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what do you use when designing?

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mick7021/10/2016 07:49:36
524 forum posts
38 photos

Just been reading on another forum about what people use when designing stuff.

was quite surprised how many people still do it by hand.

i admit i do it on drawing board by hand as don't get on with electronic gizmos.

even carry small pad to put ideas on or make notes for if i see something i like idea off, wish i did as would love to have go at 3d printing.

so what does everyone else use?

Gary Wooding21/10/2016 07:53:18
669 forum posts
169 photos

I've been using TurboCad for a number of years now, but have started to switch to Fusion 360 which, for hobbyists etc, is totally free.

Paul Lousick21/10/2016 08:12:13
1376 forum posts
532 photos

Worked as a draftsman for 40 years, drawing board, Autocad, ProEngineer and Solidworks. Do most things now in Solideworks.


Martin Connelly21/10/2016 08:32:48
1242 forum posts
152 photos

I use 3D AutoCAD at work so use it for personal design work as well when needed. Pen and paper is used when that is all I need. Tools to suit the work required.


JA21/10/2016 08:36:33
897 forum posts
50 photos

I was weaned off using a drawing board at work and now use TurboCad. I would dearly like to use what we had at work. It was far better and more powerful than Autocad and TurboCad but I would not be able to afford it. Having retired eight years ago I can't even remember what it was called.


loco man21/10/2016 08:47:33
10 forum posts

Again, draughtsman for over 40 years. Drawing board at first then, from 1978, primarily CAD. Including Computervision, Radan Radraft, Tektronix, and Microstation. Initial design sketches with pen on sqared paper then CAD (at home), with A4 prints to take into the workshop. Trained to draw to the (old) BS308 and still much prefer and use it as black lines rather than 'colour coding'

John Hinkley21/10/2016 09:12:56
850 forum posts
286 photos

With no formal training in either engineering or draughtsmanship, I do all my 3D designing in my head. It's far easier to scrub out and start again if you get it wrong! Once the general layout is straight (in my head), I then go to my 2D CAD program and put it down on screen. It goes through many iterations before I come up with what I want and then I start a new drawing, cutting/pasting/rotating the various individual parts within this new file to make sure everything "fits together" and, as far as possible, doesn't clash with other areas of the design.

Suits me and I expect you'll get as many different answers to the original question as there are respondents. Whatever feels right for you, with the resources at your disposal, is what you should use.

Here endeth this morning's lesson.


Bikepete21/10/2016 09:46:58
227 forum posts
16 photos

Fusion 360 for 'big projects' but simpler stuff and odd jobs just get a quick sketch on a scrap of paper.

RobC21/10/2016 09:51:13
54 forum posts
3 photos

I usually start most ideas with pencil and paper, as there are lots of constraints that are too fluid for a formal drawing.

Once the idea is fleshed out a bit more, I may use SketchUp for simple shaped 3D designs, or Autodesk Fusion360 for those needing more definition and control.

I usually finalise things using Draftsight, as it is my 2D drawing package of choice.

The best part of all of these choices is that they are all free, which is the right price for me!

Raymond Anderson21/10/2016 10:10:53
767 forum posts
152 photos

Siemens Solidedge or pen and paper, all depends on how complex the design is.

Andrew Johnston21/10/2016 11:21:58
5410 forum posts
627 photos

Initial ideas and thinking are done in my head, while sitting in my special engineering armchair. For simple jigs or parts, like studs, I just make a quick pen 'n' paper sketch with key dimensions. For more complex items where there are several possible arrangements I'll also make quick sketches with key dimensions to see if things wlll fit.

Once I've got a clear idea I use Geomagic (Alibre as was) to produce 3D parts and assemblies and then 2D drawings. But I also use Geomagic to try out ideas and make measurements for machining. For instance when making a worm wheel one question is how deep can I go with the gashing cutter while ensuring that the hob still has some material left to remove? It's an easy sketch on the computer. I am also exploring Fusion360, although my interest is primarily in the CAM facilities, and in particular HSM toolpaths.

I've been through the process of formal drawings to BS308 using drawing boards, with pen and pencil, but no longer use these, or 2D CAD systems.

I don't smoke, so backs of fag packets are out. I've learnt the hard way that trying to wing it in the workshop without having thought things through properly usually ends up with time and material being wasted.


Neil Wyatt21/10/2016 11:22:04
17722 forum posts
697 photos
77 articles

With the Jovilabe I've used Excel and about twenty sheets of A4 to work out ratios, sizes and spacings.

Turbocad to prove it would all fit together in 3D.

CorelDraw for the 'artistic bits'.

The really valuable tool has been a sheet of 16 gauge brass on top of a bit of pine pallet wood with 1/8" holes so i could stick in a few spindles and sense check everything.

I did a tender at the weekend that wanted 'sketches' so I made a tentative 3D model in Turbocad and used a rendered and skeleton version plus a few pages of hand-drawn sketches with notes. Hopefully the computer drawings will evidence technical ability and the sketches imagination!


Circlip21/10/2016 11:24:00
1088 forum posts

When helping a mate in the States via Skype, a pencil and pad, easy to hold in front of a camera. Stunned reaction was always "Have you just drawn that????" Easy to sketch while talking. Err, thirty years on a board helped although have a bit of paper telling me I can use AutoCAD. Have used "Doublecad" but regularly use Photoshop for tiffling and rescaling plans.

Regards Ian.

Dianne Best21/10/2016 11:26:37
17 forum posts

With many years in engineering, I was proficient in AutoCAD but when I retired, I switched to progeCAD, a free AutoCAD look-alike, and I use SketchUp for 3D creations.

The initial concept is usually developed with quick/rough sketches on paper but then I move to CAD to work out the details and specifics. Maybe because of my years of engineering, I like to develop a full set of detailed drawings so that anyone could build it. In the shop, I prefer to work to the drawings rather than designing on the fly. If I come up with a better way in the shop, I go back and revise the drawings.

Hopper21/10/2016 11:29:27
4404 forum posts
93 photos

Pencil and A3 paper for me when designing my latest Stirling engine.

Pen and A4 lined writing pad for drawing up bits and pieces, tooling etc, out in the shed.

Not a complete luddite though. I do have a pocket calculator in the shed, and sometimes I even use it.

Gordon W21/10/2016 11:34:53
2011 forum posts

Design usually done sat on the bus, or watching the telly. Drawing on the back of A4 paper, often just free hand, squared paper for more accuracy. Any tricky bits like crank motions etc. draw out on A3 board. All just for myself, so all that is needed. Ex draffy for 50 years, used autocad at work, drove me round the bend -to slow.

Thor21/10/2016 18:40:19
1212 forum posts
37 photos

Like others I make sketches using pencil and paper. For most of the CAD work I do I use an old program called Intellicad 2000, and DoubleCAD because the drawings can be easily imported into my (old) word processor.


Phil P21/10/2016 19:24:17
622 forum posts
165 photos

Soildworks both at work and at home for me.


Dave Smith 1421/10/2016 19:33:17
91 forum posts
8 photos

Catia V5. I have on my work laptop.

Spurry21/10/2016 19:33:49
187 forum posts
62 photos

Another vote for TurboCad.


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