On Nov 11, 2009, at 00:17, Christopher Wright wrote:
On Nov 10, 2009, at 11:43 AM, Scott Hannahs wrote:
I followed with interest the recent discussion of different
electronic schematic and PCB layout programs. Now I am interested
in a CAD program for mechanical machining. Our needs are well
defined but there should be something out there.
Not meaning to rain on the parade, but I've been in the engineering
business for about 40 years, and it sounds like you've got too many
conflicting requirements. First, it's not clear if you're just
looking for something to sketch up simple parts or to generate full
scale designs in 3D or generate CAM data. Or some combination. The
last two are out of scope for off and on use by people who haven't
had some actual design experience. I doubt you actually need 3D.
I agree, no CAM at the moment. I am thinking 3D as a feature since
all these designs end up going though our lead designer and his
software anyway which is 3D (Inventor). But the goal is trying to
reduce the work load so that there is not a huge waste of time
redrawing a 2D to a 3D model. As I figure it, the reverse conversion
from 3D to 2D can be more automatic.
Here is the list I have looked at the Ashlar Graphite is interesting
in the ease of use and cost level. Unfortunately their web site seems
to be off line at the moment.
The Vector Works we have almost cuts it, but they are just a little
out of the market on price and focus (Architecture). $2400 per copy
and $800 annual update. We have been using this since it was called
Blueprint, Minicad, and other various names.
Ashlar may be cheaper than I remember, our last big CAD switch was
upon the death of Claris CAD. It looks like research institutions are
1/2 off. Seem to imply a shallower learning curve. For research
institutions that is abou $700/copy for the Graphite package. The
annual update is about $250.
Solid Works is PC only. But industry standard (not that important
since we are physicist not designers)
Alibre Design is a cheaper $200(?? disocunt) PC only version. Maybe
an easier learning curve. The pro level version is $700 (discount
Pro*E - Powerful, Windows Windows/Solaris only, Linux discontinued,
has modeling built-in
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