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Posted: 3/13/2011 6:42:03 PM EST
I am looking for a decent CAD program to play with for personal use, for plans in the future (maybe). I don't have $400 + to throw at a program, and I'm not looking for something professional/advanced. I have had some use of Auto CAD back in high school for a semester, and I have played around with a trial version of Alibre Design CAD (which I thought was kinda easy). Basically I'm looking for a program where I can make a 3D model and be able to make threads on surfaces. With practice and patience, I would like to design an AR15 lower and upper receiver.

I am a full time student also, so maybe I could get student pricing as well.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 6:45:24 PM EST
They give us AutoCAD at work, what a clunky program... I miss ProE
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 6:52:05 PM EST
If you are a student with a college email address (i.e. a .edu email address) then you can get a free 3 year student license to Autodesk Inventor as well as AutoCAD and any other Autodesk product.

just go to students.autodesk.com and register.

I think you can get SolidWorks for $100-$200 dollars for the student edition. Solidworks is very user friendly and is my preferred CAD program.

There is an "illegitimate" way of getting cad software as well via torrents. That is all I'll say.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 6:53:55 PM EST
I hear Revit is the way of the future at least for building.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 6:54:03 PM EST
Originally Posted By Rob762:
They give us AutoCAD at work, what a clunky program... I miss ProE


I do not enjoy using Autocad either, especially to make 3d objects. Why the hell would someone use Autocad to make 3d parts when there are so many better programs to do it with.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 6:54:08 PM EST
Originally Posted By Rob762:
They give us AutoCAD at work, what a clunky program... I miss ProE


ProE has got to be one of the worst 3D modeling programs IMO. I would pick Solidworks first, and then Inventor.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 6:54:33 PM EST
Try this one.
It's almost like auto cad but free...

http://www.caddit.net/progecad/smart.php
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 6:56:02 PM EST
You can get free personal editions of most good CAD packages like Pro/E and Solidworks. No commercial use allowed and the models cannot be opened in the commercial licenses. Give a PTC rep (Pro/E) a call and see what they can do for you.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 6:56:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2011 6:59:48 PM EST by Rob762]
Originally Posted By MXandSXracer21:
Originally Posted By Rob762:
They give us AutoCAD at work, what a clunky program... I miss ProE


ProE has got to be one of the worst 3D modeling programs IMO. I would pick Solidworks first, and then Inventor.


I started off with AutoCAD and was shown how to use ProE... everything's relative

ETA: I really need to have a sit down with SolidWorks, not that my place of employment would spring for it... had enough trouble just getting them to give me a non-LT version of AutoCAD
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 6:58:09 PM EST
Solidworks is my go to. You can get legal student versions with basically full functionality for less than $100 IIRC.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 6:58:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2011 6:59:55 PM EST by RED_5]
free, 2D AutoCAD clone from the Solidworks company

DraftSight

I have this at work, I like that a majority of the AutoCAD commands work the same.

good 2D for the money


ETA: Windows, MAC and Linux !!!
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 7:02:04 PM EST
Try to get a student version of SolidWorks. It's probably one of the easiest to teach yourself, but by no means is it easy to figure out. The student version, at least the one that I have through their sponsorship of our SAE competition is the full featured program. SolidWorks Toolbox is pre loaded with a ton of common parts like nuts and bolts, gears, bearings, etc that saves a lot of time drawing simple stuff. Here's a few PhotoWorks renders of one of the more complex projects that I've done in SW lately to give you an idea of what it's capable of.







Link Posted: 3/13/2011 7:02:39 PM EST
Solidworks student package is awesome. 150 dollars right now, but your local reseller (VAR) may vary or be able to work a deal.

It includes a license of SolidWorks Premium with simulations package and flow simulation package. One hell of a powerful tool. (Ive seen the flow package take a 80 hours in front of white board thermal transfer problem and do 30 minutes setting it up in solidworks, and a hour and a half of computer crunching and it spit out the same answer.)
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 7:05:19 PM EST
Originally Posted By MXandSXracer21:
Originally Posted By Rob762:
They give us AutoCAD at work, what a clunky program... I miss ProE


ProE has got to be one of the worst 3D modeling programs IMO. I would pick Solidworks first, and then Inventor.


Pro/E ( called Creo Elements/Pro now, but fuck that), is a tremendously powerful program. The problem, if you want to consider it one, is that it categorically does not let you get away with sloppy design. The same things that make Solidworks, Inventor, Alibre etc. easy to use can result in tremendous levels of headache in an industrial design setting.

That makes Pro/E harder to start using, but after a while it becomes natural. It's much easier to work on other peoples designs, to iterate a part or something like that, if it's being all done in Pro/E.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 7:28:56 PM EST
Thanks guys. I'm currently downloading AutoCAD Inventor Professional Suite 2011. I'm gonna try to get SolidWorks soon and give that a try too.
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