Author Topic: DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???  (Read 6790 times)

bbegan

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DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???
« on: June 05, 2007, 11:34:14 AM »
I have DesignCAD 3D Max 16, and am just learning how to use it.  I've been getting invitations from Imsi to upgrade to TurboCAD Pro or Deluxe, and wonder whether to do it.

I checked the Imsi web site and the discussion boards, looking in vain for a feature comparison between the products.  So why would someone choose DesignCAD 3D or TurboCAD Deluxe over the other?  Is there a concise, feature-by-feature "shootout" that would help me understand why there are two separate products in the first place?  (Or is this a Ford-vs.-Mercury, Chrysler-vs.-Plymouth sort of deal?)

Thanks,
Brian, newbie

support

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Re: DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2007, 12:25:36 PM »
Brian,
There is no shoot out between DesignCAD and TurboCAD. The two are part of the same family, seperate, completely different, but complimentary programs. There is no reason to compare the two when together they form a full featured CAD solution.

Rob S

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Re: DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2007, 12:35:28 PM »
If you tell us what kind of work you want to do with the program, some here will chime in with their experiences.

I can tell you that designcad is probably the easiest to use CAD program out there for quick drawings in 2D or 3D,

This is not to say there isn't a significant learning curve if you're new to CAD.  I have not used TurboCad myself, so I can't say how it compares exactly.


Also, Designcad has great programmability for unique applications.

I have heard that Tcad may be a bit better at 3D solids operations and rendering.
User since Pro-design

bbegan

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Re: DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2007, 04:20:59 PM »
Jerry, thanks for replying, but you really didn't answer the question: Why would I buy one over the other?  Which should I use?

They both present themselves as 2D/3D CAD packages.  What's different about them?  (If they complement each other, that implies that I should probably buy both of them to get the whole solution!)

Thanks,
Brian

bbegan

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Re: DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2007, 04:22:48 PM »
Rob, thanks for that hint.  I'd like to use the app to prototype an addition to my house, as well as to design furniture (cabinets, benches, etc.) that I'll be building in my shop.  More uses will undoubtedly present themselves as I learn how to use the app and gain some experience with it (whichever "it" is!).

Brian

The Scud

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Re: DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2007, 11:10:46 PM »
Down the trial versions of both and try them. Thats a start for you.
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Dr PR

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Re: DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2007, 11:27:10 AM »
I have DesignCAD and TurboCAD Delux. I use TurboCAD solely to render images of 3D models produced in DesignCAD. It is not a perfect solution. When DesignCAD has equivalent rendering options I will not need TurboCAD.

I have used DesignCAD since 1987, and I am pretty familiar with how it works. Consequently, TurboCAD is very confusing. It doesn't work like DesignCAD in several ways:

1. If it has a gravity snap function similar to DesignCAD I haven't found it (snap to anything, anytime). It is more like AutoCAD,and that is about like designing with a stone ax on the walls of a cave. You can select some things some of the time, and have to constantly fuss with what the program will select. I spend far more time fiddling with selection parameters that I do with the actual work I want to do. Bonehead CAD!

2. It supposedly imports DesignCAD files directly, but it doesn't work very well. I export DWG from DesignCAD and import into TurboCAD, and this works mostly. The main problem is that DesignCAD stores surfaces as a collection of facets, and after the pass through DWG smooth surfaces disappear. You need a LOT of facets in the DesignCAD file (very large files) to get a smooth loking surface in TurboCAD.

3. TurboCAD stores a representation of how things should be and DesignCAD stores a representation of how they are. In TurboCAD (and all "parametric" programs) a hole in a solid is stored as a note to make a hole here eventually when the design is rendered. Consequently, you can select an existing hole (a cylinder through the solid), move it, rotate it, change diameter, etc., and the program does all the rest. In DesignCAD after you drill a hole in a solid the solid is modified, period. If you want to change the hole you have to start over with a new solid and a new hole.

The parametric approach sounds nice and easy, but I find it impossible to predict how intersections of multiple solids, holes, etc. will interact (as does the program). It is fine for simple things, but doesn't always work with complex drawings. For example, a few years ago a review of many $10,000 to $20,000 CAD programs revealed that they couldn't draw a rifle bore (I think most can now)! The interactions of generating the rifling cross section, extruding it into a virtual helical solid, and subtracting the result from a virtual cylinder was unpredictable. DesignCAD could do it because the object is produced in a series of user defined steps, just like you would in a machine shop. At any time what you see is what you get. DesignCAD works just like a milling machine or a lathe. If you make a bad mistake, you have to start over.

****

Most of my problems with TurboCAD result from my familiarity with DesignCAD and the extreme ease I have creating things with DC. A new user unfamiliar with either can probably learn one as well as the other.
DesignCAD user since 1987

BerieC

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Re: DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2007, 12:53:42 PM »
Brian Said:
I'd like to use the app to:
        prototype an addition to my house,       
DesignCad will allow you to do this much quicker than TurboCad but you will not be able to do a "walk through" the interior ( at least, I have not been able to. Maybe a forum member can tell how to do this) If you want to do "walk through" you will be better off with house drawing software.

       as well as to design furniture (cabinets, benches, etc.) that I'll be building in my shop. 
If these are one-off designs then DesignCad will be quicker than TurboCad.
If there will be several variations or model types or if yours is a "production" shop, then a parametric CAD system such as TurboCad while much harder to learn, will allow you to make drawings of the various models much more easily than a non parametric system such as DesignCad.

If your work involves making holes in different sizes, shapes and patterns, then you will find working with a parametric like TurboCad  will be much better than a non parametric such as DesignCad. 


         More uses will undoubtedly present themselves as I learn how to use the app and gain some experience with it (whichever "it" is!).

One of the strengths of DesignCad is that you can come back to it after along period and find that you can quickly get back up to speed on it. So you find yourself using it for all sorts of odd but useful jobs.
One of my favourites is making drilling templates for hole. Draw the template full size, print it and stick it on to the part to be drilled and HEY PRESTO!! hole centres in the right place ( Not as good as locating on a machine tool but good enough for a lot of work)

BerieC

mjkoski

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Re: DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2007, 10:11:29 AM »
Just a quick FYI...

You can do "walk-throughs" of the interior of buildings...though it will take you longer to set it up then in "house drawing software".
 
I use DesignCad extensively for creating models of buildings and sites (i.e., everything from sheds through multistory commercial buildings -both new and renovation work) to be used in construction, including estimating and presentation to the potential Owner's, as well as for custom cabinets and furniture.

BerieC

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Re: DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2007, 11:12:42 AM »
Many Thanks mjkoski:

I have  not been able to do "walk throughs". It would be a big help to me if you could give an outline of how to do this.


Regards
BerieC

mjkoski

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Re: DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2007, 10:05:55 AM »
Hi BerieC,
             Just got back from vacation....I'll see what I can do when I get some more time. My first attempt at a walkthrough is posted on the DesignCad Unleashed site thou if you are interested.

Have a good one,
Mark

erik

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Re: DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2007, 03:43:36 AM »
One thing that is swaying my choice towards DesignCAD is that TurboCAD Delux doesn't seem to be able to create curved surfaces between splines. From what I can tell, this feature is limited to TurboCAD Professional.

I'm intending to do some model airplane design and curved ('lofted') surfaces are essential.

Plus DesignCAD seems easier to use, but then I started out on ModelCAD years ago so might be biased. :)

BerieC

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Re: DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2007, 08:36:21 AM »
Erik:

"I'm intending to do some model airplane design and curved ('lofted') surfaces are essential."

As usual, each CAD package has its strengths and weaknesses. DesignCad is a good all around package with many excellent features. For surfaces however, there are other low cost CAD packages that offer better surface features but are not as general purpose as DesignCAD. "Punch Viacad" has better surface features but the overall feature set is not as good as DesignCad.  Pilot3D is primarily a surface package and has surface feature sets specifically aimed at aircraft design. See quote below"

"Precision 2D and 3D airfoil shapes.... -These shapes are accurate and smooth enough for direct numerical control (CNC) cutting; either 2D section cutting or 5-axis 3D shape milling..... Pilot3D gives you both the standard NACA 4-digit series of airfoil shapes and the UIUC database of 1500+ airfoil shapes.... These shapes can be read into Pilot3D and automatically curvefit."

Regards
BerieC



Dr PR

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Re: DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2007, 12:38:51 PM »
I have used DesignCAD V15 and V17 to create some very complex curved surfaces (ship's propellers, hulls, "bloomer" water seals around gun barrels, etc.). It takes a bit of practice and patience to get a good irregular surface. Regular surfaces like airplane wings are pretty easy.

1. If the surface is curved in only one dimension, like most wing surfaces, you can create it with the Draw/Extrude function. This is much faster and simpler than the Draw/Surface Patch or Draw/Surface Connect. You can extrude with varying scales to make a wing that is broader at the root than at the tip. The resulting grid has many fewer elements than a stretched surface.

2. For complex curves like a fuselage, wing tips, and the flair at wing roots the Draw/Surface Patch or Draw/Surface Connect functions can be used to stretch a surface between lines.

These rarely work right the first time. I use a "successive approximation" process. First I draw what I think are the appropriate intermediate cross section lines to fit the surface.Then I draw the surface. If it looks OK I'm finished.

The original lines may be tied to other parts of the drawing, and so may not be a very good structure for the surface. If the surface has serious problems I use Draw/Line/Surface Intersection to map a set of parallel lines over the initial surface (on a new layer). I create a large plane and position it at regular intervals along an axis of the surface. The intersections of this plane and the surface produce regularly spaced "contour map" lines that are more suitable for surface fitting. I edit these lines in point mode to straighten out kinks, bumps, etc. to get smoother curves. Then I stretch a surface over the new lines. If it still has problems I edit the lines again and stretch another surface, and so on. If you are persistent you can make extremely complicated surfaces. This technique works nicely to build the rounded surfaces at wing tips (or the ends of propeller blades) where a lot of lines tend to come together at a single point.

3. Experiment with the number of planes per line and intermediate breaks in the stretched surface. It is often best to use multiple surfaces. Use just a few planes/breaks for large almost flat surfaces (top/bottom of wings). Create separate planes for highly curved surfaces that require a large number of planes per line and intermediate breaks. This is especially true around sharp, curved trailing edge wing roots. If you think of the way real aircraft wings are formed you can use multiple surfaces just as the real wing is made of multiple curved pieces - except you don't need a lot of clecos and rivets.

4. Sometimes you get better results with Surface Connect if you have the same number of points in all the lines used to stretch a surface, and the points should exist in the same order in all lines (the first point should be on the same end of each line). If your surfaces twist back upon themselves it is usually a point order problem. This is especially true if you set the "Use original points" and "Retail original point order" options. These give you fairly precise control over the spacing of intermediate grid points (planes) along the lines.
DesignCAD user since 1987

bdeck

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Re: DesignCAD 3D vs. TurboCAD Deluxe et al???
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2007, 06:04:08 AM »
Hello Dr PR,

I've wanted to use DC for surface design for years, but could never find a way to get surface connect, slice, etc to work properly.

Here's an example file where surface connect will not recognize simple break points in curved stations, even though all stations have an identical number of control points.


http://www.1log1.com/nogo/boat1.dcd

Any suggestions?

BD