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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterCAD - Engineering - Technical › CAD Software Recomendations please...
05-26-2007 09:17 PM  13 years ago
ProElite

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Easton, PA-USA

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I have been a CNC lathe programmer for 22 years. For much of that time I have had the use of MasterCam, but must admit I prefer to manually program a part. If you decide to go the 'crack' route, I would suggest getting version 9. MasterCam X sucks in my opinion (at least for lathes). My company also uses AutoCad, AutoDesk Inventor, and SolidWorks. A new employee well versed in AutoCad, but just learning Inventor, had trouble getting a chamfer defined correctly in Inventor. He drew it in AutoCad, copied into Inventor and had a solid in a matter of minutes. Parts from both software programs can be imported into MasterCam where you can create machining programs. However, AutoCad parts must be drawn correctly. Making a drawing and then modifying a dimension without redrawing that section will create a problem in MasterCam.

So:

gyan-AutoCad is probably the closest to an industry standard as you will find. You do NOT need a cad drawing to make a part. Hand drawings will work fine, and simple parts can be made without a drawing if you know the dimensions.

I have to agree with 'kc8qpu'. Get some machining experience first. Drawing a part is easy. The hard part (and most time consuming) is knowing the proper way to machine it, and getting the post to output a program the way you want it.

raymondv-I've been told the Mazak Mazatrol lathe has the best conversational programming out there, but can't speak from experience. Our only conversational lathe is an Okuma, but we don't use conversational programming. However, even using conversational programming requires a knowledge of machining. GET SOME EXPERIENCE FIRST!!!!

I have occasionally gotten a drawing that made me wonder where the engineer's head was when he drew it. It was easy for him(her?) to draw. Maybe easy for me to program, but I pitied the guy on the floor who actually had to machine the part. Unfortunately I am also the one who has to get a job running if the set-up person can't.

So...do all of us machinists a favor. When designing a part, always be aware of how it will be machined. What this means is "GET SOME EXPERIENCE FIRST". Oops. Did I repeat myself?
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05-26-2007 09:34 PM  13 years ago
mspaterick

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Knoxville, TN

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I think autocad is more of an industry standard, it is not very hard to use once you learn a few comands. Solidworks is also easy to learn the tutorial is great ther is also a solidworks for Dummies book that I have heard is very good. I use Solidworks for everyting I design it is fast and easy to create perfect drawings it also has allot of nice features that come in handy after you learn the basics.
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05-31-2007 04:24 PM  13 years ago
SSN Pru

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Taxachusetts

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I taught myself to use solidworks in a few weeks. a few hours each day. it comes with a very comprehensive list of tutorials that teach you the basics and advanced parts of the package. I bootlegged both SW2006 and SW2007 along with full working packages of COSMOSWorks, FLOWWorks, and MOTIONWorks too. Those are FEA packages that complement Solidoworks. Check out Bittorrent.com if you want to get started on the cheap ($0).

Ive used Mechanical Desktop (SUCKS!!!), AutoCAD, Pro-Engineer, and now SolidWorks as a Mechanical Engineer. Mechanical Desktop is built on top of autocad which is part of its problem. AutoCAD is a great package but with great CAD packages come STEEP learning curves. Pro-Engineer was easier. I taught myself to model basic parts in a few weeks. Solidworks was the most intuitive. After spending a few hours going through the modeling, drawing, and assembly tutorials, i could model fairly advanced parts. i didnt find it quite so easy with any of the others ive used.

Ive got pics in my gallery of a three blade rotor head i designed
for my trex 450

Stupidity can be cured. Ignorance is for life!
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06-02-2007 02:32 AM  13 years ago
nserafini

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Clifton, NJ

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Autocad - I learned the hard way ( on the job a long time ago ) ... But it can do multi layer circuit boards easily once you have a 21" monitor and learn the hotkeys ....

It's a great app, and has lots ( some you'll never use ) features ...

I always try to keep a copy on my PC ( from time to time I work out house related projects in there, print 'em out, take the dimensions to home depot, and it's like having a ALL ASSEMBLY REQUIRED kit ...
Who Needs Landing Gear !
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06-02-2007 05:53 AM  13 years ago
3Dx

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Monterrey NL

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GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks
GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks
GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks
GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks
GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks
GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks
GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks
GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks
GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks
GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks
GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks
GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks
GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks
GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks
GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks
GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks GO! SolidWorks

I recomended......
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06-11-2007 05:55 AM  13 years ago
Xtreme Heli

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Houston, Texas

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Moyesboy,

I am interested in learning more about 3D cad and after looking at the Alibre software and I'd like to give it a shot. I have no CNC machining or design software experience (Worked on AutoCad for DOS when I was in High School 15 years ago but that is the extent of my design background)

I do know how to program (.NET, SQL Server 2005) so I don't think I'd have that much trouble....I think.

If you designed something in this xpress product, how would you have a CNC machine make the parts? How is that done?

Chris
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06-11-2007 01:19 PM  13 years ago
SSN Pru

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Taxachusetts

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there are programs that can import solid models and generate tool paths and G-Code for you. Mastercam comes to mind as a widely used software package that does this. I used an older versin of mastercam and found it easier to model in a dedicated 3d modeling software package and then import it into the G-Code package because the modeling engine wasnt as good.Stupidity can be cured. Ignorance is for life!
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06-11-2007 08:26 PM  13 years ago
Xtreme Heli

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Houston, Texas

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The importing of the File that you created in the 3D CAD software, what type of file does it have to be for compatibility with your CAM program/Machine?
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06-11-2007 11:39 PM  13 years ago
OT45

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Kingston, NY

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Most 3D CAD programs will output a file format that mastercam or other CAM software can read in. .IGES comes to mind. What is important is to understand that the final file that the CNC machine reads is G code and is the language created by the CAM program to run the machine. The CAM program usually needs a post processor that is configured to your mill or lathe to output the right format of G and M codes. Typically a CNC machine does not read in a 3D model and "just" cut it. There is usually a fair amount of programming involved. There are however 3D "printers" that can build a model from a polymer based on 3D .STL files. This rapid prototyping process is great to prove out designs but is typically not suited for structural parts. Last, it is possible to hand write G code to make simple CNC'd parts. I can elaborate on the process if anyone is interested...scratch building is not just for planks
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06-12-2007 10:42 AM  13 years ago
kc8qpu

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sc

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I have no idea how much experience people have with programing cnc's with cam software but I keep reading just import the file and program. In my experience I have very rarely ever just imported a file out of design and been able to machine it with out modifying the part file some way. I have said it before and I'll say it again in order to get a great looking not to mention a part the will be strong enough where it has to be you have to have some experience and knowledge of machining. Just be careful what you dive into, you will have to take it slow. Don't expect to jump right into this and machine parts like you see done in a lot of video's. The end result could be personal injury. Carpe Diem!!!
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06-28-2007 08:31 PM  13 years ago
Eyon

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Cambridge, UK

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I learnt solidworks too, this is my heli i made. based around the trex 600 main gear and boom and shaft. unfortunatly i lost all the data on my PC so i never got to make it

the tail blade pitch moved and everything when i pushed the pushrod, put so much time into it, damn Windows!!!
__________

Ian Watson
Absolute RC
Flighttech Distribution
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07-12-2007 01:40 AM  13 years ago
sceaduboy

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London, UK / Hong Kong

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Thats y there is something called 'back up'. For helis sake back up ur files or u want to lose it forever.....Evo 50, Rappy 90, T-Rex on the bench, need rebuilding
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07-12-2007 04:03 AM  13 years ago
Xtreme Heli

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Houston, Texas

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I have no clue about designing parts within 3D software but would be interested in learning how to do it. Are there any videos you can DL that walk you through on how to do the design work? I downloaded the Alimbre Software. Not sure if that is the easiest one but it is free atleast
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07-12-2007 05:23 AM  13 years ago
sceaduboy

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London, UK / Hong Kong

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Hmmm.... I haven't got experience with that, but normally if u buy the software, there is almost certainly a tutorial coming with it. When you finished setting it up, got to the main files and find something like 'help' or 'tutorial' or anything similar. Hope that helps.Evo 50, Rappy 90, T-Rex on the bench, need rebuilding
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07-12-2007 09:04 AM  13 years ago
Eyon

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Cambridge, UK

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a lot of it is also just playing about, learning what different buttons do and what the shortcuts are. Its not an over night things, takes months to learn CAD, years to perfect it.

As Sceadu said, buy some software and just play about with it, most come with tutorials, and there are plenty of them on the net, and plenty of books avaliable.

Ian
__________

Ian Watson
Absolute RC
Flighttech Distribution
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07-12-2007 09:16 AM  13 years ago
sceaduboy

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London, UK / Hong Kong

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And after all, remember to save as you go along, or you're asking it to be lost, and have fun!! Evo 50, Rappy 90, T-Rex on the bench, need rebuilding
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08-09-2007 01:19 PM  13 years ago
geoffreyh

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Germany

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Have you tried CoCreate's Free OneSpace Modeling Personal Edition?
CoCreate OneSpace Modeling Personal Edition (PE) is free 3D CAD software which follows a Dynamic Modeling based approach. Thanks to the dynamic modeling approach, 2D CAD users and even non-CAD users will find it very easy to user.

Easily downloaded from the Web, it offers the power of CoCreate's standard CoCreate OneSpace Modeling 3D CAD system allowing you to create assemblies up to 60 parts.

Even the most casual user or hobbyist will be immediately productive through quickstart projects, online help and user forums. If you’re a CAD pro who’s currently using another CAD system — especially one that follows a history-based approach — we think you’ll find our professional CAD software liberating.

Download a FREE version of OneSpace Modeling PE today and see the "dynamic difference" yourself.

Visit http://www.cocreate.com/free
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08-10-2007 08:27 PM  13 years ago
Greg McFadden

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Richland, WA

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Well, I have used the following packages (and continue to use them)

Autocad
Inventor
Solidworks
ProE
ProE Wildfire
Alibre
Co-Create's Onespace

I do have to say, that if you are going to go free, use alibre's free variant, as it is far easer (at least to me) to learn than co-create. If you are purchasing, I would suggest solidworks, as it is a very robust package for most things, and with 07 the ability to work with artistic and curvy surfaces is much improved.

I currently still use autocad for some PCB layout and small electric airplane designs, as it is just faster once you get the tricks down than doing it in a parametrically driven 3d package.

Inventor is decent but I find many of it's subtlties annoying (possibly because I was with solidworks first)and it's thought process as far as menu structure confusing.

ProE for my purposes is far too much trouble to deal with anymore. Used it in school, didn't care for it then... still don't care for it much but I have not had a chance to use the latest version of wildfire which supposedly is much better than the initial wildfire release or the pre-wildfire variants.

Alibre: Straight forwards but slow and limited in the free version. Far too much spam from them trying to get one to upgrade the free version.

Co-create: Still toying with it, seems illogical compared to solidworks, but we are all creatures of habit, and I am a solidworks user primarily.

-Greg
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08-15-2007 06:16 PM  13 years ago
sceaduboy

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London, UK / Hong Kong

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Well I got an Autocad copy from my dad at the start of this month, and by now, I'm already designing stuff on it. (Does a bolt action rifle in .308 count?) Well to clear up the fog, I've been using the ProDesktop at school, and still at school, so still using it. It is useful for you to have some experence in other more user friendly software then move up to AC.Evo 50, Rappy 90, T-Rex on the bench, need rebuilding
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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterCAD - Engineering - Technical › CAD Software Recomendations please...
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