good question. you might as well ask computer nerds about the best operating
i don´t think you should look for a CAD system for "beginners". i havent
seen any yet!
it´s rather a question of what you are going to do/build or in what kind of
industry you are going to work.
It's pretty difficult to decide... and you should precisely describe what do
you need and want to do?
I've used a few of CAD systems (for 2D and 3D), so I can recommend you any.
In my opinion, quite nice and easy for beginners seems to be HiCAD neXt. As
far as I know the manufacturer (German company 'ISD Software und Systeme')
has also CAM module as optional. They have a few branches in Europe, so you
shouldn't have any problem to find more info.
As others have said, no simple answer. You can buy a simple program and
be sorry when you move into some job that expects all work to be done
with a specific other program.. For example: this office started with
Generic cadd, which had to be dropped once windows 98 came out because
of compatibility issues. simple program that worked well, but got into
trouble with large drawing files.
Then we moved to visual cadd which was able to read generic cadd files,
was windows friendly, and didn't have the large file problem. BUT
dimensioned drawings couldn't be rotated by any angle other than 180
degrees without screwing the dimensions up. Easy to use because it had
lots of keyboard shortcuts. However we had to exchange drawings with
offices using autocad and file compatibility with autocad dwg's became a
real problem... hatches wouldn't transfer, text styles would have some
text much too large and other text much too small.
So then we moved to autocadlt 2000i. Pricier but compatible with what
architects were using at the time. Had to relearn a lot of the steps
almost like switching from an algebraic calculator to an rpn calculator.
keyboard shortcuts were vastly different and far less friendly but
between programming special keyboard functions and simply relearning
several less significant items, highly resolvable.
Now we have a new issue. We use proprietary software which is not xp
compatible and will never be upgraded. (They have a new product to
replace the old and we DON"T LIKE IT.) So we can't shift to xp, and that
means Autodesk doesn't have a program for us to use that is 2004+
compatible AND Win9X compatible. So I am experimenting with various
versions of Intellicad, particularly ProgecadLT which is freeware, but
is somewhat buggy. If you decide to use it, just remember to save
frequently, since undo sometimes, without warning, undoes to the last
save instead of just one step. It is by and large autocad compatible,
includes some better features and misses some significant ones.
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