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Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

(OP)
Hey I'm new here. I'm not an engineer by trade, I am an entrepreneur. I have some ideas I'd like to sketch using engineering or CAD software.
Id like to find out which software would be best for me. It doesn't have to be the best or most expensive software just good enough to ensure the patent(s) are well described and go through properly.

The designs are involving, solar collection, sterling engines and variations, similar to the SES Dish Solar Stirling Systems
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_Energy_Syste...

Also vertical farming designs, geothermal heating and cooling systems, Solar Heating Systems, fiber optic lighting systems, and wind turbines.

Could someone do me a favor and point me toward the correct software products? Thanks!

RE: Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

For patent applications all you need (in the UK at least) is 2D black and white line drawings with notes, so any free CAD package would give you that.

RE: Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

Best free CAD in my experience: DraftSight by Dassaud Systems (makers of SolidWorks)

Get it here: http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/overview/

Best to you,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies

RE: Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

QCad is free, and does pretty well for rough sketching. Might give that a go. AutoCAD is (I think) still quite popular for 2D drawings. If you want do some actual solid-modeling, you might look into Alibre, Solidworks or you can go big with Unigraphics or Pro/Engineer.

RE: Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

I'll also vote for Draftsight, because it's free, and because it works like AutoCAD and produces AutoCAD compatible files, so you can find someone to drive it most anywhere and you shouldn't have issues with others not being able to open your files.

However, if you have had problems getting drawings accepted by the patent office, consider renting a patent drafter, who works in the USPTO bizarro world all the time and knows the rules by heart.




Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

(OP)
Thanks a lot I'll give these a try.

RE: Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

(OP)
So I downloaded drafsight. I know there's got to be a way to load existing machine specs into draft sight. Instead of sketching an entire electric motor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_motor you can just find the corresponding "files" and drop them right into draftsight and go from there. Right? Sorry for being such a noob. Anyone know of any free instructional videos for draftsight? Thaks! lightsaber

RE: Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

I have never used draftsight but with pretty much any CAD system you can just import files in various formats. My guess is .dwg or .dxf will work best for you but others who use this system might offer better advice.

Most manufacturers will have a free download on their web site for specific parts or failing that there are tons of more generic downloads available on the web.

RE: Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

DraftSight can import almost any type of CAD file -- you could simply open your existing drawing first, or insert it as a block.

As to your instructional request, stick the following phrase in Google:

draftsight tutorial

You'll get a whole bunch of resources, including many YouTube videos and pdf how-to files.

If you can't find exactly what you need, search the phrase:

autocad tutorial

The Autocad structure is very similar to DraftSight.

Nota bene: I chose DraftSight initially over all the other freebies because it was the only one that could open Autocad 2010 format files. The others were all limited to 2007 and earlier.

Best to you,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies

RE: Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

contra83,

I like qcad because there is a Free Software version of it.

Draftsight is freeware, provided in the hope that you will stop using AutoCAD, and switch over to SolidWorks. There is no reason to assume that Draftsight will not be pulled off the market at some time. If you have relied on features of it, your drawings will be unusable.

--
JHG

RE: Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

Another free alternative for 3D is SketchUp. There is both a free version and a paid version. Non AutoCAD like, oriented more to designing rooms etc.

RE: Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

I like TurboCad - you can buy very cheap older versions on E-bay

RE: Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

Thanks drawoh,

I'll give free Qcad a run-thru, I like to scope out stuff like that.

In defense of DraftSight, though, I have not found any features that are not also available in AutoCAD. I shared your concern, though. The safeguard for the potential retraction of DraftSight is to always save in an older AutoCAD format or DXF, so you can always load it into another program.

I had to throw that in, as I am a big DraftSight fan. The interface is so AutoCAD-like that I jumped right in and cranked. I agree that it is a marketing tool for Dassault -- but they don't have to sell too many SolidWorks licenses to pay for its development.

Best to you,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies

RE: Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

I think the 2D version of Solid Edge is available for free as well.

http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/produc...

Apparently you can now get a free 45 day trial of the latest full version too.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Best engineering or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software for prototype sketch.

I'm sort of hooked on Bricscad... they have a good regular 3D version (I've used it for 36Meg Autocad 3D files) and also with the Platinum version, a parametric modelling version... Cost for the Platinum is about 75% of the cost for Autocad LT...

Dik

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