Fellow Orchidians… I am interested in hearing from the many of you
who have been working with CAD programs. I have been interested in
purchasing a program for over a year now, and have done a bit of
research into several competing programs. Each seems to have its own
benefits (and flaws).
Which program offers the most creative flexibility? I know that’s a
tough question, but all the programs I looked at would allow you to
quickly model basic ring designs. How difficult would it be to
create a brooch for a freeform opal? What about modeling a twig, an
animal, or a face? What about textures?
What about plotting the tool path? 3-D rendering is nice, but how do
you get the most accurate and detailed model? How do you minimize,
or eliminate, the tool marks left from the milling operation? Do
most of you send a CAD file out to have the model machined, or do
you do it in-house?
My end use for this will be to create one-of-a-kind pieces, so the
requirements may be different for a small volume user compared to a
mass manufacturer. Or are they?
I’ve already talked to many of the program developers, and their
sales agents. I’d really like to hear from those of us who have been
using these programs long enough to explain the pros and cons.