Looking for simple design software or software designed for the simple :)

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ps.harris80

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Hi all.

I am looking for some simple 2D design software that is not too bloated or difficult for a simple minded soul like me to use for simple designs for things like cabinets and boxes etc.

I did try SketchUp but just couldn't get to grips with it, I told you I was simple ;)

Currently just using Windows Paint but could do with something with a few more design features without it being too powerful.

Anyone got any recommendations.

Thanks.

Paul
 
Look at Qcad, it is a good 2D drawing ppackage that I use and it is only £30 a year and there is a really good forum if you need help or want to search for a solution to a problem. It has layers, blocks and a library so something you can grow into.

https://qcad.org/en/
I use it for all sorts, my new kitchen cabinets, router profiles which help in making built up mouldings and even floor layouts so you can see if everything will fit into a given space.
 
Look at Qcad, ... it is only £30 a year

The text that appears in the link says: 'QCAD is a free, open source application for computer aided drafting (CAD) in two dimensions...'

Would you be able to explain the difference between what you say and what QCAD themselves say?

The actual pricing structure is given here: QCAD - Shop The paragraph headed 'license' is particularlty important.
 
Along the same lines as Qcad there are a few open source products out there. LibreCAD, Inkscape, FreeCAD and FormZ. They all have a similar learning curve but once you have mastered one of them it's not too difficult to port over to one of the others.
 
Pencil, paper, board, T square, set square, rubber.
Easier learning curve than Sketchup and much more hands-on practical for people actually making things.
 
There's a learning curve???
A few little things to learn I suppose. Keeping the T square tight against the straight edge, not using it from the other sides of the board, spinning a pencil to keep the point central etc. Just little things. And pencil sharpening of course o_O . Ordinary pencil better than mechanical pencil etc etc. Drafting tape or drawing pins......
And you forgot a protractor. ;-)
Adjustable set square
PS and yes french curves! Compasses etc, scales, conversion scales from imperial to metric. All good stuff!
 
Would you be able to explain the difference between what you say and what QCAD themselves say?
I started with the free version and it was great but having been an autocad user I missed some of it's ability and the Pro version delivers these extra's such as command line input. I get free updates for the duration of my subscription and unlimited support from Andrew and the forum so an ideal package for anyone starting of with tech drawing and this book is a Qcad companion QCAD - QCAD Book.

You have the basic free version that is good but you also have the full blown pro version with more features. Look at this and everything in blue is the pro version only so you can clearly see the differences.

https://qcad.org/en/qcad-documentation/qcad-features
You may or may not require all these extra features but for £30 a year it is worth just having them as you get more choice in file formats and extra tools in the toolbars to make life easier.

https://www.ribbonsoft.com/rsforum/viewtopic.php?t=5812
 
I use Libre CAD, when I have to. It is mainly to show customers, though a 3D system would probably be better for this ( some folk aren't necessarily capable of imagining things from a 2D drawing ) When I first started to use it, I downloaded and printed a few tutorials. I keep these to hand to remind me if I get a bit rusty. But there is a learning curve - you just have to persist , and you will crack it eventually :unsure:

I used to go down the full hand-drawn route, but I got rid of my architects drawing board, years ago, though I still have my small Rotring rapid drawing system should I need it. I learnt, years ago. not to make sets of hand drawings for customers, as one can easily get bogged down, with re-drawing every time they change their mind, and your design can be offered to other tradesmen to undercut your price. This ,I suppose, is where CAD comes into its own, as the drawing can easily be amended , and you can edit out any bits that might help a competitor.
 
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This ,I suppose, is where CAD comes into its own, as the drawing can easily amend , and you can edit out any bits that might help a competitor.
Plus you can export as an image that shows what something looks like but without any detail or dimensions so not useful as a production drawing. You can also stick a company logo on it as a watermark.
 
Pencil, paper, board, T square, set square, rubber.
Easier learning curve than Sketchup and much more hands-on practical for people actually making things.
I must say that this is my preferred method too. Even 'back of a beer mat/fag packet' type sketch for the majority of my own projects. But there's a place for CAD when I need repetition, regular changes and to show someone without dimensions, cutting list, ability to email drawings, etc. It's nice to have all Technical Drawing skills under my belt in my opinion.
 
+1 for LibreCAD. Not too difficult to learn and plenty of YouTube tutorials.
-20 for Fusion360. Tried it for a few days then gave up as couldn't get to grips with it. And I consider myself reasonable computer literate having, in the past, used Coreldraw, TurboCAD, and others I've forgotten about. Sketchup I found didn't suit my workflow.
Have fun
Martin
 
+1 for LibreCAD. Not too difficult to learn and plenty of YouTube tutorials.
-20 for Fusion360. Tried it for a few days then gave up as couldn't get to grips with it. And I consider myself reasonable computer literate having, in the past, used Coreldraw, TurboCAD, and others I've forgotten about. Sketchup I found didn't suit my workflow.
Have fun
Martin
As a long time TurboCAD user for work I am finding Fusion very much more flexible and easy to use. I guess we are all different 😀
 
I was taught technical drawing at school and loved it, I still use the techniques to work things through but you can’t transfer a lovely drawing to a 3d printer without CAD
 
Watch out for the free trial stuff. I've been caught out a couple of times with software that is advertised as free but in reality is only free for a trial period eg. 3 months.
 
Paint.net is free software that has a bit more options than Windows Paint. But it remains a simple 2D editor.

CAD software will be more powerfull and the way to go for designing something a litlle more elaborate.
 
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