023, 04:18:28 pm »

If you haven't taken a look at Designspark3D you might want to.  You might find it a little less daunting than the other 3D CAD packages.  For years I used it, it's less powerful than Fusion360 and there's no real history to it - but I found it less confusing than any of the other 3D CAD packages that I tried.


It used to be free, then in May of this year they pulled an Autodesk trick and made it subscription.  They still have a dumbed down free version of Designspark, but if you don't use it often enough they'll disable your license due to inactivity.  I had Autodesk do that to me with Fusion and I never was able to get that license reactivated.  They also won't let me get a new license because they say I already have one.


I don't like it when a company lets you use a software for years for free, and then decides to start charging you to use it.  Kind of seems like extortion to me, but Draftsight, Fusion 360, and Designspark 3D have all gone down this route.  That's why I'm looking into either Open Source CAD packages, or a package that offers a "perpetual" license.  I like FreeCAD because it's Open Source, but I don't like it for the same reason.  Many different people have had a hand in developing it which is a good thing because it means that the software will keep getting updated.  But it's also a bad thing because sometimes work gets duplicated.  It seems like if you ask 12 different people how to do something in FreeCAD, you'll get 13 different answers - and they'll all work.  That's just very confusing to a beginner.


I've looked into various paid CAD packages that offer a "perpetual" license, and so far ProgeCAD is the only one that I have found that is truly a perpetual license.  It seems like everybody but ProgeCAD requires an Internet connection to verify your license before you can use the software.  If your perpetual license needs to phone home before you can use it, how is it a stand-alone perpetual license? All the others either require a yearly maintenance package to get any updates, or they will charge you for all the updates required to bring you "perpetual" license up to date.


It's my understanding that if you decide to not do any updates for an extended period, ProgeCAD will charge you a one-time fee to bring you up to date.  The one-time fee will be the same as the yearly maintenance fee and I think that's about $50.  I haven't pulled the trigger on ProgeCAD yet, I want to check out a few more tutorials to see how easy/confusing it is to use the software.


Don
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The Old Fart

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Re: Easiest CAD Software to learn?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2023, 05:47:47 pm »

I use, and have used for years, Designspark Mechanical 3D.Despite the removal of some options, it still works fine for me.
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