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I recently learned about a browser based 3D CAD program which is able to run on Windows and Mac platforms as well as mobile devices.

 

https://www.onshape.com/

 

 

This program offers a free version and a paid version. So I signed up for the free version and quickyly learned that my 10 yr old 64bit computer's Radeon graphics card does not support webGL which is required to run this program on your web browser, tablet or phone. Also, your browser must also support webGL and most modern web browsers like Firefox and Chrome support this feature but some browsers disable this feature because of performance issues. I learned too that some graphics cards are supported and some are not. The program from what I can tell is in a Beta production status. Despite all these various requirements it look's like a vary robust 3D CAD program.

 

 

Here is a link about webGL

 

https://www.khronos.org/webgl/

Edited by Don9of11

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I was informed of another online CAD program produced by Autodesk the makers of Autocad and Inventor. The program is called Fusion 360.

 

http://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/overview

 

Unlike the OnShape program, Fusion 360 is downloadable. They offer a 30 day free trial and then to continue using it you need to subscribe. Autodesk offers an annual subscription of $25/mo or $40/mo to use it on an as needed basis.

 

Compared to OnShape which has no software to download and they offer a free subcription but limits the number of active part files you can work on at any-one-time. To gain access to unlimited part files the cost is $100/mo.

 

Fusion 360 and OnShape are both parametric CAD programs meaning simply that if you update a dimension in the the model, it updates and changes automatically, no need to redraw anything. Both programs are cloud-based meaning in the simplist of terms, they operate across the internet.

 

OnShape is in the beta stage, does not have the capability of making drawings yet whereas Fusion 360 is fully developed. Each program offer's mobile device support such as your iPhone or iPad, Android or Windows tablet.

 

This is the future of CAD, these programs alone will force the giants in the industry like SolidWorks and Inventor to reduce their cost and maintence fees or face loosing a large part of their user base.

Edited by Don9of11

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Since my first post a little over a month ago, I have been working with Onshape. I created a Free account and I have been steadily learning how to use the program. Anyone with 3D modeling experience should have no difficulty working with this program. There is absolutely no software to download and none of the programs functionality is withheld. I did have to purchase a new graphics card as my old ATI Radeon card did not support webgl. I spent about $60 on a new card. I can pretty much do any task I want on my PC, stream video or music and the modeling is not in anyway hampered by my multi-tasking. I'm have a dual core pentium processor and it handles things very nicely. I can only imagine what the new i3 and i5 chips can do.

 

Anyway, I have spent the last two weeks remodeling my 74 gun ship in Onshape and I have modeled some other interesting parts. The starship Enterprise was an assembly of a SW model I had created several years ago.

 

This is really exciting technology be cause a doing a group build or in this case a group design is a real possibility. Several people can be working on the same part at the same time and all the changes are saved. That's another nice thing about onShape, you never have to save your work, it saves it for you. You can also go back and review every change you ever made or review your entire modeling process. 

 

 

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Hey Guys

 

I have been teaching myself Fusion 360, free if you are using it for a hobby. I program 3 axis mills at work, but have no 3D software at home. I have been using Autocad for about 12 years and Vectric Vcarve 2d and Aspire 3D modeling software for about 8 years or so. My first project with Fusion is Laurel Hill Barge #2, a colonial period rice/utility flat of chine Log construction. I have the chine log, keelsons and headers complete and now need to add frames, planking and strakes.

 

Steven

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