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CAD Answered

Hi ppl, Recently I decided to design my own raft this year for the Guildford raft race. The raft will use pvc piping for floatation and my (and an unsuspecting friend) will sit on two bicycles which will power two paddle wheels. Anyway, long story short i thought it would be a cool idea to model it up in some sort of CAD (maybe as something to send possible sponsors to show what i am going to attempt to do if they give me a load of pvc hehe), and, was wondering what software is best to use? thanks ppl


I am having troubles finding decent "schematic" software (freeware or shareware). I was told by my Admin at work there is a bunch out there, but then he may have saw a "list" after a search and didn't check to see that most of them were "try this for 10-30 days before we disable it and swamp you with advertisements). Anyone out there have links to anything decent?

Um, I meant to add that I would like to convert schematics to traces with the program I am seeking....

Circuit schematics to PCB?

Um, well not necessarily. I am looking for something to "work up" schematics to print off (someone suggested something on one of these threads, and I am having troubles finding it now, so I can try it out). And possibly something to create PCB traces also. I don't need it to be so fancy as to translate "schematic to PCB".

Ah. There's always Eagle, of course. But Kicad works well, too (not as many parts in the library, but it's completely free--'freeware' version of Eagle has many limitations.)

I guess you could use a structured draw prog like inkscape, if drawing you self is enough.

There's a pretty fair learning curve with the real design prgs (eagle, etc.) But they do many cool thing for you. For instance, you don't need to know how connectors are wired--so long as you know the pin numbers, it happens automatically...

Thank you very much, yes I remember someone mentioning Eagle before, and then I lost my Favorites list over the weekend and it was gone with everything else *sigh*

Sure. There are some proficient Eagle users here on Ibles, to help if you need it.

Westfw posted this nice Eagle tutorial...

Cool ! Thanks again.

. I'm using AutoCAD (for electrical drawings), but that's a bit pricey for most DIYers. I used TurboCAD for a few weeks - it seems to work well, is AutoCAD-compatible, and is a LOT cheaper. I haven't used Sketchup, but have heard good things about it, especially the price.

Why not photograph yourselves on bikes between stacks of pipes, and use photoshop to turn it into you peddling the raft?

I'm a big fan of Google Sketchup. It's super-simple to use and you can import models that other people created. You can even export models to Google Earth and view them there on the globe :D

Sketchup is fun to play with. Watch the tutorials and you'll be able to make what you want within an hour or two.