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Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:07 pm
by mhackney
I've been using ViaCAD after switching from TurboCAD a few years ago. Primary reason for switching was that I do most of my design work on Mac and TurboCAD let their Mac product slide. VIaCAD was quite good and works on Mac and Windows. I wanted to be able to do both so I could transfer files to my shop machines (CNC controllers) to do fix-ups, etc. Been really happy and it is quite affordable. The latest version added some really powerful 3D extrusion tools that work great. It was really simple to do this:

3D - Back Plate and Spool Plates.jpg

I removed the shading so you can see some of the internal detail better.


Re: ViaCAD

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:40 pm
WOOO! I have been using Viacad for quite a while now as well, coming from an Autocad background I find the 3D very intuitive, but I really miss some of the 2D functionality of Autocad.

Re: ViaCAD

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:04 am
by Geirhart
Hi Guys

Are using Via cad Pro or are using via cad 2/3D?


Re: ViaCAD

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:16 am
by mhackney
I'm using ViaCAD 2D/3D v8 on both Mac and Windows.


Re: ViaCAD

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:39 pm
by Polygonhell
I use ViaCAD pro7 which has a similar feature set to ViaCAD3D v8.
It's nice to do quick sketches in, but I find the lack of construction history painful if I'm iterating on parts.

Re: ViaCAD

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:01 pm
by Geirhart
I am just starting to learn 3d V8. It seems to be fairly intuitive.


Re: ViaCAD

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:21 pm
by Windshadow
Still working through the Cad options for CAD under $100 and I thought I might give ViaCAD 9 a try but a quick search here it looks like its not in current use by the big hitters like the experts in this thread I was wondering what you think of it today?
The software I actually learned how to use fairly well was Tim Olson's CSI company products through Ashlar Vellum as QA on his Macintosh CAD software and as ViaCAD is one of his I thought i Would DL the trial and then if it looks good I would risk the $100 for a copy from the APP store But there does not seem to be a trial offered so its a $100 risk for something that might be easy for me to learn or stick with trying to learn OnShape or Fusion 360.
Ashlar Vellum Solids grew into SharkVX which is their $2300 a seat all singing and dancing product so that is why I did not buy it when it became available even though I could had done so when it came out for about $1,000 as that was when I retired back in 03

Re: ViaCAD

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:29 pm
by Polygonhell
If you can live with the online restriction (and others) then Fusion 360 and OnShape are high end CAD packages.
Both are online only, with restrictions on space, I currently use Fusion 360, because I like the free CAM, I preferred OnShapes UI, but I understand that the free version is more restrictive, I haven't used it since it released.

VIACad is OK, as I said in my original post, my issue with it is the lack of construction history, I find with anything complicated, when you start putting the pieces together you find, some thing interferes with something else, and you have to make minor modifications. That's a lot easier if you can just go tweak a dimension in the history.

Re: ViaCAD

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:56 pm
by Windshadow
so the Feature Based/History Tree in the cheap product don't do it huh?

its the features in this add on for the $100 viaCAD that has me looking at the product even though the other options mentioned are no cost sometimes you do have to spend to get the features you need

PowerPack LT 3D is $40

Print out your projects in 3D with this add-on module for ViaCAD and Shark. The 3D printing capabilities in PowerPack LT will strengthen your work and enhance your productivity. Whether you are a ViaCAD or a Shark user, PowerPack LT has everything you need to do standard 3D printing. General utilities allow you to manage CAD data and validate the parts required for 3D output. Example tools include an overall 3D print check, slice preview, overhang and wall thickness analysis, and surface normals check. See for yourself the difference Punch PowerPack LT can make in every design every time.

General Utilities

A collection of tools for manipulating entity attributes.

Assorted Colors: The Assorted Colors tool assigns up to 20 colors per group of entities selected. The tool is useful for visually identifying file import and other individual parts.
AutoLayer: AutoLayer is a tool that will automatically assign an entity to a layer based on the same shape or by entity name. Use AutoLayer to help organize files imported from other applications that do not support layering.
Preview Layers: The Preview Layers utility provides a user interface to rapidly step through layers. The play button will animate through the layer start and end region. The step forward and backward buttons manually provide control through the layers.
Change File Units: There are many file formats that do not contain unit settings that include STL, OBJ, PLY, 3DS and older DXF files. The Change File Units command allows you to quickly change a file scale based on Units or Scale Factor.
Show Only By Name: The Show Only by Name tool displays just the entity with the provided name. This tool changes the Show/Hide flags of the entity.
Rename: The Rename tool provides a way to rename large number of entities. This tool is especially useful for renaming entities imported from external applications. For example, Inventor attaches the full assembly representation to the part name.
Spell Check: The Spell Check examines all visible text for possible misspellings and provides suggestions.
Isolate Layer: The Isolate Layer command sets the display layers to objects you select.

PowerPack 3D is $200

Improve your productivity and designs with the new Punch PowerPack. This add-on module further extends the standard functionality of ViaCAD and Shark with over 100 tools for 3D printing, verification and repair of a variety of data, plus new tools for creating data. PowerPack enhances your ability to reuse data from a variety of sources such as SketchUp, AutoCAD™, OBJ, or STL alongside precise modeling tools. Now you can create, verify and repair data for 3D printing all within one seamless application. See for yourself the difference Punch PowerPack makes in every design every time. Whether you are a ViaCAD or Shark users, these tools are a must!

Includes all features of PowerPack LT 3D plus:

3D Printing Tools

Check, repair and validate models for 3D printing

3D Print Check: This tool checks a part for print viability, displaying warnings or errors to the user.
Surface Normals Check: Facet normals define the inside and outside areas of a part. If facet normals are pointing the wrong way, the 3D printer may have problems creating the part. If you have a normals issue, there are several commands that can help you fix this problem.
Overhang Analysis: The Overhang Analysis tool provides a means to visually inspect modeling areas that may require structural support for 3D printing. Meshes, surfaces and solids facets normals are compared to the work plane direction. Angles that are less or equal to 45 degrees are highlighted as red.
Wall Thickness: The Wall Thickness Analysis tool provides a means to visually inspect modeling areas that may be too thin for 3D printing. Meshes, surfaces, and solids facets are examined using ray intersections.
PreviewSlices: The Preview Slices tool provides a user interface to slice models given a direction and thickness. The dialog box allows for animation through the slices and single stepping. One use of the Preview Slice tool is to verify a part has closed, non-overlapping sections, a requirement for 3D printing. The Save Slices option provides several options to save slices to DXF, STL or add the results directly into your drawing.
Auto Position: The Auto Position tool translates the model to the positive x, y coordinate system at z = 0.
Support Structure: Manually adds geometry to support material as it is created by the 3D printer. Support structures controls, include Attach Radius, Midpoint Radius, Base Radius, Base Thickness and Drag base and mid points to modify structure location.
Show Printer Volume: Toggles the boundary of the default 3D Printer. The volume is defined within the Printer Definitions dialog box.
Printer Definitions: Sets key parameters of the 3D printer, including length, width and height of the volume accessible by the printer. The parameters in the Printer Definitions dialog box are used for commands such as 3D Print Check and Auto Position.

Re: ViaCAD

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:58 pm
by mhackney
I maintain my license of ViaCAD and still have 100s of part files in it. I migrated to Rhinoceros when they started their beta program for Mac OS X. It is a much more robust with some nice mesh tools built in but I really could do all of my work in ViaCAD.

Re: ViaCAD

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:26 pm
by Polygonhell
Oh I agree it's "good enough", I'm just much more engineer than artist and find the solid works/fusion 360/OnShape/... model of dimensioned sketches and extrusions easier to work with.
I never use the none parametric part of fusion 360. I know lots of artists who do 3D work who are much more comfortable moving vertices and faces around.
CAD is very much use what works for you.
I recently designed a somewhat complex part for a 3D printer I've been working on and off on for a while now, and it wasn't until I attached a stepper to it I realized I hadn't left enough clearance for the belts (which being lazy I hadn't modeled in the assembly). Fixing it involved moving several pieces over by 3mm or so, I love being able to just go adjust 1 dimension in a sketch vs moving faces around.
Similarly I changed the box material from 3mm to 6mm, it took maybe 10 minutes to go adjust a few sketch dimensions to make it work.

Re: ViaCAD

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:52 pm
by Windshadow
well i see that Rhino mac has a 90 day free eval price but then it would be $500 nd thats just too much at this time of year while i can Mamage the 100 for ViaCAD and the 40 extra for the 3dPrinter support lite extra and perhaps even the extra 160 to fill it out down the road but right now even the 140 is a stretch...

for now i will keep slugging away at OnShape and Fusion360 and keep the grouch bag shut over my coin

Re: ViaCAD

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:09 pm
by mhackney
OnShape and Fusion360 are both very capable and have large followings. I know the founder of OnShape - he founded SolidWorks so he knows what it's all about. I've played with it myself. The real effort in any of these CAD apps is the investment you'll make in learning how to use them. Once you get over the conceptual hump (they are all just a little different) and investment in the tools, it gets difficult to switch to something else without good reason. For me, Rhino has turned out to be a great time saver and I am completely fluid with it.