Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • September 28, 2016, 03:29:49 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer  (Read 1048 times)

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,214
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
I need some software to help me design a workbench.

I am NOT interested in learning 3D design, and I don't want to play fun & games with a 3D CAD program that makes me design screws and 2x4s and everything else. All of that stuff should be built in to the software.

In other words, I want to drag & drop 2x4s and other materials onto the design surface and get things done quickly.

Like LEGO.

Or like Visual Studio or any other typical software IDE where you can use and customise pre-made components. (Who in the world wants to write their own text input component when you can just drag & drop one?)

I tried Sketch (by Google) and hate it. There's no kind of "tool chest" with pre-made materials/items to use. Ick.

I don't want to spend a fortune on this either. If it's $100 or more, I'll stick to pencil & paper. Free is best. Also, I'm a total bigot and prefer open source software, e.g. MIT or GPL, etc. Proprietary is ok, but has to be worth it. Also, if it is proprietary, I'm also a total bigot again and prefer software from mISVs over large software development companies.

The workbench will be used for a variety of purposes, including working with wood, metal, and electronics.

So, requirements in brief:

  • High level functionality
  • Ease of use
  • Cheap or free (no $gajillion CAD suites - free is best)
  • No OS X software

Bounty: $10 in DC credits to whoever has a sane recommendation for me that I can actually use.

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Stephen66515

  • Animated Giffer in Chief
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2010
  • **
  • Posts: 3,111
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2016, 02:48:27 PM »
http://www.workbench....net/rplansfree.html

Dunno how good that link will be for you though :)

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,214
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2016, 02:59:48 PM »
@Stephen66515 - Not quite. Those are all existing plans, and I'm looking for some software that will let me do the design.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Stephen66515

  • Animated Giffer in Chief
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2010
  • **
  • Posts: 3,111
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2016, 03:47:15 PM »
Ah. No worries, it was only from a very quick Google Search xD Have you tried something like a floor planner?

Stephen66515

  • Animated Giffer in Chief
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2010
  • **
  • Posts: 3,111
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2016, 03:48:24 PM »
Www.floorplanner.com is what I use for a lot of stuff

Shades

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2016, 04:00:05 PM »
While the name of the software suites indicate to be more generic design software for furniture, these should also allow you to design your (multi-purpose) workbench from scratch. The last link even has an option to create cut lists, which might prove to be very cost effective, even if the price is not exactly in your range.

http://wooddesigner.org/
http://cabinetdesigner.net/
www.mobi3d.ro
www.pro100.co.nz
http://www.rockler.com/sketchlist-3d-version-4-shop-windows-version

Anyway, have fun designing your workbench  :)


mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,262
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2016, 05:10:54 PM »
i have looked for such a tool (see my woodworking software thread).

in the end, even though i initially hated it, and never grew to love it, i settled on google's SketchUp just because in the end it was the least fiddly.

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,214
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2016, 08:59:50 PM »
@Shades -- Thanks, but none work for me.


http://wooddesigner.org/
http://cabinetdesigner.net/

Those above 2 are about the same. They do shelves and cabinets, but not tables. It can be FORCED to do a table, but the UI is not set up for it and is far from intuitive.

I installed it and gave it a decent run for a couple hours. Seems great for shelves though...

www.mobi3d.ro

That Mobi3D looks better, but it's over $100. It lacks a lot of features, but getting what you want initially is far easier than something like SketchUp. Also, copyright is up to 2009, so... seems like it might be near to abandonware. Not sure.


www.pro100.co.nz

Over $4,000. Leasing is $300. Ugh. Pass.

http://www.rockler.com/sketchlist-3d-version-4-shop-windows-version

Sigh... Over budget. They have a trial at their site:

http://sketchlist.com/

But you can't save or print. Win10 reboots at will, so... can't fiddle with the software and come back reliably. I could do it from memory if I could do it in software.


i have looked for such a tool (see my woodworking software thread).

in the end, even though i initially hated it, and never grew to love it, i settled on google's SketchUp just because in the end it was the least fiddly.


I had a quick read in there, and didn't see anything that really looked quite right.

I may go back to SketchUp, but the inability to change a length is ticking me off. The videos show you how to do it, but it doesn't actually work in the software. I'll do a quick search for an answer, but after that... I think I'll be going to pencil & paper. This is seeming pretty futile.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Attronarch

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2012
  • **
  • Posts: 112
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2016, 05:15:36 AM »
Autodesk Inventor has free educational licence. Last time I checked it worked with any e-mail. It has great toolbox, which is IMHO better than SolidWorks.

It doesn't have a steep learning curve. You open an assembly model and start throwing in parts from the toolbox and/or the ones you made. You will need to study mating procedure, but I'm sure you'll get it fast.

But I've been working with 3D CAD and CAE software for a little bit over 10 years, so my assessment may be a bit off.

Educational licence will have "Educational licence" written over your drawings, but that shouldn't matter if you are doing it just for yourself.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 05:11:18 AM by Attronarch »

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,214
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2016, 09:11:46 AM »
@Attronarch -- Thanks. I'll give Autodesk Inventor a shot. The trial lasts 30 days, which should be way more than enough for me to get what I need done. (Cross fingers & hope it's not crippled...) I can't find a free version though. The price otherwise is far beyond my budget for this.


I'll update as I get through this stuff. I won't have time today to play around with it.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,265
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2016, 06:27:30 AM »
For simplicities sake - especially for a one off project - I'll vote for pencil and paper. But then again I generally work from a picture in my head and write down almost nothing except for hard (environmental constraint) measurements that can't be deviated from.

I've yet to see a UI that can keep up with what's going on in my head. *Shrug*

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,763
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2016, 09:35:05 PM »
DraftSight is a pretty straightforward CAD program which I've used in the past for speaker cabinet plans. Basic version is free for the download.

Udemy has a nice little course which is on sale till August 15th for $20 called CAD for woodworkers that uses DraftSight for the course.

Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 7,647
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member


wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,274
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2016, 09:53:31 PM »
DraftSight is a pretty straightforward CAD program which I've used in the past for speaker cabinet plans. Basic version is free for the download.

Udemy has a nice little course which is on sale till August 15th for $20 called CAD for woodworkers that uses DraftSight for the course.

What's the difference between the free and paid versions?  I didn't see a comparison anywhere...

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,763
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2016, 10:59:44 PM »
What's the difference between the free and paid versions?  I didn't see a comparison anywhere...

AFAIK the pro version has an API that allows you to program it in LISP, comes with tech support, and some additional enterprise tools such as license management.

You can also download an unrestricted 30-day trial of the pro version if you think you're missing out on anything and try it yourself. For my needs and level of ability with CAD software, the free version is just fine.

Attronarch

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2012
  • **
  • Posts: 112
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2016, 05:22:18 AM »
DraftSight is 2D CAD.

@Renegade You also have the option of extracting the parts you need from the toolbox, by creating them as parts and exporting to STEP or IGES format. Both of those should be readable by any 3D CAD software. Then you could use them in your 3D CAD software of choice to assemble what you wish. But this is just a crude work-around, and by no means should be used as long-term solution.

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,214
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2016, 11:16:20 PM »
UPDATE

Well, everything seemed to either be out of the price range or suck. Even those out of the price range seemed to suck for what I wanted.

So... with things as they are, I've decided to stick a high powered rifle (called SketchUp) in my mouth and pull the trigger.

CAD is so entirely alienated from actual normal human experience. It's stunning that there's nothing out there that lets you work in a normal human fashion. I'd have thought that something was there, but no... The market is all professional with nothing meeting the needs of the consumer market for simple design.

As for SketchUp, it is highly non-intuitive and definitely not something that you can just "use" out of the box. It requires significant effort. Sigh... Not something I wanted to put on my plate at the moment, but I'll just have to suck it up and pull that trigger.




Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Attronarch

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2012
  • **
  • Posts: 112
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for Workbench Design SW :: $10 bounty for 1st accepted answer
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2016, 03:33:33 AM »
In that case you are better off with something like Autodesk Inventor: http://www.autodesk....nventor-professional

You can get it for free with non-commercial educational licence. Pick your country and either IT admin or mentor and you are good to go.

Besides being easy to use you'll also get the benefit of huge toolbox (be sure to check ANSI, ISO and DIN standards), and a suite in which you can make 3D model and then easily translate it into 2D technical drawing.

There are good 2D CAD packages, as I've mentioned before, but I haven't found really good, user friendly, and free 3D CAD package.

The problem with 3D CAD is that it is basically the same set of features regardless of what are you designing. All big 3D CAD software packages haven't really improved on that, but rather by adding new features, fancier GUIs, etc.