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Author: Subject: Turbocad - Any Good??
Dick Axtell

posted on 15/6/16 at 12:21 PM Reply With Quote
Turbocad - Any Good??

G'day All,

How many LCB-ers here have used/still use Turbocad 3D drafting package? Have just seen a very interesting offer, but remain hesitant to spend the dosh.

So I'll be very interested in your experience in using this software. I have searched on here, and noted that other software seems to be favoured (Solidworks, AutoCAD etc.).





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SeaBass

posted on 15/6/16 at 12:30 PM Reply With Quote


It depends on what you'd like to use it for...

I would look towards a major player and see if you can get a personal license / education license for a much reduced fee if you're not going to use for commercial gain.

Personally I'm a PTC Creo man and use it in an education setting daily.

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Sam_68

posted on 15/6/16 at 12:59 PM Reply With Quote
^^^ As implied by the CNC cookbook label, that survey is for engineering use, of course.

If you took into account the building industry as well, it would look very different, with Autodesk products being hugely dominant (actually, they already are, if you lump AutoCAD, Inventor, Fusion and Draftsight - which is a copy of AutoCAD's user interface by Dassault Systemes - together).

On that basis, I'm surprised that Sketchup makes such a big showing - it's next to useless for engineering drawing.

I use 3D AutoCAD because I'm dual-discipline (architecture and engineering), but if I was wholly engineering I admit Solidworks would probably be my first choice if I was learning over again.

As SeaBass Says, it also depends on what you want to use it for: Solidworks is essentially a 3D package with traditional 2D drafting presentation bolted on. AutoCAD is the opposite: traditional 2D drafting, with 3D functionality bolted on. TurboCAD is closer to AutoCAD in that respect.

3D is great for pretty pictures, but wastes time if all you really need is a drawing to show the fabricators/machine shop what you want them to manufacture (and draftsight will do perfectly competent 2D drafting for free).

It's a long time since I've tried TurboCAD and it will doubtless have developed a lot, but I wasn't impressed. 3D CAD software is extremely complex, so it tends to only be the big players who have the resources to develop and debug it properly; hence I'd stick with one of the market leaders if you can afford it. The rest tend to be flaky at best.

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Irony

posted on 15/6/16 at 07:08 PM Reply With Quote
Right, I used Turbocad on a daily basis. It is generally a good app that is totally worth the money. I forget the cost but it's ridiculously cheap. Worth every penny. I have briefly delved into autocad and found it clunky a difficult to learn. I struggle to see how autocad can be x30 better than Turbocad because auto is 30 times the price. Last time I checked a business license was 3k a copy. I run a team of 4 designers. Autocad 12k, Turbocad 400quid.

No brainer.

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Sam_68

posted on 15/6/16 at 07:26 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by IronyI have briefly delved into autocad and found it clunky a difficult to learn.


In terms of user interface, it certainly is; I can't dispute that - but it's also immensely powerful once you've learned it.

Not 30 times worth more powerful, but then you've got also got to factor in the value of industry standardization - if you go looking for a job with Turbocad as your only fluency on your CV, you'll get laughed at, and if you advertise for CAD technicians, Engineers or Architects to work for you on TurboCAD you'll be met with echoing silence.

File compatibility is the other biggy: the bit players may say that they offer full file compatibility with AutoCAD, but that only seems to be true until you actually try to import and work with one of their files in the genuine article.

You can get an exact replica of last-years-AutoCAD for (iirc) about 350, in the form of ProgeCAD. It's a bit flaky and buggy (I had to suffer it at the last company I worked for), but still nothing like as bad as the minor players in the market.

'Parametric' CAD programs like Solidworks and Sketchup are undoubtedly the way forward in terms of ease of use, though.

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wylliezx9r

posted on 15/6/16 at 07:43 PM Reply With Quote
I'm surprised at the market share of Catia on the graph. Most aerospace and automotive companies use it ?





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Dick Axtell

posted on 15/6/16 at 07:55 PM Reply With Quote
Thanks for all these replies. Lots of interesting info, and I noted Irony's comments in particular. Bearing in mind that my use of CAD will be purely for hobby purposes, TurboCad seems to fit the bill - if it really IS AutoCAD compatible(??).





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bi22le

posted on 15/6/16 at 08:04 PM Reply With Quote
Me too. I work in research and development and use solidworks everyday but when I was looking for work alot wanted pro E or Catia.

Glad I learnt Solidworks. Its a very strong program and some of the things i can do on it now still actually shocks me.



quote:
Originally posted by wylliezx9r
I'm surprised at the market share of Catia on the graph. Most aerospace and automotive companies use it ?






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Sam_68

posted on 15/6/16 at 08:28 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wylliezx9r
I'm surprised at the market share of Catia on the graph. Most aerospace and automotive companies use it ?

Again, I think that's probably a limitation of the survey origin. Catia is dominant with larger companies and is used exclusively by professional CAD engineers; the sorts of people who use it don't hang around on forums/blogs dedicated to teach-yourself-CNC-for-beginners.

It's like doing a survey on here asking what sort of chassis do you use: it would tell you that RWD and spaceframe totally dominates and FWD unibody construction would be nowhere to be seen.

quote:
Originally posted by Dick Axtell... if it really IS AutoCAD compatible(??).

It's not. I've lost count of the amount of time I've spent cursing at files whose originators swore blind were AutoCAD compatible. Or having to strip out functionality from my AutoCAD files by back-saving them to release 2000 format so that consultants using comedy software packages can open them.

The ONLY thing that's fully AutoCAD compatible is AutoCAD, and even then only for the latest generation. Anything else will lose some degree of functionality, it's just a question of how much, and how much you're prepared to tolerate.

But if it's just for amateur use, and the price is right, then go for it... though I would observe that just about everybody else using CAD on a genuinely amateur basis just uses hooky copies of Solidworks/AutoCAD, and despite scaremongering to the contrary, I've never come across a genuine, verifiable case of anyone being prosecuted for doing so - they target illegal business use and tolerate home use as it promotes familiarity with and user-base for their products.

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Neville Jones

posted on 16/6/16 at 08:53 AM Reply With Quote
Enough of the 'I use the topend software' chest beating. I get Catia with a contract I have, free. Makes little difference to what Dick is asking. I still do near 80% of my work in 2d a'cad, that I learnt back in '93. Some of those old keyboard shortcuts are well worth knowing, and have been there since day one. and Windows 3/DOS.

Dick, have a really good look at DraftSight. It's FREE, and up to a couple of years ago, was Autocad with a different name. (Dassault have gradually changed some of the functionality and screen appearance from the A'cad of the first few issues.) It used all the same optional keyboard inputs(if you want to operate that way), and shortcuts. It can save in DWG and DXF to swap platforms as well. If you can find a stand alone version of the 2d package that used to come with Solidworks, DwgEditor, then that again is A'cad in all but name, then morphed into Draftsight.

People having trouble with dwg transfers, give dxf's a try, you might be pleasantly surprised. I swap drawings between family members, and work, in dxf all the time, and no-one's complaned yet.

Again, try DraftSight. Once you get over the initial fright, it makes Turbocad look like a kiddies sketch program.

Cheers,
Nev.

Another is NanoCad. Russian ripoff of A'cad, but you have to pay a subscription for anything but 2d.

[Edited on 16/6/16 by Neville Jones]

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nick205

posted on 16/6/16 at 09:11 AM Reply With Quote
At work we've used Solid Edge, which was OK. We now use PTC Creo, which seems as good if not better than Solid Edge. We design electronic equipment and PTC Creo seems to integrate well with the 3D output of our schematic/PCB software as well.






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Ivan

posted on 16/6/16 at 09:25 AM Reply With Quote
OT - but the other side of the story - I have a cousin, now retired, who up to 5 years ago was one of the top designers of aircraft components in the USA - he specialised in designing "gearboxes" for power and hydraulic take-offs from jet engines and wing flap control mechanisms. Most American military planes and helicopters for the past 30 years or so carry some of his designs and many commercial jets have his "gearboxes" and aileron control mechanisms.

The point of the story is that he refused to use computers and did all of his designs the old-fashioned way with slide rules and pencil and paper. Even so, his work was so brilliant and innovative that his employers were happy to suffer his idiosyncrasies and convert them into digital formats.

On topic - I occasionally use Turbo Cad and find it suitable for amateur use to get things laser cut etc.

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Irony

posted on 16/6/16 at 10:09 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Neville Jones
try DraftSight. Once you get over the initial fright, it makes Turbocad look like a kiddies sketch program.



[Edited on 16/6/16 by Neville Jones]


Just Downloaded and had a go on Draftsight. Looks pretty good for a 'free' app. Very similar to Autocad and it might be a reasonable alternative to Turbocad for my design team. If its based on Autocad it would be an easier step from Draftsight to Autocad in the future.

Trouble is I have two years of back drawings in Turbocad!

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mcerd1

posted on 16/6/16 at 10:13 AM Reply With Quote
what Ivan said, good cad doesn't make you a good engineer / draftsman

To a good engineer / draftsman its a tool to get the answer quicker or do more comprehensive checks...

To a bad engineer / draftsman its a way of making it look like they've done a good job, but too often they are full of small mistakes and errors that add up to a big problem for someone (I spend too much of my time dealing with these issues )
if I had my way none would be allowed to use cad until they could demonstrate they were capable of doing it by hand first laying out a drawing properly! (I'm just old enough to be taught that way at uni)
half the folk I deal with now struggle to even read a good engineering drawing



In the structures / buildings world we keep hearing everyone banging on about 'BIM' (building information modelling) - in theory it means all the different specialist cad packages are working towards generic interchangeable files that allow collaboration, checking and construction info to be available to everyone involved. Obviously the reality is endless compatibility issues and even when you finally get the 3D model (often dummed down to make it work, so half the info you wanted is now missing..) you find out that its actually harder to get the dimensions you need that it would have been with a half decent 2D drawing or that it was created by a total muppet and nothing matches at all...


We use autocad almost exclusively for 2D drafting (normally based on exported 2D drawings from specialist packages)
I learnt autocad R14 (the one before 2000) and spent most of my time on 2000 until recently - while its not exactly use friendly, once your used to its actually quite quick.
Now we use 2014LT - its got the 'user friendly' ribbon thing and even a touchscreen mode (for idiots who can't work a mouse presumably... ) - the problem is that all the fancy interface makes the thing slow and awkward - it took me a while but i turned off 99% of the new features and made it behave more like 2000 - but its still far slower when opening files or even property windows


[Edited on 16/6/2016 by mcerd1]





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Sam_68

posted on 16/6/16 at 10:15 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Neville Jones
Again, try DraftSight. Once you get over the initial fright, it makes Turbocad look like a kiddies sketch program.



DraftSight is 2D, though, and the OP's question was regarding TurboCAD 3D.

As I said in my first post if you just need 2D drafting, then DraftSight is fine (and seems to have a good level of compatibility with 'proper' AutoCAD files), but if you want or need 3D it's not. Simples.

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Sam_68

posted on 16/6/16 at 10:41 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mcerd1
what Ivan said, good cad doesn't make you a good engineer / draftsman


More than that, it can actually be detrimental in terms of productivity, too - especially 3D CAD.

As you say, there's a temptation to waste time producing beautiful, photorealistic models down to the last nut, bolt and washer, when a simple, clear 2D sketch or drawing would do the job just as well.

That's my beef with Solidworks, so far as I have one: it's a superb program, but it is fundamentally a 3D modelling package. It doesn't lend itself well to traditional 2D drafting, in isolation, and thus encourages you to work to a higher level of presentation and detail than is actually necessary, in a lot of cases.

But I appreciate that 3D cad can also be a wondrous tool that allows people who aren't overly familiar with orthographic projection to easily interpret a design.

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mcerd1

posted on 16/6/16 at 11:01 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sam_68But I appreciate that 3D cad can also be a wondrous tool that allows people who aren't overly familiar with orthographic projection to easily interpret a design.

In my experience its those people that cause half the problems!

They also tend to be the ones who design things that are literally impossible to fabricate / service / etc.... (based on what I've seen modern car makers seem to employ lots of these people too)





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Irony

posted on 16/6/16 at 11:08 AM Reply With Quote
In my mind there is a massive gap in the market between 3D visualisation and 2D CAD drawings. We produced beautiful 3D renders for exhibition design in a program called Cinema 4D XL (a truly superb program that just keeps on giving). But it has no 2D CAD facility. So we redraw from scratch in Turbocad. My boss doesn't understand why I can't just press a button and produce a CAD drawing from the 3D visual. I have tried all the big players but none can do both. In my mind if you want beautiful 3D visuals use a specific 3D visualisation program. If you want 2D/3D CAD then use a CAD program but don't expect the renders to look amazingly photorealistic.
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Sam_68

posted on 16/6/16 at 11:36 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mcerd1
In my experience its those people that cause half the problems!

They also tend to be the ones who design things that are literally impossible to fabricate / service / etc....


To be fair, the people who are paying for the work usually fall into this category too, and unfortunately far too many of them have the entirely unreasonable (in my opinion!) expectation of actually understanding what it is they're paying for, before they authorise the expenditure.

But yes, if they're the people who are doing the design work, then you have problems!

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Neville Jones

posted on 16/6/16 at 12:40 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sam_68
, and the OP's question was regarding TurboCAD 3D.



If you want to get pedantic, then Dick asked about TurboCad 3d Drafting Which is a contradiction.

3D is Modelling, in the engineering world I work in.

2D is Draughting.

Another option for Dick to look at would be Freecad. As it says, Free, and is about as good as any free package can be and includes a fairly good 2d package. Comes in Linux and Windows versions.

I've got Freecad on this Linux machine I use for the i'net, as it comes bundled in Ubuntu, but very rarely open it.

The problem with the free cad packages is that as they get developed to something close to the upper end commercial software, they end up being bought out and disappear, or start to want money for it. Freecad is being constantly developed, and is a fair product.

I'm waiting for the Open Source version of Catia or Solidworks...will never happen. But as the nerds unwrap what's in those programs, and feed it into things like Freecad, the free programs get ever closer to the expensive items.

If the man wants to spend money, then have a real good look at Rhinoceros.(Free to use for 90days , and worth a try.) It's not inexpensive, but as good 3d software goes, it's not expensive either. This is the software that the car body design studios use, and a lot of yacht designers. It has exactly the same surface functionality, as Catia, with same analysis tools, and plugs straight into the marine analysis software. I use Rhino for my yacht work, and it functions a lot like A'cad, and even shares some keyboard shortcuts.

Cheers,
Nev.





[Edited on 16/6/16 by Neville Jones]

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Sam_68

posted on 16/6/16 at 01:25 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Neville Jones
If you want to get pedantic...

I don't; I merely want to give advice that is relevant. There's a huge gap between 2D and 3D CAD capability, so if he's looking for the one, he probably wont be interested in the other?

Modelling is only a term that has arisen since the advent of CAD, of course; before that, we would have been talking about 'technical illustration' for the method of presentation of the design, but point taken.

quote:
Originally posted by Neville Jones
The problem with the free cad packages is that as they get developed to something close to the upper end commercial software, they end up being bought out and disappear, or start to want money for it.

Very true, and that's what's happened to Sketchup, of course: you can still get the free version, but they've removed some of the functionality in order to encourage you to buy the 'Professional' version. In particular, they've taken away the ability to import/export to AutoCAD from the free version, which is a shame. Not that Sketchup is any use for engineering design...

Hopefully Draftsight will be the exception to the rule, as it was written by Dassault Systemes (I reckon) largelyy to get up the nose of Autodesk by offering a free alternative to their competitor's main product. It's unlikely ever to be developed to more than a minimal degree of 3D functionality, though, as otherwise it would risk competing with Dassault's own Solidworks product.

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Dick Axtell

posted on 16/6/16 at 02:54 PM Reply With Quote
Found this on the 'Bay. Reckoned it was worth a try - at this price!

Avanquest TurboCAD 20 Deluxe 2D CAD Design & 3D Modeling Software for Windows.





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