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Knife Designing Computer Program

Joined
Dec 20, 2005
Messages
61
Hello all, Shawn here. I've posted to many different threads before but I don't think I ever introduced myself. I caught the knife making bug about a year ago and have been a constant visitor to this forum ever since. I'm 33 yrs. old, active duty Air Force and happily married to a wonderful lady and have 4 children. I've made one knife so far with ok results. After drawing several knives on paper I was looking for a computer program to draw knives. I was wondering if there was a program out there that most people prefer. Does anyone have any favorites they can recommend?

Thanks,

Shawn
 
I took auto parts design and did lots of CAD. Most of the software I used is literally 6 digits to buy a real copy of. Anything designed with an illegal copy of it is practically the property of the software maker.

They all work great and I did some knife designs on them for school projects.

Catia, Inventor, Unigraphics (NX) are all great, but I don't know what to suggest that would be affordable.

AutoCAD maybe?
 
AutoCad LT is relatively affordable...say $600 if you can find it on sale. $150 if you're a student. Commercial versions of AutoCad are terribly expensive, the version I use for school costs $3,999. Luckily the school buys it for us. I have done a few designs myself on it, and it works well.
 
There are some 3D CAD programs in $100-$200 range. I've seen them but not used them. We use CATIA at work, but we design aircraft systems.

The folks in the knifemaker forum might have suggestions as to what they have found useful. Probably one of the moderators will move this thread there anyway.
 
I looked into it a few years back. There seemed to be shareware programs for free at the time, and still may be. Caveat Emptor there.

Of course, when I took drafting we had to use non electronic methods. They always work if there is enough light to see. You can also "copy" smaller features you like from actual samples to see how they work as a whole. As intellectual property concerns have already come up, I know that most knife styling is rarely new, just a new combination of features from long ago.

And that's the exciting part.
 
I've tried some freeware (not Shareware) 3D CAD/CAM programs. I'm sure they don't compare to the high-dollar professional software, but you might find something usable among these:

Design Workshop Lite
Cartesio
Felix CAD LT
IntelliCAD 2000
Minos
Nurbana
PowerCAD LT
Sketchboard
SoftCAD 3D Lite
TechnoWin

There are also quite a few freeware 2D CAD programs that would work for drawing a knife's outline.

Best Wishes,
-Bob
 
There are also quite a few freeware 2D CAD programs that would work for drawing a knife's outline.

Haveing worked with both, 2D and 3D (AutoCAD, et-al) and , I believe that for this type of project 2D would work. With 2D (I've used VersaCAD) you can work out orthographic projections very well, and come even assemble "cabinet drawings" which can sort-of depict the part as a whole. The nice thing about the 3D modeling programs is the ability to really visualize the part, and critique the design.
 
AutoCad works well, but is expenseve if you buy a legal copy.

IF you buy a legal copy that is...
 
I just use Adobe Illustrator. Because it is vector based, you can scale it infinitely and you can also export as CAD if necessary.You can render full color comps as well as simple outlines and it makes a nice template to apply to your steel before cutting.
 
I'm not sure the cost, but as far as a full scale design assemble and detail package, I think Solidworks is the best bang for the buck. It can do almost anything CATIA can, but at a fraction of the price. I work with several smaller buisinesses who chose Solidworks because of this.
(I pump CAD for a living, I-deas, CATIA, and Solidworks)
 
AutoCad works well, but is expenseve if you buy a legal copy.

IF you buy a legal copy that is...

Well true, there are ways around it. I've had every high-dollar app our school has used put on my comp as well, but if not for personal use they're pretty useless. Taking ANYTHING form your software and copying it into a legit version is completely traceable.

But if the designs never leave your home...
 
Haveing worked with both, 2D and 3D (AutoCAD, et-al) and , I believe that for this type of project 2D would work.
If it were me, I'd want some interactive assemblies, especially on folders or FB's with multiple parts. It's nice to see how it all interacts open, closed, and everywhere in between. Plus I'm not into cookie-cutter products, so the ability to sculpt in 3D opens up lots of new possibilities. Look at the 3d sculpted arms on many Oakley sunglasses, for example. Good luck doing all that in 2D.
 
knife doodle.jpgI use Corel Draw. It's a 2D vector based drawing program, but is much more accurate and precise for technical drawing. Extremely accurate drawing can be done with Corel, to any scale you want. Drawings can be imported into Corel from CAD and vice-versa. Corel is also much less expensive than AutoCad, and easier to use.

I've been using Corel (among many other programs) professionally for years and it's by far my favorite. The new Corel X3 is fantastic, and for designing knives, you can draw by hand, scan and convert to vector, and edit the vector to get it perfect. You can knock out a fixed blade design in less than 10 minutes if you needed to. I just made the attached sketch as an illustration of this- elapsed design time, including conversion to jpeg was 8 minutes.
Not the best design in the world, I just wanted to demonstrate how easy it is with Corel. If I were going to produce the thing, I would be much more deliberate about it.
 
Hi,
You might look into Auto Sketch. It's made by the same company that makes Auto Cad. It will read/write to AutoCad, and much easier to use. So if if ever expand to it's big brother, your drawings won't be lost.
It's under a $100.
Take Care,
John
 
If it were me, I'd want some interactive assemblies, especially on folders or FB's with multiple parts. It's nice to see how it all interacts open, closed, and everywhere in between. Plus I'm not into cookie-cutter products, so the ability to sculpt in 3D opens up lots of new possibilities. Look at the 3d sculpted arms on many Oakley sunglasses, for example. Good luck doing all that in 2D.
Yeah, a 3D modeling program would be optimal. They definetely are awsome to work with and are great for illustrating and understanding relationships between parts. I was just stating that a 2D program could work for this sort of application :) Thanks for helping me illustrate that.
 
I'm surprised that nobody mentioned Pro Engineer. I suppose this program is one of the more expensive ones and I hear that it isn't as easy to learn as some of the others, but it is definitely in the category of things that will work.

This is a quick sketch I did of my Becker BK7. I didn't do any measurements... I just made estimations. I think this actually looks more like the BK9. This took me about 15 minutes.
knife1.png

knife2.png
 
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