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Participant

Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3

CAD Program Recommendation?

03/28/2007 7:23 PM

We need to evaluate different programs to see which is best for our company. I need to be able to open and edit complex 2d dxf files sent to us by our customers. This program will also be used to run our small laser engraver which reads dxf. Our form-in-place gasket maker can also read dxf, but they can be 3d files.

We have Corel Draw 12, which I don't like much for ordinary use. I was taught rudimentary basics on autocad QuickCAD, but it's outdated and can't open newer files.

We are also looking for nesting software and digitizing software/table.

Anyone have suggestions? Thank you!

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Active Contributor

Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 20
#1

Re: cad program recommendation?

03/28/2007 7:51 PM

I have had great luck with AutoCad LT. It is relatively inexpensive and it is easy to learn. It is very powerful. It only does 2d though.

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Guru
Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member China - Member - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
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#2

Re: cad program recommendation?

03/29/2007 1:44 AM

First of all, you hve to mention what your company is doing? advertisement? you can use photoshop, adobe, 3dmax maya etc. for your plane, and stereo design, of cause flash as well. if you can only drive uyour laser engraver for simple word and pictures, photoshop and adobe and corel draw etc. enough for the purpose. they can all read dxf format files. and can convey it into other image format.

autocad mostly like to use to machine, building deoration etc.

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Power-User

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: South Africa
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#3

Re: cad program recommendation?

03/29/2007 2:48 AM

I do 3d and I use Rhino to do all my lasercutting. It is very userfriendly and you can edit fast. Very accurate also. Very reasonably priced. You can import and export various file types and when exporting to DXF you can adjust the settings (polyline max angles etc) depending how smooth the curve you want. Go to www.rhino3d.com and download the evaluation version. It allows you to save and export 25 times, thereafter it is still functional, but you can not save or export anymore. I export from Corel to AI file, then inport the AI file into Rhino, edit it and export to DXF with NO problems. I have been doing lasercutting for 3 years now. Great program!!

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Participant

Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3
#4

Re: cad program recommendation?

03/29/2007 10:07 AM

Thanks for the advice guys! I'll take a look at these ideas. We use our laser to make prototype parts usually, or parts that do not die cut well. Our main business is steel rule die cutting, e.g. transmission gaskets or other non-metallic gaskets.

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Active Contributor

Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 13
#5

Re: CAD Program Recommendation?

03/30/2007 3:18 AM

Hi there. I'm assuming that you don't want the cost of AutoCAD. If that's the case then there really isn't any discussion, the choice must be TurboCAD by IMSI.

It is 2D or 3D, very easy to use and full of features. It will render beautifully, with textures and quickly, you can do surfaces, NURBS, splines. It has all sorts of boolean functions for 3D.

It will input and output almost any file formats, it seems to translate DXFs correctly, which a lot of CAD progs don't. Oh and there's a mechanical package available so you've got libraries of threads, bolts etc. They're probably mostly metric but then why would any country use a different thread system than that? I ask you!

I'm sure you would be knocked out by it. I'm not sure what the price is at the moment but they always seem ready to haggle.

BTW, I have nothing to do with them, I'm just a very happy user.

Cheers

Andrew

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Member

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 5
#6

Re: CAD Program Recommendation?

03/30/2007 3:34 AM

Hi,

You can try Solid Works; www.solidworks.com

feature of the engineers.

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Anonymous Poster
#7

Re: CAD Program Recommendation?

03/30/2007 5:10 AM

You could try Turbocad Professional, I find it useful for most applications, and its an economic alternative

Rhinocad , is also very good.

Best of luck

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Anonymous Poster
#8

Re: CAD Program Recommendation?

03/30/2007 5:20 AM

If you just need to open the files to view & perhaps take measurements you could use the free Volo View software available from Autodesk.

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Anonymous Poster
#9

Re: CAD Program Recommendation?

03/30/2007 9:30 AM

I currently use Ashlar Vellum's Cobalt. The program is very user-friendly and I enjoy using it everyday.

<a href="http://www.ashlar.com/">www.ashlar.com</a>

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Participant
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#10

Re: CAD Program Recommendation?

03/30/2007 11:45 AM

Rhinoceros as was previously posted is an amazing program. I use it daily for tasks from template making to 3d surfacing. You can import and export in the dxf format which I use for our material and waterjet cutters. It is a relatively inexpensive yet stunningly powerful program. Hope this helps!

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Participant

Join Date: Dec 2005
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#11

Re: CAD Program Recommendation?

03/30/2007 12:50 PM

As the programs become more complex, you'll need supporting infrastructure. Your total cost might include a file server, a network to distribute files, a specialist to answer questions, drawing standards, etc.

Be sure the software has a good-sized user base. Be sure that it reads and writes files that your customers and suppliers can use. Together these two items increase the chance of an upgrade path, which you'll need when you outgrow this software or the software vendor gets bought out by someone else.

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Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - Old Salt Hobbies - CNC - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member

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#12

Re: CAD Program Recommendation?

03/31/2007 10:50 AM

I use Turbo CAD will read most CAD files (3DS,3DV,BMF,BMP,CGM,DC,DCD,DGN,DWF,DWG,DXF,GIF,IGS,JPG,PDF,PLT,PNG,SAT,WMF)

There are more. User friendly Made by the same company that makes Corel Draw.

I use the pro version but there is a deluxe that less $150.00.

note they are soon to release version 14

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Participant

Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3
#13

Re: CAD Program Recommendation?

03/31/2007 6:11 PM

Outstanding ideas! I'm going to try evaluation versions and see how that goes although they sometimes have limited functionality. I tried the Cimpac eval. version and I can only use 12 objects in a file or something.

Next question: Are any of these programs compatible with or part of a digitizing package? We get a lot of customers coming to us with "I need this gasket...no, I don't have a drawing but I have a sample part" It would be faster to be able to trace the part rather than draw from scratch, and also would help with our new FIP robot when the customer actually sends the housing or whatever it is that they want a form-in-place gasket applied to.

Thanks again for the great suggestions!

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Power-User

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: South Africa
Posts: 200
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#14
In reply to #13

Re: CAD Program Recommendation?

04/01/2007 3:49 AM

You place the object in a scanner and scan it. In Rhino you draw a block that is the same dimension as if it will fit around the object. Then go to "View" then "background bitmap" then "Place". Browse to the file (bitmap, jpg, tiff or what ever you saved it as)

Then you place it in the top viewport (use the rectangle that you draw earlier. Then you can go to "view, Background bitmap- (move , align, scale or hide/remove etc)"

When tracing use curve (hold left mouse butn in) and choose curve :interpolate points. If it is a free form object, but if it is geometrical you can use lines, circles and polygons. Rhino has also a digitizing function, but I don't have a didgitizer..("tools, 3-d didgitizer,connect...")
Another neat tip is to use the rectangular or polar array (under "transform line") if there are repetition of objects, like a lot of holes spaced out uniformly. Rhino also has a text function and you can get more fonts if the ones in the program are not enough.

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