TurboCAD Precision


TurboCAD rendering of a gas motor

TurboCAD rendering of a gas motor

I added information today under the TurboCAD menu button on using TurboCAD for preparing model aircraft plans.  TurboCAD is an affordable drafting program that is ideal for the home hobbyist to use for preparing a set of model aircraft plans.

Illustration vs. CAD programs

Most of us have used some sort of computer illustration program, whether it be a “paint” genre program, PowerPoint for presentations, PhotoShop, etc.

While it is possible to prepare a set of model aircraft plans with a free form computer illustration program, you really need a dedicated CAD program to properly draw a set of plans.

The key advantage of a CAD program as compared to an illustration program is precision. A CAD programs “knows” the size of what you are drawing and can very accurately draw and connect various objects (circles, curves, lines, squares, etc.) to complete the drawing.

This drawing precision concept becomes more evident as you gain proficiency with a CAD program. For example, if you draw a wing that is 40 inches in span, no matter what size the view is on your computer, the CAD program “knows” the wing is 40 inches in span.

All other objects you add to the drawing, such as a fuselage or tail section are drawn in the correct size in relation to the wing. This is an amazingly powerful design concept that is central to any CAD program and is not resident in an illustration program.

Learning CAD

TurboCAD Floating Toolbars

TurboCAD Floating Toolbars

The trick with any CAD program is learning it. The discussion of the precision tools and techniques, such as snap, trim or vertex are new to anyone working to understand the program. Learning CAD can be a difficult challenge for the first time user.

The good news is that once you understand “how the CAD program thinks” your ability to be productive with CAD increases rapidly and dramatically. Actions and procedures that you need to follow to prepare a set of plans quickly fall into place.

The other bit of good news is that CAD programs have been around for a while and have a rich set of design features that are standard on a 2D drawing interface.

The 20% rule

When using a program like TurboCAD you only need to know about 20% of these commands to be completely proficient. There is no need to study and understand every feature of the program. This insight can save a lot of training time.

Purchase TurboCAD training CDs at Store tab

Purchase TurboCAD training CDs at Store tab!

Check back from time to time as I add notes on this blog regarding using TurboCAD to draw model aircraft plans. I’ve used a wide range of CAD programs since 1998 and TurboCAD’s precision and ease of use is the answer for me. My last five model plane designs were all drawn with TurboCAD.

I offer a set of TurboCAD video training CDs here for $16.95. Over two hours and 50 minutes of narrated instruction I take you from a clean sheet of paper to a finished model aircraft plan. Seeing how a CAD program is actually used will save you lots of time as opposed to reading the manual.