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Minimum Spec for PC to use autocad / sketch up (designing softwares)


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Hi guys,

             I would like to ask if know any good spec for a PC that is good enough to render and design 3d objects. since my father pass away I will be inheriting his broken pc and I might be able to get some useful parts on it. ( don't what's in it yet but I'm pretty sure its also a APU ) as well as his tools.
will I be able to design stuff even without a GPU? if not what GPU do you recommend that is cheap and enough to run such software?

          this will be my future income I'm shifting from props work to actually making wood furniture / modular cabinets and shelves.

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Hi guys,              I would like to ask if know any good spec for a PC that is good enough to render and design 3d objects. since my father pass away I will be inheriting his broken pc and I migh

This all depends on what you are designing, how big it is, how complex the shapes are.  I've noticed while working as a CAD engineer at my job that working on huge laser scanned water treatment s

About the Software (i'll list only the relevant software, relative to the scope of interior / FFE / Furniture, Fitting & Equipment, based on my experience) 3D & 2D, Modeling, drafting &

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Well I don`t want to point you in the wrong direction but I hope this helps a bit... Our teachers keep telling us: "If you can run SOLIDWORKS you can run pretty much any other CAD  soft". For 2016 (the version I use mostly) standard, check this https://www.cati.com/blog/2016/01/solidworks-2016-system-requirements/                    It eats a lot of RAM! 

For autocad 2016:  https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/learn-explore/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/System-requirements-for-AutoCAD-2016.html

 

Buuuut the GPU isn`t as important as the CPU or the amount of RAM you have! 

Hope this helps... a bit! :))

 

 

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This all depends on what you are designing, how big it is, how complex the shapes are. 

I've noticed while working as a CAD engineer at my job that working on huge laser scanned water treatment sites displayed on software is obviously more resource intensive than making a small pipe design. 

If you are planning to design a small - medium object, somewhat accurate and not that complex, then even an old laptop would be suitable enough to be honest, as long as you can run the software in the first place, then you can pretty much use it. 

If you are planning to design something incredibly huge, accurate and complex then you will need professional workstation PCs which are incredibly expensive.

I'd recommend trying it out as it is first. If it doesn't work well, then you would want to think about getting a better GPU, CPU and or RAM.

And depending on your specs, that could determine what software you could use. Older versions of software can be more suitable for older, less powerful computers

 

shot give GIF

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4 hours ago, Condrad said:

so any GPU will do then 2gb above?
coz I was thinking about the rendering process will it take longer without a proper GPU or its fast enough?

If you want that then yeah... You will need something above 2 but it depends. Like Sausag3 said you can render small easy peasy projects that aren`t too complex with even a 1gb GPU but if you want to be sure try a 4gb. I have a 4gb on my laptop and it is ok. I used to do a lot of simulations for the CNC machines and NC coding back when I was working and I`ve never had an issue with the GPU... RAM was my issue :((

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right now I'm just planning everything we have tradition to not use the items of the dead for atleast 40days. 
(i know its weird) but thats just how it goes. so once I can ill check my Dad's pc and try to fix it and hopefully I can start testing on softwares that I might use. 

thank you so much for suggestions I'll try to do it as soon as I can :) 

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7 hours ago, Condrad said:

so any GPU will do then 2gb above?
coz I was thinking about the rendering process will it take longer without a proper GPU or its fast enough?

 

5 hours ago, =VG= Sausag3 said:

This all depends on what you are designing, how big it is, how complex the shapes are. 

exactly. I've worked with C4D in the past. this is even possible on an i3 with 2.6 GHz, 8gm ram, onboard graca. if you know what it looks like afterwards, you can work quite fluently. But if you use a lot of effects, hair or complex textures, looking at them while working can take forever. if you want to render it out you can do that overnight and let it run for hours. so simple tasks can be solved with weak computers, but if you want to do more complex things then you quickly lose the desire and you need something faster. with C4D you mainly need cpu cores and ghz, less the graphics card. it will probably be similar with cad. But here you should pay close attention to which program uses which hardware/software most. (such as opengl or cuda/cpu or gpu/)

depending on what you use for a cad/3d program, you have to differentiate between work view and export. When you export, you render the finished animation as a clip out of the program and that takes a long time. but if you want to see what you are doing at work, there is usually a work renderer with a "quick view". here you can often change the view and you can, for example, only display the structure without the textures, which is then faster...

and in general:

two eggs that move a little and change shape = CPU

two hairy eggs with 20,000 hair pieces that all move individually, have shadows and reflect light = GPU + CPU

just try it and maybe try different software.

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@Condrad Having done design in Blender and Sketchup for about 10+ years (on and off), my answer is the same: It depends. Will you make drawings, plans, or renders? Do you need material/stresstesting? Product render size/photorealism/ complexity and detail-level of your models all play a part. Give us some details, so we can assist you better, both on system and software:

  • Will you make concept designs or blueprints? Does your work need to be technically relevent, or pleasing to the eye, or both? Do you intend to translate the design into measurement plans or is this just to create concepts?
  • Suppose you make a 3D-visualisation, a 'realistic' render. Should this image be as photorealistic as possible? Or will a more obvious CGI-look be good enough?
  • Do you plan to design furnitures piece by piece, or will you also create entire room designs? The latter requires more RAM and VRAM for rendering.

In general, designing is a resource-heavy task that requires a PC stronger than what you need for Word and internet browsing. To top it off, not all design software has been greatly optimized in the past years, so RAM gobbling is not too uncommon.

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the plan is once my family and I are done with the funeral my brother who use to work on a modular company (still has connections) with my other brothers we'll be starting a business making furniture's and other modular stuff. since I'm the brother who has some artistic experience ill be in charge of designing. meaning I have to produce designs good enough for clients to actually want to invest and buy what we make. 
 

  • Rendering will probably need to be the best look possible to insure the clients interest.
  • Will be designing it with a half room view (sort of like a studio) we might also make bed racks with side tables.
  • Will also be making it with actual measurements so its easier for the person making it.
  • I will be making samples but it will be mainly customize depending on the clients request.

If Ram is all I need then that's great less problems coz GPU now a days are still very pricy.

My Family's future is riding on this so gonna be taking it very seriously. we're gonna take a loan hopefully this will work. right now its all still just planning we still need to take care of my Dad's paper work. I just want to get as much knowledge as I can till the day we actual go on with our plan.

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I have a several options for running such software.

The Minimum specs for the vast majority of desktops and laptops I use for 3D Design and Game Dev software are as follows:

  • OS: 64-bit processor and operating system
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5 / AMD Ryzen™ 3
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel® UHD Graphics 630 / NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 660 2GB / AMD Radeon™ HD 7850 2GB
  • Storage: 500 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Integrated GPUs on Laptops.

This config successfully runs files and renders from Blender, Sketchup, Unity3D, Daz Studio, 3Ds Max, Maya, Cinema4D, Lightwave, Hexagon, zBrush, Sculptris, Fusion 360, Unreal, iClone and several others.

So long as you do not go overboard with the polygon count or render settings.

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so from what I understood is the GPU is mainly only for fast rendering. I guess I need to find that sweet spot fast enough but affordable. some clients here cant make up there minds so a boost on rendering speed is nice.

 

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26 minutes ago, KilRoy- said:

Just get a Gaming laptop or desktop. A specs that will run SQUAD will definetly work. 

Yeah when you are on a very limitted budget it's not as simple as that. I don't think he would be talking about taking apart another PC and getting what he can out of it if he could "Just get a Gaming laptop or desktop" 

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29 minutes ago, KilRoy- said:

Just get a Gaming laptop or desktop. A specs that will run SQUAD will definetly work. 

but I don't have the budget to buy a  new PC that's why my option is to reuse the parts from my dad's old pc and see what I can do from there. the only thing that I would probably have budget for is a cheap graphics cards that won't put a whole in my pocket.

by next month I'll probably save up 6000php which is around $125 dollars is getting a GPU around this price worth it? can I even get one with this budget? coz I've been looking for a good GPU and had my eye on a RX 570 4gb or a 1050ti 4gb but the price suddenly went higher than a few months ago.

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About the Software (i'll list only the relevant software, relative to the scope of interior / FFE / Furniture, Fitting & Equipment, based on my experience)

3D & 2D, Modeling, drafting & documentation:
Cheapest to most expensive:

-if it's gonna be done by simple tools / hands :
Sketchup + AutoCAD / other free 2D CAD software will do

-if it's gonna involve alot of adjustments / tweaking along the design phase :
Rhino + Grasshopper

-If the woodworking is gonna be done by machinery that requires high precision that will more or less be automatic and focused highly on the fabrication stage:
Solidwork

all of em got 3D modeling & 2D drafting features to some extent, although some will have less than others, especially if you're using Sketchup only (starting price is far cheaper than others, but Sketchup needs plenty of plugins to tackle specific tasks that can blow up the budget real quick), use Sketchup + CAD for starter, get Rhino / Solidworks later down the road

3D Rendering
Cheapest to most expensive:
-For product design i think Luxion keyshot is the best without unnecessary features (best for still images) this one uses CPU to do it's job
-For everything else that Keyshot can't do, use VRay (pricier, and more so if you don't need all of it's features) this one uses CPU or GPU to do it's job
-other cheaper alternatives are available, though i never used them

Free options
Blender
-great for conceptual work / concept art / digital mock ups / non manufacture oriented projects
-contains almost every tools in the world related to design in general (except for manufacturing, which i'm sure there's a plugin for it available somewhere)
-got it's own built in render engine for still images and animation
-dunno about it's documentation capability
-i only used this one for it's physics simulation features

========================

About the specs:
-comes down to number of polygons in project (3D / 2D model)
-rough estimate can be derived from the price of the PC / Laptop

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Here's an example

I usually work on and adhere to certain LoD (Level of Development), in summary
LoD 100 = conceptual (initial design stage)
LoD 200 = schematic / coordination (early-mid stage)
LoD 300-400 = Production (late-construction stage)

Price Range for hardwares (laptop for example) and their ideal / Maximum LoD
LoD 100 = $200
LoD 200 = $400
LoD 300 = north of $1000

You can crosscheck current market price for your current hardware sub components and sum the total and compare them with those price range, it'll be easier instead of trying to pin point exact specs at the start and because certain products are only available in certain part of the world (as long as you're not comparing it to niche products like ultrabook or ultralight hardware, the comparison should be good enough)

And before you consider buying anything new, here's some example of a sanitary ware that i'm currently working on, a single product on different LoDs
(I did the model in Rhino but I provided the files in Sketchup 7 format so most design software out there should be able to open these files). You can download free trial versions of any software that you can get your hands on, open the files, see the limit of the hardware yourself, and you can make informed & more accurate decision. These files should be close enough to what you'll be working on.

if you're interested, here's the statistics of resources the program eats up while opening these files:
LoD 100 = 100 MB of RAM, 1.6 MB file size, 11,000 ish polygons
LoD 200 = 113 MB of RAM, 1.6 MB file size, 11,000 ish polygons
LoD 300 = 2,300 MB of RAM, 169 MB file size, 900,000 ish polygons (most PCs will get chocked on this one, simply because sketchup is not designed to handle polygons as many as this)


*i'll leave the link up for a week so you can download them at your own convenience EDIT: others who are also doing or inspired to work on similar field, feel free to use these files as well to be tested on your own hardware
SAMPLE 3D MODELS
 

image.png

image.png

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6 minutes ago, WCCBadploy said:

Well written recommendation.

Rather than Solidworks why not consider Autodesk Fusion 360?

it's relatable because i've been through something similar (both the situation and context although not exactly the same)

Fusion is also a nice candidate, and from what i've seen it's good at what it does, i just never took further look on Fusion since in architecture (my current field of work) and to that extent, interior & furniture design, people rarely use them, i think it's more beneficial for mechanical design, but don't quote me on this one

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1 minute ago, TH0M said:

it's relatable because i've been through something similar (both the situation and context although not exactly the same)

Fusion is also a nice candidate, and from what i've seen it's good at what it does, i just never took further look on Fusion since in architecture (my current field of work) and to that extent, interior & furniture design, people rarely use them, i think it's more beneficial for mechanical design, but don't quote me on this one

Solidworks is too restricted in its use and access. The freely available Educaton and Hobbyist licenses from Autodesk will see this become the dominantly used program by newly qualified designers and start up makers.

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3 minutes ago, WCCBadploy said:

Solidworks is too restricted in its use and access. The freely available Educaton and Hobbyist licenses from Autodesk will see this become the dominantly used program by newly qualified designers and start up makers.

I Totally agree, I Myself am not too keen on the grip that Autodesk currently has on the market, there are some breakthroughs but often times their business practice hinders and to some extent kills emerging technology from having a healthy development through healthy competition, their Line of Revit products is an example of one branch eating up the rest of their own product so people don't have options anymore, if you want a certain feature, it's all in Revit, gotta buy the whole package, etc. I just put it there based on assumption that it's gonna be the most likely tool needed by the industry, once you're good to go and have a stable footing, other options are better :)

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Blender will set the standard for using  and accessing software in the future. Once they add manufacturing and prototyping support features it will be another mile stone similar to its current race to equal zbrush, Maya and other modelling, sculpting and texturing programs.

 

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12 hours ago, TH0M said:

-if it's gonna be done by simple tools / hands :
Sketchup + AutoCAD / other free 2D CAD software will do

yes it will be done by hand. I'm gonna try to learn this stuff as soon as I get my dad's pc to work. those are really nice sample's Thom. I'll probably gonna be making Boxes for while till I get better xD

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@Condrad No Problem, you taught me how to play PR when i first started, now it's time for me to give something back and to teach you a trick or two

hit me up on PM when the hardware is ready, i'll get you up to speed with any software of your choosing, and you'll be able to design anything you want in no time (6-8 hrs top, 1-2 week time)
I got all the materials and resources ready so you can use them immediately
no need to scour through all the (mostly) silly youtube vids and their silly thumbnails

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