entry level CAD program?

I want to draw up some designs for simple objects. In years past I would have used paper and a drawing table, but it seems that a program is the
current way to go. What CAD program is suitable for a computer challenged person, using a lap top, who wants to be able to:
create, save and print out on a normal ink-jet HP type printer drawings of things like car flywheels. email files and have other people be able to read them post drawings of objects on a web page be compatable with any industry standards that may exist.
Any ideas?
Thanks, Brian
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wrote:

http://store.yahoo.com/cadandgraphics/decad3dmaxv.html
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Personally, I really like IntelliCAD 4 from www.cadopia.com
Hope this helps you.
--
Lewis.

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Give QuickCAD from Autodesk a try, about $50. You could call it "AutoCAD -lite". It's got a lot of features for the money, a fairly good user interface and the best part- you can open and save in .dwg format.
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wrote:

There are three general classes of drawing programs, "paint", "draw", and "CAD". Paint is conceptually simple, like sketching with a pencil, but it requires similar freehand drawing skills. Draw lets you place, resize, and adjust graphic primitives (lines, rectangles, circles) by eye or using "rulers".
CAD is draw by-the-numbers, where positions and lengths of the graphic primitives are entered numerically to whatever precision you select. It is thus much less intuitive than paint or draw, and the user interface of a CAD program tends to be much more idiosyncratic.
If you would previously have been happy with a freehand paper sketch, paint is the simplest thing to learn. If you'd accept a paper sketch if it had straight edges and round circles, but was not drawn quite perfectly to scale, and had dimensions drawn in by hand, try a draw program.
But if you want the program to help you think about exact dimensions and how they interact, and force you to resolve all your objects' uncertainties precisely, then you may find the learning curve of a CAD program worth tackling.

Paint files can generally be transferred, even across operating systems. Some draw files can be transferred, others must be converted to un-editable paint files first.
Exchanging CAD files is the bane of the industry. Yes there are standards, but there are too many of them and none of them work 100%. You may find that your carefully drawn assembly transfers as thousands of extremely short unrelated line segments, or the transferred drawing is at a completely different scale than you intended, or...
You can always export CAD files as draw or paint images, but the receiver won't be able to edit them with CAD tools.

Generally you would convert them to paint - bitmap graphics. Most CAD programs have proprietary web view systems that allow the viewer some subset of CAD functions, but each viewer would need to install the proprietary software. Which is typically 5 to 30 MB...

The de-facto standard for 2D CAD is the AutoCad file format. The problem is "which version"? AutoDesk has recently made radical changes to their file format, so most of the AutoCad clone programs can only interact with older file versions. And even for supported versions, the conversion may be less than perfect.
Frankly, the effort of learning a CAD program will completely overwhelm whatever price you pay for it. And most of what you've leaarned won't transfer to any other vendor's programs any better than the drawing files you create with it do. But if you need the rigorous discipline of designing things with CAD, it is definitely worth it.
If you want to get started with CAD, read this review of current entry-level programs: <http://cadalyst.adv100.com/cadalyst/article/articleDetail.jsp?id 760>
I started out with the "personal use" license for VDraft, which is about the lowest entry price around. I chose it because it uses the actual filehandling code from the older versions of AutoCad, which means it can read and write old-style AutoCad files with no errors and no translation delays. And its quirks are no worse than any of the others...
Loren
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This is in the running for the 'understatement of the week.'

Whoops, no, that one is probably even *more* likely to win!
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com =================================================
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How about FREE? Imsisoft's TurboCAD learning edition is an excellent 2D drafting program.
If you want to post the drawings, you can simply capture your screen (SHIFT/PRTSCRN) and crop the image using an image editor like paint.
http://nct.digitalriver.com/fulfill/0002.16

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vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!: ] You want cheap. You want quick. You want somethong that is no harder than pen and ink, and lets you go away fro a week or so and then come back and simply start uing it again without an hour's lessons, but does all the dimensioning for you. You only need 2D.
deltacad. Midnight software. There is a trial. The guy is NOT going to do 3D last time I asked.
It has its peccadilloes. But they are minor. It has limitations.
But if you want what I said above, I could not find anything better.
I do _all_ of my drawing in it.
No affiliations except usage etc...

**************************************************** sorry
.........no I'm not! remove ns from my header address to reply via email
Spike....Spike? Hello?
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There used to be an inexpensive shareware CAD system called BobCAD out there. I experimented with it once and thought it was reasonable. A Google search turns up a bunch of hits. See if it fits your needs.
Jim
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You can sign up for Solidworks Personal edition. The give you 3hr lesson and a free copy of 2003. It won't interface with any of the commercial packages do to some software tweaks they have made. But for personal use hard to beat.

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Thank you for all of the replies. I have bokmarked all of the URL's, noted the suggestions, and downloaded a copy of free turbocad to try out. If that's the simple version, I really don't want to know about a hard version...
we'll see. I actually wnat to learn this, it may have a dramatic impact on my ability to learn new computer skills...
Brian

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Brian wrote:

I have a version of TurboCad that I got at the dump. I didn't get very far teaching it to myself. However, I followed the recommendation earlier in this thread for DeltaCad and the little I've used of it is much better (easier) than TurboCad.
I downloaded a trial version from PCWorld: http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description/0,fid,2154,00.asp $20 if I keep it.
Bob
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vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:

then I can only repeat DeltaCad. **************************************************** sorry
.........no I'm not! remove ns from my header address to reply via email
Spike....Spike? Hello?
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