I would be willing to trade plans. I have often thought about setting up a club for such trading. I worry that it may infringe upon copyright laws. Does anyone have any ideas about this? I am always looking for plans for anything, I have become somewhat of a plan horde, a sickness i think because you never know when i might need a plan for something or at least a few choices for than particular project.
I'm an expert in AutoCAD so it's easy for me. Others, however, may not find it so. I especially like how AutoCAD dimensions. Visio can make pictures that are generally like what you want, but isn't the right tool if you need to do a dimensionally accurate drawing. The ability of AutoCAD to use external drawings means that you can draw things like biscuits and just use them over and over again. Because AutoCAD is dimensionally accurate you can not only draw in it, but you can use it to determine if the pieces are going to fit together. Additionally I use it to *derive* dimensions. Sometimes I'll draw something and then *ask* AutoCAD what the dimensions are. This is where it really excells and leaves the other programs in the dust.
I have AutoCad 2000 and was wondering how you used other drawings on Cad. I am not an expert but I am very proficiant. Let me know because I have designed a few pieces but I found myself putting in extensive hours. This may help shorten this process. Please let me know. Thanks
INSERT will bring an external drawing into the current drawing. EXPLODE will break it into individual pieces (lines, circles, etc). XREF will include a pointer to an external drawing.
The advantage of XREF over INSERT is that XREF always reflects the state of the external drawing where INSERT freezes it as it was when the INSERT occured. Thus if you make changes to the external drawing another drawing with an XREF will automatically update itself with the changes but one with INSERT will not.
Draw *EVERYTHING* at 1:1. This will insure that the pieces will fit together when you start combining drawings. Don't put dimensions on the piece part drawings. Draw the piece parts separately, then combine them into a master drawing that has the dimensions and other annotations on it. This will allow you to use the separate piece part drawings on multiple drawings without having extraneous test show up.
Draw from the "bottom up". That is start by drawing your simplest component pieces. Screws, biscuits, etc. Then you can work up from there using references to the already drawn pieces. Final assembly drawings are then simply references to the piece parts drawings and you can generate them in no time.
Email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need drawings or more help. I could send you a CD of all my piece part drawings (I've got over 1500!) Mostly they're elecronic and mechanical stuff but all my wood projects are in there and you can see how drawings are done in a production environment.
I am rated "Master" in AutoCAD and used to both teach and run a production drawing facility.
Note: the first two pictures, top to bottom, show the sample woods I bought to match: mahogany, walnut, oak, the bottom is the side of the table. The remaining 3 pictures are of the wood in question...