Hello Jim and ALL
I use AutoCad. I have used it for the last 30 years, throughout my working life - so am pretty proficient at it. It is good for 2D drafting and for 3D models. When making automata, I usually prepare 2D plans which are printed off full scale for use as templates.
I managed to write some software for AutoCad (not AutoCad Light) which allows you to flick from one image to another, like a flick book, giving the impression of movement (both 2D and 3D):
It takes about 20 hours to learn basic AutoCad. You can download an educational version for free:
I have been told that it is possible to find unlicensed 34 bit copies – at your own risk!
Newer computers running 64 bit processors need enabling software (such as Longbow) to run the old 32 bit software.