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Freeware Cad Program

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Fireguy551, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. Fireguy551

    Fireguy551 Member

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    Location:
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    Anyone know a decent freeware cad program that I can use to make super simple plots for my friend? He has a grand total of 54 instruments and most of those are scoop lights so I don't really want to have to make him pay for softplot or VW.

    Thanks!
     
  2. clbarker

    clbarker Member

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    If you're a student and you don't want VectorWorks only because of the price tag you can get it for free here.

    Maybe that works?
     
  3. Fireguy551

    Fireguy551 Member

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    Will a high school teacher qualify for this? Vectorworks is a pretty detailed program for a 2D lighting plot isn't it?
     
  4. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Occupation:
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    Yes, any educational user qualifies for the educational package. Also, VW is the standard for 2D light plot drafting, certainly not too detailed, it does exatly waht it was designed to do.
     
  5. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Occupation:
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    Not true, only Student qualify for the FREE Vectorworks Package and it has to be renewed every year you're in school. Teachers get an Educational Discount rate but it still cost money. I'm dreading the day I get out of college because I'll have to actually pay for it :( **** it's expensive heh...
     
  6. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    If you're on Linux (you're probably not), there's a freebie called QCAD that plays very much like Acad, the only catch is that it can't read or write Acad DWG files, but if you can live with DXF it's fine. Of course, you're probably not on Linux.

    Drafting table and pencil? It works for me. The upside there is you don't have to have a plotter or take your disk to the blueliner's to get it on paper.
     
  7. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

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    There is one simple free program for 2d lighting design. It's called Microlux Light and can be downloaded here: Microlux Lighting Design Software . However there is a watermark on all printed documents (right in the middle too) and you are limited to 2d and an older, non-updated library.
     
  8. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    If it is only simple stuff, you could try Google Sketchup. Even though it is 3-D you might be able to use it to do a light plot. There would be no light instruments, but you should be able to use simple symbols (a simple square with a circle in the middle comes to mind for a scoop) to get the point across.

    Afterthought: I've never used it, though I have seen some work that was done on Sketchup. Looks pretty simplistic, (especially the free version) but I have never been disappointed by a Google program (though I may be alone in saying that.) I have seen [USER]Van[/USER] post designs in Sketchup, so if he pops by maybe he will give an opinion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  9. thelightingmancan

    thelightingmancan Member

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    The theater that I work for is looking into getting some CAD software, and I found in Sketchup that the "3D Warehouse" contains most types of instruments, if not an exact model, very close. This makes using this program for light plots very simple, just search the warehouse just like a Google web search. You can then manipulate them in all 3 dimensions.

    Our theatre is also looking at Microlux light, but their demo makes it look fairly useful, has anyone had any experience, positive or negative, with this program?

    Thanks,
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Although Van is the Sketchup king around here, I've been messing with it a bit too. You could do light plots in Sketchup... but it wouldn't be the most fun. It would be pretty easy to show fixtures hanging on battens. The hard part would be noting gel color and dimmer info. But it could be done if you had to do it that way.
     
  11. thelightingmancan

    thelightingmancan Member

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    You could change the colors of the "instruments," I believe I've seen some CAD programs that have that function. Could you store the instruments to your computer and label them with their wattage, weight, and etc. and create your own library? You could then draw lines off of your grid and label numbers to designate channels.
     

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