CAD Sherpa needed.
August 3, 2018 9:05 AM   Subscribe

I have several projects coming along over the next year or so that would be drastically easier if I had a working knowledge of 'how to move things around in 3D CAD program.' I'm looking for the best course of action to get me to a baseline of competency in assembling pre-designed pieces in a CAD program.

Mcmaster Carr has various options for downloading 3D models of a number of their products, and it would be great if I could get some basic knowledge around how to 'assemble' some of these pieces in a CAD program to make sure things roughly fit togehter, get a working-if-rough 3D model of the setup, and generate specific parts lists for purchase, and rough mapping of the installation/assembly of some of it.

I don't need to know how to draw things from scratch, but just basically play tinker-toys with the models provided. But, i'm starting with functionally zero specific CAD knowledge. I do have experience (self taught, but 15 years of use) in vector programs like Illustrator as a jumping off point if that helps at all. I dabbled in Sketchup when it was a google product, but honestly was way lost because of the lack of tutorials and other support.

The Heirarchy of Desirable Situations would be as follows
-OSX (mandatory)
-Relatively smooth learning curve OR detailed, well done tutorials support
-Open source/free
-Any program/knowledge/anything that dovetails into eventual scratch generation of pieces for 3D milling or printing would be nice, but are very low priority.

I have a small budget of time to learn how to use a program, but the sooner I can get to 'download cad file, input into Widget To Be Built file, and generally manipulate it' the better.

Any other general helpful guides and primers on what different types of CAD files do and don't do would be beneficial as well.
posted by furnace.heart to Technology (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A free, quick & easy professional browser based system is OnShape.
posted by sammyo at 10:30 AM on August 3, 2018

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