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#1 Posted : Wednesday, May 10, 2023 11:40:01 PM(UTC)

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Since my Fusion360 will end soon, I'm still looking for a cad software. I don't like the suscription strategie of Autodesk and all my files in their cloud system. Plus the suscription is even more expensive... My main projects are woodworking, and mecanical design (machines, cnc...). I don't need CAM software, I already have Vcarve pro but I need a good DXF/DWG or SVG export

I work on Mac

Tryed Freecad ==> OK but very clunky. I had many problem with very basic fonction such as boolean (substract etc...)

Rhino 3D ==> Very cool, but I understand that if you want to do parametric files, assembly, constraint, you need to learn grasshopper which feels very hard to learn without a paid long training.

Sketchup ==> I used it a long time on windows, but I don't want a subscription software and the UI on Mac is shit IMO.

Onshape ==> Subscription, and for free I don't want that my files are public.

That's why I had a look at Turbocad, viacad and sharkcad. Because of it's affordable license and features look cool.

But What is the difference between these 3 software? It seem to be the same. Is it possible to do assembly with constraint in all 3?

Thank you

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specktech on 5/15/2023(UTC)
#2 Posted : Thursday, May 11, 2023 12:08:24 AM(UTC)

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Here is a comparison matrix:
thanks 2 users thanked GARLIC for this useful post.
Clive Carter on 2/12/2024(UTC), specktech on 5/15/2023(UTC)
#3 Posted : Thursday, May 11, 2023 9:24:14 PM(UTC)

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They don't have constrained 3D assembly tools, they have alignment tools that aren't persistent and V14 SharkCAD has collision detection. Constraints are 2D, like FreeCAD, can't be applied to 3D primitives.
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specktech on 5/15/2023(UTC)
Tim Olson  
#4 Posted : Saturday, May 13, 2023 10:43:13 AM(UTC)
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>> But What is the difference between these 3 software? It seem to be the same. Is it possible to do assembly with constraint in all 3?

ViaCAD 2D/3D = TurboCAD Mac Deluxe

TurboCAD Mac Pro = ViaCAD Pro plus the mechanical tool palette

ViaCAD, TurboCAD Mac, SharkCAD all share the same code base. Difference is in the branding and features exposed.

Many years ago, ViaCAD was sold by only by Punch and TurboCAD Mac was sold by IMSI.

Several years ago IMSI acquired Punch and those products.

Tim Olson
IMSI Design/Encore
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specktech on 5/15/2023(UTC), Clive Carter on 2/12/2024(UTC)
#5 Posted : Monday, May 15, 2023 9:17:13 AM(UTC)

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Personally, I think ViaCad is a really top notch program. But it is quite technical. Takes some reading and practice before it really clicks. It has a good collection of tutorials and youtube vids. Has many features, and tools, And really nice tool icons. Some features did not work well on my version. But they are fixing things. I really enjoy ViaCAD PRO with power pack. I have it super dialed in at this point.

Just bought Rhino 7 it is so amazing. Stoked to own Rhino. But one of my most favorite programs of all time is Moi3D. Moi has a massive amount of hidden scripts and functionality that most people don't see at first.It also has the best functionality graphics and colors. If you go into the forums you can find the scripts and add on functions.

Been trying Plasticity, It is really amazing. Design Spark Mechanical is really nice. And Alibre is another program that I really like, it is a constraint driven parametric program. I really like Alibre. But it was tricky for me to grasp at first.

Also these polygon modelers are so amazing. Blender, Wings 3d, Silo, Rocket 3f.

A few really nice programs that I use as well. Turbocad Deluxe, Qcad, and Zw3d, just have the trial no save of Zw3d 2022 but it is really cool but expensive.

I plan on always using ViaCAD,Rhino,and Moi3D the most at this point....and always got some Blender in there. So fun 3d modeling.

Last thought. Re-read your initial question about the different programs. I also don't like subscription based programs or cloud based programs.I want to own my programs and files. ViaCad has some really nice woodworking specific tools. The assembly and animation in ViaCAD is really good but kind of tricky. But it works really good. But Alibre atom has a really good assembly section it works so well. Also the model to sheet in Alibre is really nice. I mostly model in mm for cnc and 3d printing. I was working in inches the other day in ViaCad and I was finding some things that really bothered me. So I guess I will just stick with mm in ViaCAD.

Edited by user Monday, May 15, 2023 9:46:02 AM(UTC)  | Reason: corrections and additional thoughts

#6 Posted : Monday, May 22, 2023 4:37:12 AM(UTC)

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I tried Rhino, a great software but if you want to do parametric design you need to learn grasshopper ...

Also tried alibre cad which is similar to solidworks. The atom version of it is cool for only 300-400$ but if you want boolean tools (substract etc...) you need to buy alibre design which is 3x more expensive
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