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Old 24th July 2011, 07:24 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Pretoria
Default 3D CAD software for speaker plans?

I'd like to hear from the forum on this one. What software do you use for mechanical drawings of your speaker projects? I've shopped around a bit. The budget was exactly zero (dollars, euros, pounds, whatever).

The first one that came up was Google Sketchup. It is very easy to use and works in Wine on Linux. The disadvantage is that is doesn't seem to suited for drawing individual bits that make up a speaker, taking them apart and putting them back together again. I might be wrong on this, because I've only used it for about an hour so far.

The second one was Autodesk 123D Beta. It is quite a big download, but is extremely powerful. That means quite a learning curve, but such is life. The downside is that it does not run in Wine, or even in a virtual Windows machine under VirtualBox. It really, really wants to talk the graphics hardware directly. That meant I had to pull out my spare notebook PC and boot up Vista to make it happen. Works fine so far. It even updated .NET to the version that it requires.

There are quite a few other possibilities. Some of them only came in foreign languages like Russian. None seems to have the feaure set of Autodesk 123D or the user friendliness of Sketchup.

One that remains out of reach is FreeCad. It is open source but I could not build it from source code in Fedora Linux. Maybe the next version will work out. In the meantime I will have to use Windoze. I don't particularly like this, but for 123D I will make an exception.
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Old 24th July 2011, 10:55 PM   #2
Loren42 is offline Loren42  United States
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If you want something with real features you may be stuck buying something. If you are a student you might qualify for a student discount on a 3D cad package.

I use Vectorworks, but that is not cheap and I only have it because I need it for my business.

The advantage to something like a good 3D cad package is that it not only lets you render images, but aids in the design. Mine even calculates internal volumes and allows me to break down all the components into individual sheets for fabrication.

Something like TurboCAD 3D ($65) might be worth a look, but I suspect that others will have even better recommendations.

http://www.google.com/products/catal...ed=0CH8Q8gIwBQ
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Old 25th July 2011, 11:44 AM   #3
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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Proper 3D design packages are not going to be expensive, Solidworks, Inventor etc, brilliant to use full rendering capabilities, FEA etc etc, for DIY though again somthing like TurboCad is OK.
I use SolidWorks (and Inventor in the past) at work and can do my designs on this, which does help. But have looked around for somthing similat taht is free for my kids to learn on at home and have not had much joy.
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Old 25th July 2011, 12:58 PM   #4
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Hi, seeing that you are playing with sketchup, learn how to use group command, as well as layers, then you should be able to select and pull appart with ease.

when you want to extrude a shape, first group the two dimenisional shape, then extrude, this is easier then trying to select vertexes and planes than in 3d.

I also got something called autodesk 123 this weekend, which seems quite powerfull and I believe is free, but I have not used it yet.

The weakpoint wih sketchup is that is doesn;t render without plugins, I suggest downloading the free sup2pov plugin, and download povray which is also free to render sketchup drawings with...
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Old 25th July 2011, 01:11 PM   #5
Loren42 is offline Loren42  United States
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Autodesk 123D:

Autodesk 123D - Free 3D Modeling Software, 3D Models, DIY Projects, Personal Fabrication Tools

It is free and it may be a really good idea.
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Old 25th July 2011, 02:37 PM   #6
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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Downloading 123 now, should have finished in a week! Will have a play and see what its like.
Cheers
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