At a risk of upsetting all the CAD sales reps, I shall offer my 2
I have been using computers for a very long time. My first machine
was VIC 20 if anybody can still remember. CAD software was around of
almost that long. Anybody who is considering investing in one should
CAD package consist of primary 2 components: library of drawing
routines and user interface.
Drawing routines are written many years ago, a lot of them now
incorporated in hardware and they are available for free. There are
excellent libraries in public domain. What makes CAD software
expensive is user interface.
One can use libraries directly, but needs to be a programmer for
that. So some enterprising companies using these publicly available
libraries, writing user interface and selling it as a CAD package.
If interface is so convoluted that it requires you to undergo long
training, it simply means that you have been had.
Do not buy that software. The whole idea of writing a user interface
it to make it usable without having a PHD in computer graphics.
I would suggest if anybody considering dipping proverbial toe into
the CAD swamp, take a look at POVRAY. It is free and extremely
It's user interface is scripting language which make take sometime
to master, but by doing that you will learn about CAD and
mathematical internals which required to create designs on a
If later on you decide to go with commercial package, at the very
least you would know more about CAD that any sales rep heaving at you
globules of "kaka del toro" trying to sell you stuff.
Personally, I am using POVRAY for many years. I looked at many
commercial packages, but POVRAY beats them all and all the info is
online for free.
The website is www.povray.org. If you are using window machine, there
are modelers for povray at a very reasonable price. I am a mac user,
so I am stuck with scripting.