Does Anybody Here Work in CAD?

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Does Anybody Here Work in CAD?

Postby clemk » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:21 pm

There seems to be a pretty diverse group here. Does anybody work in the CAD field? I have a chance to take a course in CAD 2D. I'd like to see if anybody can tell me how much computer I'd need at home. Are there any books I can get to at least have an idea of the terms and phrases that would be used in the course? I imagine there are questions I haven't asked yet, so let me know anything that comes to mind. Thanks for your help
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Re: Does Anybody Here Work in CAD?

Postby Stanton » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:48 pm

I've worked with CAD systems (namely AutoCAD) through my work in the engineering field. But with today's software demands changing so fast and having an in-house IT department that handles all the hardware requirements, I wouldn't know what to suggest.

You might start by doing some Google searches. If you don't know what kind of CAD software you'll be buying, then start there; do some searches to inform you based on what your needs are. Once you narrow that down to one or two choices, then do some searches on hardware requirements to run those programs. You should be able to gain quite a bit of info from just doing that to help answer your questions. You should be able to read reviews on most things and perhaps even download an Owner's or Installation Manual. I don't know; just suggesting.

AutoDesk, maker of AutoCAD, also has a 3-D modeling program called REVIT, that I don't really care for. I know you stated you were looking for 2-D stuff, but just wanted to say that REVIT is nothing like the AutoCAD system. Unfortunately, having been proficient on AutoCAD for most of my career, my employer has now switched over to using REVIT more and more--primarily because architects use it and makes each project more cohesive. Ah, well. I've thought a lot more about retirement the last 3 years since REVIT came along than ever before. LOL

Hope all this ranting helps. :)
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Re: Does Anybody Here Work in CAD?

Postby clemk » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:59 pm

Thanks, Stanton. Every little bit helps. Thanks for bringing up 3D, too. I couldn't help but think that would be better for me. It just seems like it would open up more options. I'm not married to the idea of any one field. I'd be just as happy in manufacturing as I would in mapping/civil, or architectural. But, the course is 2D, at least it's a start. Thanks again for your suggestions. They give me more places to look around. I've been on YouTube, but everything I've found there so far assumes some knowledge
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Re: Does Anybody Here Work in CAD?

Postby Terry C » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:16 pm

Stanton wrote:I've worked with CAD systems (namely AutoCAD) through my work in the engineering field. But with today's software demands changing so fast and having an in-house IT department that handles all the hardware requirements, I wouldn't know what to suggest.

You might start by doing some Google searches. If you don't know what kind of CAD software you'll be buying, then start there; do some searches to inform you based on what your needs are. Once you narrow that down to one or two choices, then do some searches on hardware requirements to run those programs. You should be able to gain quite a bit of info from just doing that to help answer your questions. You should be able to read reviews on most things and perhaps even download an Owner's or Installation Manual. I don't know; just suggesting.

AutoDesk, maker of AutoCAD, also has a 3-D modeling program called REVIT, that I don't really care for. I know you stated you were looking for 2-D stuff, but just wanted to say that REVIT is nothing like the AutoCAD system. Unfortunately, having been proficient on AutoCAD for most of my career, my employer has now switched over to using REVIT more and more--primarily because architects use it and makes each project more cohesive. Ah, well. I've thought a lot more about retirement the last 3 years since REVIT came along than ever before. LOL

Hope all this ranting helps. :)


I will second what was said above with emphasis on what the end goal of the drawing is. Are you going to make parts? Design buildings or other such things? The software companys kind of have areas they are best at.
I’ve been drawing and machining parts for 30yrs. I started with autocad and thought there would be nothing better. Years later Mastercam proved to be much better at drawing mechanical parts. Solidworks makes nice looking sales brochures with 3d drawings. All depends what your goal is.
Autocad Fusion is free to private users(at least it was)
I looked at it and was no better that what I have so I didn’t go any further. If I was on s budget and wanted to make parts or maybe get a 3d printer and mess around I would check it out.
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Re: Does Anybody Here Work in CAD?

Postby ricky racer » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:48 pm

Solidworks is the standard in machine building these days. AutoCAD is an older technology but still in use today.
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Re: Does Anybody Here Work in CAD?

Postby Urbish » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:28 pm

I'm a mechanical engineer and have worked almost exclusively with 3D CAD. I started out using Cadkey and MasterCAM in the 1990's doing machine design. I later used Rhino3D for some mechanical design, then Pro/Engineer (now known as Creo) for 8 years doing heavy mechanical design for the US Army. Most recently, I've been using Solidworks. My engineering group has a single license of AutoCAD for doing quick layouts and for maintaining our building's architectural blueprints (fire exits, office areas, fire extinguishers, signs, etc.) I've never used AutoCAD for mechanical design.

Creo and Solidworks are very similar and are great for designing piece-parts (solids and sheetmetal), assemblies and weldments, and drawings for all. If you're just getting into CAD, I'd recommend learning FreeCAD and/or Google SketchUP (both are free). Rhino3D is fairly powerful and can be had for under $1K. AutoCAD is a few thousand last time I checked. A seat of Creo or Solidworks is >$15k.

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Re: Does Anybody Here Work in CAD?

Postby clemk » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:38 pm

Thanks, everybody. So far the only one I can make work on the computer I have is SketchUp. It looks like a good start, but I have to look at it more. I haven't found much for theory in it yet, but I haven't given up, either
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Re: Does Anybody Here Work in CAD?

Postby Eugene » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:41 pm

If you want to take the course sign up, Attend the first class and see what the instructor suggests. Be sure to ask questions.

You may have enough of a home computer to handle the course work. Most likely the computers and CAD program will be provided for use in the classroom.

Don't purchase a CAD program or another computer until you find out what the course requires.

Perhaps the required CAD program is available at a discount for students. That was so when I taught CAD as a high school instructor.
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Re: Does Anybody Here Work in CAD?

Postby Peter Person » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:47 pm

AutoCAD LT is available to Students for free for 3 years.
https://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/autocad-lt

I agree with Stanton on REVIT. It's great for architects to create their building models, etc., but those of us in the trades still work in AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT. I'm really tired of the sloppiness that exists in REVIT produced drawings. AutoCAD requires thought and accuracy, but even then, you can edit dimensions without stretching the layouts and use the wrong pick points for dimensions.
Old adage of Garbage-In, Garbage-Out still applies.

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Re: Does Anybody Here Work in CAD?

Postby outdoors4evr » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:18 am

AutoCAD posts software requirements and recommendations.
https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/ ... -2018.html
Basically, get a VERY GOOD video card, a large high resolution monitor (or two), and lots of memory on a 64-bit computer. Don't go cheap.

Also, look up a spacemouse.
http://www.computeraideddesignguide.com ... e-for-cad/
Even though you aren't doing 3D modeling, the secondary high resolution mouse (for your non-primary hand) really helps with angles and perspective changes.
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Re: Does Anybody Here Work in CAD?

Postby BigBill » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:58 pm

My job forced me to take a course in pro engineer at the time but they never let me on it after. I could build it faster than they could make prints anyway.
I'm technically misunderstood at times i guess its been this way my whole life so why should it change now.

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Re: Does Anybody Here Work in CAD?

Postby clemk » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:19 pm

Thank you, I appreciate all the ideas. The more I can look at, the better. I go into everything with the idea that I can't know too much about it. Now if I could just remember it all....
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Re: Does Anybody Here Work in CAD?

Postby Landreo » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:32 pm

As Eugene stated, just get what the class instructor recommends. For 2d CAD not much of a computer is needed. Your home computer will likely be fine.

My home computer has 8 GB ram for Solidworks. Basic Solidworks is around $4K.

Free 2d programs are everywere but you might consider Draftsight which is a free 2D CAD from the Solidworks folks.
FreeCAD is a free 3D program not yet to version 1.0, alot of folks are putting alot of effort into this open source program but is still limited and buggy.
Fusion 360 is sort of free 3D CAD from the AutoCAD folks and is really very good with some analysis tools.

Just check with your instructor, no reason to try to learn several programs until the classes start.


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