I bought an experimental airplane but the drawings and updates have been and remain paper based . . . from 1980-1996! Fortunately, I have two sets of the drawing, all of the newsletters, and a flight-worthy airframe, N19WT. But I want to upgrade this 33 year old design and want to "do the job right."

What I want to do is digitize the paper blueprints and photos (N19WT has some smart mods) and use these to do:
  • proper stress analysis
  • evaluate modifications

Now in the 'old days,' I would get a copy of MacDraw; import 'pic' version of digitized images, and; trace in Draw the vector equivlant. Granted, MacDraw was just a 2D package, it is not that hard to transcribe into usable engineering metrics to do a credible stress analysis.

Well it has been a while since MacDraw was available and sad to say, I got snookered by "TurboCad". I've seen suggestions for:
  • Draftsight
  • Solidworks
  • CADintosh
  • Sketchup --- Google???

I am not afraid of spending the right amount of money for the right tool but I only paid $4,500 for my airplane. I am cheap enough and able to deal with scanned bitmaps but I really want something with the ability to generate:
  • exportable tables - for parts lists, materials, and stress/strain tables
  • machine readable, robot 'Gerber' or equivalent CAM inputs (the ability to 3d mill a mould)

Yes, I know the Windows world probably has a bunch of lame software that does this but I would perfer to stay in the Mac OS native world . . . if available. It is based upon my earliest impressions of MacDraw that combined both image and vector capabilities (no tables at that time.)

Bob Wilson