Not sure where best placed in terms of forums but does anyone have any recommendations for cad software to bring your project to life without selling one of your family. :)
Depends on what you want to design. And what operating system your PC runs. SketchUp is probably one of the most user friendly programs. Not sure on cost.
Either mac or windows. I'll look into it cheers.
Use the search feature up top. This subject was recently covered and I know there were several programs mentioned there.
What do you want a program to do? Schematics, PCB design, 3D modeling, ... ?
If you have mind that is comfortable with computer programming then have a look at OpenScad. There is also a program called Graphscad that acts as a front-end to Openscad.
FreescadFreeCad is another option.
This is a subject that is very well covered on YouTube.
You have not said what you propose to do with the completed CAD drawing. People don't usually use CAD programs to create pictures to print and hang on the wall.
EDIT ... corrected spelling of FreeCad - sorry if it caused confusion
Hi all thanks for th suggestions. The idea is to be able to produce a visual model to be able to get a casing/prototype made.
Twistedtoenail: The idea is to be able to produce a visual model to be able to get a casing/prototype made.
If the intention is that some manufacturer will use the drawing file in a computer aided machine then you MUST find out what types of drawing file would be acceptable.
If the purpose is just to give a visual indication of something then I suspect a neat pencil sketch would be just as useful and a lot less trouble. A simple model made with the cardboard from a cereal packet is another option.
All of the CAD programs have a steep learning curve - too much learning if you only want to make a single drawing.
FreeCAD is free, as the name implies, and it's open source. Works really well for 3D designs, export to a.o. step or stl for manufacturing.
+1 for FreeCad.
I have been spending some time learning Freecad. It has a very steep learning curve and a user interface that is very different from most PC programs.
It is for that reason that I asked in Reply #5 what the OP wants to use it for. I can't imagine anyone taking the trouble to use FreeCad for a single drawing.
No matter what 3D modelling software you use, it's got a very steep learning curve.
wvmarle: No matter what 3D modelling software you use, it's got a very steep learning curve.
Which is why I would not use it for a single project - the cost of learning would be too high. It would be better to pay someone who is an expert to do the drawing.
I found the learning curve of Openscad much easier than Freecad - but that may be because I was already comfortable with programming as Openscad creates a drawing from a series of "program style" statements.