Drawing/art software - vector based

Digital tools for electronic work: software for pcb design, schematic drawing, circuit simulation, parts inventory tools, ...
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DeanM
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Post by DeanM »

Hi everyone!

Ok so i think i need to start using some form of vector based drawing program. it would mainly be for doing drill templates and stuff. i had to drill an eddystone enclosure a while back and used MS Paint! it was a total waste of time! had to print, measure, adjust, print , measure adjust etc etc.

It would also be nice to be abe to add text, flip it, use different fonts (there are some MS fonts i like) it would also be cool to add graphics. either add them in the program or if i see a pic i like maybe copy paste so i can print it. i would do a drill template first and then possibly artwork.

Any recommendations? I have heard of CoralDraw or some other similar ones. what about photoshop? would that be good or just too complicated?

I would ideally like a free program or if not then one thats available in a torrent! what you guys use?

Thanks and regards,
Dean

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lolbou
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Post by lolbou »

Try Inkscape.

There are templateshere, and ideas there. :wink:
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Post by DeanM »

Oh thanks lolbou, i had never heard of that program before!

would it be better to use than coral draw? i saw in the link mention of glitches on windows? is it ok on W7?

Thanks for the response!

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Post by lolbou »

DeanM wrote:would it be better to use than coral draw?
I don't know Corel Draw at all. I know bajaman's using it. Maybe his input would be worthwhile here too... :wink: You can probably get a cracked version on the internet, or buy one?
DeanM wrote: saw in the link mention of glitches on windows? is it ok on W7?
Still some issues with W7, I'm afraid. Editor says it is fully compatible, but some errors have been reported (unpredictable crashes mostly).

I'm using this free program on a free OS (Ubuntu) with no problem at all.
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Post by SPeter »

I too use Corel Draw and I am satisfied completely with it!
AutoCad is a vector program too!
:D

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Post by Mr. G. »

Inkscape is a great free vector based program. I prefer Adobe Illustrator for non-free vector programs, though. Corel is possibly a little more user friendly, but I've been using Illustrator for a long time, so it's what I'm comfortable with.

If you (or anyone) go the Illustrator route, I highly recommend a plugin called CAD Tools. It will allow you to draw at different scales, and also put dimensions to your work.

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Post by toneman »

Try Visio 2000!!! (U can find it on ebay all the time for < $60US)

If U can get Visio2000 Technical, even better!!! (has electronic templates-compatable with newer also)

I''ve been using Visio ever since Ver.1.0 for my all my pcb layouts and schematics.

It's easy-2-use and awesome!

But, this is ONLY for 2D drawings !!!!!

If U want to do 3D drawings, such as for renderings for a stompbox case,
then try Google SketchUp! It's FREE!!!!
There is a "pro" version, but the FREE version works A-OK.
U can create a box/knobs/jacks and then rotate it in 3D... It's awesome!!

My Dipthonizer pcb layout was done entirely in Visio then exported to jpg and pdf.
My RingOlation project was done in entirely in Visio, including the block-diagram and the 3page manual.

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Post by salocin »

lolbou wrote:Try Inkscape.
+1
I use Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator, they both have their strengths and weaknesses. Inkscape will do everything you need though, and it's free!

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Post by DeanM »

Was just installin inkscape...got an error on installation. Is that the problems with Windows7. Think it froze the first time but ran it again and it installed. will it still run fine i wonder?

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Post by DeanM »

Well just ran it and it seems to be working fine. looks pretty cool!

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Post by lolbou »

Ensure some regular saving of your file in the beginning (in case of sudden crashes)... :wink:
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Post by DeanM »

lolbou wrote:Ensure some regular saving of your file in the beginning (in case of sudden crashes)... :wink:
Yeah good advice.

Adobe illustrator...98%...99%...100% complete! why not have some variety eh!

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Post by DeanM »

Well i just realised vector based drawing tools means it uses curves and lines instead of pixels! i thought it meant i could use real dimensions!

So i'm wondering, can inkscape drawr to scale? e.g can i set it to inches or mm? that was why i wanted it for templates n stuff. anyone know how that can be done if it can be done? and can it use like a grid or something? sorry i'm rambling on now and prob not making it clear what i mean...i'm really tired! so if anyone has any idea I'd appreciate it!

Cheers!

ps program looks cool and the templates and ideas you guys shared in the link lolbou posted are all pretty cool!
lolbou wrote:Try Inkscape.

There are templateshere, and ideas there. :wink:

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Post by RnFR »

i think you want a CAD program. you could start with Eagle. it gets your schematics and PCBs done, too.
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Post by DeanM »

RnFR wrote:i think you want a CAD program. you could start with Eagle. it gets your schematics and PCBs done, too.
I use orcad in college for schematics and PCB stuff. might try start using eagle sometime tho. a lot of people use it so would be good to add to the CV!

Anyway, Worked out the problem! you can scale it in Inkscape. When you select an object it gives the X Y position and the width and height dimensions. beside the dimensions there is a dropdown menu. i looked at it and saw % px and a couple others so thought it wasn't what i wanted but looked again and below px (pixels) there is mm, cm, in, ft. So i played around with those and they are proper sale! :applause:

So i can draw to scale with inkscape! :horsey:

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Post by lolbou »

DeanM wrote:So i can draw to scale with inkscape!
Indeed! You can also use a 0.1" grid for proper spacing, and import enclosure templates from the manufacturer's pdf, and even more! :horsey:
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Post by DeanM »

lolbou wrote:
DeanM wrote:So i can draw to scale with inkscape!
Indeed! You can also use a 0.1" grid for proper spacing, and import enclosure templates from the manufacturer's pdf, and even more! :horsey:
yeah changing the grid scale is next thing i have to look up! that would make it easy! Impoting templates from pdfs? genius! lol

I asked my brother yesterday has he ever used it and he said he used to use it a lot! and in college last friday one the guys was using it. i was said "is that inkscape! i just downloaded it last night!" and he said..."yeah me too! just downloaded it last night too!" apparently one of the lecturers recommended he use it for a circuit block diagram! so i dont know how i never came across inkscape before! I got adobe illustrator but dont think il be needing it!

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Post by DeanM »

DeanM wrote:
lolbou wrote:
DeanM wrote:So i can draw to scale with inkscape!
Indeed! You can also use a 0.1" grid for proper spacing, and import enclosure templates from the manufacturer's pdf, and even more! :horsey:
yeah changing the grid scale is next thing i have to look up! that would make it easy!
well a quick look at the manual was all it took! ha! should be great using it to make templates and such!

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Post by bajaman »

I use CorelDraw X4 for nearly all my projects here - one problem though - it does not generate gerber files for PCB manufacture, it is a graphics program primarily not a PCB design program.
I used to use Protel Autotrax and Design Explorer 99, Altrium etc., but they are far too complex with multi layers etc., and I always end up spending hours transferring information by grid location - a pain in the arse. :twisted:
HOWEVER :wink: , I have started using Sprint-Layout v5.0 recently - http://www.abacom-online.de/uk/html/sprint-layout.html - it allows me to import a bitmap image from my original CorelDraw design and I just place pads and track over the picture - pure simplicity and very fast and intuitive to use. When I have finished I can generate gerber files for PCB manufacture :thumbsup
I highly recommend this great little program - thanks for the member who alerted me to it :hug:
cheers
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ps: search on the usual file sharing networks - eg eMule, Frostwire, Demonoid etc for a free version. :secret:
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