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Old 06-16-2017, 05:05 AM   #1
business_kid
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Simplest CAD/Drawing Option in Linux?


I'm posting this software query in General, because I just KNOW it's going to go wildly off topic. I'm trying to draw up plans for probably the largest wooden structure ever built, and need software advice.

/confession
For CAD, I used Design Cad-2.0 for decades after whoever wrote it forgot they ever invented it. This was '80s stuff; It handled Expanded memory, but not Extended memory. Does anyone else remember Expanded memory? a few kb on an ISA card for a few hundred $$. I used Design Cad for one very simple reason - I was given it, had got all the keyboard shortcuts down, and could turn out the sort of drawings I then required very quickly indeed.
/end confession

For this project, I installed Qcad from a slackbuild, but I see a horrible learning curve ahead. I would ideally like to be able to shade the drawing in various colours, and don't even know if that's doable in qcad. Can anyone recommend a cad or drawing program with a smaller learning curve? It's not a small endeavour (at a rough extimate, 900 planks per side).

To satisfy the curious, I believe the largest wooden structure to have been Noah's Ark. From the work of these Douglas Rhode Joseph Chang & Steve Olson it would appear that our most recent common ancestor was quite recent in Geological time. All hate mail, expressions of incredulity or ridicule along with requests for supporting evidence by PM please. This thread is about software.

Sadly, the many Noah's Ark kits available are wildly off the mark design wise when you consider
1. What tools would have been available at the time.
2. The immense engineering challenge that a wooden structure of this size would have been.
3. The limitations of technology at the time.
4. Practical wisdom. For example, why smooth the outside of the hull, when it requires stripping off reinforcement over 81,000 sq. ft. (maybe ~7525 sq. Metres) and reducing the strength of the boat accordingly?

The kits seem more designed to rip off Sunday Schools than be accurate. So I have decided to lay out and eventually build my own concept.
 
Old 06-16-2017, 09:52 AM   #2
Soadyheid
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Hmmm..I just have to ask. I know the World's going to the dogs, but what do you know that the rest of us don't?

I use FreeCAD to design 3D models for printing. (Though I think an ark may just be a tad too big for my printer! )

Play Bonny!

 
Old 06-16-2017, 11:39 AM   #3
business_kid
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Yeah - the Ark is too big for my printer too. 300 cubits (= ~450ft/135m). It will be a scaled and will look ok on a 48" screen which I have, or 60" which I hope to have access to.

I will look at FreeCAD. Thanks for the suggestion.

EDIT:
Quote:
what do you know that the rest of us don't?
Replying by PM.

In a word, I have had 3 months in hospital and have had thinking time. I had previous research done in the area, and was able to refine many details. Being physically decrepit has few advantages, but this was one.

Last edited by business_kid; 06-16-2017 at 11:44 AM.
 
Old 06-16-2017, 05:30 PM   #4
Red Squirrel
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I'd be curious too if there is something good. LibreCAD is the closest I've found but it has lot of quirks that slow down productivity like inability to type dimensions of a line when you start one, or inability to quickly select stuff and move/copy it. It's just way less intuitive.
 
Old 06-17-2017, 09:31 AM   #5
business_kid
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I checked out freecad, but it has dependencies: shiboken, xerces-c, pyside, pyside-tools, Pivy, OpenCASCADE, mathplotlib. And I'm sure THEY have dependencies :-(. I hate that with slackbuilds. And they want money in learnqcad.com.

I realise there's also the 2D --> 3D transition to make. Life is never simple.
 
Old 06-17-2017, 12:39 PM   #6
Soadyheid
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Quote:
I checked out freecad, but it has dependencies
Shame. I used to maintain CAD/CAM hardware for a UK company way back in the '70s. It ran on Vax computers; 11/780, 11/750, MicroVax, etc. with serial links to a Graphics controller, digitizer and a VT100/220 ascii terminal making up the "workstation". While I wasn't directly involved in the modeling side, I did pick up on the basics; wire frame, surfaces, extrusion, boolean operations, etc.

To be able to "play" with this at home now that I've retired is astounding. I'm just running FreeCAD on my humble Mint 18 distro straight out of the box, perhaps you could load up a Mint VM and try it there?

Play Bonny!

 
Old 06-17-2017, 02:03 PM   #7
business_kid
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Yes, I have Virtualbox running and have Vista and fedora 22 vms. I can scrub fedora (Never use it and if I try it wants to load a few gigs of bug fixes (er, updates).

I can and probably will try Mint. Smarter than slackbuilds.

Last edited by business_kid; 06-18-2017 at 03:42 AM.
 
Old 06-18-2017, 03:41 AM   #8
business_kid
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I'm amazed. 8 posts, no flak for mentioning Noah's Ark and we're still on topic :-o.

Soadyheld, what desktop do you use? I'm an XFCE fan myself, but I'm trying Cinnamon as it's probably set up for everything, whereas xfce can be spartan.
 
Old 06-18-2017, 10:29 AM   #9
wpeckham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
I'm amazed. 8 posts, no flak for mentioning Noah's Ark and we're still on topic :-o.

Soadyheld, what desktop do you use? I'm an XFCE fan myself, but I'm trying Cinnamon as it's probably set up for everything, whereas xfce can be spartan.
Just curious, the last time I did a lot of CAD/CADD work DOS it ran on DOS and the graphic pad used the 25pin RS232 interface. (I still have the pad, and a copy of Genericad 3.0 somewhere around here.)

I would have thought LXDE or LXQt better for supporting CAD applications, but have not (obviously) tested.
 
Old 06-18-2017, 11:05 AM   #10
business_kid
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Ah, I even remember the 9 to 25 pin adapters for RS232. It's a pity you can't forget crap just because it is crap - a sort of auto erase in the memory. I suggest you throw junk out, unless you are hoarding it for it's potential antique status.

LXDE or LXQt may well be better, but I wouldn't know that. I installed Linux Mint-18.1 w/Cinnamon in a VM, and installed FreeCAD, to test Soadyheld's idea. Boy, am I glad I did it that way; Freecad installed about 25 dependencies, each of which would have been 2 downloads (source & slackbuild), symlink, run the slackbuild (compiling it & making package) and install the package. It was a plethora of obtuse libs. This doesn't count the times configure fails for lack of something.

Now if I could just increase the font size. . .
 
Old 06-18-2017, 07:25 PM   #11
Soadyheid
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@ business kid,

Yup! I'm using Mint 18 Cinnamon, you can find a pdf manual for FreeCAD here and a forum here to ask questions (like how to change the font size)

Play Bonny!

.
 
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:43 AM   #12
business_kid
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Thanks, Soadyheld. I've also discovered some youtube tutorials. I'm not there yet, but I'm going to get there with freecad, so I'll mark this solved. Freecad doesn't score on features (e.g. can't adjust the fonts too handy) but does score in the UI & Help departments, and that's enough for me.

It even works fairly well in the VM. That's Python being interpreted by Mint, which in turn is being interpreted by VirtualBox, which in turn is being interpreted by Slackware all in an uninspiring i3 based laptop.

On a complete tangent, Mint OS isn't actually bad. I'm impressed. Maybe I'm just peeved at the dependency hell that Slackware can be. I'll certainly use it for any dependency laden stuff I need, and will consider it seriously for future main systems.
 
Old 06-19-2017, 11:53 AM   #13
wpeckham
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Slackware is a fine choice for a server install where you know exactly what you want and you are willing to work through the build to get it running right once. IF you have it running right once, it may run for YEARS without problems.

Slackware is a good choice for a desktop IF you have experience and like to build. IT is not optimal for someone who lacks experience or who may change or update things often. (That dependency thing bites!)

The advantage of the package manager based systems (apt/Debian and offspring, yum/RHEL and offspring) are that they reduce or eliminate that issue and make it easier to manage and update the systems. The cost is that the software is not as nicely optimized for your hardware, may be less stable, and configuration choices are made during building for the average case, not YOUR case.

It sounds like, just in this case, slackware may have not been the best choice for getting up the way you want quickly and easily. The WONDERFUL thing about Linux is, you always have more choices! ;-)

Glad you got productive!

Last edited by wpeckham; 06-19-2017 at 11:56 AM.
 
Old 06-19-2017, 01:41 PM   #14
business_kid
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I promoted myself to Slackware when I could handle the config, and because I knew someone who had run the same install of slackware for 8 years. He was running a professional pcb draughting business. But the dependency thing is biting now, because I'm retired, and physically decrepit :-/.
 
  


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