Author Topic: Free (...or Almost Free) CAD program alternatives?  (Read 2094 times)

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sizemore

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Free (...or Almost Free) CAD program alternatives?
« on: July 21, 2011, 03:54:34 PM »
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I'm slowly finding the need to begin designing my own etching render for projects, instead of polling others for assistance I'd like to begin doing it myself. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks,
The S.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Free (...or Almost Free) CAD program alternatives?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2011, 08:25:38 PM »
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I've been using DraftSight:

http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/free-cad-software/

There's a bit of a learning curve, but the price is right.  The Mac version is still beta.

I'm getting cranked up again about etching coupler draft gear, so I hope to fire off some test runs soon.

-gfh

delamaize

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Re: Free (...or Almost Free) CAD program alternatives?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2011, 09:56:12 AM »
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I used this program to make models for Microsoft train simulator. Not sure how much of a CAD program it is. Easy to learn, and fairly powerfull.

http://www.amabilis.com/
Mike

Northern Pacific, Tacoma Division, 4th subdivision "The Prarie Line" (still in planning stages)

sizemore

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Re: Free (...or Almost Free) CAD program alternatives?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2011, 12:35:23 PM »
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Thanks for the suggestions guys, I think I'm going to try out Draftsight as of the moment I am only making etch renderings for steam locomotive steps, and light equipment.

Thanks,
The S.

CoalPorter

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Re: Free (...or Almost Free) CAD program alternatives?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2011, 04:56:11 PM »
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Autodesk - free Acad or Acad light demo good for 30 days after install and
then set your comp. clock back at 29 days and keep on going. :o ;D this is no problem if you dont use anything else that needs an accurate date.

Then you can get Bentley Microstation free internet download trial software 30 day demo and do the same thing. Hugh file and takes forever to download, but
again it is an easy to full demo - when it is almost expired, just set the 'ol computer calender back.  :-X


Autodesk sends you a CD that can be loaded ONE TIME ONLY on as many computers as you like.

Really, I just use MS Paint and i have drawn a calibrated master drawing with
a 1:1 n scale ruler built in that is more or less accurate to the nearest 2" or so. What are you designing? I have used this many many times for N scale structures, and my model quality has gone way up.

This is really easy to set up - just draw a few lines and plot and then measure the lines with a n scale ruler and then go back to the drawing and begin putting tick marks onto those lines and keep rechecking - it takes a while but
once you are done SAVE that drawing and with each new drawing make sure
you use SAVE AS  so u don't wipe out that master scale.
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hminky

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Re: Free (...or Almost Free) CAD program alternatives?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 10:19:04 PM »
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There is this free PTC product:

http://www.ptc.com/products/creo-elements-direct/modeling-express/

It is a parametric solid modeler:



Changing dimensions changes the model:



2d drawings can be made from the 3d models.

Harold