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 Post subject: Easy to use 3D Cad/modelling software
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:01 am 
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Location: Essex, England
I have a need to create a design for something, all I need to do is to create "items" of specific sizes within the software, and to then move them around. All of the shapes can be in box form, so I dont even have a need for curves.

3D software would be great but its not a requirement, as I can easily knock up 2D drawings of a 3D item from different angles.

Ideally I would also be able to "lock" the items dimensions once created so when moving them around I dont accidentally change their size.

Beyond those requirements, I only require something that I dont have to pay for, and that is easy to use, I am not interested in learning how to do anything beyond what I have mentioned above.

I found this list.

http://www.freebyte.com/cad/cad.htm

And I downloaded and tried "Draft Sight", it didnt do what I wanted it to do, and if it does, it wasnt anywhere near as obvious as I would like.

Recommendations welcome.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Easy to use 3D Cad/modelling software
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:24 am 
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Andy,

Your question is right up my alley, so to speak: most CAD programs can do this. In DataCAD they are called symbols, and they can be anything you can draw. The copies can be rotated, mirrored, etc. very easily while you insert them or afterward. It is mainly 2D, but it has so-called 2.5D (entities created with a Z-height) and full 3D abilities. There is a demo version that is free: http://datacad.com/demo/index.html

A 3D program that can do this is SketchUp, which has a free version. In SketchUp, they are called components. Again, they can be anything that you can create, and then can be copied and repeated, all over the place. http://sketchup.google.com/ SketchUp is very easy to use.

In both programs, these entity groups are "locked" in the main drawing, but if you need to, you can edit them and the changes are automatically made in all instances. As an example, my SketchUp model of the open source CarBEN EV (at the end of the Super Efficient Car thread) is made up of two components -- each half of the car are mirror images and any edits on one half immediately happen on the other half. Also, the five 3D figures are all a component: the front three are the same, and the fourth and fifth ones are slightly reduced in size, but otherwise identical copies.

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 Post subject: Re: Easy to use 3D Cad/modelling software
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:00 pm
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Location: Essex, England
Thanks Neil, I will give that a go and get back to you as and when (and if) I complete my task.


Regards Andy

PS: I will PM you with what I am doing if I get anywhere well before anything serious gets posted anywhere, I have looked at some of your designs, its good shit, no further comment needed.

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 Post subject: Re: Easy to use 3D Cad/modelling software
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:55 am 
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No problem -- PM's work or just post your questions here.

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http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/


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