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I'm a complete CAD nerd. That is to say, I know my way around software - I should as a programmer (it seems) - but CAD is new to me.

 

I've been looking for programs - preferably free, yes I'm Dutch - which could be used by a layman.

 

So far I've tried DELFTship, and autoCAD. DELFTship is cumbersome, and unfortunately autoCAD is rather expensive for what it will be used.

 

Today I found another program: Draftsight. It's free, 2D and 3D, uses DXF files, runs on Windows/Linux/MAC. So I'll try this one, and have a look at the - hopefully not to complicated - engine under the hood. (Download: http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/download-draftsight/)

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Hi Carl,

 

You might want to look into Google Sketchup. There's a thread on modeling the HMS Pandora using Sketchup. Best of all, it's free (at least here in the states).

 

Also, look in the articles/downloads section under Plans and Research. There are several articles that can walk you thru it.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Thanks,

 

Harvey

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Cog if you are a complete nerd ^_^ , you should try one of those suggested. If I were you I would learn how to use the drafting tools a bit and create something like a 'lion statue'.
 

After that, forget that you are Dutch and go and invest some money (American dollars preferred; after all, the Chinese versions of CAD are terrible, unless you can read Chinese). :dancetl6:

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Carl,

 

This is one of those questions that will get responses all over the place - it's the (in your case) BMW vs Vauxhall situation. So here's my take on which CAD to use:

 

1st - I'm a CAD professional with 42 years of Graphics/CAD experience. I use it every workday and sometimes on weekends. So, my response is biased, but based on experience.

 

Nothing in life is free - understand that first and go from there. Cheap CAD programs and most shareware are based (somewhat loosely) on AutoCAD. In my experience, that is NOT the easiest or most user friendly software available. Just because it sells more copies doesn't mean it's the top choice from a user standpoint.

 

Now, my CAD software of preference is Bentley MicroStation. The normal software can do 2D, 3D, modeling, etc. If you don't want that extensive ability, then look for their PowerDraft version of MicroStation. It has all the 2D functionality and ease of use that their full-blown 3D/modeling version comes with. MicroStation is much more sophisticated than the ACAD based programs are. You have less keystrokes in placing lines, circles, etc. (elements) in a drawing with Micro than with ACAD. We can support dual monitors and divide each into 4 views, if you so choose. Any CAD software is going to take time to learn to use PROPERLY. It isn't something that you are going to be doing (correctly) after one day. Since I do CAD professionally, I look at this perhaps somewhat thru a different viewpoint than an occasional user. I also use this software for my ship modeling needs. My last project I created over 40 drawings for that model - all the masts, yards, gun carriages, fittings, deck furnishings, etc.

 

MicroStation, rather Bentley (parent company) is available in Europe - here is the US website:

(http://www.bentley.com/en-US/) - I would highly recommend you shop around and perhaps find someone who has an older licensed version that they are interested in selling. Pricewise, MicroStation is comparitable with ACAD here Stateside. While other packages are either free or cheap keep one thing in mind - you get what you pay for.

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Hank, you make some real good points. I have a CAD program on my computer. It is an old one: Design CAD.  It also has the 3D feature, but I don't use it very often. Hence I forget a lot of the key strokes very quickly and it takes me a while to get the hang of things again.

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Hank,

 

You just made my day! What you pay is what you get, that I know. It's the same with programming software (which I use), tools, and quite a few other things.

 

I don't say I will use MicroStation, but I certainly will look into it. I've been trying to comprehend autoCad... indeed I'm still trying :unsure::wacko::blink: (unfortunately trial/evaluation versions are limited to thirty days, which I to often do not have) By the way, Photoshop was a lot easier to learn(!)

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Jay, Carl:

 

Thanks for the supportive remarks.

 

CAD is a good tool for ship modelers, so choose the one that you feel comfortable with all the way around. If you can, check out my suggestions.

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Like Hank I used CAD at work for many years.  Started out on the board at went to AutoCad in the '80's then to Solidworks in the '90's.  Retired in the '00's but was unable to bring software with me. 

 

As Hank said "You get what you pay for."  But sometimes you get lucky.  DraftSight is very much like the AutoCad I used for years and it is free.

 

Bob

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I must admit that I am a complete novice (a generous rating for me to be sure) when it comes to CAD software.  I have never used one but desire to learn.

 

I just received this offer and am curious on whether anyone has any experience with TurboCAD

 

NEW TurboCAD Deluxe 20 is now shipping! This latest release contains customer driven development as well as new tools and features for greater usability, performance, and compatibility. Now IMSI/Design customers can get the precision 2D drafting, 3D modeling, and photorealistic rendering in TurboCAD Deluxe, plus bonus training, for one incredible price through this exclusive offer.

 

It is offered at 89.99 USD by IMSI/Design http://www.turbocad.com/

 

Is this a useful program for a novice looking to learn and, eventually, get into redrawing older plans?

Edited by trippwj

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Wayne,

 

I have used TurboCAD for years.  The deluxe version in the add you received is sufficient to draw out ship plans.  TC is what I used to produce the drawings for Euryalus.  TC is a robust program that is priced far, far below other programs.  I'm sure the extra two, three, or four thousand dollars is worth it to buy some of the programs mentioned on this thread, especially if you are after 3D model building.  TC deluxe can do only a limited amount of 3D work; TC Pro and Platinum can do some pretty impressive stuff, but for ships I don't see them matching the higher priced programs in the 3D arena.

 

Once you decide you are after drawing out 2D plans and not building 3D models, then the problem is simplified greatly.  Think about it, prior to computers people were drawing out these things with paper, pencil and a few drawing tools.  These are well replicated in TC deluxe.  Again, if you are after 3D modeling, TC runs into its limitations after awhile.  (Then again, I am an amateur in the CAD world, so there are probably some TC gurus who can run rings around my understanding of TC's capabilities.)

 

Now, TC v20 is just out.  I started with v4, then moved in order to v8, v10, v14 and now use v19 Pro.  My observation is that you really don't need v20, one of the earlier versions will do.  I still go back to v14 sometimes.  Look for it on ebay, often the older versions can be had legitimately for a song.  Beginning with v19 a 64 bit capability greatly increases the rendering power of TC, so that's something to keep in mind if you want to do 3D at some point.  Also, visit the TC forums ( forums.turbocad.com ) and look through the gallery section to see some really good models people have done with TC.  

 

As for being a novice, I have no training at all in CAD, designing, engineering, or pastry cooking (I thought I would throw that in).  Nonetheless, I had no trouble learning TC.  For that matter, knowing TC has given me a basis for dabbling in AutoCAD.  I managed to draw out a basic set of lines for Boreas in AC before the 30 days ran out.

 

In short, I answered the TC add years ago and have been very happy and content with TurboCAD.  I have played around with the trial versions of AutoCAD and recently with Microstation.  I have also dabbled in Alibre and Sketchup.  In my limited experience, TC can hold its own in the 2D field and acquits itself very well in the 3D arena as well.

 

Wayne

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Just to back up what Wayne is saying, I have been using TurboCAD for a couple of months whilst drawing up plans for the longboat on my model and although at first it was all very daunting, I am now more and more comfortable with it. There are lots of excellent tutorials which are free on the web and on this site for TurboCAD, including tutorials on lofting ships frames in 3D. On top of that I've benefited from tremendous advice from the pros on this forum.

 

It's like any software -- there's lots to learn if you're new to it, but if you take it step by step it's no big deal really. And once you have the hang of a few basics you see its tremendous potential and and become eager to learn more.

 

With every new version of TurboCAD, the prices of the earlier versions drop even further. There are excellent deals on Amazon for v18 now.

 

Tony

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I have Turbocad Deluxe version 14.  I used Autocad Lite many years ago to do art work for some photo etch.  The Designers use Autocad where I work so I'm a little familiar with the commands.  Is there someplace where I can learn the equivalent commands between autocad and Turbocad?

 

Tom

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Tom,

 

If you bring up the Help menu and click on Help Topics, when that comes up, look through the contents.  Especially, I would think that "Inserting Objects" will list out the drawing tools for TC and you should be able to see their similarity to AC.  Read through the Help topics for descriptions, explanations and guides. There are some good tutorials available for a price, but a lot of free stuff on YouTube.  I learned TC by exploring and reading the Help Topics (well, back then it was a printed manual, but the presentation was the same).

 

Wayne

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Thanks, All, for the information - I will see what i can find for a discount on TC <20, but otherwise may save up for the newest version.

 

Then, of course, i will have to learn how to use it.....

 

bleu-internet.gif

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I have AutoCad LT 2002 which I have used a lot and would like to continue using but it simply doesn't like Windows 7 64 bit which my current computer is running. I've tried running it using the Windows 7 function that imitates earlier versions (Windows XP for example where the program worked fine) but (sigh) I have the Windows 7 Home Premium version and the function is not fully supported. 

 

Frustrated? You bet.

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Yambo,

 

Do you have an XP license left? If so, get a second hand PC/Laptop on which you can run XP - maybe add some more memory - install your AutoCAD, and you are good to go ...

Edited by cog

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It's a thought cog but I'm not a rich man and I'd rather spend my money on tools   :P oh, and beer.

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Another option is to install virtualbox on your PC. You can start another operating system (Windows XP/Vista/2000/7,  Linux) and use that in your windows. You can install multiple OS (any of your choice). E.g. you have an XP installed in virtualbox. You can than install your software for XP in it. You don't need another PC/Laptop.

 

If I want to test programs I usually do it in virtualbox. It's sometimes slightly slower as it is virtual, but it works for me

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I've downloaded and installed Virtualbox as you suggested cog and loaded Windows XP and AutoCad. It works fine. I'm having a bit of trouble printing at the moment but I'm working on that.

 

I also have a 15 day trial with TurboCad. I'm not sure I like it. I draw one line on the screen and suddenly there are another 5 lines showing.  :o

 

I'm getting a bit more used to it though. It's similar to AutoCad in a number of ways; if Virtualbox isn't what I want then TurboCad is a reasonable option.

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Glad your autocad can be used. In the settings of the OS in virtualbox you can increase (depending on your real system) the number of processors (the cores would be better) and or (video) memory. Maybe that will help out, since you are running programs which use a lot of resources (i.e. processor time, memory, video memory, swap space -> memory on your harddisk)

 

In my PC and laptop I always run the full memory available, so that it's limitations won't bug me to much, and I have installed at least two disk partitions to separate the data from the programs (if possible I install multiple disks), and if my C: drive fills up I move the swap file to an other partition which makes the OS run somewhat faster (but that's rather technical all). Anyway, try to increase some values and see if that helps you out a bit

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All working OK at last now! Managed to sort out the printing - I think it was what they call an ID 10 T error.   :D

 

But I'm a lot happier now and I'm surrounded by bits of paper with frame drawings on.   :)

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Yambo, You'll be starting a build log soon I hope!?

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Yambo, You'll be starting a build log soon I hope!?

 

 

Mmmm, I'm not sure although I'll take pictures as I go. The project is a 1:10 version of a Chesapeake Light Craft Skerry that I have the full size plans for. I've started making some bits for the full size boat but at the moment have nowhere to work to do the hull. The boat is stitch and glue construction and I'm aiming to make the model the same way but this will be a first attempt for me at a small stitch and glue boat so may not work out well at that size.

 

Being able to draw up all the parts on AutoCad is great though and I have a friend in Marmaris that can laser cut them for me if I want to go down that route. It'll be in mostly in 1 mm and 1.5 mm plywood which is cheap enough to allow for cock-ups.   ;)  

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Wayne hi

 

I've followed your tutorial and have found it great. However much water has flowed under the bridge and I'm sure most of us would find it fantastic if you revise and update it - or come out with a new edition outlining your latest work. Or you can point us in the proper direction.................

 

The reason I'm asking is that I think that 3d and Layers are much neglected tools and I'm sure they could be used effectively to alleviate much of the tedium. Elsewhere in this forum some fantastic work is being done with 3D but it seems it is being used only for building virtual models. I was hoping someone would come out with 3D for drafting frames and individual parts. I think you are our Great White Hope........

 

Thanks in advance

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Thanks Wayne. At present I have several things going at once but, I appreciate your help. I have drawings that I got from the National Archives of an Ataack Transport that are in tiff. Turbo ad doesn't seem to recognize a tiff file.

 

Tom

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I have used an application called Inkscape to design "bread and butter" ship's boats and other model related objects. i,e,. admiralty anchors, gun carriages, etc. I send the design files to a laser cutting service to have the pieces fabricated. It has been a very easy to use and useful CAD application AND it is Open Source!

 

Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. The designers at Inkscape also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development.

 

You can download from their web site, http:/www.inkscape.org . Make sure you use .org NOT .com.

 

Regards,

Frank

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