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Old 12-04-2009, 07:13 PM   #16
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Default That's some sweet work there....

motorsport! I've been wanting to mess around with this stuff for years, it looks challenging and fun. I'll have to take a closer look into the Solidworks, but funds are limited right now. Seems there are so many versions I don't know where to start. I was hoping to buy a program at Staples for $100 or under. lol I want to build my dream TC. lol
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:35 PM   #17
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for simple to use and quick results. Google sketchup is free and has 3d capabilities. I use Autocad 2010 everyday for work. If you just want to make simple 2D plans then the program you suggested or TurboCAD would work great instead of spending hundreds on software...

my 2cents
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:43 PM   #18
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I worked with several cad programs.
Unigraphics
Catia
Pro-E
Solidworks
Autocad 12 till 2010

I use now Solidworks ad home.
When you never worked with a 3D program get autocad.

What do you want to do?
You want to design your own car?
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:48 PM   #19
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Default Yes I want to design my own TC.

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Originally Posted by mikky32 View Post
I worked with several cad programs.
Unigraphics
Catia
Pro-E
Solidworks
Autocad 12 till 2010

I use now Solidworks ad home.
When you never worked with a 3D program get autocad.

What do you want to do?
You want to design your own car?
from scratch.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:16 AM   #20
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Try PowerSHAPE e from Delcam.com, It's free. The full blown PowerSHAPE is awesome but expensive. The free version is 80% as good as the paid version.

None of these programs are easy to learn, especially if you don't have any experience in this field. There are books on this stuff also.
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:49 AM   #21
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Default TurboCAD

I use Turbo CAD 14 Deluxe and Professional. It is not the latest version, but I find the full blown professional version for an eighth of price of the current version on ebay or the web.

And some offers include the 2D and 3D training guides.
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:05 AM   #22
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SolidEdge and its history-free modeling is real nice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvfexLLWLu0

It got me hooked and the "normal" modeling is also very intuitive.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:29 AM   #23
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Ok, my 2 cents. If you want to have fun, I wouldn't bother with Autocad. I personally hate Autocad and most (not all) of the people I know in the manufacturing industry feel the same. It seems as if there are some people here that like it enough to recommend it, and more power to you all. Maybe my brain just isn't wired correctly, I just don't find it fun to work with. Just my personal preference and nothing else.

Solidworks is being highly recommended here too, but unless you have the $10,000+ to spend on just having fun, it's not really an option. If anyone knows where I can get a copy+dongle cheaper, please let me know, I'd love to have it for home use. Solidworks is probably the best piece of cad software I've ever worked with.

Also, don't bother with cam software unless you're running your own machine, or are intimately familiar with the machine that will be running it and the setup preferences of the operator. Without that key information, any code generated will be worthless.

As far as taking your files to a machine shop and having something cut, all a qualified shop manager needs is a simple drawing...on a napkin if you like. Dimensions of critical areas and they will generally do the rest. In fact most shops prefer it that way. Of course it's slightly more expensive, but it will facilitate the process in the long run.

Ok if you're still determined....if you have limited experience, and want to keep with a minimal budget, I'd probably start out with any 2d drawing program with the capability to export to .dxf and/or .dwg. I'm not familiar with this "Cad15" you're looking at but if it can't export to dwg/dxf i wouldn't touch it. Corel draw (12 and up) Adobe Illustrator are both very GUI oriented, user friendly. That will get your feet wet and you can export your drawings in .dwg .dxf format, which is what the vast majority of shops work with. If you just want something profiled like a carbon fiber plate or something 2d, then you're good to go.

If you just want a 3d program to experiment with, Discreet's Gmax is available for free download. It's basically a function limited version of 3d Studio Max. IIRC you can save to dxf/dwg also, but don't quote me on that, it's been a while. I wouldn't use it for anything that required absolute accuracy, but it's FREE and very drag-n-drop user-friendly. Once you've got a 3d program, you can import your drawings created in your 2d prog and extrude or otherwise manipulate/utilize them. Once you get comfortable with gmax, running other 3d software will just be a matter of learning menus and shortcuts....well....sorta. Gmax is probably the best 3d/animation software I've seen offered for free.

And that's my 2! Sorry bout the wordiness.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:09 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helibrian View Post
Ok, my 2 cents. If you want to have fun, I wouldn't bother with Autocad. I personally hate Autocad and most (not all) of the people I know in the manufacturing industry feel the same. It seems as if there are some people here that like it enough to recommend it, and more power to you all. Maybe my brain just isn't wired correctly, I just don't find it fun to work with. Just my personal preference and nothing else.

Solidworks is being highly recommended here too, but unless you have the $10,000+ to spend on just having fun, it's not really an option. If anyone knows where I can get a copy+dongle cheaper, please let me know, I'd love to have it for home use. Solidworks is probably the best piece of cad software I've ever worked with.

Also, don't bother with cam software unless you're running your own machine, or are intimately familiar with the machine that will be running it and the setup preferences of the operator. Without that key information, any code generated will be worthless.

As far as taking your files to a machine shop and having something cut, all a qualified shop manager needs is a simple drawing...on a napkin if you like. Dimensions of critical areas and they will generally do the rest. In fact most shops prefer it that way. Of course it's slightly more expensive, but it will facilitate the process in the long run.

Ok if you're still determined....if you have limited experience, and want to keep with a minimal budget, I'd probably start out with any 2d drawing program with the capability to export to .dxf and/or .dwg. I'm not familiar with this "Cad15" you're looking at but if it can't export to dwg/dxf i wouldn't touch it. Corel draw (12 and up) Adobe Illustrator are both very GUI oriented, user friendly. That will get your feet wet and you can export your drawings in .dwg .dxf format, which is what the vast majority of shops work with. If you just want something profiled like a carbon fiber plate or something 2d, then you're good to go.

If you just want a 3d program to experiment with, Discreet's Gmax is available for free download. It's basically a function limited version of 3d Studio Max. IIRC you can save to dxf/dwg also, but don't quote me on that, it's been a while. I wouldn't use it for anything that required absolute accuracy, but it's FREE and very drag-n-drop user-friendly. Once you've got a 3d program, you can import your drawings created in your 2d prog and extrude or otherwise manipulate/utilize them. Once you get comfortable with gmax, running other 3d software will just be a matter of learning menus and shortcuts....well....sorta. Gmax is probably the best 3d/animation software I've seen offered for free.

And that's my 2! Sorry bout the wordiness.
The Gmax program sounds good and I'll look into it. I'm sure I'll have a ton of hurdles learning this stuff but I'm excited. lol It will be nice to put something to paper for once.
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:44 PM   #25
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If you are a student, you can purchase a limited version of Solidworks HERE: for under $100.

Look up Solidworks tutorial on You Tube and you will be thoroughly impressed. It's very intuitive and easy to learn.
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Old 12-05-2009, 07:09 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helibrian View Post
I wouldn't use it for anything that required absolute accuracy
i like FREE , but how inaccurace is it? .
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:21 PM   #27
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I use CATIA V5 right now, but I'm a student so we get it for $75 a year. It's basically like Solidworks's bigger brother. I haven't had a whole lot of experience with other CAD softwares other than Autocad and Solidworks. I think Autocad would be nice to figuring out the cutting patterns on sheet of carbon fiber. Solidworks and CATIA are good if you want a true 3d solid model.

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Old 12-07-2009, 07:45 PM   #28
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What, nobody runs Pro-E?

Sorry just ha to throw in my choice.
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:52 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over gear View Post
i like FREE , but how inaccurace is it? .
VERY. GMax is not a CAD system at all. It was released as a lite version of 3D Studio Max, basically used for making content for mods for games. When I last used it, a long time ago, it had no NURBS or solids support at all, as those technologies aren't used in the gaming world. It was at the time a polygon based modeling system, not suitable for anything but making 2d DXFs.

I went to school for 3D computer animation as have used tinkered with most of the big name apps in that realm Maya, Soft Image and too many more to list. I'd be willing to say that almost all of the them would fall flat on their faces if forced to to do real CAD work. Not to say that they aren't capable of doing product design, but just aren't very friendly with many CAM systems.

The odd thing now is I work as a machinist, and am now getting into doing a lot of CAM work with PartMaker from Delcam. Quite a few of the skills are transferable. My suggestion is if you are new to the whole 3D modeling/CAD scene, pick a popular app as it will make finding books and tutorials easier. Poke around the web for user groups and forums, they are the best resource and often free.

One more note, if you decide you actually want to have some parts cut be warned it will not be cheap. Any decent shop is going to charge in the neighbor hood of $45-$85 an hour for machine time. I know quite a few folks in this hobby are carbon fiber junkies, but be warned it takes a special skill set and knowledge to properly machine CF, not just any shop can do it. Most shops woun't even quote it.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:22 PM   #30
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microstation?
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