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CAD software

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  • CAD software

    I'm thinking about trying CAD software to lay out a pattern for some boxes I'm building for my bike. I built a mockup using thin cardboard, but it wasn't as precise as I'd like once I cut out the metal. I had a couple of thin sections I had to fill and it was a royal pain. I'm using .080" aluminum. Is this even feasable?

    Does anyone use a process like this, and if so, what is required to print out the results? Can you do it on a normal width desktop inkjet?

    Here's the boxes I'm building:
    Attached Files

  • #2
    In my drafting class (I sadly failed by 2%) I used Auto CAD and we just printed our prints out with a regular printer its all black and white and if you end up having a bigger piece of paper just adjust the paper holder (sorry I don't know what the correct term for it is) on the printer to make the piece fit on it and you should be good to go. I'm almost positive it should work.


    • #3
      It can be done with the CAD but you will need an sample to measure and draw. The CAD is only as accurate as you can measure. If you print it on a regular printer it will not be actual size due to the paper size and the part size. If the drawing is bigger than 8.5 x 11 the drawing will be scaled to fit. In that case you will have to bring it somewhere and have it plotted.

      I would probably start with the cardboard. Do the ends then cut the sides to fit. Once you get a good end out of alum. then use that as the template so they will all be the same.

      Yes it's possible to build it out of alum. I have built a few things out of cardboard 1st. If it can be made with cardboard it can be made with metal!

      MD Welding & Fabricating


      • #4
        Of course I wouldn’t buy Auto-Cad for just one project, but I use Auto-Cad all of the time! I have Cad at home & at work and I do have Cad-Inventor which is a 3-D program. I’m not smart enough to be very proficient at this 3-D program so I rarely use it. What is so beneficial in using Cad is during the design stage of a project. You will know exactly what your project is going to look like before you ever strike an arc. Compound angles also kick my A** & Auto-Cad has all the tools to help. Admit it guys & gal (almost forgot about Janet), how many times have we finished a project & the first thing we always say, “well, if I did it again, I would do ******* different) & now I don’t say that or at least I say, “wished I could design that again”…… ha

        At work we have a plotter which allows me to print drawings in 8 ½”x 11”, 12”x 18”, 18”x 24”, & 36”x 48”. Like Mike said, if that paper size is still not large enough for a 1”=1” then you would have to apply a scale to your drawing. Like ½” = 1” or what ever it took to get the drawing to fit the paper which would totally defeat the purpose of what you’re doing.

        I realize you’re probably in a big hurry to get your project finished if you haven’t already finished, but I would be more then happy to help you out. After looking at your pics I kinda know what your after so we could get on the phone & I could draw it as you give me the dimension’s & then I could print the drawings & mail them to you. Don’t worry, I’d do it for free & if anybody else ever needed any help I could do the same as. (unless I get overloaded...) I AM NOT arrogant or trying to act ****y, but I’m really good & quick with Auto-Cad. (2-D only!!!) You’re on your own if ya want any 3-D help…. ha Normally 3-D is used for visual aid concepts & you build using 2-D drawings anyway. Email me at if you want to pursue this. Just about finished with an aluminum project that Auto-Cad played a huge role & it really does look sharp. I’ll post some pics of it once finished & I have a few more projects I need post as well.

        Have you all noticed that this day & age it seems like the pride of true quality & craftsmanship of a finished project is slowly being forgotten & being replaced by crucial world ending deadlines that always magically appear? Especially deadlines that were established by someone that hasn’t a clue & would starve if they actually had to use their own 2 hands to put food on the table? (but they’re better then us because they have a ton of college!) I once had a fresh newly hired engineer lady ask me how long it would take to dry after welding a 12” Tee on a piece of pipe so she could schedule the x-ray crew. I refuse to watch those reality shows, especially that one that remodels a room in a house in 2 days! I promise you that would never happen in my house! Sorry for getting off the subject…. ha There’s actually a reason why I got off on that tangent but I’ll save that for another day! Have a great weekend guys & gal! Rodney


        • #5
          I agree. I use autoCad whenever I need to figure an angle. It's alot easier and quicker for me to draw it out than to trig it out.

          My dad is an old school manual machist and can whip out the trig formulas off the top of his head.

          I hate to admit it but ihe was quicker tham me on my hi-tech cad stuff! I just said " daym puter froze dad!"


          • #6
            any one know of where to get a decent but simple drawing program, free one would be best.


            • #7
              AutoSketch $129

              CADPro4 $70

              DeltaCad 6 $40

              DesignCAD 3D 17 $50

              TurboCAD $45

              SketchUp $0

              Free Trial versions available for some of these. There may be older versions of some of these repackaged for the discount bins at your office and computer supply stores.

              I have a copy of AutoCAD2000 that I've been intending to learn but at the rate my brain is deteriorating ...what was I going to say?


              • #8
                Do you know anyone with a copy that will let you borrow it?


                • #9
                  I have a copy of AutoCAD2000 that I've been intending to learn but at the rate my brain is deteriorating ...what was I going to say?

                  boy oh boy do i know that feeling, unforchenetly my body is also going way to fast so i'm spending more time in here and less in the shop.
                  i'll check my ofice suply place next time i go by there for an old copy. i dont need any thing fancy just some stuff to play with when i cant get out to the shop, this way i can still pretend to be working.
                  Do you know anyone with a copy that will let you borrow it?
                  be shore to send me a coppy if you do find one.


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