View Full Version : Archive through March 05, 2001

02-26-2001, 06:53 PM
Many Shopbotters have asked me in the past what is the best cad program to use, So to save time with all the emails I thought I will just post it here.

You can use any cad program that will let you save as a dxf format.

So what is the best to buy?

You decide on that one.

The top programs so far that most shopbotters are using are


Turbocad will take you 15 minutes to learn to do any TEXT,TRACE,SCAN,IMPORT, you will be able to make any 2D sign and cut it right the first time.

Coreldraw is just like Turbocad but with a few more tools, it works just like Turbocad as far as drawing, but you have more steps to take to do what Turbocad can do with a click of the mouse and only use 1 or 2 tools.

Vector is a CAD/CAM program and will do 3D files, I think you get this Free with the new machine?

I have tried the 30 day demo and did not have enough time to figure it out, maybe there will be more info on how to use it.

3D Programs
Mastercam,Artcam,Signlab,Enroute,Engravelab,Rhino 3D,Modelmill,Milwizard.

These programs will let you draw and cut 3d files and will cost $3,000.00 to $8,000.000, Milwizard is $250.00.

For you to do 3d files? you will need to know how to draw 3d files, if you do not know how to draw 3d files? you are looking at many hours on reading? and many hours of trial and error.

Most new shopbotters ask the same old qusetion, what program to get, I would say get a program that is most used by shopbotters and see if any files are online to show you how to use it.

The Shopbot machine has got to be the best thing I invested in, the learning curve was a little hard at first but with all the shopbotters out there now it is simple to use.

I have to knock on wood..lol the only problem I had was a power supply go out and what verison of the software to use, the rest of the time I was trying many diffrent things with the machine just like the rest of us.

For the people or companys thinking about investing in the machine? I would say go for it, there is enough shopbotters now using there machine for many diffrent jobs, 2D,3D,Milling, Turning, the list goes on.

Me and many shopbotters have talked over the years about when we got our machine and what it was like to learn it, so to help others shopbotters out in getting started I would upload some help files to an ftp site shopbot had so the new shopbotters could download them, Bob N , Bill P, Alton J, and other would post there files there for others to download and cut, then 1 day it was gone,I set up a server that now holds all the files we have done, we put all the files we done in the past 3 years and how to make them in detail with step bye step pictures.

There are many files on how to do 2d, 3d, trace, scan, raster 2 vector, there are links to many freeware and share program we used in the past and info on how to use them.

This in not a service but a place to go and get all the information a shopbotter could want, what we do is help you learn how to draw your files, most of the time we get email on how to draw somthing? what we do is draw it for you and email the dxf & sbp file to you then post all the steps we took to do it in detail with step bye step pictures of the program or programs we used and post them on the server for you and others to download, you can then see how it was done and repeat the steps yourself, the learning time to do it? 5 minutes.
So you want to do 3D? Me I am not into doing 3d files but there are over 72 shopbotter on the server that will show you how and what programs to use, some will even draw them for you for FREE or will charge you a small FEE?, this will save you going out and spending $$$$$ on a program that might not do what you thought it would.

There is a Shopbotters page on the server that shows what others have made with there machine,and the file on how to do it with the 2d and 3d files for download, this gives you a chance to see just what can be done with your machine.

Many shopbotters will call and we will spend hours on the phone with them showing how to draw, I use dialpad and call them back, this is a FREE call and no charge, we are only here to help if we can.

What we try to do is show you how simple it is to draw your files, we feel that when we show you how you will be able to learn in minutes and not days or weeks, 75% of what shopbotters do is already done and on the server for download.

We feel that all shopbotters are like 1 big family and what better place to get help?.

I would like to thank David Peasley for sending me his software to try, it works well with the shopbot and is very easy to use, it is 1 of the best I seen and tried so far, and the price for it will fit in any budget, he now has a free demo for you to try, I beleave you can use it 10 times? check it out


Alton Johnson has made a program that me and Bill Palumbo have been trying, what it does is remove lines made by the shopbot tiff converter so the cut time is smaller without loss to the picture, I will post the program on the server for download when I get the ok from Alton.




03-01-2001, 11:51 AM
Which version of TurboCad is the best? Also, is the difference between the "Standard" version and the "Professional" version worth the price? What do you think?

03-01-2001, 01:45 PM

03-01-2001, 03:54 PM
Darrin I have 4,5-3D , 6.5, I see no diffrence in them as far as doing 2d work, I would get 5-3d if it is still around? or get 6.5,Pro.

I have looked at 7.0 and see only 1 tool that might come in handy, it is to put text on a circle.


03-02-2001, 09:44 AM
turbocad 6.5 pro and 7 have a join polyline feature which saves a lot of extra steps to create toolpaths. draw your part the easiest way then join polyline then offset for cutter. 4 ,5, 6.5 standard do not have this feature.

03-02-2001, 10:20 AM

I've tried them all, from 3 thru 7 professional, and still think version 4.1 is the best. It's the most stable, does everything I need it to do, and allows me to select a bunch of different entities and offset them individually. From v5 on you could only select 1 entity at a time to use the offset command, which really slows things down. I think their program TurboSketch is just version 4 with a new name, but I'm not positive.

It seems like TurboCAD had spent most of their efforts in 3d rendering and AutoCAD compatability recently, which I don't find all that useful. If you need the 3d stuff, Rhino is a much better program.

Just one fool's opinion,

p.s. anyone tried the free version of IntelliCAD?

03-02-2001, 03:55 PM
Thanks, Ron, for all the info. One of the best things about the ShopBot is, in my opinion, the comaraderie of the owners. I could have paid alot more for, say, a Gerber, and it would probably be great right out of the box, but it would be just a tool and not nearly as fun as the Shopbot, thanks to the other owners.

The server you speak of- is that a link from your website? Thanks to all those who have contributed! Meanwhile, I'm still drilling holes in all the steel I bought for the table.

03-02-2001, 08:04 PM
Actually, I recently purchased IntelliCAD for $29.00 at Office Depot (I think I might have mentioned this fact somewhere here before, oh well). Redundancy can be a good thing, right? I understand AutoCAD real well and was curious about IntelliCad, wanted it for my home computer. Loads very easily and works 99.99% like AutoCAD, icons and all, for aprox. 1/100th the cost, hmmm.
Just my 2 pennies worth.


03-05-2001, 08:28 AM

I just looked at the CADopia.com site, the manufacturers of IntelliCAD. None of their products sells for $29. Prices range from $59 to $129. Which product did you get at Office Depot?

03-05-2001, 08:28 PM
Hmmm...when I click on "ABOUT IntelliCAD" on my copy that I purchased at Office Depot, it reads IntelliCAD 2000 for Microsoft Windows
2000 Head Games Publishing, Inc.
Base Program Copyright IntelliCAD Technology Consortium, Portions copyright Visio Corp.
I don't see anything that says CADopia.
Maybe you can contact Office Depot. I'll check the actual disk for more info that might help.
Roney, ps sorry about the delay of those pics...I',m not real dilligent concerning the electronic medium.........