Van CAD Programs? Any Feedback

Theshwed

Member
Hey All - Has anyone used a CAD program like vanspace3d.com or something similar. I am wondering if it is accurate enough to justify the investment (yes, its minimal, but its the point). I Just got my CCV top installed so I get the pleasure of remodeling the van's interior. If I can avoid long hours in single digit temps. that would be awesome!
 

GlenStanley

Active member
Hello Theshwed,

I'm in the same boat... In October I had the CCV high top installed on my 2011 EB E350 and am now playing around with laying out the interior. There has been some discussion on CAD programs on the Sportsmobile forum recently and this guys web-site is pretty informative: https://ourkaravan.com/ I believe he also uses a CAD program.

Good luck with your build.
 

jmnielsen

Tinkerer
Why not just measure your space and model it in a real CAD program like Fusion360 that is free and can do anything you need it to?
 

nathane

Active member
+1 for autodesk fusion360. Fantastic software with free hobbyist licence. It takes a little learning but is a phenomenal tool when you have learned it. It probably took me 5 hours to get to a point where I could use it effectively although of course it takes a long time to build to mastery (which I'm miles from!). Here's my work so farbox V3 - using 170 profiles v120.png
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
It depends on your goals, but a CAD program that can output vector files (DXF etc) would be a real benefit. This allows you to create templates, or order fabricated parts. Even just have a local shop laser cut you some brackets for example.

A good model lets you figure out where everything goes/fits. When it comes down to maximizing space in a vehicle, having a good model helps.

Of course you can do most of this with some cardboard and a tape measure, it just takes a bit longer.
 

jmnielsen

Tinkerer
It depends on your goals, but a CAD program that can output vector files (DXF etc) would be a real benefit. This allows you to create templates, or order fabricated parts. Even just have a local shop laser cut you some brackets for example.

A good model lets you figure out where everything goes/fits. When it comes down to maximizing space in a vehicle, having a good model helps.

Of course you can do most of this with some cardboard and a tape measure, it just takes a bit longer.
You can output dxf files with Fusion 360, among many other filetypes used by manufacturers/fab shops.

If you know what you are doing, you can even use the FEA to determine what you need structurally. I cut a good amount of weight of my camper design by using FEA tools in Fusion.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
There are lots of great tools out there. Autodesk has a good selection, but I am not sure on the learning curve. For basic work even something like sketchup can provide good results.

I am partial to Solidworks (having used it for work). But its expensive to the extreme (search the high seas, cough cough).
 

_hein_

Observer
I used Pro/Engineer which is now Creo for our Sprinter build. Over 95% of the parts and components were CNC fabricated. Probably the most extensively CAD driven van design/build ever done.


Onshape is pretty cool because it runs in the cloud via your browser.

All the best,
Hein
DIYvan
541 490 5098
 

Theshwed

Member
Thanks for all the responses. With my career, I have access to and knowledge of Solidworks and CREO (and a CNC shop). I don't think much CNC work will be needed, as this will be a KISS build. I was just looking for the path of least resistance and avoiding the cold temps outside. Maybe I'll give something like that a shot. If I do, I'll report back.

Thanks for the link @GlenStanley . I haven't seen that site before. FYI - My build is on an '02 E350.
 

North

Observer
OnShape is another good opensource platform (it's free, unless you want to keep your designs private). Based on the Solidworks platform with some meaningful improvements.
 

VAN7

New member
im using sketchup, pretty quick to learn, some already done models for free, i have a feeling the vanspace app would be overpriced/under featured.
 

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