CAD programs and books for LINUX

Gooserider Posted By Gooserider, Dec 30, 2008 at 7:18 AM

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  1. Gooserider

    Mod Emeritus 2.

    Nov 20, 2006
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    The GF and I are looking at doing some significant home improvements in the next year or so, and I feel like one of the more important needs we have right now is to come up with some drawings of the current house, preferably as accurate as possible, that will give us a starting point for making plans, talking to contractors, and so on...

    This is an effort that definitely calls for a CAD program, but I'm not sure which one... I've been doing a little bit of playing with the Open Source version of QCAD, which seems like a very powerful program, but that is giving me a LOT of trouble with the initial learning curve. It's a general purpose CAD program, but at least one of the outfits that's selling a tutorial CD on it seems to consider it the best program out there for doing dry-stack cement block building plans.... Since I've been known to do all sorts of stuff making, I'd prefer to learn a general purpose program than one specialized for architectural stuff, but I'm not locked into that idea. Last I heard, QCAD is one of the better Open Source CAD programs out there (and it even runs on Windows and Macs) but if anyone knows of something better, I'd be interested in learning about it.

    Does anyone have suggestions for good personal use level CAD programs and / or books and other training materials on CAD?

    Requirements -

    1. MUST run on LINUX :exclaim: (I have ZERO interest in Windows or Mac programs...)

    2. Open Source / Free Software strongly preferred (Both from moral reasons and because I'm cheap...) Proprietary programs considered, but must be low cost...

    3. QCAD does have a book "QCAD - An Introduction to Computer-Aided Design" - but it seems to only be available through Ribbonsoft, and I can't find any reviews, or much other info on it - has anyone seen it, and can you comment on it?

    4. Any other highly reccomended training sources (again, lower cost preferred) for doing CAD drawing, particularly architectural type stuff... I'm finding my biggest challenge is figuring out how to get the inital drawing set up, and doing stuff like how does one lay out a stud wall, etc.

    Suggestions appreciated...


    5. QCAD is strictly a 2D program, but it does seem like there might be uses for some 3D stuff as well - Does anyone know of any 3D programs that can work with 2D .DXF files (the QCAD output format) as a starting point?
  2. 'bert

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Sep 18, 2007
    East of the Rockies West of the Rest, North of 49
    Visio is a great easy to use program, but I have only used it on Windoze. Could you run it in a windows shell under Linex? If so that would be my vote.
  3. TreePapa

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Dec 24, 2008
    Southern Calif.
    I work w/ AutoCAD for about 50% of my real job. I've never seen or heard of Linux CAD programs before, but QCAD looks like a decent drafting program.

    Any good CAD program you get is going to be WAY different than any desktop program (i.e. word processing, spreadsheet, graphics, etc.) you've previously used. It's the nature of the beast and I doubt you'll find one, particularlly for Linux, that's designed for non-CAD users to wrap their heads around. Spend some time getting use to drawing with whatever program you chose. Preferably, take a course or use a tutorial-style book. Once you've selected your program, remember: draw everything "full size" in model space and scale to plot size in paper space (you'll understand after you've learned to use the program).

    Good luck.

    - Seqouia
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