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Thread: Choosing a CAD System

  1. #1

    Choosing a CAD System

    Recently I’ve started the process of putting together a (very simple) manufacturing operation focused on (relatively simple) “modular livestock handling & containment systems.” The further we get, the more I realize the need for CAD renderings. I have a BS in Ag Business and a few credits toward a MBA, while the two guys that have helped me with this have production-level experience with welding and fabrication. (In other words, an elementary level of CAD proficiency at best, although I might have someone with a background in industrial design to help me get started).

    High-resolution 3D renderings are a need. Stress testing/ virtual prototyping is a want (taking a day to build a prototype and spending $500 on materials just to throw it in the “cut this up later” pile is getting old), but I’m not opposed to sending the CAD drawings to a freelance engineer to give recommendations. A built-in selection of common materials and steel grades (these things are going to be constructed mostly out of square tube and sheeting, only a few fabricated pieces) would be great. Simple enough that I could learn how to use it myself over time would be ideal.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    I have had the same problem a few years ago, as I am an old engineer and I didn't use CAD software and I didn't familiar with those. So, I start with AUTO-CAD but after some days I found solidworks software which is very simpler. I suggest you go through it. It has a very good simulation and you can use it easily. If you have any questions or ambiguity you can find your answers on the internet or ask me in this forum.

  3. #3
    The 5 Most Important Factors When Choosing a New CAD System

    A Practical Feature Set:
    Having CAD software that can actually meet your product development needs is an obvious necessity—so much so that it was the most important factor in making a new CAD purchase for the 230 individuals surveyed. As obvious as that may seem, it raises a point that many CAD users may not go out of their way to seek out new features when they already face time constraints meeting their existing deadlines.

    Total Cost of Ownership:
    As useful as new features in a CAD system may be, if it doesn’t fit into a company’s budget, it may be off the table. Rasmussen pointed out that if designers are coming from the 2D world or are used to first-generation modelers and have begun using more advanced 3D modeling programs, the annual maintenance fees may seem high.

    Community Resources with Answers to Common Questions:
    Though a CAD vendor may be able to establish its own resources for its community of users, the community itself is largely outside of the company’s control. In turn, the resources generated by the community are dependent on just how active that community is.

    Interoperability Between the CAD Package and Other Solutions:
    Respondents also highlighted the need for a CAD solution that is natively interoperable with other solutions. Rasmussen explained that simulation is becoming an important tool for virtual prototyping and testing. This allows users to iterate on designs more before incurring the costs of physical prototyping and testing.

    Active Online Support / Community:
    Related to the topic of community resources, our respondents also value an active online community and support. Again, the high number of SOLIDWORKS users has given the company a reputation for its active online community. The exact number of forums and YouTube channels dedicated to the software is difficult to pin down, but these resources make it possible for users to quickly and easily seek help when necessary.

  4. #4
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Entry level CAD systems are much of a muchness, you could argue all day about whether Inventor or Solidworks is better, it comes down to personal preference in the end. Maybe as a first step, you could try one of the free CAD programmes to define what you really need. FreeCAD, Onshape, Vectary etc. are all available.

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