Author Topic: Latest recomendation for CAD software?  (Read 2613 times)

Offline shorton

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Latest recomendation for CAD software?
« on: April 26, 2019, 14:31:33 pm »
I'm an old user of Bentley Microstation.  Used it because it was free from work.  Then I taught a High School robotics class using the subset version called Powerdraft. Retired and I need to migrate to something new because I won't have licenses for Bentley anymore.  I looked briefly at FreeCAD to convert a STP file to STL for CamBam.  Man that interface was a head scratcher LOL.

Anything new I should consider?  Free always good, outputs something very compatible with CamBam please.  Willing to pay some reasonable price for a permanent license.  Not a candidate for the crazy priced corporate subscription  licenses like Microstation (and I think Solidworks too) has.  Old school, I want to install it and own it, and forget about it.

Grateful for any pointers..


Offline EddyCurrent

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Re: Latest recomendation for CAD software?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2019, 20:49:48 pm »
If you can arrange it, an educational license for Rhino3D is worth considering, it's my CAD software of choice.

Also have a look here; https://moi3d.com/

and here; https://www.punchcad.com
« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 20:54:14 pm by EddyCurrent »
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Online lloydsp

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Re: Latest recomendation for CAD software?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2019, 21:29:57 pm »
I use ViaCad3D (I think Bob L does, too).  It's not freeware, but it was only a one-time license when I purchased it, and it has done everything for me I needed to do that CamBam wouldn't in it's CAD features.

To be honest, I'm not really 'heavy' into 'external' CAD, since CB (with its many plug-ins) does almost everything I need.  Bob would be a better reference, since I think he uses it frequently.

FWIW, it's got a pretty easy and glitch-free user interface, also.

Lloyd
"Pyro for Fun and Profit for More Than Fifty Years"

Offline shorton

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Re: Latest recomendation for CAD software?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2019, 02:14:09 am »
Thanks guys.  (Punch)ViaCAD was on my radar.  Basic 2D/3D version is reasonable but it's fuzzy on the feature set vs whats in the pro model or the shark version.   

I expect RhinoCAD is out of my price range.  I may see what they will do for a Edu accomodation. 

Offline Bob La Londe

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Re: Latest recomendation for CAD software?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2019, 15:23:40 pm »
I am currently using ViaCAD 2d/3d Pro Version 9 64 bit.  I use it everyday to create 3D models.  Its a decent geometric modeler, and its a fair organic modeler.  I use a lot of splines as the base for other shapes, and it has some push pull capability as well as surface modeling and mesh modeling capability.  

This video by Tim Olsen (the primary author of ViaCAD) makes one form of modeling look like you can "just do it."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wFNrl6s1Is

I've actually followed along with that video and created my own spoon to learn that form of modeling and my spoon looks as good as his, but when I have tried to apply that mesh method to other shapes I have struggled.  Usually I create solid models instead.  More like this:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxdV0Sbt6zU  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c34JUfwz6AM

You mentioned file conversion.  ViaCAD can export in a bunch of formats and they tend to usually be decent quality files.  .stp and .stl are both good exports most of the time, but ALWAYS save your projects in native ViaCAD format.  ViaCAD can import .stl file, but you can't easily do much with them other than reposition them and look at them.  It imports .stp files and converts them back to solids, but its slow and the more complex the item the slower it is.  Its best to have the working original saved in ViaCAD format.  

ViaCAD claims some ability to convert watertight .stl meshes to solid models, but functionally its very limited.  The inbuilt function is limited to a couple thousand faces.  I did purchase the mesh service pack that claims more ability and it has some.  Marginally.  

If you are creating your own 3D objects or getting files in .stp format ViaCAD will probably be aceptable to you.  
« Last Edit: April 27, 2019, 15:25:59 pm by Bob La Londe »
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Offline dwc

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Re: Latest recomendation for CAD software?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2019, 19:44:06 pm »
I use Alibre and am very happy with it.
They had some hard years when they were bought by 3DS, but now they are back under the old management and development is continuing.
I recommend it.
Don

Offline shorton

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Re: Latest recomendation for CAD software?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2019, 21:33:57 pm »
Thanks guys, I'll check them out.  This is so painful, after the speed and power I have with Microstation.  Some of it from just what you are used to I suppose.  The vast majority of what I do is 2D.

A friend offered me his unused "DesignCAD 3D MAX 25, 64 bit".  I believe it's related to TurboCAD.  May check it out too.  Not familiar whit Alibre, will investigate.


Offline Bob La Londe

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Re: Latest recomendation for CAD software?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2019, 18:19:19 pm »
What "you are used to" may also be related to the power of the computer you are using.  I upgraded to a 4+ghz 4 core 8 thread machine with a quadzillabyte of memory and my productivity skyrocketed.  While most applications don't make use of all those resources they do run a LOT faster, and I can actually run a couple power hungry applications at the same time.  When CB is generating code or tool paths I can have my CAD program open with a design and even be streaming a video.  All at the same time.  


If you look for a powerful CAD computer it costs way to much, but if you look for a powerful gaming computer you can get some pretty impressive specs for your bucks.  Its not cheap but nowhere near as much as a machine that's built as a CAD computer. 




« Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 18:21:28 pm by Bob La Londe »
Getting started on CNC?  In or passing through my area?
If I have the time I'll be glad to show you a little in my shop. 

Some Stuff I Make with CamBam
http://www.CNCMOLDS.com

Offline dh42

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Re: Latest recomendation for CAD software?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2019, 14:23:34 pm »
Hello

Some short video about assembly, wood joint, plan, fold ...

http://www.atelier-des-fougeres.fr/Cambam/Aide/ViaCAD_video/video.htm

++
David
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 01:48:31 am by dh42 »