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I Forge Iron

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I'm trying to find the best 3D cad software for ornamental ironwork.  I have tried the free version of SketchUp and it doesn't do it for me.  Has anyone had experience with any programs like TurboCad or others?

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I've been learning how to use OnShape and like it a lot, but haven't yet gotten to the point of being able to do complex work on it (mostly because I haven't yet invested the time in doing all the tutorials). 

One thing about the free version is that everything you work on is in public documents, so I wouldn't use it for anything you're going to be selling.

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I use Autocad but it's quite expensive. There is a program called FabCad that has been built from Autocad. It was designed specifically for the ornamental industry and includes a large variety of pre drawn components from many of our suppliers. It's pretty expensive but not as bad as Autocad. There have been recent releases for 3D design.

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I think that fusion 360 is free for hobbiests and start up businesses.  I use SolidWorks and it is really good but is not cheap. These are both 3d software unlike AutoCAD. If I was using SolidWorks for ornamental iron drawings I would build up a library of parts which are all easily editable. Then I would build project models either using assemblies or multiple body models.

 

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I've found something that I really really like and it is nowhere near the cost of Autocad or Solidworks.  It's called Rhino3D for around $1000.  You can download a full working copy and try it for 90 days.  Attached is a table I did from scratch building my own scrolls.  What I like is that I can work in familiar front, side, top orthographic views and see the result in 3D.  It is a complicated program simply because it has so many features, but the tutorials are good.

side-table-0117jun.jpg

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