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Anyone used CAD?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by eaglefrq, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. eaglefrq

    eaglefrq NRA Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    The Twilight Zone
    How difficult are the CAD programs to use? Is there an easier program that still produces the same results?

  2. Depends on what you plan to do.

    I am in engineering and Auto CAD is near or at the top of the heap. There's Microstation but I personally don't think it compares - IMHO.

    Nothing else will do since I MUST have seamless interface and interchange with clients and associates.

    I have run Auto CAD since at least 1967 and without it I would not be in business. It ain't cheap but it's a cost of doing business.

    Get training at your local technical school. It will be worth every penny. That's what I did.

    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012

  3. robin303

    robin303 Helicopter Nut

    Sep 27, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I have used for years designing decks, remodel jobs, cabinets and all sorts of stuff. I still think you can download it free for a certain time. I liked it so much I bought it.
  4. eaglefrq

    eaglefrq NRA Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    The Twilight Zone
    My boss called earlier and asked if I had ever worked with CAD. I have a business trip coming up and the big boss wanted me to take some measurements (I'm not sure for what) and then put them in CAD.

    I told him I haven't used CAD before, but I would be willing to try. He said don't worry about it because the program is very expensive. That tells me that we don't have a copy of it yet.
  5. crazycooter91

    crazycooter91 Roll Tide

    Jun 15, 2012
    Somewhere in north AL
    I am in school for drafting, what do you need to know about autocad?
  6. eaglefrq

    eaglefrq NRA Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    The Twilight Zone
    Just some general info...

    Is it difficult to use? I usually pick up working with different programs fairly easily. I just don't want to assume it would be simple and my company buys the program and then I can't do anything with it.
  7. Reswob


    Mar 8, 2009
    AutoCAD is pretty difficult to just pick up and use with no instruction. Inventor is a much better program, and more intuitive, although if you're strictly doing architectural drawings CAD may be better in the long run.
  8. cad is easy enough but is much easier with a bit of practice using the text shortcuts. i use it fairly regularly. i do alot of sheetmetal design, circuitry and wiring diagrams on it.
  9. Take a look at Google Sketchup. Entry level and it's free. If you need more than that then there is always Autocad LT. It's gonna run you around $1000.00 U.S.
  10. eaglefrq

    eaglefrq NRA Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    The Twilight Zone
    Thanks for the answers and suggestions for alternate programs.
  11. Hef

    Hef Stop Obammunism

    Sep 12, 2004
    Hilton Head, SC
    I use Chief Architect X4 for residential and light commercial design, and for cabinets. It isn't hard but it takes a few years to become proficient. It does excellent 3D modeling and allows for the importation of SKP models and materials to customize your designs.
  12. R2D2


    Jun 4, 2012
    Palm Coast, FL
  13. bchandler


    Sep 8, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    CAD is a generic acronym for Computer Aided Design. It does not mean AutoCAD. AutoCAD is one product out of hundreds, all of which help you do CAD.

    I use Pro/Engineer every day at work, another leading CAD program. Some others are SolidWorks, NX, and Catia. Most companies will invest in only one product as their bread and butter CAD program, sometimes buying a few licenses of others for specialty work. These programs are quite complicated and take years to become fully proficient with. I know senior engineers who have been using Pro/E their whole careers, since it came out, and they still learn new features constantly.

    Honestly if you just have to make a quick model for your boss and this will not be your full time job, and you are not an engineer who needs the precision, try Google Sketchup. It is free, super easy to use, and you can get an OK model out of it.
  14. md2lgyk


    Mar 23, 2001
    There are a couple of free programs that are fairly comprehensive and compatible with AutoCAD. They were mentioned on a computer forum I visit a couple of days ago. Try a Google search and I'll try to resurrect the names.

    I taught myself AutoCAD, but Sketchup is incomprehensible to me. Go figure.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  15. havensal

    havensal Nozzle Jockey CLM

    Aug 14, 2003
    Western, NY
    Give draftsight a try. This CAD package is put out by Dysault Systems, the makers of Solidworks. It's the only 2D software I have used in a couple of years. Very similar to AutoCAD, at least the last version of AutoCAD I have used. There may be some tutorials out there that would get you proficient enough to impress your boss. Did I mention it's free? :wavey:
  16. crazycooter91

    crazycooter91 Roll Tide

    Jun 15, 2012
    Somewhere in north AL

    It is simple with a little practice and instruction but it would be fairly complicated to someone just picking up the program and trying to teach themselves.
  17. eaglefrq

    eaglefrq NRA Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    The Twilight Zone
    Thanks everyone for their suggestions on programs to use. I will discuss this with my boss today to see what he wants to do.
  18. joe0121


    Nov 12, 2012
    Google Sketchup.