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#192986 - 12/26/15 08:37 PM Use of CAD for gear planning
AreteGearGuy Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/24/15
Posts: 5
Loc: California, USA
Hey guys,

New to the gear making gig. Been an avid backpacker, camper, etc for most of my life. Coming from a background in robotics and process engineering I personally imagine that a lot of the MYOG bespoke work would involve CAD skills. Is this true?

Do you guys find you use CAD A lot? Just curious and wondering if its something I should explore more.

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#192989 - 12/27/15 08:01 AM Re: Use of CAD for gear planning [Re: AreteGearGuy]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I can only speak for myself but I have never used CAD in designing my outdoor gear; I'm more of a cut-and-try sort. Or, I use existing patterns and make modifications to them as needed. Basically, nothing that I make is so complex that I need computer assistance to make patterns. My DIY projects have ranged in complexity from tents, packs and sleeping bags/quilts to stow bags and mittens. I'm making a short-sleeved polyester button-up shirt right now and am just using a slightly modified, off-the-shelf, Simplicity pattern for it.
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#192991 - 12/27/15 07:48 PM Re: Use of CAD for gear planning [Re: Pika]
AreteGearGuy Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/24/15
Posts: 5
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By Pika
I can only speak for myself but I have never used CAD in designing my outdoor gear; I'm more of a cut-and-try sort. Or, I use existing patterns and make modifications to them as needed. Basically, nothing that I make is so complex that I need computer assistance to make patterns. My DIY projects have ranged in complexity from tents, packs and sleeping bags/quilts to stow bags and mittens. I'm making a short-sleeved polyester button-up shirt right now and am just using a slightly modified, off-the-shelf, Simplicity pattern for it.


Awesome! thanks so much. I wasn't sure if it would be a skill I needed or not. I've been contemplating making a sleeping bag for myself and have been doing a lot of research / sketching but wasn't sure if I needed to take it to the next level with CAD.

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#193004 - 12/28/15 09:17 PM Re: Use of CAD for gear planning [Re: AreteGearGuy]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
I can't speak to using CAD, as I've never learned anything about it. That said, gear planning and making can be enhanced by good drawings. Some sort of measurable planning can prevent costly mistakes. I've seen people make scale drawings to see if pieces would fit together for tents, for example. Computer files are easy to share and send, as well, with the added advantage of often being more legible to a larger audience. One specific example would be a hand-drawn sketch sketch compared to a PowerPoint drawing of a hammock.

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#193076 - 01/07/16 06:30 PM Re: Use of CAD for gear planning [Re: AreteGearGuy]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I am a mechanical engineer by trade. I use CAD every day... Solidworks to be specific.
I also like to make a lot of my gear. I have never used CAD to design my backpacking gear. I have used it to design some wood working projects, and even modeled my roof to determine how much material I needed.
So, basically, I use it a lot and am very comfortable using it, but don't use it to make gear. That doesn't mean I won't in the future. I do see a lot of DIY tent makers on BPL using google sketch up. I have made tarps...and they are too simple to need to model it.
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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#194348 - 03/18/16 10:45 PM Re: Use of CAD for gear planning [Re: AreteGearGuy]
Jim M Online   content
member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 235
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
I have some CAD skills and am pretty good with Photoshop that I use in my work as a fire protection specialist. I have been hiking since the 60's if you don't count the Boy Scouts. I have made a lot of my own gear, but always use freehand sketches for some reason. When i made a potholder/windscreen recently i made a cardboard prototype out of a cereal box. But a nice CAD drawing would be nice for sharing here. I'll have to think more about that.
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Jim M

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#195215 - 05/03/16 04:43 PM Re: Use of CAD for gear planning [Re: Jim M]
Bob Chiang Offline
member

Registered: 11/05/10
Posts: 17
Loc: New York, USA
Hi all,

I guess I'm in the minority because I do occasionally use CAD for sewing projects. I have modified and re-sized clothing patterns, and used CAD to optimize layout of pattern pieces to minimize waste when cutting them out. It lets me check that arm hole circumferences match the length of sleeve pieces, etc.

Having said that, I don't think CAD is a necessary skill for most or maybe any projects. A lot of gear is made from pretty simply shaped pieces that can be sketched up with pencil and paper ; )

Check this out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6b7HNTttxw

Have Fun,
-Bob

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#195233 - 05/04/16 09:51 PM Re: Use of CAD for gear planning [Re: Bob Chiang]
wgiles Offline
member

Registered: 05/19/14
Posts: 134
Loc: Central Illinois near Springfi...
So do I. I'll use CAD where it helps me to visualize the thing that I'm trying to make or where it simplifies the calculations. Of course, a lot of it is just that I'm used to doing things that way. I can do things manually, but I learned to use CAD software a long time ago.

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#195234 - 05/04/16 09:56 PM Re: Use of CAD for gear planning [Re: finallyME]
wgiles Offline
member

Registered: 05/19/14
Posts: 134
Loc: Central Illinois near Springfi...
I've tried to use Sketch-Up, but I'm so used to coordinate drawing that I have never felt comfortable with it.

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