Need advice on CAD program/s

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30 Oct 2019 11:27 #149151 by DangerToMyelf
My desktop CNC machine should be delivered in a day or two. I'm planning to use LinuxCNC even though I am extremely new to Linux.

My intended use for this machine is primarily cutting flat parts out of wood and plastic. However, I also want to use it for PCBs on occasion. Maybe, in the future, the ability to do 3D would come in handy. But it's not a priority at this time though.

What CAD program/s would you suggest? I have experience with AutoCAD (although it's been several years) and very brief experience with FreeCAD. But if there is a better alternative to FreeCAD, I would like to hear about it.

As for doing PCBs, I haven't a clue where to begin with software. I've tinkered with a few freeware design programs on Winblows. But that's as far as it went.

Thanks for your time!

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30 Oct 2019 11:39 #149152 by Hakan
Replied by Hakan on topic Need advice on CAD program/s
As for PCBs I used FlatCAM a lot and got good results. It takes Gerber files and drill files for example.

Fusion 360 for general 3D milling and turning. There may be better alternatives for 2D cutting though.
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30 Oct 2019 12:22 #149159 by pl7i92
Replied by pl7i92 on topic Need advice on CAD program/s
for PCB an old eagle install will work nice
and for the rest
Qcad FreeCAd heekscad inkscape Fusion powermill sheetcam
Deskproto .....

depending on part the right cam is somwhere around
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30 Oct 2019 16:53 #149194 by DangerToMyelf

for PCB an old eagle install will work nice
and for the rest
Qcad FreeCAd heekscad inkscape Fusion powermill sheetcam
Deskproto .....

depending on part the right cam is somwhere around


Have to ask, why an old eagle install?

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30 Oct 2019 16:55 #149195 by DangerToMyelf

As for PCBs I used FlatCAM a lot and got good results. It takes Gerber files and drill files for example.

Fusion 360 for general 3D milling and turning. There may be better alternatives for 2D cutting though.

You knew I was going to be asking about CAM too. Didn't ya?:lol:

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01 Nov 2019 08:04 #149339 by pl7i92
Replied by pl7i92 on topic Need advice on CAD program/s
hi
the older eagle got the PCB2Gcode inside
so its just a one Click action to the mill

the new versions from 8+
got there own system printing and fail to me on PCB generation a tweeking all the time
i prefer 7.2 and im realy fine on that
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01 Nov 2019 14:34 #149365 by DangerToMyelf
Thank you for the explanation. You probably just saved me a lot of headaches!

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04 Nov 2019 23:36 #149560 by andypugh
I use Fusion360 mainly, but I hate myself for it and wish I used FreeCAD :-)

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13 Nov 2019 18:24 - 13 Nov 2019 18:25 #150317 by ikkuh
Replied by ikkuh on topic Need advice on CAD program/s
Have been using Fusion 360 for 2d and 3d cad, Eagle for PCB's.
I used Fusion 360 for almost four years now. But I stopped using it and forced myself to use FreeCAD.

My life is better now :) My files are my own, the rules do not change halfway so I suddenly can only use 80% of the software, I do not have to watch CYCNC video's anymore ;) (the early ones were great, but after the commercialization of the channel it is no longer fun to watch).

So I have been using FreeCAD for a few months now, very happy and the program gets better and better. Version 0.19 has a lot of things that bring it to about the possibilities that Fusion offered 2 years ago. Not everything is as fine-tuned, but the people at FreeCAD are active and very capable.

For pcb's I switched to KiCad EDA, much more then just pcb's. And with a special macro you can use the pcb designs in your FreeCAD model.
Not perfect yet, but the import of Eagle into Fusion was laughable to say the least in the beginning. With KiCad and FreeCAD you have two way synchonization and that is great.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Almost forgot: Both work great on Linux (I use Debian Buster at the moment with xfce). My 8 core i5 machine with 12Gb memory was slow as .... using Fusion, now it is a power station and everything runs smoothly.


FreeCAD:
www.freecadweb.org/

KiCad:
www.kicad-pcb.org/
Last edit: 13 Nov 2019 18:25 by ikkuh.
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13 Nov 2019 18:46 #150319 by DangerToMyelf
Thanks for the input. I recently downloaded FreeCad again. OMG! It's insanely better than the last time I used it (been a few years or more).

I think I'll stick with it. Have already designed some parts with it.

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