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Thread: Blueprint software

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    Supporting Member tmoore4748's Avatar
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    Blueprint software

    Okay everyone, I'm stumped. I'm hoping to find decent blueprint software, preferably 3D, but can suffice with 2D, that is cheap or free. I'm having trouble choosing the right product that can give me quality prints, similar to what folks here use to put their plans for sale. I've got experience with AutoCAD, Mastercam, a little SketchUp, and a few others. My biggest problem right now is that I have a ton of step files to translate, and no way of doing that without paying for software that's really expensive, just to get dimensioning. So, help? Please?

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    Supporting Member olderdan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmoore4748 View Post
    Okay everyone, I'm stumped. I'm hoping to find decent blueprint software, preferably 3D, but can suffice with 2D, that is cheap or free. I'm having trouble choosing the right product that can give me quality prints, similar to what folks here use to put their plans for sale. I've got experience with AutoCAD, Mastercam, a little SketchUp, and a few others. My biggest problem right now is that I have a ton of step files to translate, and no way of doing that without paying for software that's really expensive, just to get dimensioning. So, help? Please?
    You could download DraftSight, a free 2D program that works just like AutoCad. It can handle many file formats and being free whats to lose.

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    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    Here's what DesignSpark Mechanical 4.0 can do. Maybe it might work for you. It's free and easy to use.
    Blueprint software-ds-file-formats.jpg
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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    Supporting Member olderdan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusty View Post
    Here's what DesignSpark Mechanical 4.0 can do. Maybe it might work for you. It's free and easy to use.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks for the tip Crusty, it is a program I was not aware of, I have downloaded it and will try it soon.

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    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    Just read and follow the built in tutorials to start and you'll be surprised by how easy it is to use. Of course if you want more functions there's packages of increased capabilities for it that you can buy which are pricey.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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    Supporting Member jdurand's Avatar
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    I wound up using TurboCAD Pro Platinum 2018, definitely not free but I find it quite good. I started out with AutoCAD after taking a class in it, but then when it went to the Windows version my nice drawing tablet with all the macros and buttons on the puck no longer worked. So I mailed the original disks in for a super discount on TurboCAD. Now I upgrade from time to time when a customer job needs mechanical design and I can have them pay for the upgrade.

    I draw essentially everything in 3D, it was hard for me to switch to 2D for our house plans. I started with full 3D but had to switch because it was taking too long and the contractor was grumbling louder and louder.

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    Supporting Member tmoore4748's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusty View Post
    Just read and follow the built in tutorials to start and you'll be surprised by how easy it is to use. Of course if you want more functions there's packages of increased capabilities for it that you can buy which are pricey.
    To highlight the "pricey" options, the only way, apparently, to work with ".step" files is to get one of those add-on modules. Thanks, though, for the suggestion, I think it's something my Dad is able to use for his shop, as he generates a lot of PDF files for his stuff.

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    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    I thought you just wanted to convert the files to another file format and it works for that, though in somewhat limited fashion. I didn't have any luck translating to a pdf file (likely a 3d to 2d issue) but translating to jpg files did work and I was able to manually add dimensioning before the export.

    It's at least an easy to use package which might be enough for some folks.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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    I usually use Freecad for .step files, export as dxf and import to sketchup, do the fiddles and diddles I want then go to layout. Or of you are comfortable with Freecad's ui and way of modelling why not stick with that.

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    Liquidhandwash's Tools
    I use pro desktop which is very old but a great full 3d cad package. It will import step files and do most of what you want but runs best on Windows XP. anything newer it has a few glitches.
    I use it to teach kids CAD as it is so easy to learn and does about 99% of what a modern cad package can do.
    It is free if you go to my site you can find out more, download and the instructions to activate it are there also.
    https://www.instructables.com/id/Dig...t-one-Key-tag/

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