How good is AutoCAD 2005 for designing paper models?

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by Longshaor, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. Longshaor

    Longshaor Member

    Hi all,

    I'm a professional draftsman who's been doing 2D work for over 5 years now. The firm I'm with doesn't do 3D and I haven't messed with it since I did my CAD certification (a LONG time ago) and I've seen 3D work sent to us by other firms that're pretty impressive, but how user friendly is it really?
  2. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

    If you have had an intro to CAD class then you should pick it up with minimal effort. Some of them do get over the top with commands and are more difficult to grasp.
    Sketch up is by far the easiest I have found to learn and it's free.
    Just follow all the video tutorials and then it's just your imagination holding you back!
    You should give it a try. just Google it.

  3. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    Sorry, no experience of AutoCAD, but you don't need industrial strength programs for paper models. If you have access to it, I'd be inclined to use it! If you can generate a dxf file of your 3D data, you should be able to fold it out flat with a program such as pepakura (Pepakura Designer) which is free for a working demo, about $40 for the full program; well worth it in my opinion. You can make mesh models with other free programs such as wings3d, anim8or and SketchUp, the latter also having colouring facilities which Pepakura can read (save as a kmz version 4 file) and open when if develops your design into a flat model. There is also a plug-in available for SketchUp which 'unfolds' a model without having to export it.

    If you want to spend some cash, Rhino (Modeling tools for designers) is excellent, a NURBS modeller, and has its own unrolling (developing) routines so you can then export the unfolded model to Illustrator of CorelDraw for colouring.

    AutoCAD will work, but it is massive overkill for this job! To be honest, so is Rhino, but I just love working with it!

  4. Longshaor

    Longshaor Member

    Thanks guys

    The only reason I specified AutoCAD was I already have it because of work. I had thought about using it with some complex curves on a Royal Navy gun turret I was scratch building (back when the office was using R14) but I couldn't figure out how to do it. I've been told that 3D is easier with the new releases, but I was looking for a little guideance before jumping in.
  5. Alcides

    Alcides Member

    Well, I'm just a beginner but I think work with Rhino is a real pleasure.

    I'm prefer to do some things in Rhino than in CorelDraw.

    A good place to star are the tutorials in the reserves forum:

    and you speak about a turret well I've done this quick and dirty work in 10 minutes on Rhino:


  6. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    We have 2006 at one office and the other office got 2008 last week.

    To be honest I have not modeled anything in in autocad in 3D. I tried way back in V14 which is obviously archaic by current Acad standards so I cannot give an honest view on Acad 3D. I tried again briefly with 2004 and found it to be just clunky compared to even 3Dmax 1.2 from 97'.

    Autocad just remains a 2D tool in my opinion until Viz is fully incorporated into Acad which from glances of 2007 seems to be what they are slowly doing.

    When that happens it will be the difference between pecking keys with your nose verses all ten fingers and a mouse for productivity.

    For vector work you can't beat the accuracy of autocad's line tools. If you have access to Illustrator you can port it right in and add color/texture.
  7. thumsup

    thumsup Member

    :wave: Hey all,

    Having use Acad 2008 for all of 3 months I have to say its powerful stuff.
    I use it at work, still exploring the possibilities. I'm sure I can make it do the model railroading stuff I do. With that said I'm not familiar with "card Models". I have to search this forum for more info. I gotta think it can be done, but, it is a rather costly program for most. It is indeed a powerful application.

    :thumb: Joe
  8. rowiac

    rowiac Member


    Since you already have AutoCAD, you can't really lose by learning how to use its 3D features. On the other hand, I tried it a long time ago, and never got the hang of it, although I can draw in 2D with it pretty well.

    When the user-friendly 3D Mechanical CAD packages came out (Solidworks and Inventor in particular), I picked up 3D solid modeling pretty quickly, but I don't think either of these would particularly good for making flattenable models for cardmodeling, if that's what you are looking to do.


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