• Spring 2024 meetup in Calgary - tentative date Saturday, April 20/2024. Other regions are also discussing meet ups. If you want one in your area get going on organizing it! discussion
  • We are having email/registration problems again. Diagnosis is underway. New users sorry if you are having trouble getting registered. We are exploring different options to get registered. Contact the forum via another member or on facebook if you're stuck. Update -> we think it is fixed. Let us know if not.
  • Spring meet up in Ontario, Newmarket, April 6/2024. Discussion

CAD Forum intro

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
II use AutoCad lite for work on 2D electrical drawings.
I have used it many times to design parts.
I used to have the 2000 version running on a (XP) virtual machine as I could not install it in Win7 or 10.
It is an indispensable tool to have!
I would like to find a CAD program that I can easily transition to and not pay a monthly subscription for hobbyist use.

I am no expert, but I understand that Fusion 360 is evolved from AutoCAD or at least is the same company now - perhaps through acquisitions. That might work in your favour. For the time being, it's free for hobby use with some restrictions.

I'm having some difficulty with it, but most users really like it. It sure won't hurt you to give it a try.
 

DavidR8

Scrap maker
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
II use AutoCad lite for work on 2D electrical drawings.
I have used it many times to design parts.
I used to have the 2000 version running on a (XP) virtual machine as I could not install it in Win7 or 10.
It is an indispensable tool to have!
I would like to find a CAD program that I can easily transition to and not pay a monthly subscription for hobbyist use.
Maybe have a look at Alibre Atom 3D.
I managed to pick up a licence for $100 USD
 

DavidR8

Scrap maker
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
David does Alibre do CAM?
It does use MeshCam as an add-on which I have read isn't super.
My workflow is such that I don't need CAD/CAM. For my CNC router I export the design into Vectric Desktop where I do the CAM. For 3D printing I export the design in to Prusa slicer.
@jcdammeyer what's your experience with CAM and Atom3D?
 

StevSmar

(Steven)
Premium Member
Fusion 360 is evolved from AutoCAD
It’s more of an evolution from AutoDESK Inventor. Too me, it looks like AutoDESK took a clean slate to design an “end to end” (Modelling to Analysis to CAM) package.

There are apparently things that Fusion does better than Inventor and vice verse. I bet their marking approach is to make Fusion the gateway drug to the much more expensive Inventor.
 

jcdammeyer

John
Premium Member
It does use MeshCam as an add-on which I have read isn't super.
My workflow is such that I don't need CAD/CAM. For my CNC router I export the design into Vectric Desktop where I do the CAM. For 3D printing I export the design in to Prusa slicer.
@jcdammeyer what's your experience with CAM and Atom3D?
I use the original AlibreCAD which came with AlibreCAM which was an integrated VisualCAM from Mecsoft. I had both VisualCAD/CAM for a year along with my Alibre. MecSoft was nice and let me play for a year to migrate my Alibre files over. I decided not to do that so now I'm stuck at about 2019 with AlibreCAD and 4 axis AlibreCAM (VisuaCAM). They don't always play nice together.

What I liked about AlibreCAD/CAM is that I can make one tiny change in the drawing, flip back to the CAM panel and just regenerate. With AlibreCAD and VisualCAM I'd have to re-export STP from the CAD and redo all the work again in VisualCAM.

Neither side (Alibre+Mecsoft) will acknowledge why they suddenly stopped supporting each other with the built in CAM. My guess is the occasional "Error-Save your work" turned into finger pointing and neither wanted to do the work to find out why.

So I stopped support for VisualCAM because I wasn't using it. My License for AlibreCAM I paid for once and is for eternity. This summer I will not renew support for AlibreCAD for the same reason. Lack of an integrated CAM package.

I export the STL files and slice with SLIC3R inside Repetier user interface. I then connect via my Ethernet connection to a Raspberry Pi2 running OctoPi and that Pi2 is connected to the 3D printer USB port. I drag and drop the .gcode files created by Repetier/SLIC3R onto the Octopi browser and then set up printing.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
It’s more of an evolution from AutoDESK Inventor. Too me, it looks like AutoDESK took a clean slate to design an “end to end” (Modelling to Analysis to CAM) package.

There are apparently things that Fusion does better than Inventor and vice verse. I bet their marking approach is to make Fusion the gateway drug to the much more expensive Inventor.

This makes good sense to me. Again, I'm no expert on this subject. I do find Fusion quite cumbersome at times.

The rubber will either hit the road when I try to do 3D printing or when my dead brain cells outnumber my living ones and I give up on the whole idea.
 

StevSmar

(Steven)
Premium Member
I do find Fusion quite cumbersome at times.
Me too! There are lots of times where I’ve cursed “this would be so much easier in AutoCAD”. It’s taken me about 3 years to unlearn the AutoCAD shortcuts I learned 15 years ago…
 

LenVW

Process Machinery Designer
I just noticed this conversation.

I am investigating ‘QCAD’ out of Germany, I think.
It looks like an excellent ‘2D software’ that is similar to the 2D AutoCAD that I used for decades to layout designs and proposals in detailed parts and plant size production line concepts.

Has anybody tried the QCAD ?
For $60 it seem to be a good tool for basic designs.
 

GlenG

Glen
I just noticed this conversation.

I am investigating ‘QCAD’ out of Germany, I think.
It looks like an excellent ‘2D software’ that is similar to the 2D AutoCAD that I used for decades to layout designs and proposals in detailed parts and plant size production line concepts.

Has anybody tried the QCAD ?
For $60 it seem to be a good tool for basic designs.
I’m an old school AutoCAD guy and I bought QCAD after i tried their free version for a while. It‘s a short learning curve from AutoCAD and I think we’ll worth the $60
 

Raygers

Member
Premium Member
I used Autodesk Inventor student edition when you didn't have to prove student status. I tried a few since then and finally settled on Freecad, the latest version is 0.21 which incorporates a lot of new features and improvements.
 

Dabbler

ersatz engineer
I've had trouble with freecad .21 and autocad crashing on my all-too-small PC. I've upgraded since, had should retry both again.
 
Top