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Jay Ham
(jham) - F - M

Locale: Southwest
CAD Software on 03/14/2006 12:55:25 MST Print View

Here are the tasks I would like to perform with CAD software:

-printable, full-sized patterns
-catenary curves
-2D drawing patterns and material lists (example: drawing a dome tent in 2D and having the program show the actual size of the fabric panels)
-3D imaging

Any software suggestions are very welcome. I have a great deal of experience using GIS software and some not so recent CAD experience using VersaCAD and AutoCAD. I'm looking for something reasonably priced with an average to short learning curve. Free downloadable trial copys are great.


Jay Ham
(jham) - F - M

Locale: Southwest
CAD Software on 03/14/2006 12:57:18 MST Print View

These responses were copied from another thread, where this topic started.


Regarding your search for an affordable CAD program.

Consider using the draw features in Microsoft Excel. I am a professional engineer in California and often add sketches to my calcs with this feature. The basic way to get started is to set the column widths to "1" and the row heights to "9.5". Now, with the utilities on the drawing toolbar, you can sketch as if you are working on graph paper.

Feel free to contact me if you have additional questions.

clb at gerwick dot com

Berkeley, CA



I have an unused new in box legal copy of TurboCad I’d be willing to part with. Not only does it do 2D Drafting but 2D modeling if your interested.





In your search for an affordable CAD program you might consider DesignCAD. I've been using the 2D version since v3 back in the days of DOS. It can also export to jpg.

The current v16 "express" 2D version is available here for $35.

You can get v14 for $6 here.

I'm about 5 versions behind the current and it still serves me well.




Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: CAD Software on 03/14/2006 18:24:10 MST Print View

Try TouchCAD 3D. It's specifically designed for what you're looking for. Perfect for designing tent structures and such. Plus available for both Mac and Windows.

Edited by butuki on 03/14/2006 18:25:04 MST.

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Re: CAD Software on 03/14/2006 20:42:18 MST Print View


DesignCAD does everything you have requested with the exception of the catenary curve. DesignCAD includes a macro language that can calculate the points of a curve, or any other object, from parameters supplied by the user. I'd volunteer to write you some macros to demonstrate its capabilities but the formulas I've found are a bit beyond me. If you could explain them in a simpler manner I'd give it a go. I know I could do a simple curve or arc. You might want to check the user forums for help. Someone there may be able to help you with it. UPDATE - the macro language did support a Hyperbolic Cosine function in v6, the last DOS version. Documentation for v12 wasn't as good as earlier versions and it makes no mention of the HCOS function.

30 day Trial version is available here. Select "DesignCAD 3D Max" the "plus" version includes a video tutorial IIRC.


Edited by procab on 03/15/2006 00:04:42 MST.

Daniel Roberts
(whiteagle) - F
Re: CAD Software on 03/17/2006 23:19:02 MST Print View

I've been looking into this a lot too recently (especially the catenary curves). For the longest time I've been designing them in blender and using sketchup for simple pattern making. However, this definitely has it's limitations.

I found this catenary curve tool which is cool, but I can't find any application for it.
click here

I also found perhaps a bit more helpful of an artilce regarding catenary curves in Autocad.(check towards the bottom for catenary curve info)
click here

TouchCad shows promise, but I couldn't find anything about catenaries in it. Am I just missing something?


(I edited to convert the html addresses to hot-links - Jay, MYOG)

Edited by jham on 03/21/2006 12:14:35 MST.