Visio 2000, other low-end CAD fer a laptop....

Awl --
OK, I just applied for a second mortgage for SW on a laptop, and was dee-nied.
So here's Plan B.
Basically I need to stop embarrassing myself (well, embarrass myself less),
and instead of drawings on napkins for various machinists, or hauling around effing samples, I'd like to give'em sumpn sumpn semi-dignified. For simple stuff, nothing more complicated than, say, a gear and pawl, and not even that -- slots, stuff that fits into slots, bars, etc.
OK....
So ahm lookin at a starter ditty, like an emachine laptop, with 2 gb, 250 gb drive, dvd, (athlon chip in this case, but not nec'ly), etc, for a few hundred.
What cad will work on that with no problem? Any *semi-decent* shareware? And if not, what's the coin for low-end-but-servicable cad?
Plan C:
How about this: I have an old copy of Visio 2000 and Intellicad 98, that I really got banged for, hard..... right before they sold out/went belly up. I actually used Visio for a while, did some nice stuff, but eventually just went back to, well, my speadsheets -- and napkins.
There was a bit of al learning curve with Visio, don't know if it would be useful to resurrect. Opinons?
Microsoft bought Visio, which you'll find in some of their office packages, which I have. But guess what they left out?? Why, the effing CAD module, of course!!!!! Basically all MicroShit Visio will do is glorified flow charts..... Give me a fukn break.....
MS bought Visio for $1.3 billion, and at one time offered the full cad version (visavis the flowcharting/diagramming silliness). Amazon actually has it. (Amazon.com product link shortened)73335362&sr=1-1
Iny opinions on Visio 2000? Anyone use it? I see there is some support for it, from googling a bit. Better alternatives?
Man, I need to be held.....
--
EA



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On Sat, 8 May 2010 12:21:40 -0400, "Existential Angst"

A friend runs Alibre on a not-to-fancy laptop. It will open (most) SW files. I've never played with Alibre myself, but have only heard praise for its bang for the buck. http://www.alibre.com/store/default.aspx
--
Ned Simmons

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On Sat, 8 May 2010 12:21:40 -0400, "Existential Angst"
<snip>

<snip> See http://intellicadms.com/site / http://intellicadms.com/site/products.html for prices see https://store.intellicadms.com/index.php?cPath # 60$ to get started https://store.intellicadms.com/product_info.php?cPath#&products_idi&osCsid d070ac674bc08752123e1110676de4
let the group know how ypu make out.
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-- Unka George (George McDuffee)
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Just go buy Design CAD - under $100 retail. Absolutely wonderful CAD.
Existential Angst wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)73335362&sr=1-1
--

Richard Lamb
http://www.home.earthlink.net/~cavelamb /
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Heh, I feel held already!
Inyone agree/diagree with CaveLamb??
IMSI has v20 for $49!! http://www.imsidesign.com/Products/OtherProducts/DesignCADSeries/DesignCADv20/tabid/1581/Default.aspx?ClickID iiswe47ivqxfikqvspa7enni4qslq7zkzk
Wasn't an amc regular an imsi guy? Fred Smith?? Or was he with Vector? What happened to Vector??
Alibre claims to be offering sumpn sumpn for free... "Instant Download, Full Featured No Limits, No Cost, No Joke" .....we'll see whazzup..... already I see a 30 day limit....
Alibre's standard ditty is like $197, altho they seem to be able to make it up on the back with training shit, manuals, etc. Still, not bad.
--
EA


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On Sat, 8 May 2010 14:33:58 -0400, "Existential Angst"

Don't lose sight of the fact that you're comparing apples to oranges here. DesignCAD is a 2D drawing program -- what Autocad was doing in 1987. Alibre is a 3D parametric modeller with capabilities comparable to SW, Inventor, Solid Edge, etc.
You may want to stick with 2D drafting if that's all you need. I still use Autocad for schematics and other simple drafting tasks. But I haven't designed a part in 2D in over 10 years.
--
Ned Simmons

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I don't mean to be rude, Ned, but No Way, Jose!
DC is *NOT* a 2D program.
ALL of this was done with DC2000 http://www.home.earthlink.net/~cavelamb/draft.htm
Full 3D with good quality rendering. And extremely easy to use!
The gravity point feature is unique to DC only!
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Richard Lamb
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Perhaps it is not a 2D drafting software, but it's not a 3d parametric mechanical design software either. Looks like TurboCAD is 3d parametric. Hovers around Alibre's price level.
I bought and use Alibre. I haven't had a lot of work for it but it does seem to work. Not entirely bug free, but a lot (lot) cheaper than SolidWorks. I can certainly create true models of mechanical parts, assemble them, then create drawings for manufacture.
Regards,
Robin
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wrote:

Before you get too annoyed with me, look at the page EA pointed to, which says at the top, "DesignCAD v20 is a versatile and easy-to-use 2D CAD program." http://www.imsidesign.com/Products/OtherProducts/DesignCADSeries/DesignCADv20/tabid/1581/Default.aspx?ClickID iiswe47ivqxfikqvspa7enni4qslq7zkzk
There are apparently at least 2 versions of DesignCAD, and the one EA is looking at is strictly 2D.
But much of what I said comparing 2D DC to Alibre applies to the 3D version as well. From what I gather from the IMSI site, 3D DC is a 3D drafting package comparable to Autocad. Alibre is a 3D parametric modeller, like Solidworks and Inventor. The difference is dramatic. If a guy is faced with learning a new software, and the price of admission isn't too steep, I can't imagine putting the effort into learning a 3D drafting program when a parametric modeller is available.
There's a very general description of the differences under "Using CAD" here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer-aided_design
--
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http://www.imsidesign.com/Products/OtherProducts/DesignCADSeries/DesignCADv20/tabid/1581/Default.aspx?ClickID iiswe47ivqxfikqvspa7enni4qslq7zkzk
Just a note on the use of "parametric".
In math, physics, parametric has a very specific connotation. For example, when you throw a ball off a cliff, you generally think of y = f(x), ie, the ball's trajectory in space.
However, the parametric equations of motion are simply breaking y and x up as separate function of t, so that instead of y = f(x), now you have x f(t), and y = g(t) .
Specifically, this works out that y = kx^2 nonparametrically, while x = V t, and y = 1/2 a t^2 parametrically. Heh, if I'm wrong here, this would explain a lot.... :) :(
But as I said in my other reply, it seems that the use of parametric in cad means more-or-less formula-based, and that the difficulty the article referred to was in editing these various shapes, forms, if you don't know what formula, interpolation was used to begin with. Sorta....
--
EA

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On Sun, 9 May 2010 12:24:25 -0400, "Existential Angst"

It makes sense if you think of parametric modelling as providing an easy way to fiddle with the parameters (arguments) to the equations you've set up to establish the relationships between the various features of your model. In practice, most of the math is done in the background in response to relationships that are graphically represented by cute little icons on your monitor.
BTW, Parametric Technology produces ProEngineer, another modeller. The ProE and SW articles on Wikipedia have descriptions of the design methods that are common to most parametric modellers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SolidWorks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro/ENGINEER
--
Ned Simmons

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The basic idea is that internally, if an old-style nonparametric CAD program calculates some quantity (say, the length of something-or-other), it then stores the resulting quantity. A parametric CAD program stores the recipe for performing the calculation.
So instead of a variable in your design being stored as, say "the length is 100mm", it's stored as "the length is equal to the length of bolt A minus the width of nut B". This means that if you resize bolt A, any part of the design that was calculated from its dimensions changes appropriately, rather than you having to go back and change it yourself. In both programs, there is a feature to calculate the length (100mm) from the length of bolt A, and the width of nut B; the difference is that the parametric program remembers how it calculated it.
(My understanding of this comes largely from talking to someone who had worked as a programmer at Parametric Technology, which was the company that basically invented the concept.)
--
Norman Yarvin http://yarchive.net

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I agree with Norman in a quite academic sense. The way I differentiate the two practically is the overall focus of the user.
So.. What does the OP do?
In my experience, parametric for assemblies, drafting for parts. (This potentially changes for complicated parts with 3D features, however. Not something every user has to worry about though)
I learned on AutoCAD in highschool. Still applies today. Making beautiful engineering drawings of single parts that a tradesperson can build is best done in CAD. Total control over every portion of every line. Just the way it ought to be.
Building assemblies (tooling, machinery, complex products, etc.) is far and away superior in parametric modeling. Assemblies are a total gong show in drafting software. Too cumbersome to make, too cumbersome to change. Not worth the time. Would rather widdle them out of sticks.
I bought Alibre because I am a tool maker and I need to design assemblies (dies and machinery) and I need to see collisions and how things are going to go together. Ultimately I do have to produce working drawings, but mostly just for myself which is acceptable with Alibre. I can make pretty good working drawings for outside contractors with Alibre, but drafting software would be superior if it was my main focus.
Just my $0.02 worth.
Regards,
Robin
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wrote:

I agree with Norman in a quite academic sense. The way I differentiate the two practically is the overall focus of the user.
So.. What does the OP do?
In my experience, parametric for assemblies, drafting for parts. (This potentially changes for complicated parts with 3D features, however. Not something every user has to worry about though)
I learned on AutoCAD in highschool. Still applies today. Making beautiful engineering drawings of single parts that a tradesperson can build is best done in CAD. Total control over every portion of every line. Just the way it ought to be.
Building assemblies (tooling, machinery, complex products, etc.) is far and away superior in parametric modeling. Assemblies are a total gong show in drafting software. Too cumbersome to make, too cumbersome to change. Not worth the time. Would rather widdle them out of sticks.
I bought Alibre because I am a tool maker and I need to design assemblies (dies and machinery) and I need to see collisions and how things are going to go together. Ultimately I do have to produce working drawings, but mostly just for myself which is acceptable with Alibre. I can make pretty good working drawings for outside contractors with Alibre, but drafting software would be superior if it was my main focus.
Just my $0.02 worth. ===============================================Inneresting and cogent distillation.
But, if Alibre can do assemblies, why wouldn't it be able to do a bang-up job on drafting-type drawings? Too much drama, given its horsepower, for simpler tasks? Or does it really just produce merely "acceptable" working drawings? Why?
--
EA




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Robin
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Nice stuff!!
Do you think this would have been an easier or more difficult process with Alibre? Other packages?
What is the gravity point feature?
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EA



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Existential Angst wrote:

Depends on what you want to do.
Giving Ned his due, I'm a draftsman, not a modeler. And the 3D version of Design CAD has a button that turns it into 2D.
Much of what I do involves real drafting rather than modeling.
The lofting examples are probably the most involved drafting anybody will ever do. I'm confident that those examples are fair to .01 inches. (!)
Someone who uses Alibre will have to decide it that's possible there.
Yes, you could make a picture of a hull with a modeling package.
BUT...
There is no way (that I've ever seen) to insure that the hull is fair.
There is no way (same) to generate accurate full sized patterns to build it.
As for ease of use...
DC's gravity point grab feature is just that. Lets you grab the nearest point with a single click...
I learned Autocad first.
But when I found DC, I switched in a heart beat and never looked back.
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Richard Lamb
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What's the functional or intended difference between the two? And how does one program facilitate one vs. the other?

I thought Visio, Cadkey had something like that. Gravity = snap to??

I imagine it could be a full-time job to gain enough fluency in all the cad packages out there to make the ultimate informed decision! And who has time for that?
I think the "review process", in general, is highly flawed, as you need a reviewer with A LOT of differing cad experience, AND a reader who has enough reference points to grok what the reviewer is talking about.
Note that a "reviewer" is a lot different than a "user" sharing his own insights. Reviewers, afaict, never have any insights.
Ultimately, it seems one almost has to learn the hard way! I guess that's what trial versions are for!!
Altho, from having brought this topic up numerous times before, it seems that DC and Alibre may be among the final choices, just on intuition. Both seem to have good tutorials as well, at tolerable prices. Seems to me they should be included, but wtf....
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<snip>>
I used Autocad often at work, is DC pretty similar? I type in stuff with one hand and use the mouse with the other hand, are the commands the same or similar? I started with AutoCad 12 for DOS and prefer typing in over clicking icons. Before AutoCad I used TurboCad, before that CADPAK 64 for my Commodore 64 :-) I was capable with TurboCad but it wasn't very similar to AutoCad as best I can remember.
Basically I'd like something that I can use at home that is similar to using AutoCad at work, the more similar they are, the easier it would be.
RogerN
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RogerN wrote:

Most of the Autocad power users that I've known have a macro library that makes the program really useful.
In that respect, you could (in theory) re-design the human interface to your hearts content. And AC *NEEDS* that (IMHO) to be suable at all.
The DC power users can do that too. So maybe your key definitions could be reworked to more match ACad.
I don't bother with it. I just use the regular DC keyboard commands (left hand) and do a little blues riff on the mouse in my right...
Might want to ask your questions at the forum where the big dogs draw. http://forum.designcadcommunity.com/index.php
They know more about that kind of customizing than I do.
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Richard Lamb
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wrote:

Does it half to be a laptop? You can get a lot more computer for a lot less money in a desktop.
If I were you, I'd get this computer from Costco:
http://tinyurl.com/2azxb8v
And then buy Alibre, and spend the time and money to really learn the software.
You'll be able to do anything you ever wanted.
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