Working with TurboCAD Mac Deluxe

In my May post about CAD software for the Mac, I promised to revisit the topic once I reviewed the 3D version of TurboCAD Mac. I have since purchased a copy of TurboCAD Mac Deluxe and used it to redesign the Benchwork for my FREMO project. The redesign was in part triggered by a comment from a FREMO colleague after he reviewed the 2D drawings.

The new drawings are using a construction method first used for the Black Forest FREMO:87 modules featured in the March 2009 issue of Continental Modeler. Instead of using cross beams to reinforce the module frame, this approach has a 6 mm board that is slid into a groove on all four sides to maximize stability. A beam is inserted in-between the center board and the track baseboard forming a sturdy double-t-beam – a measure to minimize track warping.

Exploded view of the Fessenheim module 1.

Exploded view of the Fessenheim module 1.

Getting used to the 3D workspace

Working with the Deluxe version took some getting used to, as I have never drawn in a 3D workspace before. At first, I used 2D outlines of the existing drawings and used the extrude tool to make solids out of them. One problem I kept running into as I was making adjustments to the outlines was that lines ended up on different z-levels. Keeping an eye on the coordinates in the bottom status bar and using the isometric view, I was able to get a grip on the issue over time.

After having spent a few hours with the software, I changed my MO and started building solid block primitives first. In subsequent steps, I made adjustments to the shapes by removing profiles from solids and adding solids together. This method increased my drawing speed considerably.

Helpful tools

Along with the line, move and mirror tools, I found the following tools most helpful.

  • Rotate about an axis – make sure the appropriate angle and axis is selected.
  • Create a solid block primitive – enter length, width and height… Done.
  • Extrude text or profile to create solid – make a solid based on a 2D outline.
  • Remove profile from solid – the most important tool to make changes to existing solids.
  • Add two solids together – merge two solid block primitives.
  • Model to sheet – easily create a 2D drawing of a solid.

Most missed feature

One thing that slowed down my work considerably was the fact that the software only has keyboard shortcuts for three out of the eight possible views: Top, Right Side and Front. Most importantly, there is no shortcut to isometric view, which I needed often to re-orient myself in the workspace.

All in all, I was happy with the workflow and tools offered in the TurboCAD Mac Deluxe. And at $129, the software offers an affordable way to get started with 3D drafting.

One thought on “Working with TurboCAD Mac Deluxe

  1. Pingback: Download the File for the Fessenheim FREMO Module Parts - eisenbahnstudio

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