I’m 100% new to CAD. I’d like to start learning before the Glowforge arrives. I’m trying to decide which software to invest my time learning. It seems to make a difference what types of projects you want to create. I’ll list a few, probably in the order that I’d like to make them.
- Woodworking joints
- Wood/acrylic models with moving parts
- Mixed media projects combining wood and leather/textiles
Just to look at what other people are using their software for, it seems like there is a big divide between Architectural CAD, CAD that is used for making gizmos, and CAD for animation. It also seems like CAD is a little too versatile, in that you can make any shape on any axis. Is there something that can be configured to work more with the type of dimensional materials the Glowforge can handle?
Poking around on the net, I read something really interesting. It was an article primarily about Architectural CAD, and it said that if you look at a project, you can tell which CAD software the designer was using. I guess certain kinds of shapes are easier in different kinds of CAD.
I like the idea of the free software, but I’m not opposed to paying for something if it works better. My time and speed of learning is more valuable than saving a few bucks. I guess money is relative so I would say I don’t mind spending hundreds, but thousands is a little more painful unless I’m sure of the usefulness of the software.
One other little problem… I’ve been looking at all the things that can be made, that I’d like to make, and I’m getting all sorts of ideas. I can already tell what will be my second CNC machine: something that can carve unless the Glowforge turns out to do good 3D etchings/carvings. Perhaps it would be a different CAD program altogether, but I would like to know efficient ways to design 3D carvings as well.
Does anyone with a background in CAD have any advice?
Btw, I’m in a MacOS environment, but I could be convinced to run windows or linux on a virtual machine.