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CAD Primer Availability?
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* January 19, 2017, 12:18:34 PM
Can anyone please recommend a proper text-book (not yet another useless video) that genuinely tells a complete beginner in CAD, but with a fair amount of engineering-drawing experience and general engineering knowledge, how to start to learn TurboCAD, please?

This is my second attempt at trying to learn any CAD software, as part of my hobby; and I am retired, not on a degree course teaching CAD formally! I tried TurboCAD last year but gave up because I could find nothing to tell me what things mean, and how to make even the most basic moves work. I was about to give the software away but thought I'd try again. (I've tried other CAD applications, but they were no better - some were worse.) So I assume you need a lot of basic, general CAD knowledge even before touching a CAD programme, so I am trying to find that knowledge.

TurboCAD offers aide-memoires for the very skilled. It offers what are probably just demonstration videos of what an expert can make TurboCAD do (if your computer can run them: mine merely demands I install Adobe's rubbish every time!). It has nothing to tell you how to make it do anything.

I know I am craving indulgence here on a forum by and for highly experienced TurboCAD users finding extremely abstruse problems with TurboCAD's most advanced features, (and a forum with the most bone-awkwardly obstructive registration routine I've met!), but still.....

So if anyone can give me the title, publisher etc of a proper CAD introductory text-book, preferably TurboCAD, I would be very grateful! 

I realise of course there may be no such book, in which case I am glad I have kept my manual drawing-board! 

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January 19, 2017, 12:46:24 PM
#1
Welcome NigelG,

sorry about the registration/login routine - this will disappear after a while of using the forum.

Firstly, which version of TurboCAD are you trying to use?
There isn't, as far as I am aware, any hard-copy step-by-step book.
You could work your way through the help file, which covers all versions of TC.
Perhaps look at :       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3BpvPxAArU
Or, visit:                     http://www.textualcreations.ca for tips and tutorials.
And, not forgetting :  http://www3.turbocadcommunity.com/tiki-page.php?pageName=Welcome
We have all found most CAD programs to be a steep learning curve, so don't give up.
Something will click sooner or later!  It's worth the effort, IMHO.

Good luck, and, have fun!

Regards Tim

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You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Testing/using with Win 10 and various TurboCAD 64-bit versions.


* January 19, 2017, 01:34:57 PM
#2
Lacking such a textbook, IMO the best way to learn the basics of TurboCAD is to experiment. Fiddle with the various tools to see what they do. Whenever you click on a drawing tool, look in the lower left corner of the screen for a brief instruction on what to do next. If you want to work in 3D (don't be afraid to do so), go to an isometric view to get a better picture of what's happening. If it's not obvious how to do that, open the View menu to "Toolbars," see that "Standard Views" is ticked, and click "Close" ("OK" in some installations). Click on the appropriate icon in that toolbar to switch to the corresponding view.

You'll find that many of the 3D drawing tools (such as Simple Extrude) won't do anything at all unless the drawing already contains one or more 2D entities for the tool to operate on. Usually a Circle is enough to work with.

Henry H
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 01:43:51 PM by Henry Hubich »

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* January 20, 2017, 12:16:39 PM
#3
Thank you.
The registration problem was mainly the security image, which is so over-done the letters are ambiguous. At one point the system also told me my e-mail address was a spam!
Also why the hell do I need to use this verification here when I've already used my user name and password to open the web-site?

TC version: TurboCAD Deluxe 19. 

OS: WIN 7 Pro - which may be why I can't run videos, as Microsoft wants to be rid of 7, and seems to be in cahoots with Adobe to produce a linked subscription-only edition of Flashplayer presumably designed only to run on WIN-10.

Tim:-
With great respect your answer perhaps proves a point - that there are no text-books - but does otherwise not help me! The "Help" menu offers either a massive, pdf-format, aide-memoire for the skilled, or videos. Others might find them useful but I cannot learn anything from videos because they are merely demonstrations of expert users giving running-commentaries. It's like trying to learn to play cricket from televised cup-match highlights.

Not only that but on-line videos demand installing Adobe - rubbish software that needs installing every time you need it, but never finishes the installation.

Henry:
Yes, I have tried experimenting, trying to produce the most basic 2D drawing; typically a rectangle with a circle in it, like one of those big washers on cable-drums. The problem is that you need to know the basics, not what an expert user might momentarily have forgotten. Such as:

  Making the cursor release the object so you draw another. Usually if you choose, say, a circle, it thinks you want to draw a cloud of random bubbles.

  Putting a circle's centre where you think you are telling it, not at some random point TC decides.

  Knowing what "snap" really means - which "snap", there are lots of them? - and how to know which one is apparently on when the displayed tools and tiny scrap of information in 'Help' suggests they are all turned off. I gave up when some unidentified "snap" mode locked everything including all snap switches, preventing any further changes to my poor little drawing.

In other words, I need to know the basics of Computer-Aided Draughting before I can even start to learn TurboCAD, and I was asking if anyone can tell me of any such. TurboCAD's own "Help" etc do not give that low-level information.

If it's a TurboCAD primer even better, but given these programmes all do much the same thing with the same electronics, I assume the fundamental manoeuvres are all pretty much standard.

I think fundamentally I've fallen for a sales-trick. Like all CAD programmes, TurboCAD is an extremely complex industrial package intended to be taught in formal, full-time courses; but advertised in hobby-craft magazines and sold at exhibitions so implying it's something an amateur user can teach himself from scratch. The publisher and retailer take their money and the poor buyer is left with something he finds he cannot use but cannot take back because there is nothing wrong with it, and it's his gamble!

I did some searching. I found a TurboCAD book on Amazon or somewhere but at an industrial price (>150 - I can't afford that). I've seen a reference to a more general, introductory book that might help, if I can buy a copy.

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* January 20, 2017, 12:55:12 PM
#4
Thank you.
The registration problem was mainly the security image, which is so over-done the letters are ambiguous. At one point the system also told me my e-mail address was a spam!
Also why the hell do I need to use this verification here when I've already used my user name and password to open the web-site?


Because people create a user name and password, login and then spam the site.  The verification will go away eventually.

As to your question I've not seen books other than the older versions manuals.

BTW I'm a hobby user self taught wthl no prior cad experience.  Other than Ashler Vellum's Cobalt I found TurboCAD  to be the easiest to learn .   

Matthew

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Just a hobby user.
TurboCAD Vr. 18.2 Platinum
TurboCAD Vr. 2015 Platinum
TurboCAD Vr. 2016 Platinum
PC - Intel i7, 3.2 GHz, 32GB RAM, Window 10 64bit
Graphics ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series, 1GB RAM


* January 20, 2017, 05:45:51 PM
#5
Such as:

  Making the cursor release the object so you draw another. Usually if you choose, say, a circle, it thinks you want to draw a cloud of random bubbles.

  Putting a circle's centre where you think you are telling it, not at some random point TC decides.

  Knowing what "snap" really means - which "snap", there are lots of them? - and how to know which one is apparently on when the displayed tools and tiny scrap of information in 'Help' suggests they are all turned off. I gave up when some unidentified "snap" mode locked everything including all snap switches, preventing any further changes to my poor little drawing.



So let's start with the basics.  When you invoke a tool, it remains active until you invoke another tool, but it works with each click.    There are a couple of exceptions to that, ignorable for now.  There is no state in TC in which there is no tool active.  You can invoke select, which doesn't affect anything itself, but which gives you access to editing methods applicable to the object selected, by hitting the space bar.   That might be helpful if you've got a twitchy trigger finger.  A standard centre-and-radius circle takes two clicks to place those features.  If you're in a new drawing with no other objects, there are no features to snap to, so you can place centre and radius arbitrarily.   Even if you don't know how you're doing it, you place them, TC doesn't arbitrarily decide.  You can also tab + shift into the coordinates screen bottom right to place the centre, then tab into the data boxes, enter the radius or diameter, then enter to create it.   Clicking anything after that will create another circle because the assumption is that you'll only be clicking because you want to do that.   It draws circles at your direction, they're not random bubbles unless your actions have been directing random bubbles.  If you want to do something else, you click to invoke another tool. 

TC is feature-based CAD.  Snaps attach features to features.  Circles, for example, have centres, circumferences and quadrants, so you can you can draw something else by basing it on those existing features, say bisect a circle with a line snapped across horizontal quadrants.  Then the line has new features like vertexes at its ends, middle, divide points (you declare the number of divisions) and intersections with the circle you just bisected.  Snaps are either permanently active ("running snaps"), or, with TC, inactive but so simple to invoke with hot keys that specify the snap feature you want to use.  V for vertex, Q for quadrant, M for middle, S for no feature (where the cursor lies), I for intersection, C for centre.  You can  see where this is going. 

As well as being used in creating objects, features are used in modifying/editing them.   

Is this useful to you?     
 
 
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 06:03:00 PM by murray dickinson »

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January 29, 2017, 04:21:14 PM
#6
Thank you.
The registration problem was mainly the security image, which is so over-done the letters are ambiguous. At one point the system also told me my e-mail address was a spam!
Also why the hell do I need to use this verification here when I've already used my user name and password to open the web-site?

As others have said, that will go away with just a few more posts (perhaps over a couple days... not quite sure on that part).  Please note, even with my post count, I am prohibited from making more than one post per minute.

If it's a TurboCAD primer even better, but given these programmes all do much the same thing with the same electronics, I assume the fundamental manoeuvres are all pretty much standard.

And I expect that you are right (I have little experience with other Mechanical CAD software), but the implementation will differ because different people will think that their way is better.  I saw a demonstration of SolidWorks that built several objects on top of each other to make a model and thought to myself, "TurboCAD could do it better", but that's just the stuff that the two programs have in common.  Different products have different functionality because that's that they decided to do to set themselves apart.
[/quote]


I think fundamentally I've fallen for a sales-trick. Like all CAD programmes, TurboCAD is an extremely complex industrial package intended to be taught in formal, full-time courses

I agreed with you... at first.  Couldn't figure out how to do anything useful on my own (I started with V14).  Got some 2D and 3D tutorials, but they were too limited.  Got one of Don Cheke's tutorials and it ran me through a bunch of functions that I use to this day (although I prefer to do some things differently than he does).


Jeff

« Last Edit: February 01, 2017, 10:47:55 AM by Jeffin90620 »

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TC Pro Platinum 2017, 2016 & 2015 (all with LightWorks) & V21
System: i7-5820K @ 3.30GHz, ASRock X99 Extreme4, 16GB DDR4-2133 RAM, Gigabyte GTX 970, Samsung NVMe SSD 950 (256GB), Windows 7 Pro (64-bit) SP1


* February 03, 2017, 05:28:13 PM
#7
Nigel, take a look at Don Cheke's website www.textualcreations.ca maybe the Finger Press tutorial which is all mechanical based is worht a look.

Don always covers all the details and why he does it.

Oh, Dons away for a few days so you'll  have to wait until 5th Feb for him to return.

Personally I was in the same position you where 12 months ago, but I stuck at it and it has paid off for all my time and effort.

Daz

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Darryl
TCW 2015 Platinum, TCW 2016 Platinum, TCW 2017 Platinum, Graficalc & Windows 10
using Lightworks & Redsdk


* February 14, 2017, 03:25:25 PM
#8
Thank you Gentlemen.

I've been away form TC for a while because I became so demoralised with it. Even this forum is very awkward to use thanks to the near-illegibility of those Captcha letters.

I did find an ad for a second-hand TurboCAD instruction-book but at about 150. I can't afford that on what is still basically a gamble. The problem is that you need to know CAD principles (extra to knowing engineering-drawing principles), and all the Help options assume you already know them and just need an aide-memoire to the specific functions.

Videos are no good to me for two reasons. First, I cannot learn from what are really only experts showing what the application does in an expert's hands. Secondly, I cannot run most videos on this computer anyway. TurboCAD's own, from the HELP menu, invokes that blasted Adobe Flash Player rubbish every time - it will not load or run properly and Adobe offers no support or help. 

The experimental approach does not work. I spent 2 or 3 hours last night drawing a rectangle with three "holes", with one notched rather raggedly to the edge, plus centre-lines and dimensions. To cut the rectangle's outline to give the notch effect I hit on over-drawing that bit with a white line, as if there is an "official" way to do it I could not find it. The dimensions were absolute pigs: the technique was very inconsistent for no obvious reason, with one hole diameter working as expected and the other aligning itself along the centre-line every time. I found a work-round but it was a laborious bodge. I noticed none of the values in those little boxes at the bottom of the screen bore any relation to the dimension-lines' places and lengths. Nor to anything else as far as I could work out.

Ask here? What? Fill up the forum with questions showing I am a complete beginner? If you look at the questions you see they are all on the most obscure topics at a very advanced level, and such a display of Doctorate-level expertise is a deterrent, not encouragement, to the beginner. You feel as if intruding, asking how to make the simplest moves work, and work each time you repeat that same move.

I will stagger on a bit more but frankly don't believe one can learn an advanced CAD package like TurboCAD, AutoCAD, SolidWorks/Edge or Fusion from cold. You need a heck of a lot of background CAD-basics knowledge before trying any specific package, and such knowledge is probably now unobtainable in any independent form because the ubiquity of CAD and of computing in general means the developers assume "We All" already know the basics.

Now into battle with that Captcha crap...

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* February 14, 2017, 04:53:58 PM
#9
NigelG

With regards the Captcha - Whilst I haven't seen the captcha myself, others have mentioned they are a bit of a pain, it will go away completely after 20 to 25 posts (can't remember exact figure), it's there simply to reduce the amount of spam the forum attracted, we still get some spam but fortunately not a lot, Note - I don't have anything to do with forum design nor captcha - the mods just watch out for spam.

As for learning, I can't answer that one as I had no CAD nor Engineering knowledge when I started, I was / am a gasman and I used Corel draw for 2d drawings before TC, I'm the sort of person who just pushes everything to see what it does, and I learn that way,  you mentioned Paul Tracey (paulthecad) in another post, Paul has actually produced quite a lot of video's from drawing a line to more complex stuff, they are all on YouTube, but obviously no good if you have trouble playing video's.

Can I ask where you live, (location / town if UK,  not street address), when I first saw your post I assumed America as under your profile, you local time is 8 hours behind myself - I live north west England, but I'm thinking that is wrong with you mentioning Avanquest and Paul.

 

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February 15, 2017, 01:00:10 AM
#10
I did find an ad for a second-hand TurboCAD instruction-book but at about 150. I can't afford that on what is still basically a gamble. The problem is that you need to know CAD principles (extra to knowing engineering-drawing principles), and all the Help options assume you already know them and just need an aide-memoire to the specific functions.

You can find 2D and 3D tutorials for considerably less than 150.  I'd get one of Don Cheke's tutorials (http://www.textualcreations.ca/Textual%20Creations%20Shopping%20Page.html, download or CD).  Find one that is designed for the version you have that seems to make the type of objects you think you will be creating on your own.


Jeff


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TC Pro Platinum 2017, 2016 & 2015 (all with LightWorks) & V21
System: i7-5820K @ 3.30GHz, ASRock X99 Extreme4, 16GB DDR4-2133 RAM, Gigabyte GTX 970, Samsung NVMe SSD 950 (256GB), Windows 7 Pro (64-bit) SP1


* February 20, 2017, 03:03:17 PM
#11
Thank you.

I have bought a very basic book that at least shed some light on what "Layers" means and what they are meant to allow you to do. I'm not convinced of the latter! Since it's a generic manual, and its author was using something he refers to as "genericCAD", it won't explain specific programmes, but I've still this big gap between understanding the principles and understanding the application.




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February 27, 2017, 05:06:33 AM
#12
When I started out with TC12, I bought the IMSI 2D/3D Training Manuals which are quite expensive but got me started and got over the "gosh - this is complicated phase"
  Like Jeffin I bought a couple of Don Cheke's excellent tutorials which helped me considerably getting over the 3D drawing hump (as a retired Civil Engineer 2D drawing is a piece of cake).  I agree with Henry is experimenting with tools as the Helpfile is rarely fully explanatory.  But lately also I have delved into YouTube as there many many posts some with videos demonstrating tools and methods.

When all else fails, I post on this Forum usually with rapid and helpful solutions soon appearing.

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regards
Colin Reid
TC2017 Pro Platinum 64 bit  + LW plugin on Win10 desktop and  Quad Intel i7 with 32GB RAM + 128GB  SSD and 2TB partitioned hard disk, NVidia 2GB video


* February 27, 2017, 12:15:36 PM
#13
Nigel,
If you could locate a manual for an older version of TurboCad, it will probably lead you through many of the basics such as layers, snaps, and all these other tools which, when mastered, make CAD drawing so useful.  I still refer to my print manual for V14 even though I am now using V21.  It is surprisingly relevant for covering the basics and then I turn to some of the info sources mentioned previously to learn the advanced features which are not covered in the V14 manual.

Out of curiosity, I checked on eBay and there is an active listing for a Turbocad Reference Manual, Version 10 in very good condition for US$15.  I suspect that a manual like this will get you far enough up the learning curve so that you will be less confused by it all.

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