• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
[4]

What Do You Use To Draw/design Projects?

January Project of the Month [3]
[10] Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!

coherent

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
Messages
141
Likes
109
I used to always just use a pencil and paper, but once I became proficient in Autocad years ago, I use it for most 2d parts or cnc plasma projects. Simply because I can do it faster and more accurately. Plus the ability to print out different views to scale helps with some projects especially if you wand to do simple templates to use with a punch for drill hole placement etc. For 3d parts for the CNC mill or 3d Printer, Inventor is the ticket. With it's ability to do the CAM and output your machines g code file (or and STL for the 3D printer) it's hard to beat.
 

BRIAN

Global Moderator
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2011
Messages
1,081
Likes
632
Q Cad the free version is very good , but it is worth upgrading to the professional for the extras.
I have found this so easy to use. I only use 2D but it will do 3.
Also the instruction book is in a class of it's own. you can learn cad from the basics up. a fine teaching aid.
I do not use the output for G code but I understand it is available.
Brian.
 

Shadowdog500

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2014
Messages
337
Likes
54
I started using Fusion 360 a few months ago. It is easy to learn and is free for hobbyists. For really simple stuff I still make a hand sketch on the whiteboard next to my lathe and mill and take a photo for later reference. Chris


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

jamby

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2016
Messages
49
Likes
32
I have used generic cad, autocad, visual cad, catia, unigraphics, and am currently using qcad and cambam to create and cut parts. I've built local business in sketchup for google maps.
Families of parts I draw up in qcad and define the geometry labels so I can print out a pdf with the names to use in apt360. (ancient programming language)
I've just got an aversion to anything I don't buy or at least get a disk for.

Jim
 

Techee

Iron
Registered Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2016
Messages
13
Likes
18
RJ, Thank you for the advice on how to get the trial for Fusion 360.

I downloaded it on June 17 & have playing with it on & off ever since. I have made a sketch of a simple bracket & started to dimension it.

I still have to the learn the basics of the software & this has opened a whole new world for me!!!

I am an 'old school' guy & this technology is going to keep my brain working & definitely improve my hobbyist skills!
Here is the site for Fusion 360:
http://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/try-buy

Download the 30 day free trial. Once you have downloaded and installed, you will be notified of the time remaining. You can register for the unlimited free use providing you are: 1. a student, 2. an educator, 3. a hobbyist. 4. a startup business (<$100K/yr profit). The free subscription is limited to 1 or 3 years but can be renewed.

Info on setting up free subscription:
https://knowledge.autodesk.com/supp...-or-educational-licensing-for-Fusion-360.html

Re providing personal details in exchange for free software, nothing is truly free. IMO, it is a small price to pay to get some quality software.
I am now learning about all the YouTube videos & the support system this software has.
 

rtp_burnsville

Iron
Registered Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
12
Likes
6
It varies......

Electronic circuits and schematics - KiCad
Mechanical and assemblies - ZW3D
Woodworking CNC- VCarve Pro or VCarve Cut 2D
CAM - SprutCam, VCarve
Somethings just require a pencil and some graph paper.

Robert
 

Downunder Bob

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
636
Likes
251
I use Amish-Cad 1.0, a 8-1/2" x 11" piece of paper and a #2 pencil, pretty soon I'm going to upgrade to Amish-Cad 1.2, which also includes an eraser.
We have very few Amish here in Downunder, but it sounds very similar to my Outback Cad. I've got 2 or 3 pencils, 0.5 and 0.7 mm clutch type and a number of erasers, I seem to use more erasers than pencils. We don't use that size paper here because we're metric, so it's A4 210 x 297 mm. aka 8.27" x 11.89"

At the end of the day I use what works, " If it aint broke, don't fix it".

Good luck,

Bob.
 

wrmiller

Chief Tinkerer
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2013
Messages
3,237
Likes
1,239
I have a engineer's notebook that I use to jot down stuff I want to remember. I have a couple of those mechanical drafting pencils to sketch/write with.

I've also put a small white board with dry erase markers on the wall near my mill. I like it so much I'm going to put one next to the lathe as well. If I decide I want to capture something on the white board for use/reference later, I use my phone to take a pic. :)
 

benmychree

John York
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
1,335
Likes
892
Call me old fashioned ----- I have a drafting table that I built myself that has a top surface with a self healing pad and is about 3 X 4 ft and inclinable; add to this a Universal drafting machine with adjustable ball bearing hinge points that is about WW-1 vintage and use mechanical collet type pencils and all the small tools that I bought when I took drafting in high school and junior college about 1963 and 4. I know that modern computer programs can do things that I can't, but I can make drawings with such as line work that makes a drawing much clearer, especially with round objects.
 

Downunder Bob

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
636
Likes
251
Call me old fashioned ----- I have a drafting table that I built myself that has a top surface with a self healing pad and is about 3 X 4 ft and inclinable; add to this a Universal drafting machine with adjustable ball bearing hinge points that is about WW-1 vintage and use mechanical collet type pencils and all the small tools that I bought when I took drafting in high school and junior college about 1963 and 4. I know that modern computer programs can do things that I can't, but I can make drawings with such as line work that makes a drawing much clearer, especially with round objects.
I guess I'm a little old fashioned too, I started my apprenticeship in 1961, (5 years). Fitting and Turning plus the extra year for toolmaking. Tech drawing was the subject I did the best in at trade school, and the one I like the most as well. I scored 85% so was pretty happy.

I still prefer a pencil drawing although these days mostly it's only a sketch at best, most of it is in my head. I might jot down a couple of crucial dimensions, but I am going to get a whiteboard and put it up near the head of the lathe. I'm sure it will be handy.

I'm also not into DRO's and CAD/CAM, CNC. I figure we are hobby machinists, not programmers. Those devices are fine in a production environment, The only electronic device I have succumbed too so far. is a 6"digtal caliper as my eyesight is getting too old to read the vernier any more.

Cheers, Bob.
 

firestopper

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
1,374
Likes
2,478
I doodle the part on paper, check my measurements and build it.
For items like bumpers,consoles, dash boards etc. I make templates using cardboard and make changes as I go.
If I'm using the CNC plasma, I HAVE to use BobCad V21 and SheetCam (takes me too long).
If Im building a custom project, I build it from my head as I go. It seems for years now, when I lay down to sleep the current project runs though my thoughts in different variations until I finally fall asleep. Its sort of a curse as I get up early regardless of sleep quality, but have come up with decent ideas. Personal projects are the worst "sleep stealers".
I do envy those with computer skills....Very much.
I also own a nice drafting table with a decent compliment of tools that I use from time to time when I need to outsource something too large for my shop machines.
 
Last edited:

benmychree

John York
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
1,335
Likes
892
I guess I'm a little old fashioned too, I started my apprenticeship in 1961, (5 years). Fitting and Turning plus the extra year for toolmaking. Tech drawing was the subject I did the best in at trade school, and the one I like the most as well. I scored 85% so was pretty happy.

I still prefer a pencil drawing although these days mostly it's only a sketch at best, most of it is in my head. I might jot down a couple of crucial dimensions, but I am going to get a whiteboard and put it up near the head of the lathe. I'm sure it will be handy.

I'm also not into DRO's and CAD/CAM, CNC. I figure we are hobby machinists, not programmers. Those devices are fine in a production environment, The only electronic device I have succumbed too so far. is a 6"digtal caliper as my eyesight is getting too old to read the vernier any more.

Cheers, Bob.
It would seem that you and I are living parallel lives! The closest I ever came to a DRO, etc. is a Travadial on my lathe at home. At my business shop I had a DRO on my Induma vertical mill, but that was about 6 years ago, so I'm hoping that it no longer counts.
 

Downunder Bob

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
636
Likes
251
It would seem that you and I are living parallel lives! The closest I ever came to a DRO, etc. is a Travadial on my lathe at home. At my business shop I had a DRO on my Induma vertical mill, but that was about 6 years ago, so I'm hoping that it no longer counts.
I'm sure we're not the only ones, Plenty of people, like us, that like the traditional ways. And then there are those who like to push the boundries and learn new things. And that's fine too. It's mostly the younger ones who have plenty of time. I simply don't have time to learn autocad and the like, but for those who can use it to enhance their career path, yeh, go for it.

Bob
 

Scruffy

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
472
Likes
263
For my cad designing I've found that a empty 24 pack of miller lite is the perfect material. Flat, easy to draw on, easy to cut.
You were discussing cardboard aided design ,weren't we?
Thanks scruffy
 

Brian Hutchings

Iron
Registered Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2017
Messages
15
Likes
11
Some years ago I bought DesignCad 3D but my brain doesn't work in 3D so I now have a much later version of DesignCad 2D. I tend to use it as an electronic drawing board and I find that this suits my needs which is designing scale models of very old traction engines. My current one is an 1858 Burrell with Boydels Patent endless railway.
Brian
 

jonnywrangler

Swarf
Registered Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
3
Likes
0
Other than cost what are some of the differences between SolidWorks and Fusion 360? From reading some other articles online it seems that Fusion has a simplified user interface making it more user friendly to those who aren't SW gurus in the commercial world. From others experience does Fusion stack up against SW as far as features, power, versatility, etc? Or is Fusion just a viable option due to the expense of a SW license? I have access to SW and have a fair amount of experience with the program. Not sure how much longer my access will be as it is through a college VPN that I have to log in to. Feeling out if I should break up with SW and move to using Fusion?
 

RJSakowski

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
2,951
Likes
3,252
Other than cost what are some of the differences between SolidWorks and Fusion 360? From reading some other articles online it seems that Fusion has a simplified user interface making it more user friendly to those who aren't SW gurus in the commercial world. From others experience does Fusion stack up against SW as far as features, power, versatility, etc? Or is Fusion just a viable option due to the expense of a SW license? I have access to SW and have a fair amount of experience with the program. Not sure how much longer my access will be as it is through a college VPN that I have to log in to. Feeling out if I should break up with SW and move to using Fusion?
The biggest difference is the cost. I bought a SolidWorks seat because I had been using it for 8 years, was fairly proficient with it, and it fit well with my CAM and Tormach CNC. Fusion wasn't available at the time or I would have gone that route. My SW is 2012 and it is already obsolete in regard with interfacing with the outside world. $1400 a year to keep it current is out of the question for a hobbyist.

I also have Fusion loaded although I haven't done much with it yet. My intent is to put some time into learning it this winter. They approach parametric modelling in a different fashion and it well take some exposure time to get used to it.

From what I have seen, the two are fairly well equivalent as to their capabilities. Fusion has CAM built into it which is nice. Their rendering is also great. SolidWorks handles rendering well as well but you have to have the Professional version at an additional cost of around $2K. Fusion also has the sculpting feature which could be useful. It is relatively painful to do anything like that in SW. Fusion is also always up to date with the latest version. Fusion uses cloud based storage of files which can be inconvenient although you can store files locally. It does allow you to access your files from any computer or smart phone provided you have the software loaded and it allows you to share your work with others.

If I were doing it from scratch, I would definitely go the Fusion route. I have directly asked their reps on a number of occasions if there was any intent to eliminate the free access for hobbyists, startups, etc. in the future and their answer was unequivocally no. If the intent is to use it commercially for businesses with more than $100K in anual revenue, the monthly subscription fee is modest. As I recall it was $60/mo. on a month by month basis and $30/mo. if you buy a year at a time. If you buy it a month at a time, you only have to pay for the months you actually use it.
 

Cheeseking

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2012
Messages
690
Likes
266
If cost is the driving factor then the 360 route seems the obvious way to go. I cannot comment on 360 because I have not used it. however unless I'm mistaken 360 is essentially based on/is the Inventor software possibly repackaged to work cloud based. I used Inventor from its original release back in the mid 90's until 2005/6 at which point I converted our entire Engineering staff over to SW. BEST move we ever made. In spite of having 10 years +/- with both SW and Inventor, there will be folks who will disagree with me. Totally respect that because It's a personal thing I believe on what people prefer and get used to. It was tough the first 2-3 months getting used to something new.
I'll give but one example of something horrible (again my opinion) in Inventor and that is PROJECT files. , .ipj file structure, etc. What a complete boondoggle. If you like the look of a cherry tree in the model history upon opening an assembly then .ipj system is for you! Works great if evrything is perfect and no files have been moved, renamed, deleted cuz that never happens right? LOL
 

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
4,575
Likes
4,887
What I use most for less complicated projects is just my brain. If it gets more involved, I add a pencil and notepad. If I need to show someone else before I start, I might use vellum, t-square, compass, and clear plastic triangles along with real drafting pencils. I was once a architecture student, so I know how and have the tools, that was in a time well before CAD or CAM was around, at least at my level. I have tried multiple times to get going on CAD programs but find I can usually get the project done before I can get the CAD drawing done... I find none of this limiting in any way, but then I am only making things for my own pleasure. Maybe someday.
 

benmychree

John York
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
1,335
Likes
892
What I use most for less complicated projects is just my brain. If it gets more involved, I add a pencil and notepad. If I need to show someone else before I start, I might use vellum, t-square, compass, and clear plastic triangles along with real drafting pencils. I was once a architecture student, so I know how and have the tools, that was in a time well before CAD or CAM was around, at least at my level. I have tried multiple times to get going on CAD programs but find I can usually get the project done before I can get the CAD drawing done... I find none of this limiting in any way, but then I am only making things for my own pleasure. Maybe someday.
Or, maybe not?
 

7milesup

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2016
Messages
179
Likes
214
I am from the other side of the coin. Have never used SW and have never worked in an environment where CAD was used although I have messed around with the likes of TurboCad, etc. When Fusion 360 came out, I was probably one of the first to sign up for it. I really like the interface and find the capabilities of the program to be exceptional. The Fusion 360 team is updating the program quite frequently and are VERY open to suggestions from the user community. Did I mention that I really like the interface?!
Now, I may be starting a part time job and the boss (really, just a great friend of mine) wants me to learn SW. So, I downloaded SW for my own personal use at home, which is available from the EAA for the price of the membership fee. I find the SW interface to be cumbersome at best. I would like to say that maybe SW has more power to do complicated instructions, but I really don't know.
If you look at YouTube videos and search for "NYC CNC", that guy uses Fusion 360 exclusively and has a lot of help videos posted. His personality is awesome too, that is a plus.
Fusion's native file is *.f3d. It will work with *.ipt, *.iam and *.dwg files. You can easily export *.STL files also for sending to a 3D printer for example. It has HSM toolpath baked into it, so that is a huge plus.
If I was starting a new business I would use 360. Paying Solidwork's exhorbinant fees just seems crazy to me.
 

BGHansen

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2014
Messages
792
Likes
1,895
I'm starting to learn Unigraphics; my wife is a designer and we have a copy of UG at home. I've used PowerPoint, graph paper and pencil, and a free CAD/CAM package called TechNe CAD/CAM.

You can't beat the cost of paper and pencil and a calculator to do the trig when necessary. However, hand calculations take time. The free TechNe program is a case of you get what you pay for. It works, but my biggest gripe is it lacks dimensioning. There may be a later version with that feature. You can manual select items to find the locations, but each feature has to be selected to get their centers.

UG will go much faster once my wife walks me through the "sketcher" part of the program. Extremely powerful design tool; should be for an initial licensing fee of something like $10K!

Bruce
 

uncle harry

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
660
Likes
392
What I use most for less complicated projects is just my brain. If it gets more involved, I add a pencil and notepad. If I need to show someone else before I start, I might use vellum, t-square, compass, and clear plastic triangles along with real drafting pencils. I was once a architecture student, so I know how and have the tools, that was in a time well before CAD or CAM was around, at least at my level. I have tried multiple times to get going on CAD programs but find I can usually get the project done before I can get the CAD drawing done... I find none of this limiting in any way, but then I am only making things for my own pleasure. Maybe someday.

I have been working on a special machine design for a client to be able to test toilet paper dispensers. As usual I started by sketching concepts on used envelopes or other sources of paper like bar napkins etc. when away from my office. Once I had the basic concept I used copy paper to close in on configuration design using sketches of components that I'll be using. After I feel confident with the design I verify the design on Autocad Inventor 2012. For working drawings I sketch parts from the Cad layouts and head to the shop. Being ancient permits me to design things even if the power goes out.
 

7milesup

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2016
Messages
179
Likes
214
Solidworks costs $40 for the hobbyist utilizing the student/educational version.

Join the EAA and there is a link to download SW for free ( except for the cost of the EAA membership).
 
[6]
[5] [7]