CAD ?'s

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by full_bleed, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. full_bleed


    May 27, 2005
    I've been wanting to learn a little cad. What versions do you guys use? What are some tips that you could give to a beginer? What is one of the easier cad programs to start out with? Feel free to offer up any other info that you might think would be important or helpful to know. Thanks
  2. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I'm a CATIA V5 user, myself. I've either sold, supported, or used most of the major (current and those long forgotten) systems -

    CATIA V4 & V5
    Cadds 4x
    Intergraph EMS, VDS, and what became UG's Solid Edge
    ProE (numerous versions)
    UG (numerous releases)
    and the list goes on ...


    Which is easier ... well, it really depends on what you need to do. If you're doing advanced aerospace associative surfacing/solids V5 is pretty hard to beat. I believe it's also the priciest of those listed here with the exception of the Intergraph products.

    If all you want is a 2D sketching tool, you could look at most of the cheap <$100 systems available at COSTCO or Sam's Club. Functionality, flexibility, and ease of use typically increase proportionately with price. And you computer OS will have some to do with limiting what's available.

    Anything more specific you're looking to do?

  3. full_bleed


    May 27, 2005
    well I wanted to be able to make my own bass designs and see them in 3d with all or any cotours to the body that I wish them to have. I can do a few tricks with photoshop but I would need to reconstruct the image for every angle that I wished to see, and doing that and keeping the correct scale is just to much. I don't feel like putting that much time into it when if I can learn a 3d cad program I'll only need to do this once. I think my computer should be able to keep up with most applications... Win XP, 2.8ghz pentium 4 w/ HT, 1gb ram, 7200rmp serial ata hard drive.
  4. mahrous


    Aug 13, 2005
    my father and brother (architects) have been AutoCAD users since release 2.8.

    so i naturally picked up some basics and taught myself the rest from there. currently i use AutoCAD 2006, Mechanical Desktop 2005 and just started using AutoDesk Inventor R.10 to be able to enter the CNC business.

    if ur working with only guitar making drawings, u dont need an extra powerful machine.
  5. full_bleed


    May 27, 2005
    mahrous would I need to use both mechanical and inventor or would I be able to get away with using just inventor? I'm also interested in being able to use cnc or a plasma cutter for other things later on but it wouldn't be for anything as extreme as aerospace associative surfacing/solids. Are there any steps or info that anyone here can lend that might help out on the learning curve?
  6. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Man, you seem to be opting for a design office!
    What kind of $ do you have to spend on this?

    A Catía setup to do all that will cost you some 10 grand, Solid Edge or AutoCAD 5-7 grand.
    Some guys here swear by TurboCAD and some other lower budget software. From the little I know about it, I think you should look into Alibre. The entry is at $0, and the top model is some $2000, I think.

    Re. ability, Catia is no longer in sole supremacy. My company is changing from Solid Edge to Catia V5, because of some need of really difficult double curved surfaces. Since the decision was taken, Solid Edge has caught up with Catia on every feature we need... And teh examples I've seen from Turbo and Alibre are definitely good enough for all of us...
  7. full_bleed


    May 27, 2005
    I don't want to invest 10, 7, or even 5 grand into a setup but I don't mind spending 500 or so on something that'll get me exactly what I want plus some extra stuff that I might find a use for later. I don't understand the high cost that you are talking about. I see autocad 2006 going for $300 or sometimes less, Mechanical for $50, and Inventor for around $120. Am I missing something?
  8. namespacemk


    Aug 22, 2005
    I use TurboCAD 7.1, which was free with a PC magazine I bought specifically. Prior to that, I used a free version of TurboCAD 6.?. Both versions provide the features I need to get by, no problem. TurboCAD is fairly easy to use, so no issues there. Images can also be imported and traced if required.
  9. full_bleed


    May 27, 2005
    turbocad is only 2d right? I have Corel Draw that I can use for making the shapes nice and smooth. I think it would be easier to use than any other program (maybe I'm wrong I don't know) What I really need is a 3d program that I can import my shapes into and give them depth and contours. I would also perfer a program I would later be able to use to send info to a cnc or plasma cutter.
  10. I currently use Ashlar Vellum3D, and Pro-E.

    I also know AutoCAD and (dinosaur) VersaCAD
  11. full_bleed


    May 27, 2005
    ok with all of these progams listed which would probably be the easiest to get going without any previous experience with cad
  12. vellum is insanely intuitive.
  13. CorelDraw is the most intuitive illustration/CAD style program you'll be able to get ahold of.

    Trust me on this. I use this program in a design/manufacturing environment daily doing millions of dollars of work with it and it will do exactly what you need done. Doing surface modeling is OK but unless you are going to drive a machine to do the cutting of those contours, there really isn't much reason to have it for your home shop work. What you REALLY need is a program that can easily and accurately render the shapes you need in full scale so that you can pattern and model their fit. That's what Corel can do in spades. If all you've seen is illustrations in Corel, you've missed a lot of it's capabilities. For instance, Corel has the option of working in wireframe - something most other illustration type programs don't have. And Corel is an object oriented drawing program - that is, it's not a bitmap program. You are drawing vector objects so they can be printed so resolution will only be limited by the output device. What this means for you is no jaggies!. Here are some other features you might find helpful:

    - accuracy to 10 decimal places
    - fractional, decimal, engineering, or architectural conventions
    - Measurements in 21 different unit types
    - Real world WYSIWYG or scaling in fractional, architectural, or engineering scales.
    - Importing and exporting of Autocad .dxf, .dwg files
    - Importing and exporting of graphic standard .eps and .ps files in vector format.
    - Full tracing ability
    - Ability to manipulate photographs on screen with other vector objects (useful when doing instrument comparisons)
    - Color models for over 30 different color conventions.
    - Bezier curves - smoothest form of curve editing
    - Full Delta coordinate capability
    - Thousands of at hand tools like extrusions, corner rounding, duplication and spacing, offset outlines/inlines, envelope distortions.
    - Totally interactive toolbars and menu sets - they are also completely customizable for features and content.
    - Angle measurement and arc measurement including those used in ellipses.
    - Snap to grids, Snap to objects, Snap to guidelines, etc.

    You should remember that this program was introduced in 1989 or thereabouts and is now in it's 12th version. I've been using it since ver.2 at the pro level and I do all of my design work on it. With my plotter and large format printer, I get all of my patterns in full size and I can export my files to any router system I want with a punch of a button.

    If you guys get into Corel, I'll give you online tutoring to get you started and show you some tricks and techniques to help you get the most from it. It's not as hard as you might think because it's so visually easy to understand.

    I've got a copy of Corel ver. 4 that I can copy and give away. Corel does this anyway and it's not illegal. They have put this on some of the Freeware sites as a tease for some of the their other products. Ver. 4 is a much simpler program but does the vector/bezier thing just as well. I'll have to check but it may be limited in it's workspace size but I'm not sure.
  14. full_bleed


    May 27, 2005
    huh, I didn't know all that. I actually forgot that I even had corel untill I was digging around for my missing Fuel cd a couple days ago. It's still missing by the way. I have ver. 10 but I never did anything more than just simple line drawings with it. So Corel Draw will allow me work in 3d? I would like to have a machine cutting for an other project but that probably won't come for a year or so.
  15. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I have designed a few basses with SolidWorks. It's an awesome 3D program. It belongs to my employer though, so I didn't have to pay for it.

    I have also used AutoCad to do 2D designs.

    I just do it for fun. If I only knew how to build my designs!

    If you're looking for an inexpensive design program try TurboCad or SolidEdge.
  16. I don't think I'd call Solid Edge an inexpensive program, unless you're thinking of some release of it that I haven't seen.
  17. Audere

    Audere Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 7, 2005
    South Beach, OR
    Owner: Audere Audio
    Asking people which cad system is best is like asking which bass is best.

    It all depends on how you approach the problem. Most cad systems contain more than enough power to build a virtual bass. How easy or hard this is to do will depend on how you think compared to how the program operates. How easy the bass is to edit when you want to make changes later is a big factor.

    My though patterns and AutoCad are not a good match.
    Same with Intergraph's products.
    Solid Works is cake for me.
    Other people will have a different preference.

    Picking the package which works good for you will have a huge effect on your productivity.

    Consider if you need to send parts to a CNC machine. The cost to cut your parts will depend on how clean the data is...

    I have cut bass templates and prototype parts directly from my cad models.

    Constructing a bass will not require more than about 1-2 days and this assumes you include all of the details like dimensionally accurate truss rods, graphite bars, pickups, switches, knobs...

    I presently use Solid works, keeping it current runs about $1300 per year. So maintenance is a significant cost.

    If you are seeing super low pricing for any of the professional packages then the copy is probably not legal unless it is an older version.
  18. one of my wood working major friends swears by Graphite
  19. full_bleed


    May 27, 2005
    WOW now I feel like I'm the only here on TB that never learned cad :(
  20. Monomer


    Jul 22, 2005
    Only one mention of Solidworks?