Technical design software
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Technical design software is used to create accurate building plans for arcade cabinets.
Commonly used software
- AutoCAD is a highend CAD ("Computer Aided Design") software package. Some BYOACers have access to AutoCAD, it has a steep learning curve - if you are not familiar with the software don't try to use this as your design software.
- 3D Studio is software to create 3D models and render photorealistic images. The software is easier to work with that AutoCAD but the full package is still quite expensive. Graphic designers might have access to the software. Besides the ability to create cabinet plans, the photorealistic render engine enbles the builder to create a lifelike image of the cabinet way before any physical material is touched. Pixelhugger's Mission Control arcade features many renderings of his design before he started to build.
- Microsoft Visio is part of the Microsoft Office suite of products. Visio is a 2D diagram software package that can be used to create accurate diagrams and building plans. Some BYOACers also use Visio to create artwork.
- Developed for the conceptual stages of design, SketchUp is powerful yet easy-to-learn 3D software. SketchUp has some very simple online video tutorials to get you designing within an hour. Although there IS an expensive "pro" version of Sketchup available, recently google bought sketchup and released a fully functional and unlimited FREE version... the only limitation it has is export/import from/to CAD applications... This is NOT a limitation to cabinet building. An example is the ARTIFACT PROJECT, designed using Sketchup (screenshots of the plans from Sketchup) by a BYOAC member. Download Sketchup 6 FREE here.
Arcade specific software
- CP Sketcher is a program created to design arcade control panels. It allows you to sketch up a design using real parts and then build it using the plans it creates.