3d CAD Workshop

  • I’ve been looking at giving a general workshop to get people familiar with some of the programs out there and dig deeper into one or two CAD programs I am familiar with.

    I was thinking of doing a initial introduction to the various kinds of CAD programs out there (especially the free trial and free demo versions) and compare the benefits and flaws. Fusion 360 is big on my list of teaching. If there are others that others may be interested in, feel free to list a couple. Or just shor if your interested

  • I’d be interested.
    I’ve been trying FreeCAD which I find a bit confusing.

  • I’ve been interested in Fusion 360 - I’m familiar with Autodesk Inventor and of course Autocad2D/3D, been wanting to move into something more dynamic for projects and it’s a toss up between Solidworks and Fusion.

  • I really like using onshape and for designing parts for 3D printing or CNC cutting it can be very useful. However onshape does not have any CAM feature so I would be interested in trying out fusion 360 just to be able to use it to process more advance drawings into gcode. I am not asking that you cover the CAM features since it should probably be its own workshop, but that is just my interest in fusion 360. I am also searching for a high end computer for the space so we could run fusion 360.

  • Linux

    I downloaded Fusion 360 a couple of weeks ago with the intention of using it on the RedSail router at the Makerspace. Still working on the router though.

  • Had pretty good results using Inkscape with the Gcodetools extension to drive the 3020 router for 2d engraving. Attempting to cut through with the engraving bit was an unmitigated disaster though.

    Did a bit of 3D carving with the shapoko a few days back just poking raw g-code at the controller using Universal Gcode Sender. The machine itself is capable of making some very nice 3d contours.

  • If there is any interest, I could offer a similar presentation/workshop here at Scorpion showing the Solidworks/Solidcam/Haas CNC mill/lathe process.


  • If there is any interest, I could offer a similar presentation/workshop here at Scorpion

    @BrianB that would be awesome! There is a lot of interest in the CAD CAM process in our group and we would love to come over for a tour! We mention you every time we give a tour of makerspace and people are always interested in what you guys are doing at scorpion.

    Can we start a different topic for the scorpion CAD CAM tour? I suggest planning it for late march or first week of April. Is there any particular day that would work for you?

  • I really do appreciate Solidworks. If it was just more cost effective to use, I would buy it in a heart beat. Luckily multiple CAD programs habe similar formats to make it easy to work with one or multiple different CAD programs.

  • Founder

    What is the best software for a relative newbie to get a decent free CAD program running on a modest linux laptop? I have some sketch-up experience years ago, and autosketch 2D waaaay back in the day.

    Is there anything that will render and output, say to give a customer a proof of concept?

  • @Bradley-Maker OnShape and FreeCAD are the top 2 on my list for CAD systems that work on a linux machine.

    I believe that OnShape has rendering available now, but I haven’t tried it.

  • There are a list of various CAD Software for linux displayed on this site.


    Their are various free CAD programs, including freeCAD, gCAD3D, GroundCAD, KediCAD, and Medusa4. I haven’t tried any of them, but freeCAD is relatively used from many other. GroundCAD is a 2D CAD can support files in Autodesk and other files.

  • @Bradley-Maker I’ve recently been trying out freeCAD but have found it frustrating.Admittedly, I’m coming from a AutoCAD background and learning a new paradigm has been my main issue. Still, I like how I can build multi-part projects by snapping between existing parts. Can’t seem to do it so easily in freeCAD. But I could be missing something.

  • @Bradley-Maker Depends on what you want to do.

    If you are after artistic 3d renderings, in an afternoon or thereabouts I could teach you to use the software that made these renderings: http://hof.povray.org/

    I used it on linux for many years before I realized that I am pretty good at using it to describe “shit I want to build” but have no artistic talent or insight. So there is no point in having all the fancy graphics capabilities to make it pretty.

    For 2d stuff, I was a heavy qcad user for a while, librecad seems to be the modern open source fork of that project. Pretty lightweight and with not too bad of a work flow.

    If you don’t care about the “CAD” aspects of it and are doing 2d work, I use inkscape now. It’ll get it done, and there are tools to generate GCode or do other interesting effects easily.

    If you want to make 3d models for printing, I like Openscad, learning curve is similar to povray, but simpler since it does not do the artistic stuff, so there’s no need to learn it.

    I could lead you through the most basic Blender stuff too (artsy pretty 3d program), but you’ll rapidly outpace my skills.

    I’ve been meaning to learn BRL-Cad for years… It has a steep learning curve, but the Ballistics Research Lab built it from the ground up to analyse parts for mechanical strength and it just seems interesting to be able to model up a rocket, simulate a re-entry and go “Oh the fins are going to stress-fracture right about there…”

  • Design Lab

    Uhhhh, wow. I am SO hungry for this information. Just sayin.

  • Metal

    I recently downloaded Fusion360 and would be greatly appreciative of anyone that would be willing to help me figure out how to use the CAM Engraving aspect. I want to make some simple signs with a v-bit cutter and am slowly muddling my way thru, but I am finding the learning process incredibly time consuming and I just want to get out the garage and cut something already.
    I should mention that i am fairly new to CNC routing, so I am still familiarizing myself with the terminology and concepts. I have successfully cut a bunch of designs that I made in Inkscape , and then used Easel to get the GCode, but would really like to try variable depth v-bit stuff. I have tried using the gcode tools extension for Inkscape but have had a few misadventures with even the simple 2.5D stuff (I’m sure I could use a good tutorial on that as well!), and have had no luck figuring out the engraving function of that).

    My theory is that if I can figure out Fusion 360, I would be familiar with a very powerful program that will be usable as my CNC knowledge grows.

    I have looked into purchasing software, specifically ArtCam Express, and V-Carve Desktop, and have played with the demos a bit. They are a lot easier to figure out, but I am not really in a position to shell out the 300 or 400 dollars right now.

    So again, anyone will to help me out learning Fusion 360 (or inkscape and gcode tools)? Or point me in the direction of some good tutorials? I would love to meet up with someone but since I am out in Sicamous its a little hard to get in to Kamloops. I can maybe make it on a weekend, but during the week is not possible. Maybe a skype or chat, or recording a screencast? Many thanks in advance!

  • @dk said:

    So again, anyone will to help me out learning Fusion 360 (or inkscape and gcode tools)?

    PM me your inkscape file, and a bit of description of what you were trying to cut (2.5d or 3d… does not matter) and I’ll try to cook up a step by step tutorial on how to make it sit up and jump. I’d dug through the source code of gcode tools, and understand at a fairly fundamental level how it works. Sometimes I still get stumped at the UI, and have to go back to read the code to figure out the sequence of steps that make it do what I need, so a tutorial is in order.

  • I got this in my inbox today:

    I haven’t watched the video yet myself, but it may prove useful.

  • Metal

    @pierre Thank you for your very kind offer. I will send you the file as soon as I can figure out how to send files thru the chat function, lol. The UI for gcode tools is a little daunting for sure. If I can get that figured out I imagine it would be the easiest solution for my 2.5D work. I am still intent on learning fusion, as one day when i have a proper CNC machine it would be great to machine full 3D designs.

    @dhylands Thanks for the link. I took a look and did not find a video. There is an write up about using fusion360 for a small project, but it is not very detailed. Unfortunately I did not find the answers I am seeking there.

  • @dk Hey DK. I recently was working on a PowerPoint I was going to go through to teach CAD and CAM using Autodesk Fusion 360. It’s meant to go as a presentation with explanations… but I could fill out a general appendix of procedures if you want to experiment on your own.

  • Metal

    @Jacob-S. If you have any material with information on Fusion360 I am eager to read it. Even if it is not in the completed stages I am sure there will be some information in it that will help me get going in the right direction, or get me thinking about things in a different way.
    I have made a little progress since yesterday with the Engrave function, so I am pleased that I am starting to see a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel.