I am scratch building my zenith 701. I am looking for the best method in drawing the parts on the computer and printing them on paper. What software has builders used and can you send me the link for the download? Thanks for your help.

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Comment by Casey Zechmann on August 20, 2010 at 9:13pm
Thanks for your input everyone. I will research the programs mentioned. Anyone have a good way to cut the fuselage skins accurately, besides with a CNC???
Comment by Chris Aysen on August 19, 2010 at 7:24am
Casey - I can use CAD good enough for drawing the Zenith prints. However, I still recommend drawing parts by-hand on construction paper and using that cutout to transfer to wood to make the form blocks. When you draw in CAD you will be zooming in and out to "trim" lines and there is a pretty good possibility you will not end up on the same zoom setting when you print out. Imagine having to go back and redraw because the geometry came out the wrong size. Alot of wasted time. But if you do decide to CAD the drawings make sure you check all measurements. Good Luck and stay focused.
Comment by Scott Sutton on August 19, 2010 at 6:20am
For 2D drawing I use TurboCad Deluxe. Its about $99.00 and compares to AutoCad Lite in its feature set. I have found it very easy to make drawings from the Zenith prints. If you are completely new to CAD and do not have drafting experience then I would highly recommend you get the video tutorials that are offered as an option. As John said the learning curb can be steep, but the rewards are great. Once you enter the CAD world your mind takes off with new possibilities of what you can do with it.


Comment by John Ellis on August 18, 2010 at 7:37pm
You may wish to check out www.ch701.com for cad drawings that already exist. Of course these are intended for use by folks like us who have purchased official plans from Zenith and hence support them as they support us.

As for the CAD software. There are several good "free" packages but they all have a steep learning curve. You may wish to test drive some and choose for yourself. I have no preference. Try Googling "CAD 2D free". The 2D will help filter out fancy packages intended for 3D that you should not need. Just a warning though. Even though you use a CAD program which is exact; your printer may "muck" up the scaling and change the shape without warning. So, you need to be sure to double check the printout by hand to verify the shapes are correct. If you are simply trying to get an easy way of making shapes without attempting to fit them together you may want to try out Google Sketchup. It is a 3D bare bones CAD tool ( streching a bit ) but it will allow you to easily use a computer to create precise computer versions of the part shapes for printing.

Have fun, John

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