All things CAD!

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by McCormack, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. 396

    396 low-post lurker

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    I'm an old fucker stuck in my ways running 14, designing automation machinery. For the most part, prints to the shop are my bottom line, and 14 gets it done quickly. My employer is footing the bill to get me Solidworks training. I've done the tutorials, and find it awkward and cumbersome. Any tips for making the 2d/3d transition less painless?
  2. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer

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    I design automation equipment with Solidworks. It's a painful learning curve, but worth it. Today I was designing an adhesive dispense system for a SCARA robot. For all of the purchased parts (dispense valve, cartridge retainer, all the fittings, tool changer, capacitive sensor, etc) I was able to download 3D models off the vendors' websites and plop them right into the assembly. I was able to check clearances and swing the robot through its full range of motion to check for interference with guarding, etc. It can be very fast.

    As far as tips to make it easier, I'm not sure what to say other than keep plugging away. Google is your friend. Any time I get stuck I google the word solidworks + whatever it is I'm trying to accomplish and a solution/tutorial/video always pops up. The Solidworks forum usually has the answer.

    For designing parts I like to think in terms of the steps to actually manufacture it. Start with a big block or rod and start carving like you'd do on a mill or lathe. I don't like adding - I like taking away material just like the machinist will. For assemblies I mate features to constrain parts in the same way and same order as I picture myself assembling them.
  3. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    Have you been to training yet? Most intro courses are 4 days and you'll be on your way. We usually suggest modeling some of your 2D parts and project first as you know all the numbers and can focus on the process.

    I highly recommend you also take the Advanced Assembly class. It's usually two days and will make you a great deal more productive.

    Sounds like an effective approach. The design history is intended to preserve design intent so manufacturing will make it the way you designed it.
  4. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    The frustrating thing about Boeing is their online application process. It is good practice to tailor your resume to each job you're applying to, but Boeing not only doesn't allow your own resume to be uploaded in lieu of their form, but once you create one via their Proper Form, you can only have 3 variants. So, if I want to apply for 4 jobs, I'm automatically out of the running for one of them.

    I remember at an internship a couple years back, I had to ask my mentor how you even pronounce Catia (having never heard of it, let alone ever used CAD before). Yeah, I did architectural drafting in high school, and had some slight manual machine tool/blueprint experience, but.. I was able to get up and running fairly easily, and made the rest of my college that much more successful by jumping over to SolidWorks. The main trick to switching software was finding where they hid the buttons.

    Since I know how frustrating it is to talk with "talent acquisition" people (HR, not engineers) looking for specific CAD experience similar to, but not exactly what I had, I will jump at the opportunity to be a part of the hiring process for new blood. I've already put myself on a volunteer list to visit my alma mater on recruiting events.

    I've heard people describe that thought process as the difference between the last couple releases of Catia. I've only used V5, so I can't confirm.
  5. 396

    396 low-post lurker

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    Good one:
    For designing parts I like to think in terms of the steps to actually manufacture it. Start with a big block or rod and start carving like you'd do on a mill or lathe. I don't like adding - I like taking away material just like the machinist will. For assemblies I mate features to constrain parts in the same way and same order as I picture myself assembling them.[/QUOTE]
    I'll be doing the 4 day intro, followed a few weeks later by the 4 day advanced.
    I'm confident I can model the parts. I've done the packaged tutorials. I'm concerned about putting together assemblies however.
    Probably my main concern is the change to the creative process. My thought process will be changed by the constraints of the new software. I can't really describe how I create my designs, but Autocad is an integral part of it.
    Cad is a tool. A means of communicating your ideas. You can be a great cad operator, but a shitty designer. You can make beautiful models of things that won't work or can't be made.
  6. Rapid Dog

    Rapid Dog bikes, booze, broads...

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    Be glad he's footing the bill for SolidWorks and not AutoCad Inventor.
    Inventor is no where as intuitive as SW, IMO of course, but I've use(d) both extensively.

    As far as Boeing goes, I worked 9 years direct and twice on long term gigs as a contractor, and the secret is too make sure the key words are in your resume'.
    Lie about CATIA. Even if you have, 'exposure to, and an a strong interest in using CATIA V5 as a professional' yadda yadda in your resume'...
    Both the Boeing and contractor scanners pick up those key words.
    That will get you a a possible phone call or e-mail.

    I saw kids with nothing more than a sketchbook of tatoos get hired back in '97 as Technical Illustrators at $33 an hour plus per diem.

    VOLT and Butler are big personnel contract houses for Boeing.
    Go thru them if you want contract work. IMO, best bang for the buck over direct hire.
    And they are hiring right now.

    Hell, if I wasn't tied down I'd be up there in Everett, WA right now (again)...
  7. AZbiker

    AZbiker Crunkin' with crackers

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    Back when I was using SW I tried that method. Sometimes it works but sometimes the surfaces don't interact properly.

    In that case it's easier to draw a 2-D profile and spin it.

    On a completely unrelated note, anyone here use Draft Sight? It's free, 2-D, and looks like it has an autocaddish interface.

    It also runs on Linux.
  8. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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  9. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    i'm pretty much a complete cad noob. a mate says he can arrange for some shorter dog bones for the DR650 to be lasercut on the back of other jobs they are doing.

    downloaded a freebie program, QCAD, but couldn't figure out how to draw anything. i'm a graphic designer by trade so knocked up the design in illustrator, exported as a dwg file then opened that with QCAD and saved it as a dxf.

    it all looked fine but the laser cutter said the lines are broken and it's not usable. this probably isn't the right thread to be asking for noob help, but anyone know where i might be going wrong? would it be better to export as a pdf from illustrator and use a particular bit of software to export as a dxf?

    any tips appreciated!
  10. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    If you insist on importing the file from a different program, check the help for your QCAD to see if there is a "heal" or "close loop" command or something similar somewhere. Basically what is happening is that the end points of your lines are not forming a closed loop, and any CAM system doesn't like this. Some CAD programs will fix this for you if the gap is not huge. It's very typical to have open loops, disjoint ends and line gaps when you import the file from something else. Frankly, you'd be better off learning how to use your QCAD instead of importing stuff.
  11. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer

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    I could probably fix it for you if you want to send me the dxf.
  12. Krabill

    Krabill Long timer

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    Yup.

    Post up the dimensions and I'm sure someone here will draw it for you. It would only take me a few seconds to draw a dogbone if nobody else jumps on it first.
  13. swede7000

    swede7000 Regular user...problem???

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    Anybody here into architectural design? Been using Revit by autodesk for a few years now. Pretty sweet software but like all autodesk a bunch of shit I cant for the life of me figure out! :lol3
  14. Krabill

    Krabill Long timer

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    I was using Architechtual Desktop and 3D Studio Viz about a dozen years ago working for an Architectural firm, but have since gone back to a mechanical design company. I found formal training to be the best way to figure out how to use them. I went to class with a list of questions pertaining to the work I needed the software to do for me and came out of it with a bunch of answers.
  15. swede7000

    swede7000 Regular user...problem???

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    Was Viz Viz? I bought Autodesk Viz 4 trying to get into the 3D home design and quickly realized I just threw thousands out the window!! That was good times. I'm really into Revit. Self taught with a stack of books and all the forums around the web.
  16. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    thanks guys, good of you to offer. it's frustrating knowing it would take less than five minutes to draw but the cad interface and way of doing things is totally different to graphics! i might send you the pdfs then i'll post them somewhere afterwards for anyone chasing templates. cheers....
  17. DriveShaft

    DriveShaft Long timer

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    Just beginning to touch this part of my life, after more than a decade of hibernation. Man I'm slow, compared to my old skills. [​IMG]
  18. McCormack

    McCormack Cronkite of CSM

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    That's a shitty looking suspension component. :lol3

    After 12 years of CAD work, I'm now out of that. Part of me regrets it (I was damn good), but part of me really enjoys the new challenges (I'm now managing a new project in South America).

    I still have CAD on my work machine, though. It's nice to be able to whip a sketch together myself instead of explaining it to someone else first.
  19. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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  20. DriveShaft

    DriveShaft Long timer

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    Is that what it looks like? Shhooooot. :D

    Half the challenge is just figuring out the "layout" of commands on this version of ACAD/AA. When I worked it, I had a dedicated digitizer, w/ all the important commands laid out nicely on the digitizer, and I could fly that thing pretty damn fast. It helped that I had a good sense of spatial relationships. But what's killing me now is just basic things like trying to remember how the hell you get the area measurement of a polyline space to friggin' show up. That, and where the hell the damn hatch tool is on the little floating menus...which I still can't figure out. :D

    I do surprise myself in how much I remember, through the cobwebs. I was hammering out relative coordinates, and making UCS's in no time.