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AutoCAD courses, fork in the road

Gavin Member

I've been taking AutoCAD courses online from my local community college. I have AutoCAD 2D, levels 1 and 2 under my belt. Now, I have two options:

1. I can go on and take AutoCAD 3D levels one and two

2. I can take one more course that is advanced 2D.

Either 'stream' will give me a little certificate in the end. Of course, I could do all the courses - but my time, money, and motivation are limited.

Which makes more sense in this industry?

How many out there use AutoCAD for 3D modelling? I've tinkered with the 3D capability in AutoCAD, but have found it a little underwhelming. I'm already proficient (although not an expert) in another program which is an ACIS solid modeller. For this reason I'm leaning toward the 2D advanced course.

Lastly, I'm due to start a job in six weeks which will involve some drafting in Cabinet Vision, although I'm guessing most of my time will still be spent at the bench - I have zero experience with this type of software, or drafting for use with a CNC. Will the choice above have any impact on how prepared I would be going into the process of learning Cabinet Vision?

Thanks for any advise.

12/21/13       #2: AutoCAD courses, fork in the road ...
Jeremy Talbot

Gavin, I must start by saying that you should get some training with 3d software. The way things are going, alot of things start out in 3d, and with the way cad/cam packages go, you can create your parts and machine them directly from the 3d model. And, after you have machined your parts, you will need to provide the guys in the shop with some form of documentation as to how to assemble the parts you have machined. Sorry to ramble on, but in short, get some 3d training.

12/22/13       #3: AutoCAD courses, fork in the road ...
james mcgrew Member


3D,, strides in 3d printing, (ask your grade schooler and they will know what this is) model, file production (I spent a good 30 k this year on files) and just good ole production, I am not familiar with "advanced 2d" but if you are proficient in vectors, editing and layers then take a good look at "raising the Bar"

12/22/13       #4: AutoCAD courses, fork in the road ...

To learn AutoCad will be the best think you will never feel you waste any time , it will pay you back million times with your time and money.
it takes a while to learn but when you understand it you will not need cabinet vision , you can write your own better software and post to any CNC.

if you find affordable classes to learn you are just right direction, drafting on cad and create DXF (Design Exchange File) is simple stuff if somebody show you how to do it and show you how to draw Lines and curves ,layers , you can learn it in few hours
and also you need to learn only " what you need to do" before learn more thinks about CAD ( Computer Aided Design ) Wood industries are way too back with technology then other Industries and I see that all the sub software companies makes good profit of it, prices are too high because it is just the transition of our time , it won't be like that if we adopt the todays technology development, this is our payback.

12/22/13       #5: AutoCAD courses, fork in the road ...
Jessy Bobby

Can't hurt to learn AutoCAD, but you're putting the cart before the horse. First you need to determine what you will be designing. If it's cabinets or closets, then just get good at CV or one of the cabinet packages. AutoCAD won't help you there. But most small shops do custom or one-offs where AutoCAD is your best tool for the job.

As for 3D, I wouldn't go there with AutoCAD. First ask yourself, who is the 3D for? If it's for presentation purposes, you're likely better off with some other 3D package like Sketchup or one of the cabinet programs. If it's for the back end, then you're probably already at a large company with skilled designers using Inventor, Top Solid, etc. But for guys like you, there's just no point in taking the time to do 3D models in AutoCAD. It's just a waste of time. I've done it myself.

12/23/13       #6: AutoCAD courses, fork in the road ...
Pat Gilbert

My advise is when you come to a fork in the road take it.

I find 3d useful, but it takes more time. The benefit is that you get a perfect cut list or layout for a router. But it useful only if you use it conjunction with Smartlister or Cadcode.

But from a practical point of view you just need to learn CV or MV as they own the market.

There are a lot of ways to skin the cat. For cabinets anything will work. Some guys just use the architecturals massage them and get a cutlist with Cadcode directly from the dwgs.

For one offs some guys prefer to do 2d drawings showing the necessary information and let the shop figure it out from there. For one offs (except they are not one offs,l they are multiples) in store fixtures 3d is definitely the way to go.

Originally Pattern Systems owned the market but when they tried to come out with a product that would do 3d they failed and lost their outside sales representatives. The same out side sales representatives then went to Microvellum and sold those same Pattern System customers Microvellum. The consensus is that Microvellum is the way to go but imo that consensus was as much created as workable.

Short answer learn Microvellum. Second place goes to Cabinet Vision.

12/26/13       #7: AutoCAD courses, fork in the road ...
VMD CAD Member


Hi All,
I found here some discussion regarding Auto Cad, If you want more discussing & better solution, visit the given link.
It will be more easy to contact them and send your problem details to get solution online.

2/13/14       #8: AutoCAD courses, fork in the road ...
Michael Member

Learn 3D and use Smartlister. It is the only way to be completely flexible in your drawings. The Microvellum learning curve is steep as learning to draw in 3D. Making one off parts in Microvellum is very difficult.

If you need a one off part or cabinet or piece of furniture, you just draw it in AutoCad. Cutlist in Smartlister and off to the CNC it goes.

Good luck.

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