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Thread: Computer software options for knife design

  1. #1

    Computer software options for knife design

    Just curious I'm starting my my venture into knife making as a creative outlet. I'm primarily interested in slip-joints and liner locks in more of edc gentlemens knife category. I'm interested in getting some software that I can learn for designing and cnc use. I'm curious as to what the standard is and what any of you who are using them would recommend. Also are there any good free options out there? I don't mind buying but I'll take a good free program any day...


  2. #2
    I don't do cnc, so I can't comment on that.
    I use librecad and inkscape both free. Between the two I get most of what I need done.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Solidworks is fairly popular among Knifemakers. There are a number of similar programs that folks also use. Just about any one of them works, provided they can output to a DXF file type, or if you have a method of converting the finished file to DXF format.

    www.caffreyknives.net
    Caffreyknives@Gmail.com

    "Nobody cares what you know.....until they know you care."
    Visit me at Table 2Q at the Blade Show!

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    NW Arkansas
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    Draftsight for 2d design work, great for getting mechanics of folders worked out. Fusion 360 for 3d environment and CNC, it includes CAM too. Both are free and full featured for hobbyist.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    You'll have a hard time beating Fusion 360 for the price (free for hobbyists), and what's great is that it's getting updated all the time, and has large community behind it, so any questions that come up have likely already been answered.
    -Andrew (Drew) Riley


    For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.... (Hebrews 4:12)


    My YouTube Channel: www.YouTube.com/ARCustomKnives
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  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Hey Drew.... where did you find Fusion 360 for free? The only thing I've been able to find on it is a trial version. The trial version won't allow for saving/exporting the file(s), nor can you actually use the files you create without purchasing the software. OK, spill the beans....what do you know that I don't about it?

    www.caffreyknives.net
    Caffreyknives@Gmail.com

    "Nobody cares what you know.....until they know you care."
    Visit me at Table 2Q at the Blade Show!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Valparaiso, IN
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdCaffreyMS View Post
    Hey Drew.... where did you find Fusion 360 for free? The only thing I've been able to find on it is a trial version. The trial version won't allow for saving/exporting the file(s), nor can you actually use the files you create without purchasing the software. OK, spill the beans....what do you know that I don't about it?
    It's been a while, so I don't clearly remember, but after my trial version expired, I seem to recall it gave me an option to renew/continue, and I just went ahead with it. At first it seemed like it was going to make me pay, but if you go through prompts, it will renew without needing any payment info if you're claiming use as a hobbyist. From what I understand,even the "business" license is relatively cheap, but you don't need that unless you're making over a certain amount of money (100k or so I think).

    As for saving files, I don't believe you can save them locally, just through their cloud based storage, which at first I found annoying, but it's actually a little more convenient once you get used to it. If you want to share files, there's a way to do that through links and what not, I believe, or you just log into your account from another computer with Fusion installed on it.
    Now, for exporting files to Mach 3, or some other CNC or CAM based software, I haven't quite gotten to that point yet, but I know of plenty of guys that are doing it, and there are a number of youtube vids about it as well.
    -Andrew (Drew) Riley


    For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.... (Hebrews 4:12)


    My YouTube Channel: www.YouTube.com/ARCustomKnives
    Check it out and Subscribe!
    You can also follow me on Instagram: arcustomknives
    or Facebook: AR Custom Knives

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    OK! Sounds like you encountered many of the same things that I did with it...... I went through the trial version, and when I tried to renew, it only gave me the option to purchase, and it was more money then I was willing to spend. Personally, I couldn't get ANY file created with the trial version of Fusion to work in any manner other then creating the file..... couldn't save, import, or use the file with any CAD machine(s) (would always get the error message "cannot open this file". I just thought you might have found a "back door" that I missed. I suspect they have some "safeties" built into it that forces you to pay for functionality.

    www.caffreyknives.net
    Caffreyknives@Gmail.com

    "Nobody cares what you know.....until they know you care."
    Visit me at Table 2Q at the Blade Show!

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Ed, what were you trying to export? The "export" option does offer you some odd choices, but for example, say you want to save a dxf file to send to water jet, then you don't use export. You open your model, go down to the sketch you want and right click on in it in the menu. Then there will be a "save as dxf" option in the list. Here's a shot of a part in 360 and the exported dxf in draftsight. As far as I can tell, there is no trial version, you just have to pick which license you want to register with. Fusion is a cloud based system which I'm still not so sure about, but it seems to keep a local copy of your work on your pc too. I'm no expert in it either, but I'm slogging through it little by little.

    Capture.JPG 360.JPG Capture.JPG ds.JPG

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Yep..... I understand what you're saying, but there's some built in "safety" in Fusion that you simply can't get past with the trial version to allow for full functionality.....at least for me it was frustrating enough that I gave up on it.

    www.caffreyknives.net
    Caffreyknives@Gmail.com

    "Nobody cares what you know.....until they know you care."
    Visit me at Table 2Q at the Blade Show!

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