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First of all, smoker, I love your work. I have an RZ350 in my garage that my son and I are working on.

Second (I realize a TON of people have already answered, but I'll toss in my thoughts too) SOLIDWORKS is incredible. There is a "Maker" version that costs $100 a year that I use. You can't use it commercially, but it doesn't sound like you plan to anyway.

If you happen to like airplanes as well as motorcycles (like I do) join the Experimental Aircraft Association (eaa.org) for $50/year and get the Maker version SOLIDWORKS for another half off ($50).
 

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I'm signed up for an Engineering class at the local college. Starts in the middle of Feb. It's required to get into the CAD program.

They have 2 CAD programs. One is AutoCAD, the other is Solidworks. I believe Solidworks is daddy for making motorcycle parts, but pretty sure either one will work for my needs.

Then recently, I found out how expensive AutoCAD and Solidworks are. It's too much for what I'm doing. I could pay a pro to draw up my stuff for less money. I could get one at the student price for a year, but would probably be learning most of the time.

Found CorelCAD 2021. Retail price is $699 usd. No subscription. No internet needed to run the program (and I don't have internet at home). Can use it as long as the program and computer function. I think you can only activate it once.

I can get the student price of $49 usd. CorelCAD is supposed to be similar to AutoCAD in operation. Great price, so I'm thinking about pulling the trigger fast.

If it's not too hard, I could cancel the engineering classes. If it's hard for me, maybe the AutoCAD college classes would help. I would prefer to cancel the classes because the times are inconvenient, and I would need home internet.

If any one knows about CorelCAD, or can evaluate it, please speak up. Advice is appreciated. I'll let you know what happens.



A few years ago I spent 3 years at an engineering (electrical) course, autocad was freely downloadable I think using the universities name, gave me a three year license, it takes a little to get started on but once you get used to it no worries.
Looking at doing mechatronics engineering this year(that’ll likely take 4-5 years), I think they’re using solidworks, hopefully I can bludge a free license from them too, I’d say most provide something for enrolled students, maybe I had to give student number, can’t exactly remember?
 

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Is Fusion 360 an option?
If you're on a budget its a real steal because it also has CAM capabilities if you want to get into CNC Machining or running a Plasma table to make part.

But I'll admit that it can't hold a candle to Solidworks when it comes to large complex assemblies. I tried Fusion 360 but let it laps after I tried to do more advanced parts with it.

If you're going to do anything more involved then opening up the Vaseline and biting the pillow is going to pay off in the long run. I sold my 1969 911 to pay for my first copy of SW back in 2007 and I've never regretted it.

Product Font Motor vehicle Vehicle Art


Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Aircraft


 

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BLACK BELT
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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
Found out the Student Version is a simplified version of the full $699 package. So, not the great deal I thought, however, simplified sounds good.

System Requirements
Windows version

  • Microsoft Windows 11, Windows 10* or 8.1, in 32-bit or 64-bit, all with latest Updates
  • Intel Core 2 Duo, or AMD® Athlon™ x2 Dual-Core processor
  • 4 GB RAM (8 GB or more recommended)
  • 1.5 GB of available hard disk space
  • 3D Graphics accelerator card with OpenGL version 1.4 (OpenGL version 3.2 or better recommended)
  • 1280 x 768 screen resolution (1920 x 1080 (Full HD) recommended)
  • Mouse or tablet
  • DVD drive optional (for box installation)
  • Internet connection for product activation and access to the plug-in store
*CorelCAD 2021 supports Windows 10, version 2004, 20H2 and later versions being released during the lifecycle of CorelCAD 2021.
 

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BLACK BELT
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Since I'm not knowledgeable about computers, I'll probably end up spending more than I need to. I'm trying to be frugal by not buying a bigger screen, or jumping to a top-of-the line model.

Been searching reviews of laptops recommended for graphic design and AutoCAD. Acer Predator Helios 300 is on the list of several reviews.

Price at Amazon is $1,279 usd. Don't see it cheaper anywhere else. Will probably pull the trigger soon.

 

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BLACK BELT
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
New laptop arrived a couple if days ago. Haven't fired it up, yet.

Didn't remember that it doesn't have a DVD drive. Got the CorelCAD in disc form, since I don't have home internet. So, that's the first issue.

Took a couple of days just to check out external DVD drives. The only ones I saw that keep up with the speed of the laptop are the higher end models. Pretty much everything requires downloading software from the internet, so I'll have to figure that out.

I got a Pioneer brand. I was looking at other name brands that I know, as well. Pioneer comes with software related to video & music, which is mostly what I'll use it for. Pretty sure the model I chose came out in November of 2020. Most of the other stuff I saw has been out for years.

Will probably take a week to get it.
 

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When you're looking at PC specs make sure you get the best (most powerful) graphics card you can. My Lenovo ThinkPad was bought specifically for cad, but it struggles on big layouts (regardless of the 64gB ram and Core 7 processor), and I only learnt after buying it that the graphics card performance is just as critical... and on my machine... it can't be updated. Work has just given me a new Dell Precision 7760 which flies along in comparison to the Thinkpad...
 

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yeah cd's are a way of the past... might have been able to hot spot your phone and wifi off of that.. but if you got a lot of cd's might as well..

yeah not sure you'll find anything newer.. old tech so, the only thing i can see them updating is adding usb 3 or a usb-c port. which is not exactly new either.
 

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BLACK BELT
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Left my welding gear at school, so decided to try the CAD software.

Looks like I can't save or print until I register/activate the product on the internet.

I was careful not to turn off the laptop. Put it in sleep mode while I had dinner. When I came back, there was an error message and all work was lost. I had started putting dimensions on the drawing. Had no instructions, and couldn't figure out how to adjust the position of the dimension numbers, so didn't get too far.

Here's the drawing I tried to copy:



Had instructions, but they weren't correct for my software. Eventually made progress by trial & error, but quite frustrating.

Online, I can't find any good tutorials for CorelCAD. Tons of stuff for CorelDraw.

First try wasn't bad, but I didn't get all the correct numbers in.



Chose this drawing because it reminds me of the RZV500 kickstand bracket drawing I need to finish.
 

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BLACK BELT
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Tried to repeat the first drawing yesterday. Couldn't do it. The instructions I have are incorrect, and I couldn't figure out how I fixed it last time.

Found another shape with instructions yesterday. Instructions were also incorrect, so I didn't get very far.

Today, i just tried some free drawing. Not sure how to put in dimensions, or how to fix or move things. One of the things I want to draw is a rear caliper bracket, so gave it a quick try.

 

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BLACK BELT
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Tried improving the last drawing. Just got a bit more done, then lost it when the laptop went to sleep.



Used wi-fi at the school library to activate the CorelCAD, so I can save files.

Not able to connect my printer to the laptop. Might be able to if I can find or download the drivers. Wouldn't mind upgrading my printer. Never liked it (Canon MG5420).
 

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BLACK BELT
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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Don't have any tutorials, so I may as well try something constructive.

Trying to draw parts for a custom coolant recovery tank. My previous pencil drawings were no help because I modified the shape and size after the first cardboard mockup.



Got started, but still haven't figured out how to insert the dimensions. Also not yet sure of the exact o-ring size.





 

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BLACK BELT
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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
The above CAD drawings I did at the end of February. Been working on welding skills, and haven't used the CAD program since then. Now, I can't even draw a simple triangle.

Can anyone help with some CAD dimensions? I think anyone that knows simple CAD could easily do this in a few minutes. I can still do hand drawings, if I have the correct dimensions. My ruler just isn't accurate enough. These are for a fuel tank made from flat 0.125" thick aluminum pieces.

I need a triangle with one tip cut off, and 2 rectangles.

I started with 3 dimensions for the triangle (11.906" 6.875" 7.406")


Then, I need one corner cut off, leaving the end 0.250"


Last part is to remove another 0.125" along the bottom edge. Need dimensions A, B, & C.
 

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BLACK BELT
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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
The 2 rectangles are even easier.

Both are 5.000" wide.

The first one has angled cuts on the short sides. Here is a side view with the known dimensions. Just need the dimensions of lines D, E, & F.


The second rectangle only has an angled cut on one short side. Here is a side view with the known dimensions. Just need the dimensions of lines G & H. The rectangle does extend 0.125" past the triangle piece.


Knowing the angles would be cool, but probably not necessary. Thanks much for any help. I'll keep trying on my own, as much as possible.
 

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BLACK BELT
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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
The frustrating part is that my problem is so simple to fix, but I can't find the right button to click, even though I've done it before. I can easily CAD draw a triangle with two sides the correct length, but when I get all 3 sides the correct length, they don't join up.

 
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