I asked this same question of the mechanical engineer in charge of the
innards of a radar at work, and he said that for home use Alibre would
be his recommendation, so I got a copy of the Personal Edition (~ $200),
and I've been learning it. So far so good. One project (a wooden
bench-shelf for the kitchen, to store heavy pots and stacks of cooking
magazines) completed and built. Although it's not as well documented
with books as I would like, there are training videos and an active
forum, in which Alibre the company participates and questions are
I had started with DraftSight from Dassault, and wasn't getting very
far, as it's an AutoDesk clone. While there is much documentation on
AutoDesk, it is one of the older systems, and has become encrusted with
remanents of its long history, and is quite difficult to learn. This is
what prompted me to ask the mechanical guys. Anyway, I abandoned
DraftSight, and got Alibre.
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