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I use progeCad 2013 ($400.00) Pro which is powered by the IntelliCAD 7 Engine.  I used AutoCAD in the past at work but for personal use I wasn't going to pay an arm and a leg for that.  progeCAD is a great replacement for AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT.

 

Bentley-Microstation is a bit overkill and at around $5000.00

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I have recently become a convert to TurboCAD and find it to be extremely well suited to drafting model plans. I was forced to change because the product I used for Naiad, Visio Technical 4.1, is long extinct. TurboCAD is also a much more capable program.

 

As with any complex software, there is a learning curve and I spent about a month this summer getting familiar with the product. The abbreviated User Guide that comes with the TurboCAD Deluxe product is relatively useless but a full 700+ page pdf version can be found online. I have printed out the 2D portions of that and find it a very useful reference.

 

The product is "deep" and it is worth taking time to learn the features and settings. It took me about a week to figure out how to print a 1-pixel line. Among the many features, I find the dimension measurement functions very useful in lofting. The paper space features for creating print views at whatever scale are also an excellent feature. I can recommend it highly. I am using an older Version - TC 17 - that can be had from Amazon for about $30.

 

Ed

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  • 6 months later...

I agree with Ed.  Turbocad is a very useful tool and appears to have all of the functionality we need (especially when you see what Ed has been able to do with it).  

 

However, I just tried to accelerate my climb along the learning curve by purchasing the 'Training Video' that they offer for $49.99.  Within 24 hours I've asked for my money back based on their 'Satisfaction Guarantee' - let's see if that's any more than a marketing phrase.  The video was nothing more than someone running through the commands with no explanation of when, how, or why one would want to use one function vs the next.

 

I'll continue the effort to learn this package, and I'm sure the time will be well spent (but my money wasn't!!)

 

Frank

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Was a board/paper draftsman/designer pre-ACAD. Left that short career for 23+ years in USAF electronics. When I started using my own PC for drafting I migrated through floppy discs of ACAD Lite and Generic CAD (yes, that's its real name and was a great program, too). Finally found TurboCad and I still have it. Left Windows based version 10 for Mac OS based version. Be advised-they are very different but, nonetheless,I still would recommend the software. It's fairly intuitive which is good because I can come back to it after months of non-use and not have to navigate the learning curve hill again. Great bang for the buck.

Rich

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Started out using Generic Cad before Auto Desk bought it out and then stopped supporting it. Really turned me off of having any desire to support any Auto Desk product.  I did purchase Auto Cad lite because I needed to upgrade from the old Dos based software,  did not like the logic of the software. Did try Turbo Cad but when General Cad came along, it was based on the old Generic Cad using the same two letter commands, I jumped on that and never looked back. Use and have used for years Traverse PC as a COGO program, do my comps, line work and dimensioning in it and then send it to Cad to finish the drawings. Travers PC has progressed far enough now so you can get some very good drawings from it, most of the newer users never use anything else, I do use its drafting capability's for simple drawings but still send most to Cad for refinement, being 71, I just haven't had the urge to change. Between the two I can get some very good 2 D drawings, some 3 D is available but I haven't gotten into that other than for land surfaces.using contours and stock pile volumes. I have been supplying my own software for years and have gotten my moneys worth from the two programs I use and plan on using both to do some experimenting with ship plans, will be drawing in true size using decimal feet, my print outs will be at a usable scale. Having a plotter that will handle up to D size sheets will be an advantage I will enjoy because I already own it because of my work.

jud

Edited by jud
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  • 2 months later...

Jay,  

 

If you have an older version of DesignCAD and are looking to upgrade, I just went from XP with ver 14 to Windows 8 and bought an upgrade for about $60 on my new system and decided to get Ver.23 DesignCAD Max 3D training disk that only cost me $40 to make sure I could learn any new commands.  I actually find it easier than the old version 14.  Version 23 came out for Windows 7, but has worked just fine in Windows 8.  There is much that is familiar from my older version, but it is more user friendly.  It is also made by IMSI.  You can do curves in either type of formats, and they can be saved as lines if you wish.  I can scan in BMP, Tiff, or Jpeg and possibly more.  You can choose what sort of file you want to save your drawing to such as DCD, or a variety of other types of drawing files.  I usually draw the plans full size and then print them to the scale I want.  I get around fairly well in 2D and am working on learning how to do 3D.  If you call IMSI and talk to Bruce he can help you get into an upgrade if you should decide to do so.  Otherwise buying the new program is about $200+.

 

Walt Biles

Edited by Walter Biles
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I have not used CAD software and, as I get deeper into ship modeling, have begun to think about using CAD software.  I would appreciate thoughts about whether I need 3D or if 2D would be enough to draft plans. What I would like to have the software do is enable me to print out components of the ship model. for instance, print out the series of frames from the draft of the hull.  (or am I misunderstanding the whole concept?)

 

Thanks,

Richard

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Hello Richard,

 

Before investing in relatively expensive CAD software, you might want to consider expeimenting with an inexpensive (free) application called Inkscape.

 

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.

 

I have used 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!

 

If I understand your need, Inkscape can certainly allow you to design your frames in your virtual lofting shed. The thickness of the frames would simply be defined by the thinkness of the material.

 

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

 

Regards,

Frank

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I have seen some pretty amazing work done in SketchUp which is a free program. I have worked with it myself to produce these images. Admittedly these are very rough and more of a "proof" of concept but if you do a search on the forum I'm sure you can find the post.

 

post-306-0-71256100-1401491765_thumb.jpg

 

post-306-0-19233400-1401491766_thumb.jpg

 

 

-----

 

here's a link http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/844-hms-pandora-1779-cad-build-log/

Edited by Don9of11
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I don`t know if someone here mentioned it before. But Autodesk offers a free 3 years license for AutoCAD 2014 for students and teachers. I managed to download a MAC version as university teacher and must say: the program really is a weapon. It takes long to understand the functions especially as a Neewby  but its definitely fun to work with it. I just constructed a stand for a sports yacht and guess what? i built it following my own plans. Nothing special but made me proud a little. Here is the link to the download process:

 

http://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/all

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Frank;

Thanks for the link to Inkscape. I will try this.

 

I did use progeCAD but I wasn't that satisfied with the results. (I know I spent much money on this) Changed to TurboCad and the IMSI forums have helped me tremendously.

I already use Delftship and GIMP.

 

The above combination works good for me. I am not a student or teacher so I can't get cheap software.

 

Marc

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow there is so much stuff out there.

 

I'm fluent in Sketchup and AutoCad. I have a passing knowledge of Microstation and Archicad. I have a little bit of Revit knowledge. From all the programmes that I've engaged with Revit is the winner - no contest. For modelling a compound curved object such as a ship you need a parametric programme - none of the previous listed in my experience deliver this with ease.

 

Attached a chess set model I did in Sketchup - it shows its simple power and it's ability to deliver simple curves.

 

That said I would be looking for a more parametrically aligned programme for ships. I've no idea which would be the best one and I'm interested about the thoughts on this thread.

post-259-0-80102600-1402566071_thumb.jpg

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Actually, you don't really need parametric capability to model complex surfacing.  I use Rhino as a concept/quick modelling tool before parts go into a parametric program for engineering and tooling (in the past, Pro/E, nowadays usually Solidworks)  and I find Rhino pretty nice for ship hulls. (It was originally developed for marine architecture.)

Parametrics is a double-edged sword.  The great thing about having a history tree comes when you do something like change your rib spacing from 12" to 16" for instance, and need to dynamically update all geometry. Doing the same operation in Rhino, you need to save a version before the operation to go back to and rebuild the relevant layer.

At the front end while developing surfaces from lofted curves and offsets, it actually makes things a bit tougher as you have to do more pre-planning.

Rhino is also pretty cheap for good, functional 3-d (under 1k us$)  compared to Solidworks.  It is however trickier(although still very doable) to make watertight parts to 3-d print, as it is primarily a surface modeler rather than a true solid modeler.

 

I think a common theme of this thread is that we will all push the platform with which we are most familiar.  :)

In general, there is as always, a bit of an inverse ratio between money spent on software and time required to get top-notch results. (free sketchup does some things, it takes a lot of time to create advanced things, Dassault System's Catia is completely brilliant, but you have to be GM or Airbus to afford it...) 

 

My personal feeling as someone who used a drafting table and then Autocad for years, is that I am way too lazy nowadays to go back to 2d drawings, but that's just me...

Edited by hexnut
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One thing you guys might also want to look at it the VectorMagic site. I used it to take jpg files and vectorize them so I could import them into a CAD program. Not perfect, but it works pretty well. There is a $7 per month subscription fee to do more than download two drawings, but testing it out and getting the first two are free. The subscription is cancelable at anytime so it is month to month.

 

So far, I have liked it and think it allowed me to pull in drawings that would have taken me a long time to redraw in CAD. Then I can focus on the lofting plans etc.

 

Bill

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I was on a drafting table for about 6 years as a die designer in the forging industry then switched over to a 2D program called ANVIL 1000; it's still around but a little pricy. Then we migrated to SolidWorks which I prefer to use. Each one of these programs has a learning curve but it is easier to grasp the fundamentals and get up to a production level if you have previous drawing board experience. (IMHO)

 

I found the best way to learn SketchUp was to start modeling some of my old high school vocational projects . Simple geometric shapes at first then gradually working into something more advanced. Even if you're just going to trace over an existing design, it still helps to have a good knowledge of the basic tools and what you can do with them under your belt.

 

If you start out with "lofty" ideas (no pun intended), your CAD program could end up in the closet along with your model ship. Like anything else it takes practice, practice, practice.

 

Some examples of SketchUp work I have done in addition to what I have posted already.

 

 

post-306-0-37207200-1402600747_thumb.jpg

 

-----added----

 

If you're looking for a good SketchUp learning source I found the tutorials at the Chiefwoodworkers Blog to be excellent http://www.srww.com/blog/

Edited by Don9of11
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About a year ago, I decided to design a 1:87 model of RMS Titanic to go on my model railway layout. I don't actually have the space to build the thing yet, so I can't get past the design stage until I have the space to build it. This gives me a decent amount of time to decide how I'm going to make each part. Then, when I do get the space, it's "simply" a question of cutting and sticking the parts together.

 

So the starting point for all designs is the hull.... which is of course the most complicated bit! I had no experience in CAD so had to teach myself a software package and then design the hull. This is my experience of the past year.

 

1. Start with Solidworks. Learn package. Start designing the hull. Realise that SW is very limited when it comes to designing complex curved shapes. You can use freeform surfaces, but this is insanely more difficult than other options out there.

2. Decide to use Delftship to design the shape of the hull. I get something decent and reasonably lifelike (but not perfect) in a few weeks. This I can import into SW. It imported OK, but it's not perfect.

3. I then joined Maklab, who have a floating licence for Rhino. So I decided to learn Rhino and see if I can come up with something better. Which I did. In 2 months, I'd learned the basics of Rhino and come up with something acceptable (but not perfect), mostly from using the NetworkSrf command in Rhino. Obviously Rhino is not a parametric modeller, and I want to design individual components for a real life model so I exported to SW. However, I couldn't get the import to SW to work properly- the file was either huge, or massively distorted.

4. However, learning Rhino has given me a much better appreciation of control points and NURBS curves, which has made me see where I was going wrong with Delftship. So now I'm back to Delftship and redesigning the hull in there for export to SW or Rhino.

5. In parallel to that, I'm now looking at Maxsurf. Maxsurf appears to be the most powerful package out there, but the learning curve is VERY steep.

 

And if you're wondering how I can afford all these software packages, I'm lucky enough to have access to one or the other of these through my work, or Maklab, or a friend's computer (he's a naval architect and the one who suggested I use Maxsurf- which is what he uses to design yachts for the rich and famous).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Has anyone of you tried Blender? It is on the same level as any other 3D Software and it is free. It is based (as Linux) on people that are developing it. I work with Blender and many people are using it as professional software.

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Has anyone of you tried Blender? It is on the same level as any other 3D Software and it is free. It is based (as Linux) on people that are developing it. I work with Blender and many people are using it as professional software.

 

I tried Blender a few years back and I found it difficult to use. Blender like 3DS Max is an artistic program verses a mechanical drafting program (IMHO) I have seen a lot of cool stuff created with Blender and like any program you have to stick with it in order to learn it.

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  • 3 months later...

 

I just picked up TurboCAD Deluxe for the Mac, and after an initial crash (before I learned not to type in the "-" between feet and inches; it thinks it is a subtraction operation), it has worked exceptionally well. Well laid out interface, responds well to drafting with bezier curves, etc. I would recommend it, at least for a Mac. I don't know about the Windows version.

 

Mark

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Have Turbo Cad, Design Cad and Auto Cad Light on the shelf, they have been there a long time because I did not like the logic and setup methods they used. Was spoiled by Generic Cad as a Dos program and for a long time now have used General Cad,'basically a windows version of Generic Cad". Have not upgraded to the 3D addition yet and may not, do have some fairly useful earthwork commands in my Traverse PC program that may do what I need, If so I could do the layout in COGO then could send to Cad for the polish, easier for me doing it that way. Started using COGO programs on the old IBM 1130, so teaching an old dog, etc might fit. Point is that there are probably many different programs, initially put together for other reasons than working with ships, that can be adapted or used as a rough draft to be polished later in another program, so ask around on other sites and disciplines.

jud

Edited by jud
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  • 3 weeks later...

 

Have Turbo Cad, Design Cad and Auto Cad Light on the shelf, they have been there a long time because I did not like the logic and setup methods they used. Was spoiled by Generic Cad as a Dos program

Jud

Brought back many memories of my frustrations with the first version of Autocad Light. I really likes the simplicity of Generic Cad it was too big a competition for Autocad so that is why they took it over , they had 2 updates if my memory serves me correctly, them stopped because they introduced Autocad LT 98, which was an absolute dog to use in my opinion, One day I overheard some chaps talking about the new Autocad Lt 2000 and how easy it was to use, I tried the newer version and found it to be much better. and because the generic was not being supported I switched. I still miss the simple two finger commands of Generic though "rd" was one I used a lot :) it is fading from memory now though.

 

Michael

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Has the ShipWright Software been discussed here?  Is anybody using it?  I bought this in early 2008 or so and the manual says that I was to receive a free version 2.0 when it was released but I never got it.  Had installed this on an older computer and never used it beyond just a quick try of the program and got way too busy to explore it further.  Just installed it onto my new unit and while looking in the manual decided to check on the updates.  The URL  www.shipwright.biz on the cover of the manual leads to a engineering firm.  The software was purchased from Robert Furstenberger of Brentwod, MD.  No listing is shown for him currently.

Kurt

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Michael

Have been using General Cad for a long time now. General Cad is a windows version developed for all the frustrated Generic Cad users so they could  upgrade to a Windows environment, it works great and most of the commands are the same as Generic. Think my last Generic Cad was 6.1 or something and I kept using it even after Micro Soft stopped supporting it. Heard about General Cad sometime later, think it was the 3.1 version that I started with, now using 11.1 and an upgrade to 12 is being offered, cheap enough for the up grade I will probably buy it for the additional graphic ability's. Also for a short time, a 3D upgrade is available for $149, haven't made up my mind about purchasing it, would probably be fun and it would open up virtual ship building for me. Might look at their Home page for a lot more info what it does, why it was created and the price. Have mentioned it several times, but price might be a bit much for most. I originally bought Generic because I needed to keep current with what was happening with the increasing use of Cad and had to do it myself because way out here no one was using Cad of any kind, my teacher was the owners manual which became well worn. It was my dime for the software and hardware and Auto Cad was out of my price range was my original reason for the purchase, glad I did. As an old Generic Cad user yourself, a look at their web site might be interesting for you.

jud

Edited by jud
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  • 1 year later...

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.

Hank, I hope you're still following this thread...

 

I have AutoCAD MEP 2008 that I used for work.  It's designed for building construction, specifically for mechanical, electrical and plumbing design. My job was in electrical construction. I have used it for designing woodworking projects and taken them into 3D.  But I don't see it as a very good program for model making, it would be too time consuming.  Am I missing something?  I'm asking because I only have a fraction of the CAD experience you have.

 

I know Autodesk makes better programs for model making but all their products are too expensive for the average hobbyist. 

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