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Anyone know of easy to use free CAD sites/software?
Old 04-27-2016, 12:20 PM   #1
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Anyone know of easy to use free CAD sites/software?

I am redoing my basement and will have a clean slate to furnish. Is anyone aware of any good Internet sites or open source CAD software for laying out furniture designs to get a feel for how things would look? I'm not of a mind to buy a commercial package and will likely just sketch things out by myself. But, if some of you frugal DIYers have been down this road maybe you found just what I am looking for.
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:28 PM   #2
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I tried using Sketchup for 3D design of some stuff about 5 years ago. Free, but I decided it was way more frustrating to learn how to use it effectively than it was worth in my time. When I designed an addition for MIL I just cut out scale sized replicas of her furniture and moved them around on my plan. Simple, but worked. Good luck!
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:50 PM   #3
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I still have a T-Square and drafting table next to me. I threw out some high tech drafting arms years ago. I too have used Sketchup 2015. I like working in 3D, and the print out is easier for my DW to interpret. However I learned AutoCad way back in time and used AutoCad lite when I became more of a engineering manager. I know a lot of folks use Visio, but I believe Autodesk still offers a free trial of AutoCad lite. Whatever happened to MacDraw, it ran fine on the Mac+?

I would definitely look at Sketchup (it used to be a Google product for free). There are lots of companies that provide 3D models of furnishings you can just insert and move around. I believe the base download has some basic libraries.
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:53 PM   #4
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It's been a gazillion years since our last renovation, and this recommendation will prove that:
How about good ol' fashioned graph paper? You can fashion to-scale sizes of furniture, etc and freely move them around the graph sheet.
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Old 04-27-2016, 04:18 PM   #5
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Free--I would do Sketchup. KISS it (ie. keep it simple stupid) and you are good to go. Don't try to get into the nuances of SketchUp and you should be fine.

I would do the furniture as separate components or groups so you can move them easily.

There are a ton of generic furniture models you can download for free as well. Again the key is to keep it simple and you should be fine. If you do want to get complex--well it will take some time but it can be a powerful tool.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:01 PM   #6
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Create House Floor Plans Online with Free Floor Plan Software

Very simple. If you're doing interior design, this might just work for you. You can customize the size of furniture, etc...
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Anyone know of easy to use free CAD sites/software?
Old 04-27-2016, 11:15 PM   #7
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Anyone know of easy to use free CAD sites/software?

I've used Sketchup and Draftsight, but neither very much. Sketchup is 3D oriented, where Draftsight is very close to Autocad. Both are free. I would probably draw it by hand, but Sketchup is cool for moving around furniture components, walls, etc, once you get past the learning curve.


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Old 04-28-2016, 12:34 AM   #8
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We used Google Sketchup back in 2010 to do a lot of 3D interior layout work - outlets, built in cabinets, furniture, lots of things. DH still uses Sketchup 8 which was the last Goggle version. Don't know if it's still available.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:07 AM   #9
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Do you know a college student? There is likely a free or cheap version of solid works, solid edge, Inventor or AutoCAD around.

I have access to full blown Inventor and Creo at work, however that doesn't help you much...
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Old 04-28-2016, 03:31 PM   #10
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Well, I grabbed a copy of Sketchup and watched the tutorials. It was easy to create a model of my basement as it will be after I knock out some walls. But those 3D furniture objects - what a confusing PITA. The tutorial shows how to rotate them in a couple of axis but when they download facing the wrong way I can't consistently figure out how to turn them around.
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Old 04-28-2016, 03:36 PM   #11
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LOL! That axis thing is a PITA. I started watching tutorial and got "dangerous" with Sketchup. It still takes me "too long" to do things, but I can get done what I need done.

Here's a trick if you want to make something flip the other way. In the scale tool (which I usually stay away from), drag one of the green handles a little, then type -1 and hit enter. The thing will flop to a reverse image of it's former self.
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Old 04-28-2016, 03:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Well, I grabbed a copy of Sketchup and watched the tutorials. It was easy to create a model of my basement as it will be after I knock out some walls. But those 3D furniture objects - what a confusing PITA. The tutorial shows how to rotate them in a couple of axis but when they download facing the wrong way I can't consistently figure out how to turn them around.

I've used sketchup on a couple things, one of them fairly involved.

On one hand, it really is amazing how much you can do with just a little bit of learning and effort (the tutorials were pretty good).

OTOH, man, can you get lost and have no idea where you are or what to do, and everything seems like it's out to get you! One of my tricks was go a step at a time, and be ready to 'undo' when it didn't do what you expected.

I should practice a little to keep my skills up, I'm sure I've forgotten most everything I've learned.

-ERD50
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