CAD Software recomendations for beginner software. Looking for Mac and PC compatible

krislhull

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I have decided that I want to start working with a CAD program to start designing some of my own components, and possible utilize the makerspace that the local community college has available. With that in mind, what is a good beginner CAD program that would be recommended? I have looked at Atom 3d, and have downloaded the free trial, and while it seems like a good program, and somewhat easy to use, it is not available on Mac OS. For me this is critical, as my laptop is a Macbook, and I would like to be able to use what ever software I decide on while I am on my work trips, as well as at home on my PC desktop.

Any ideas and suggestions?
 

rocketace

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I use Fusion360, its free with reasonable limitations. In my opinion its not the easiest to use, but its not difficult and there a hundreds of youtube tutorials.
 

dr wogz

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it's one thing to get a CAD program, and watch the tutorials..

But it's entirely another to understand the concepts (Why a partial revolve might be a better choice to remove material.. Or how to fully use a work plane, place on a work point for a better /easier assembly at the next step..

Just be warned, that whatever you choose, there are some concepts that might be a little mind boggling...
 

neil_w

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I have decided that I want to start working with a CAD program to start designing some of my own components, and possible utilize the makerspace that the local community college has available. With that in mind, what is a good beginner CAD program that would be recommended? I have looked at Atom 3d, and have downloaded the free trial, and while it seems like a good program, and somewhat easy to use, it is not available on Mac OS. For me this is critical, as my laptop is a Macbook, and I would like to be able to use what ever software I decide on while I am on my work trips, as well as at home on my PC desktop.

Any ideas and suggestions?
The super-easiest thing to use, as far as I know, is TinkerCad. Free and online. I've used it effectively for the fairly simple stuff I've designed. Most likely, you'll want to move to something more powerful before long, but it is an easy way to get started if you want to get up and running very quickly.
 

krislhull

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The super-easiest thing to use, as far as I know, is TinkerCad. Free and online. I've used it effectively for the fairly simple stuff I've designed. Most likely, you'll want to move to something more powerful before long, but it is an easy way to get started if you want to get up and running very quickly.

I've looked at Tinkercad, and while it looks like a great program, it is online only from what I can tell. When I am at work, I am basically living on a 747 for two weeks at a time, and have very limited internet connection, if any, when I am on the ground. That's why I am looking for something that can be downloaded and installed on my laptop (a macbook) and my desktop (a windows PC).
 

manixFan

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I use OpenSCAD, which is a very different type of CAD program. It is basically CAD programming - you use code to create structures, although it's not a true programming language. The great thing for rocketry is that you can create a design that can be very easily scaled or modified by changing a few numbers. I've used it to create a wide variety of rocket related objects, from fins and nose cones to altimeter mounts. I have a 3D printer and have printed many dozens of parts created in the program. It runs on both Mac and Windows with no issues - I keep all my files in my OneDrive account so I can access them from either platform.



Tony
 
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