DesignSpark – Easy to Use CAD

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DesignSpark Mechanical is an Easy to Use CAD tool. I’ve done a few hours research over the past few days to figure out a quick to use FREE CAD tool that can be used to draw wood working projects and dimension them to produce drawings for building home projects.

As you may know from my site, I’m a long time user of 3D Art software including 3DSMax and Carrara. But these are expensive. Even Carrara costs more than $250.

I’ve looked at FreeCAD, Blender and a host of others. But the idea is to find something free that’s as easy to get going as possible and allows you to produce drawings with dimensions. There is no doubt that FreeCAD, and Blender can do this, but FreeCAD is quirky – at least for me – and Blender has a very high initial learning curve and no dimension tool built in. There may be plug-ins for that, but that is more learning curve.

I was able to get going pretty rapidly with DSM. There are a lot of resources on-line documentation and tutorial videos for DSM, but still I got stuck and had to ask a question on the support forums to get going. Maybe I’ll be able to put out some simple examples to allow folks to get going faster if all they want to do is simple drawings for home projects. We’ll see.

Go here and get the free version for your platform. Here are the support forums for DSM.

Initial Setup

You may want to work in Inches – or Imperial Units. Here’s how to do that:

The menus are not standard. The Options are hidden at the bottom of the File menu flyout. See the Yellow marking on the first picture above. Once that is open, click Units on the left and then Imperial. You may want to choose All Future Documents rather than This Document to save some time and headache later.

Tutorial Coming

This is not the place to do a long tutorial so I’ll get out my microphone and screen capture program and do a proper tutorial when I’ve used it a little more. I’ve looked at some of the Youtube starting tutorials and they start out way to basic and then fly through things without really showing you how to draw something. I’m not going to spend 10 minutes showing you how to install the program, or walk through the entire set of menus without drawing anything. I plan to show you what you need to get started to draw a woodworking project so you can get going right away.

Also, my voice may not be highly trained, but I don’t have such a heavy accent that I’ll be hard for English speakers to understand. I’ll try to do better. We’ll see. Here are some screenshots to show what’s up with DSM.


Update: About an Hours Work.

Update: Another Couple Hours Work – Hey. I’m just learning.

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