Im looking at Alibre now.
I like Alibre. -a lot. In the past several years, I tried at least a half-dozen of the big name CAD programs. I'd spend 4-5 days doing the tutorials and interactively using the program -And I got nowhere. This was with the full-demo versions of SolidWorks, AutoCad, Pro-E etc. Also purchased AutoCad thinking it must be fairly easy to use. Nope... BTW: I'm an electrical engineer in real life so, complex programs are nothing new to me.
I tried the demo version of Alibre, watched 45 minutes of online tutorial videos and two hours later was making simple parts. Liked it so much, I got the professional version. Here's something I made tonight in a couple hours. I've only had the program a couple weeks -but admit burning the midnight oil, mainly because it's fun and addictive. This is the first CAD program that ever struck me so well.
BTW: If you click the PDF image, you can use the mouse buttons and scroll button to move and 3D rotate the image. Some of the clone versions of PDF readers don't handle it too well though. Use Acrobat Reader.
I tried DoubleCad from IMSI for a free CAD Program. Like you, I used to use AutoCAD, but finally got consumed by the changes and pricyness of it. I worked with DoubleCAD and found it really lacking compared to AutoCAD, missing many of the snap and drawing features I had missed. I have thought about TurboCAD. How similar to AutoCad are its features and options?I learned AutoCAD back in college in '93. It was a bit on the expensive side for just my home use. But I found TurboCAD. Very similar, pretty powerful and under $100. You can export/import to about any popular cad format. I still only work 2D but there is 3D in the package. Just I don't bother with it.
Greg,I will probably switch over from TurboCAD as soon as I see how to make drawings from solid models.