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RES10CUE 10-24-2008 03:11 PM

Drawing programs
Hello to all. I have checked out the fourm for a while but this is my first post. I asking for some help, I would like to know what is the best and cheapest (FREE) drawing program I can use for the design of my future WFO. I intend to make forms for refractory cement pieces like Ed Schmidt made. I enjoy working with concrete and cement. I hope I will enjoy it when I am done!! If this fails I will use the "Dmun" system. The program will help me with the proper angles and dimensions. Thanks to all.

dmun 10-24-2008 07:48 PM

Re: Drawing programs
Every workable CAD program that produces dimensions is expensive, and hard to learn.

There is a free program that some have used, called sketch-up from Google, but if you need dimensioning and DXF export, it becomes expensive.

The good news is that if you want to build the 36 geodesic, the plans and dimensions are right on my oven thread, below.

RES10CUE 10-25-2008 04:46 AM

Re: Drawing programs
Great thanks Dmun I will give it a try.

jcg31 10-25-2008 12:08 PM

Re: Drawing programs
I use Blender a fair amount ( it is a free open source 3d modeling (and animation) program that you can import any number of vector formats into. You can even import Sketch up models into Blender. I also use 3ds max a bunch - - Blender is on par with that program. There is a huge online community and a ton of tutorials out there. The interface takes some getting use to but with a little practice it is hard to go any other way.


staestc 10-25-2008 04:43 PM

Re: Drawing programs
Thanks for the Blender tip Jim. I will go check it out. I have been playing with sketchup all afternoon, and am getting better at it, but always like to check out alternatives.

Ed_ 10-25-2008 07:21 PM

Re: Drawing programs
I also use 3ds Max (at work) and have spent some time messing with Blender too. It's worth pointing out that these are full-blown 3D modeling and animation packages meant for serious production use. As such, they tend to have a significant learning curve--more than might be justified for a single project like this one.

That being said... they're really neat things to play with, so if you're interested in 3D graphics for their own sake, go for it!

RES10CUE 10-26-2008 10:25 AM

Re: Drawing programs
Thanks Fellas, I see what you are saying about the learning curve. I have checked out all of the programs. I think I will be back to design build or is it design build then redesign method.

egalecki 10-26-2008 11:27 AM

Re: Drawing programs
Um, I used a pencil and graph paper. We called it "autopad". ;)

It worked to give me a better idea of scale- as far as visualizing it built goes, well, some people can't visualize and some can.

If you get it on paper the right size, though, it makes it a lot easier to figure things out.

Frances 10-27-2008 02:02 AM

Re: Drawing programs
Ha ha, Elizabeth! ...I used a pencil and the back of an envelope.. ;)

But the 3-D pics are very cool, I'll admit that.

Ed_ 10-29-2008 06:44 AM

Re: Drawing programs
I guess I sort of failed to mention something else relevant to the original question, too. 3DS Max and Blender are not going to be much good for producing dimensioned drawings. For that you really need a CAD package--and there are lots out there. Some, like SolidWorks or Pro/Engineer, are way too expensive and beefy for a project like this. But it's possible that one of the (much) cheaper programs aimed at woodworkers and DIY construction types might be useful.

Then again, that might just lead you back to Sketchup... I dunno.

There's a lot to be said for pencils. As others have pointed out, computers are a lot more precise than brick saws, so you're almost sure to be making ad hoc cuts anyway.

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