Autodesk 123D software

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Why on Earth would I want to do something that foolish???

Design CAD version 21 on eBay - $22.55

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Hi all -

I'm working on a little project for which I need brief reviews from DesignCAD users. The reviews will be used on a web page that I'm working on. If anyone would be willing to help me with this, I would greatly appreciate it! I just need a few sentences (unless you want to write more) about what you like about DesignCAD (3D Max in particular, but the 2D version is ok too) and what you use it for. Feel free to post a response here, or email me at!

Thanks a lot in advance!

Best regards, Sofia


As a follow-up on what Rick said, several years ago I read a review of CAD programs in an engineering journal. It didn't mention DesignCAD. I wrote the author and asked why. Well, he said, it didn't cost very much so he thought it couldn't be much of a program.

I have worked with customers who use ME-30, Solid Works, SolidDesign, ProEngineeer, AutoCrud, etc, and I knew a little bit about their limitations. I asked the author how many of his expensive CAD programs could generate a rifled gun barrel or lead screw assembly? DesignCAD has been able to do this from the earliest days of 3D CAD, but the author reported that several of the programs he tested costing $10,000 to $20,000 couldn't do it! Lead screws are a pretty important part of machine design! I then went on to list several other important features of DesignCAD (gravity snap, macro language, multiple ways to execute commands, etc.) and none of the expensive programs could do those things either.

The most important feature of any program is how easy it is to use. I rate program useability by a ratio of how many steps you have to take to accomplish a single task. The ideal program would have only one action (menu opening, keystroke, mouse click) for every function. This would be a ratio of 1:1. No program comes close, but DesignCAD comes closer to the ideal than any other program I have seen.

I have used AutoCrud and TurboCAD, and have spent a lot of time looking over the shoulder of other CAD system drivers. All the other programs have incredibly cumbersome user interfaces compared to DesignCAD. They typically take two to three times as many actions by the user to accomplish the same task as are needed in DesignCAD. DesignCAD's user interface was brilliantly designed in its initial inception, because it was created by an experienced engineer and not by hired programmers who had never created an engineering drawing. That elegant user interface is DesignCAD's main strength.



Hi Sofia,

I've been using DesignCAD for 22 years or so. DesignCAD 3d Max is simply one of the best values on the planet. Always has been, even when it used to cost more. It is: Simple, elegant, VERY easy to learn, precise, extremely powerful, very flexible and fun to use. I mostly design buildings with it, but I've also used it for birthday cards, creating posters, banners, stained glass layout, all kinds of things. Many years ago Windows magazine chose it over the full version of AutoCAD as Editor's Choice. As I remember, it was about 1/10th the price of AutoCAD back then and they thought is was more powerful and feature rich. Don't tell anybody, but I'd pay way, way, way more for this if I had to. It is the core application for my business. Wonder how much that's worth?? Thanks for the opportunity


Ps. Plus... you also get really quick, excellent, free an endless tech support from these folks that posted before me.


DesignCAD may be promoted as a cheap, easy-to-use CAD program for hobbyists but I beg to differ. I'm an architect that specializes in 3D, but not for pretty renderings and animations only. I actually design and produce construction drawings in 3D and I require high precision. I can use DesignCAD to build a single 3D model and use it directly for all the Plans, Elevations and Details (with other 3D apps you normally have to re-draw the Details in 2D), virtually eliminating mistakes between drawings (which is a huge problem with traditional

2D architecture. Ask any contractor). I can then either render directly in DesignCAD or easily export the 3D elements to my expensive rendering and animation package for the pretty stuff. Besides that, it is inexpensive and easy to use, is highly customizable, has a great macro language and an amazing forum community.



We have been using DesignCAD (ProDesign) in our company since 1987. We have used it to draw mechanical designs, electrical schematics, logic ladder diagrams and general 2D plan drawings. In addition we use its 3D capabilities to create models of assemblies to check for parts clearances, placement of subassemblies, design of machined parts, mold designs and calculations of mold volumes.

DesignCAD is easier and faster to use than other CAD programs we have tried - that'e why we continue to use it. The macro language allows us to create program scripts to draw frequently repeated items such as electrical panel meter faceplates, etc. We also create macros to repeat often used command sequences. The program has multiple ways to execute commands, allowing users to adopt a work style of their preference. The program has some unique and extremely useful features not found in programs costing 100 times as much!

We also use DesignCAD for home and hobby projects. I have a complete model of my house that I use to plan new wiring, plumbing, ventilation and other home improvements. I use the program in my hobbies to create 3D models of all sorts. I have used DesignCAD to generate topographic maps for use in publications. I also use it for botanical line drawings. It is an all-around general purpose drawing tool!

Last, but not least, the DesignCAD Users Forum offers the best technical support I have seen. With experienced users online world wide questions are often answered within minutes of posting. I have used the program for 23 years, but I often learn something new from other users on the forum.


For examples of very complex 3D modeling and rendering with DesignCAD see:

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