CAD software

Fystonsfab

Member
Mixed Farmer
Good evening all

I’m starting to get to the point where some CAD software would be useful, especially working out cutting patterns for cutting sheets to roll cones. I’ve done the usual look on google, but wondered if anybody had a good recommendation?
 

tinman

Member
Location
Ulster
how much is solidworks these days, Expensive enough id think.
is it a yearly subscription or a one time only purchase price.
up on 500 odd per year is it not.
 

Swarfmonkey

Member
Location
Hampshire
It's hellishly expensive these days. From the reseller we use, the yearly sub model is a bit over £2k a year for Std. Needless to say Pro and Premium are more, the latter being a lot more.
 

cosmagedon

Member
Location
North Wales
I've been trialing a few but I find them pretty complicated to just jump in and use occasionally.

I used techsoft 2d design at school and remember it being ridiculously easy to use but it's expensive, with that in mind I've just downloaded E machine shop and it's along the same lines but free. Seems very easy to use and can also create 3d models although I haven't completely got the hang of that yet.
 

the-mad-welder

Member
Location
Suffolk
Good evening all

I’m starting to get to the point where some CAD software would be useful, especially working out cutting patterns for cutting sheets to roll cones. I’ve done the usual look on google, but wondered if anybody had a good recommendation?
Draftsight here.

Minimal cost and does what I need it to. Mostly 2d stuff for CNC cutting.

Look at Plate 'N' Sheet for sheet metal development. Not actually a CAD program, but does the development which you then import into CAD.
 

mx110

Member
Location
cumbria
I always used draftsight until free download finished and got on with it well for doing drawing to be profile cut, I've played with a few free ones since but think I might go back to draftsight and pay for it.
 

Fystonsfab

Member
Mixed Farmer
Great, I’ll have a look at the ones suggested, don’t think I’m ready to spend thousands on subs yet do will look at the free one or maybe a cheap subscription one.

had another thought today, are there any programs that would be better used to in future link to CNC plasma cutter as that is on the cards. Yes I get it cut now very cheap when I have lots of the same item but I sort of want the ability to cut one offs as needed, luxury/toy obviously.
 

AJR75

Member
Location
Somerset
I must be well behind the times now- still using autocad Lt for a lot of my design/ development work and one offs. Output .dxf files from this and load straight into our plasma software or send out for pricing.

Main stream detailing is done using Tekla.

And... the good old Zeuss book still has its place and is regularly used
 

clbarclay

Member
Location
Worcestershire
OnShape has a free option and is cloud based, but anything you do with the free version will be public for anyone to see. Like most other CAD programs, the full versions are seriously expensive if you only have occasional need for CAD.

I tried Freecad quite a few years ago, but it was very clunky and nowhere near as nice to use as the commercial cad programs (Solidworks or Pro Engineer) which I was used to or other open source programs for that matter. I keep meaning to give it another try and see if it has improved.
 

bkg

Member
I use onshape for my plasma table, the free version, get on well with it plus it has its own learning center give it a try cost is your time only.
 

Fraserb

Member
Location
Scottish Borders
Great, I’ll have a look at the ones suggested, don’t think I’m ready to spend thousands on subs yet do will look at the free one or maybe a cheap subscription one.

had another thought today, are there any programs that would be better used to in future link to CNC plasma cutter as that is on the cards. Yes I get it cut now very cheap when I have lots of the same item but I sort of want the ability to cut one offs as needed, luxury/toy obviously.
I use E machine shop for drawing and sheetcam to convert for my plasma table.
 
Autodesk Inventor is very good but it has a price tag to match. Think you'd be looking at upwards of £2k per year!

Autodesk Fusion 360 has been mentioned above. It has a very similar user interface but it's much cheaper. The hobby version is free and the commercial version is actually affordable. Think it's about £200 a year but a subscription means you're always keeping up to date with new features and fixes.

I'm tying to wean myself off of Inventor and onto Fusion. Once my educational licence runs out for Inventor I certainly can't afford to buy it.
 

aidan

Member
Location
Ireland
I don’t like doing cad, all that clicking of the mouse hurts my hands, and I can use a mouse either right or left handed

any ideas
 

clbarclay

Member
Location
Worcestershire
A tracker ball is one alternative to a mouse. I find mice can vary though and some are fine while others make my hand ache after no time at all.

Onshape will work on a touch screen tablet, but I find it easier to use on a regular computer with a mouse. It might work better on a touch screen with stylus.
 

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