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ranch23

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Ok fellows, read the E Machine Shop posts. I build custom rifles and do some manufacturing. Would like to add some CAD to my bag of tricks. The closest college appears to use Surf- Cam. Thoughts? And then obviously up to CNC.
 

Ray C

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I like Alibre. -a lot. In the past several years, I tried at least a half-dozen of the big name CAD programs. I'd spend 4-5 days doing the tutorials and interactively using the program -And I got nowhere. This was with the full-demo versions of SolidWorks, AutoCad, Pro-E etc. Also purchased AutoCad thinking it must be fairly easy to use. Nope... BTW: I'm an electrical engineer in real life so, complex programs are nothing new to me.

I tried the demo version of Alibre, watched 45 minutes of online tutorial videos and two hours later was making simple parts. Liked it so much, I got the professional version. Here's something I made tonight in a couple hours. I've only had the program a couple weeks -but admit burning the midnight oil, mainly because it's fun and addictive. This is the first CAD program that ever struck me so well.


BTW: If you click the PDF image, you can use the mouse buttons and scroll button to move and 3D rotate the image. Some of the clone versions of PDF readers don't handle it too well though. Use Acrobat Reader.

Ray
 

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jumps4

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e machine shop is not perfect, it is free
when it exports to a dxf it relocates the part away from the x y zero, if you know it, it's fine. thats not a problem in d2nc that i use to make the g-code because it lets you decide where you want zero to be and it only looks at the dxf as an object.
e machine shop is just so easy to use and learn but it is not a profesional platform. most of the softwares i tried to use wanted me to type in a location for each item i was placing on the screen, emachine lets me draw it first then enter size and drag it to the location. it will show centers to align items and you can copy mirror flip rotate. you can also add the z axis depth if you wish to see it in 3d. i dont use z depth i add that later in d2nc as the machining depth
steve
 

Tony Wells

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I like that. I use ACAD and Solidworks, but I'll look into that as another option.
 

Ray C

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If you decide to get Alibre, I'd highly recommend purchasing the online training videos. They are awesome. This seems to be the secret sauce (along with a fairly good user interface / GUI) of their program.

The Personal Edition is very good and it's identical to the Professional version except the ability to do Sheet Metal and create Bill-of-Materials. Also, the pro version comes with a part catalog so you can just pull-in standard parts w/o having to draw them.

BTW: No affiliation with them other than being a satisfied customer.


Im looking at Alibre now.
 

jumps4

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here is the last drawing i did in emachineshop it is a cnc controller enclosure the outline on the right was used for the cnc plasma to cut out the sheet metal. and all the openings were milled into the folded box. this drawing took me about a half hour. I am not a talented person i just look for the easiest way to do things without learning everything. einstein said "dont waste your time remembering anything you can look up" I dont want to learn an entire program i want to use it and add knowledge as i need it. sorry it is fuzzy i took a pic of the screen it's faster than converting a dxf to jpg.
steve

DSCF0524.JPG
 

pjf134

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Before I retired from working I have used many different CAD programs such as Inter-graph IGES ,Micro station, Medusa and AutoCad plus some others and liked AutoCad the most. AutoCad seems to work the best for g-code using Vector Program and some other oddball stuff that I did over the years like Post Script for art work. I like AutoCad for UNIX when writing programs because using multiple open windows is nice to try files without changing the programs. Just my opinion and did learn it very quick not like the other Cad programs. I do like Vector for generating g-code and I am going to try Inkscape for gears when the need arises.
Paul
 

OakRidgeGuy

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Steve,

I downloaded the EMachineShop program and put it on the other computer, played with it a lil this evening, I think I can get used to it.

Doc
 

jumps4

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it was funny i was talking about emachineshop bugs and just recieved an updated version
maybe they fxed what i have found
steve
 

OakRidgeGuy

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Well if I could get my hands on Windows 7 Pro and install it on the other puter and give it back to whom ever helped out there would be greatly appreciated!

Doc
 

JoeSixPack74

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I learned AutoCAD back in college in '93. It was a bit on the expensive side for just my home use. But I found TurboCAD. Very similar, pretty powerful and under $100. You can export/import to about any popular cad format. I still only work 2D but there is 3D in the package. Just I don't bother with it.
 

ML_Woy

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I have been using a program called Fastcad for about fifteen years. It has a 2D and 3D version and is easy to learn. Being old school I like being able to enter dimensions from the keyboard. I have Alibre as well, purchased it last August. I am still trying to learn Alibre, purchased the tutorial and direct help, but it is slow. The help system is poorly written, and direct support, expensive is slow to respond. I know, once you learn it it is great but be prepared to take a lot of time.

Check out Fastcad @ [h=3]About FastCAD v7[/h]


www.fastcad.com/infofc7.php
 

24more

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I use draftsight for all my 2D drawings. Havent really played with 3D yet. I run a waterjet for work and they use IGEMS cad/cam. Draftsight is 100% free. And works great.
 

lohring

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With the advent of cow cost 3D printers, I decided I needed to learn a solid modeling program. I have Alibre. The two things I would make are propellers and two stroke cylinders. Both are very complex shapes and my last attempt at machining propellers using CAD and CAM was a failure. However, I've been able to model some of the important characteristics of a surface piercing propeller with Alibre. Below are three examples. So far a method to draw the transfer passages of a high performance two stroke have been unsuccessful. These programs are far from intuitive foe complex shapes. The last two pictures show whgat is needed. I've tried various lofts, cuts, and revolves. Any suggestions?

Lohring MillerPropeller 72 x 100 with cup.jpgPropeller 72 x 100 - 20 rake - 50% progression.jpgPropeller 72 x 100 - 20 rake.jpgAp125-01.jpgAprillia 125 transfers.jpg

Ap125-01.jpg Aprillia 125 transfers.jpg Propeller 72 x 100 - 20 rake - 50% progression.jpg Propeller 72 x 100 - 20 rake.jpg Propeller 72 x 100 with cup.jpg
 

DaveSohlstrom

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I'm no help on the engine core problem. I am working on prop designs for model Z drives. How did you generate your props. I am generating a helix at the diameter and pitch I want and then using that as a pattern to make sketches for a loft. I also use Alibre. Here is a 5 blade prop that will go into a 74mm Kort nozzle.

Dave

prop74mmsqew_zps23ef29f4.jpg
 

lohring

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I have no experience with shrouded propellers. Surface piercing props have several characteristics that need modeled:

1. Helical pitch - no successful racing propellers have straight helical pitch
2. Pitch progression - many props have a gradual increase in pitch from the leading edge to the trailing edge
3. Cup - most successful props have trailing edge cup, a sharp increase in pitch at the trailing edge
4. Rake - the newer propeller designs have the blades raked to direct the thrust cone more to the rear
5. Edge cup - many racers curl the outside edge of the propeller to help contain the water flow
6. Projected blade shape

I model the prop blade as two helices traveling in different directions from the same cross section. You need to create two planes, each with the same cross section, at the same place; one for each helix. The cross section controls blade thickness, cross section shape, rake, and edge cup. Progressive pitch is controlled by the variable ratio of the forward helix. Cup is also controlled the same way on the rearward helix. I start the helix with the same pitch both directions then change the ratio. As an example, if the ratio forward is .5, the pitch at the end of the revolved blade will be 1/2 the start pitch. If the ratio to the rear is 3, the end of the cupped section will be 3 times the start pitch. The projected blade shape is determined with the extrude cut command along the shaft axis.

Lohring Miller
 

norman_pollard

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Hi Guys,

Autodesk Inventor Pro (student edition), has all the bells and whistles---just prints a text border on all your drawings stating that it is from a student version, is available for free as a download from Autodesk's website. I personally downloaded version 10 and have to admit it is almost as good as SolidWorks for 3D models and drawings. There are also a lot of free models available for SolidWorks and Inventor Pro from a website called GrabCad.

Hope this helps a few.....
Regards,
Norman
 

JohnG

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I worked in Auto Cad for 15 years of so while I worked, and I continue to use it in retirement. As other have mentioned, I too picked up a student license very cheap for my own use.

I found Auto Cad is able to handle many needs of large organizations which smaller scale users might not have. I moved from product design to product testing to regulatory compliance (it's a dirty job, but somebody needs to do it). The design guys moved toward other software, but I was forced to stay with Auto Cad because the whole regulatory structure had settled on it as their common tongue, and it interfaced with a lot of other software. I had thousands of "drawings" from dozens of suppliers that were passed on to engineering consultants and certification agencies with chain of custody assurances. They accepted Auto Cad.

If you are focused on CAD/CAM just to make better parts, that aspect of Auto Cad, which I suspect is a substantial contributor to its price, might not be valuable to you. If you have to submit finite element analysis of deflection under load or heat flow to a PE for validation before you can sell you products, you'll find Auto Cad is universally accepted.
 

wheeler34man

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So how much does Alibre cost if a guy was going to buy a full-up version?



I like Alibre. -a lot. In the past several years, I tried at least a half-dozen of the big name CAD programs. I'd spend 4-5 days doing the tutorials and interactively using the program -And I got nowhere. This was with the full-demo versions of SolidWorks, AutoCad, Pro-E etc. Also purchased AutoCad thinking it must be fairly easy to use. Nope... BTW: I'm an electrical engineer in real life so, complex programs are nothing new to me.

I tried the demo version of Alibre, watched 45 minutes of online tutorial videos and two hours later was making simple parts. Liked it so much, I got the professional version. Here's something I made tonight in a couple hours. I've only had the program a couple weeks -but admit burning the midnight oil, mainly because it's fun and addictive. This is the first CAD program that ever struck me so well.


BTW: If you click the PDF image, you can use the mouse buttons and scroll button to move and 3D rotate the image. Some of the clone versions of PDF readers don't handle it too well though. Use Acrobat Reader.

Ray
 

Billh50

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For just 2D blueprints I use an older version of Cadkey that I have had for a few years. For 3D I found MasterCam works just like Cadkey for 3D and has better graphics. But I can generate a program for a cnc with MasterCam.
 

Kevin45

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If you deal with just 2D drawings, I highly recommend DeltaCad. www.deltacad.com They have a 30 day free trial and to buy is something like $40. If you use a credit card or debit card, you can download it right online. I have used it for quite a few years and love it, plus it supports a lot of different extensions, both importing and saving to export. It's simple to use and very accurate. I recommend giving it a try for 2D stuff that you want to keep. You can also export it into a Cam program to use on your CNC. DeltaCad does not though have a CAM program of their own though. But you can save it as a .dxf and use in any CAM program. Well worth the money in my opinion.
 

Whyemier

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I use ACAD at work and 'DoubleCad' at home. I don't have/do CNC on the machines so I don't know how it works for that but it does, or did, have a free version with most of the bells and whistles.
Works for what I use it for and drawings can be dxf(ed) out to use in ACAD. The button/icons and commands are much the same also.
 

chi JBS

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I just started with FUSION 360. CAD/CAM with a slew of features that I haven't gotten into yet, but it's free. downside is it's cloud based.

not allowed to post links yet, so search for fusion 360 download...
 

RJSakowski

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I have used AutoSketch and AutoCAD for 2D drawings. I began using SolidWorks ten years ago. The transition from AutoCAD to SolidWorks was difficult at first. With all the drop down menus and context related menus, it is sometimes frustrating to find the proper path to perform an operation. After ten years, I have become somewhat proficient and can whip out solid models in times ranging from a few minutes to hours depending upon complexity.

There are still things that I don't know how to do or, for that matter, even know exist but I know enough to model anything I could want to make. There are some good references which help a lot. Among those is the SolidWorks Bible.

I am now working on acquiring Fusion 360 skills. I am going that route because the package is free for hobbyists and CAM software is integral with the package. I purchased a personal seat of SolidWorks in 2012 for around $4k. SolidWorks requires paying an annual maintenance fee of around$1400 if you want to keep your copy current and if you don't there is a problem with older versions being able to view newer version models and drawings. SolidWorks also does not offer a companion CAM package. AutoDesk has an add on CAM package for SolidWorks called HSM Works but the free version is limited to 2D CAM.

Fusion 360 approaches 3D modeling in a different manner and no doubt there will be many frustrating moments learning to become proficient in using it. However, since I am looking long term, it appears to me to be the best path.

Bob
 

joebiplane

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Slightly OT
RE; cad programs. I have just started playing with Auto desk "Fusion 360" I discovered my think pad will not accept 64 bit version of windows 7 so a new lap top is in order. I am zeroing in on an HP " Envy" that has the 17.3 inch screen, sixth generation i7 intel 6500 CPU, 16 GB memory 1 tera byte 5400 RPM hard drive
NVidia gfx graphics w/ 2 GB dedicated graphics memory
ALL IN ALL IT EXCEEDS AUTODESK REQUIREMENTS Cost at Best Buy MSRP $999.00.... on sale for $869.00 or Open box $699.00 if and when available. I plan on buyin 3 year Premium geek Squad service plan....Just to be sure ($ 269.00 +/- includes drop or liquid damage) ESPECIALLY IF I GET AN OPEN BOX VERSION
QUESTION; what's the poop on HP reliability ? the real skinny ? Reviews are generally "good to great" a few P O'd cowboys out there but well out numbered by pretty happy campers ( my experience tells me that happy shoppers seldom take time to write while unhappy folks have nothing better to do when they have computer problems, real or perceived)
my home office has a dell precision that would run N.A.T.O.'s war computers, If asked..... while my laptop is for detailing any drawings that need tinkering at night while wife watches her evening Programs and we spend our " Quality time"
Looking for support for the cheapest " Qualified: computer for the task at hand.
Thanks
 
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modela

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I learned AutoCAD back in college in '93. It was a bit on the expensive side for just my home use. But I found TurboCAD. Very similar, pretty powerful and under $100. You can export/import to about any popular cad format. I still only work 2D but there is 3D in the package. Just I don't bother with it.
I tried DoubleCad from IMSI for a free CAD Program. Like you, I used to use AutoCAD, but finally got consumed by the changes and pricyness of it. I worked with DoubleCAD and found it really lacking compared to AutoCAD, missing many of the snap and drawing features I had missed. I have thought about TurboCAD. How similar to AutoCad are its features and options?
 

gjmontll

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I've been using TurboCad Deluxe for about 7 months. As a recently retired computer systems engineer, I am used to learning new software applications and evaluating software. I was a complete CAD novice when I started. By using their tutorial/training guide I was able to get a working knowledge, enough to begin the design on my current project. (See my thread "Greg's French 75 mm Field Artillery Model"). But I found the training less than satisfactory and the software difficult to use. TurboCAD Deluxe is the low-end product, several times the tutorial directed me to do something, it didn't work, and after checking the online reference manual, found the functionality in question was only in the much more expensive Platinum editions. Good news: they have pretty good customer support, helping with a problem I had when upgrading to Windows10, Bad news: you'll probably need that support, TurboCAD has a very complex user interface and mediocre documentation.
For the past 3 weeks, I've been test-driving Autodesk's Fusion 360. This seems to be an excellent product with a very good online tutorial. It is not an intro-level package, it is the full 3D CAD with more functionality than I'll need, yet their interface is much cleaner. It is supposed to be free for non-commercial users, I'll find out in a week when my trial expires.
I will probably switch over from TurboCAD as soon as I see how to make drawings from solid models.
Greg
 

RJSakowski

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I will probably switch over from TurboCAD as soon as I see how to make drawings from solid models.
Greg
Greg,

In Fusion, click on the file icon in the header. Select "new drawing". From the drop down menu, select "from design". From the popup menu, select your drawing standard, dimension units, and sheet size. Drop your base view at its desired position or hit the escape key to delete. In the upper left corner, in the views section, the first icon is for selecting a new base view. If selected, a menu will pop up on the right where you can select which view you want , the scale, and a few other things. You can drop the base view wherever you wish (it can be moved later). The second icon is for projected views. Clicking on that icon will allow you to create additional projected views from a chosen parent view. Depending upon which direction you move from the parent view, the correct views will be created. E.g., if the parent view is a front view and you are using third angle projection, moving to the right will create a right view, moving to the top will create a top view, and moving at a diagonal will create an isometric view. Click in each view will drop it and initiate another view. Hitting [enter] will end the process and hitting [Esc] will abort the process.
 
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