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CAD program

  I have been leaning toward purchasing Rhino, with Flamingo and
Visual Mill. I am NOT CAD literate, and need to learn from the
bottom up. I know that Rhino supplies a manual and training CD,
and they have both on-line support and 3 day training classes. 

Rhino is a great program but it is a ‘traditional’ CAD package with
the need for you to learn the ‘CAD way of thinking’. It works the same
as most of the older CAD packages and you can get the feel for this
by downloading a copy of Intellicad from . The
current version 2001 (which is basically a clone of Autocad 14) is a
100 day fully functional free trial but I think that somewhere on the
web you can probably still find a copy of Intellicad 2000 which was
totally free. If you haven’t used a CAD program before and don’t mind
spending a few bucks, you may get on better with a program like
SolidWorks which is the modern way to design things. In this type of
program, you actually draw the object as a solid 3D lump and the
program then generates the normal 3-view drawings from that
automatically. This is a much easier approach than traditional CAD as
you draw things in a logical way. It can also make good
’photorealistic’ presentation drawings. (usual disclaimers - no
connection with any company etc…)

Best wishes,
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield, UK