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Thread: CAD Software

  1. #1

    CAD Software

    Took some AutoCAD in high school (almost 10 years ago), but I write C++ for a living, know some Lightwave and am a professional web developer, so I can wrap my head around most software. What software is out that has a free demo/download that I can screw around with for designing pieces in 3D?

    Second question, what are some of the standard pieces of software for desiging to do CNC-work?

    Finally, does anyone work in FEA stuff? How about the packages for this?
    Last edited by homis; 02-06-2004 at 09:25 AM.

  2. #2
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    Solidworks has a nice package, its there personal demo. I don't know how long it good for. The softwear is very easy to use and has a lot of power, the 04 edition is also almost dummy proof if you install it right.

    As far as cad/cam go with mastercam in my opinion. I believe it is also work smoothly with the above mentioned program.

    FEA: it all depends on what you want to do. The sky is the limit. At work we use Ansys and it is expensive but very powerful.
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  3. #3
    SLICEnDICE,

    I'm on solidworks.com and can't find a demo. Also, where do you work/what type of company? I live/work in Chicago as well.
    Last edited by homis; 02-06-2004 at 10:17 AM.

  4. #4
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    Rhinoceros 3.0 is by far my favorite... Takes some time to get used to though
    Wakka wakka wakka...

  5. #5
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    CAD

    homis, I found a copy of SW. If you are interested in it e-mail me.

  6. #6
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    Rhino is a pretty slick program for designing and rendering 3D models (and free on trial download online, too). Especially when used in conjunction with Flamingo you can do some really cool stuff with it.

    However, in my experience trying to design parts for a paintball gun, a good solid modeler is to be much preferred over a surface modeler like Rhino. I got tired of trying to "knit" together all the surfaces needed to shape a CnC paintgun body.

    I would recommend either Pro/Engineer or Solid Works. I don't have any experience with SW, but ProE is great and SW was written by some of the same people (who left and started their own company). I believe AutoCAD also a has a solid modeler out, though I've never tried it.
    Last edited by Cristobal; 02-25-2004 at 08:28 PM.

  7. #7
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    Solid works or Autocad 2004. I have 2000 lt . Im pretty good with this, I have had it for a long time now, and I think Im going to get Solidworks to do my projects in. (biking)

    Did you post this same topic on Pinkbike?
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  8. #8
    im a fan of solidworks my self. you can get teh student editon for just under 2oo bucks, but they require proof that you are in school. i think it comes with fea software too.

  9. #9
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    Cosmos

    The FEA you are refering to in not FEA at all. You get a limited verson of cosmos that is only good for models and not assemblies. Also it is very limited in what it can do. Currently running SW04SP2.1

  10. #10
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    Smile Personal Edition

    Homis, try this link

    solidworks.com/3dskills

  11. #11
    3d programs, where to start? I'd say look at a part-based modeling program like Inventor or Solidworks. These two allow you to model each part, and then assemble and constrain each part to the other (i.e. you can make a hinge that only bends at the joint, etc.). I have a copy of solidworks since they used to give free copies out to robot builders who wanted them (you had to put a SW sticker on your robot though), but I never got into it as I was so used to Rhino.

    Rhino is a great program for layouts, but not so good for actual products (i.e. lawn mowers, paintball guns, toasters, etc.) as it doesn't have any way to constrain parts, or to keep track of lots of little parts.

    A couple other 3d programs are Maya, 3dStudioMax and Lightwave, which are basically designed for production. 3dsMax is mainly used in game development and has a pretty good learning curve (I'm currently learning how to use it), although Maya is starting to be used more. However, Maya and Lightwave were designed for movies, and I'm pretty sure Maya was used in LOTR, although I'm not positive. Maya is very complicated to use, but I think they have a free version on their site (Called Personal Edition)

    Summary: Solidworks and Inventor: Modeling an entire product, down to the last screw
    Rhino: Basic layout, perfect for those getting into 3d
    3dsMax, Maya and Lightwave: Game and Movie development, get 3dsMax if you are interested in this field, the other two are very expensive and hard to learn.

  12. #12
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    I love Inventor.
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  13. #13
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    Inventor pwns.

    Thank God I don't have to use I-DEAS anymore.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by BlackVCG
    Inventor pwns.

    Thank God I don't have to use I-DEAS anymore.
    Your school swithced too? I'm really enjoying Inventor and I got a free copy through my department.

    We have NENastran as our FEA. I haven't used it much, but it seems good.

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