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Old 12-10-2007, 10:27 PM   #1
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Default BobCAD?

Any of you have any experience with BobCAD?

I downloaded a demo of "BobCAD-CAM Version 22" last night. Then this morning, before I could even install it a rep from the company called me. (note: I left my phone number on the registration on purpose...)

Long story short, they have a promotion on where you can buy the previous version 21 for fairly cheap... basically the price of an upgrade for the complete CAD/CAM package. It seems like a great deal (last year it was $2500, now that it's one version behind you can get it for about one fifth!) and looks to be full of features. But as a guy just scratching at the door of 3D/CAD/CAM... I don't know enough to make an educated guess.

Here's a little bit about me and my grand plans... As far as 3D is concerned,
I am a 'clean sheet' right now as I have almost zero experience. So what ever I end up with will be a learning curve, for sure!

On the other hand, I am a network administrator, with a history in graphic design. I 'get' computers and technology and I can learn quickly. I've also been fabricating basically all my life. I started MIG welding when I was 7 years old, and have built tube chassis drag cars, 4x4's and fast street cars since I was 17. So I 'get' the mechanics of the process like operating a manual lathe, mill, etc.

I am never going to be modeling (and eventually machining) spacecraft or Swiss watches, so this might be a great deal for me to look into. My initial plan is to model my own parts, and then find a local CNC shop to whittle 'em out for me. Eventually, I'd love to own a small CNC mill and lathe combo and have the joy of cranking out my own pieces.

Any opinions oh whether the version 21 of this package is worth buying and spending the time learning?
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:57 PM   #2
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It looks more powerful then AutoCAD as far as 3D goes but I would personally go with a more well known and supported program. If you want advice and help with modeling practices you are going to want something that many people know how to use.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:18 AM   #3
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Default Punch ViaCAD

Punch ViaCAD, cost $100, available for both PC and Mac.

Take a look at this program, it is low cost and seem to provide good prototyping.


As for a mill and lathe;

I have a CNC mill and CNC lathe made by Sherline, it's not going to line bore my Powerstroke diesel in my pickup or anything, but for turning out RC parts it's great
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:40 AM   #4
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I see so many copies of Solidworks floating around free all over the internet I'm shocked more people don't just illegally use those. Makes me kind of happy to see many are not though.

I learned on SDRC Ideas long ago. I think bang for the buck Solidworks is still worth the price, especially since their user base is large and help is easy to get.

Some of these small companies don't have the support internally or users to help them catch on.
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:19 AM   #5
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I use a program called "One CNC" to run a Kitamura mycenter 3Xih. It's medium priced with a lot of great features. The company has awsome tech support. I have a friend who owns his own shop and he uses Bob-cad. He has Master cam and One CNC experiance and says BOB is pretty darn good for the money.He runs a mill and a lathe with it.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:16 PM   #6
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Sorry for the late response. Thanks for all your posts!
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