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Looking to get into CAD...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So basically I want to start fiddling around with crafting 3-D models of vehicle modifications which I would then have crafted by an associate of mine who works with carbon fiber.

Eventually, I would like to dabble in some Computational Fluid Dynamics and attempt to determine aerodynamic upgrades for race cars (namely, my friends and my Subarus).

Unfortunately, I have absolutely zero skill or knowledge in either of these and would like to know where a good place to start is, short of "AutoCAD for dummies."

If anyone can suggest some free or cheap guides out there, along with good beginner software and some ways to initiate the process of learning CAD/CFD - please let me know! Also if this is posted in the wrong place, move me
post #2 of 5
Start with 2D cad then work your way up to 3D.

I use Bentley Microstation for everything I do, but I also have the luxury of having the full civil BIM suite.

I'd start with something like FreeCAD FreeCAD to get introduced then progress to AutoCAD or if you want to run simulations eventually SolidWorks.
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Just how expensive is the Bentley Microstation software? And is it user-friendly for beginners? Otherwise I will try the progression of FreeCAD -> AutoCAD -> SolidWorks

Where on earth could I get started in CFD?
Edited by d3v0 - 1/26/11 at 8:15pm
post #4 of 5
Well it isn't CAD, but it will work for beginners and advanced alike; BLENDER!

http://www.blender.org/

I used blender in collage for my Computer Science classes. It's great. Highly recommend it. Plus it's free can't get much better than that!

EDIT: I didn't answer the rest of your question. To be honest a good place to start with anything 3-D related is a solid foundation of math. After math it's just practicing. If you are using Blender http://www.blendercookie.com/ has great tutorials. I might also recommend books form you local library. Most library's will carry books on open source software (I know my library has Blender books) If your library doesn't carry them I think you can have them shipped from other library's to yours. I hope this helps you. Good luck man!

Also some advice...
Quote:
FreeCAD -> AutoCAD -> SolidWorks
Go with what ever works for you. Be aware though CAD software is going to cost a pretty penny, unless of course you are using blender. I think the cheapest CAD I've seen started at $400.
Edited by Tig-O-Bitties - 1/30/11 at 7:13pm
    
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have a friend who is able to allow me to use his software, hes a plastics engineer

Thanks for all the advice, +1!
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