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Thread: In need of simple design program

  1. #1
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    Default In need of simple design program

    I'm currently running kde 4.11.5 on OpenSuse 13.1 on x86_64
    I am looking to design a simple wood shelf (maybe two layers high? not sure yet) that has a raised lip for holding small (2"x3" or so) boxes and a few small parts. There needs to be small simple raised barriers between the box bins and a raised edge so they don’t slide off. The whole thing is going to be wall mounted in the garage. Its for storing various small items and such. I was thinking i could design this with some software and get a parts list to cut out before assembly and mounting. Is there anything like this for linux that doesn’t have a steep learning curve?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: In need of simple design program

    • LibreOffice Draw

    [In the 13.1 Repository]

    • LibreCAD

    [In the 13.1 Repository]


    [For 13.1 only available from a private build -- in the KDE:Extra Repository for Tumbleweed -- in the Science Repository for Lead 42.x]

    • QCad

    [Only in the KDE:KDE3 Repository] <http://qcad.org/> {64-bit download only as tar.gz}

    More choices are available here: <http://linuxwiki.de/LinuxCad>

  3. #3
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    Default Re: In need of simple design program

    With respect to LibreCAD, please note that Handbook is not included in the RPM -- there is however a man page which points here: <http://wiki.librecad.org/index.php/L...D_users_Manual>.

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    Default Re: In need of simple design program

    "Making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richer." Ha-Joon Chang
    openSUSE 15.1 4.12.14-lp151.28.16-default x64

  5. #5
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    Default Re: In need of simple design program

    Well, I tried FreeCad and the learning curve is too steep, I watched part of a multipart series on youtube trying to get up to speed and gave up, by hour #2 i hadn’t even learned how to resize an object or trim it in some way.
    I installed Sweethome and briefly looked at it, I need to go back and spend some more time on it before I can decide if its appropriate to what I want to do.
    LibreCad, i just now installed it, and QCad is only 2D so not very helpful there
    Years ago, I vaguely remember windows had a drawing program with office, but for the life of me I cant remember what it was called. That was pretty easy and intuitive to use.
    Isn't there something oriented to the wood worker? you know, start with a half inch pine board 3 feet long and 8 inches wide, trim the end from selected point at 45 degrees, dowel these two together here. etc etc?
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    Default Re: In need of simple design program

    Quote Originally Posted by erbenton View Post
    Isn't there something oriented to the wood worker? you know, start with a half inch pine board 3 feet long and 8 inches wide, trim the end from selected point at 45 degrees, dowel these two together here. etc etc?
    I am many years out of date from supporting CAD users, but specific trades are normally catered for with the aid of comprehensive parts libraries. My experience has been with electrical engineering, but have worked with architects who had collections of kitchen and office furniture, worktops, shelving, etc that they modified.

    If you just want a drawing program that includes scaling and measurements, why not consider Inkscape, which is in the default repositories. I have used it for producing off-the-cuff on-site drawings of offices. This included drawings for shelves and worktops used as specifications for the joiners (I think they are called carpenters in the USA).
    ~Thank you for sharing an interesting problem.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: In need of simple design program

    QCAD is very good for 2D drawings. If you do want 3D FreeCAD is a good option. It requires a different mindset to a traditional CAD package. Instead of defining the dimensions of an object, you define the 'constraints'. So, the basic flow is to roughly sketch the outline of what you want, then identify those lines that MUST be horizontal/vertical; and the dimensions of those lines that MUST be a certain dimension etc. You can also constrain distances from edges or grids, angles between elements or whether they are parallel etc. Once you get the hang of it, it is an easy system to use.

    From the description of the project, if it were me I would be doing that in 2D using QCAD. Unless there was a specific need for 3D design (3D printing, for example) I would stick with 2D and develop the parts list from those designs.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: In need of simple design program

    Reading the initial post describing the project...

    IMHO any sort of software, unless one specifically wanted to learn how to use it, is somewhat of an overkill.

    Personally I'd opt for a pencil and paper approach to the design.
    Regards, Paul

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    Default Re: In need of simple design program

    Quote Originally Posted by erbenton View Post
    Years ago, I vaguely remember windows had a drawing program with office, but for the life of me I cant remember what it was called. That was pretty easy and intuitive to use.
    The Microsoft Office suite has a drawing tool integrated into MS Word and MS PowerPoint -- still -- it's "normally" not run as a "stand-alone" program -- possibly because it needs MS Word/PowerPoint to set-up the paper size and orientation.
    • This is the major difference to the LibreOffice/OpenOffice "Draw" program -- which is also the basis of the "Diagram" tool integrated into "Writer" and "Impress".

  10. #10
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    Cool Re: In need of simple design program

    Quote Originally Posted by tannington View Post
    Personally I'd opt for a pencil and paper approach to the design.
    Here in Germany, and in France, there are, still, "Journeymen" [and women] -- after craftswomen and craftsmen have completed their apprenticeship (under a Master), they have to travel (usually by foot and with only 5 € in their pocket) for 3 years and 1 day (must remain more than 50 km from their home town, except for exceptional circumstances such as death in the family) from business to business. They dress in a traditional way which makes them easy to recognise -- I was standing in a queue at the Auckland Airport (New Zealand) and was surprised to see 2 lady carpenters "on the Walz" behind me.
    • None of the carpenters or blacksmiths I know here in Germany, who have served an apprenticeship and done their Journeyman years, need more than a piece of paper to note the desired dimensions of the object to be built -- the space where the object shall be placed is measured, a price is quoted, after a while the object is delivered and, it fits, and, the quality one becomes for the agreed price is more than satisfying . . .

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