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Spin Doctor
03-09-2009, 12:03 AM
Tried the search option here and Google so bear with me. I'm looking for a decent CAD program for doing some solid modeling. But it has to be able to generate gear and spline forms as parts of an assmbly. I have access to AutoCAD and it isn't up to the task. I have an idea I am playing around with and have already gotten as far as I can get on paper doing isometric drawings.

sansbury
03-09-2009, 12:11 AM
I don't know about gears but I would give Alibre a look. They have a free version that seems pretty capable and the paid versions are circa $1000.

Sportandmiah
03-09-2009, 02:44 AM
Google Sketch is free, and very easy to use. Granted it's not CAD, but it's pretty sweet.

Stepside
03-09-2009, 11:33 AM
Why the 3D model? Is it for visualization or to determines sizes and locations of parts. If for visualization then draw with AutoCad print and glue to model material, then cut it out with a scroll saw or what ever is at hand. If it is for size and layout you need to determine the gear spacing using the gear specifications from Machinerys Handbook or the gear supplier.

If you wish a 3D drawing to see how it goes together, then the tooth form is not of great import. If you are going to have someone print the parts on a 3D printer the tooth and spline shapes are important.

I haven't tried Sketchup for gears and close tolerance parts. The mesh surface it creates is fairly rough but adequate for visualization. Rhinoceros with the geargen plug in will create parts ready for a 3D printer or render them nicely. This would be a fairly steep learning curve. Price for Rhino if you shop online is under $1000.

So the questions are What is the desired output, a drawing, a model, a printed part, a CNC part?

rubes
03-09-2009, 02:19 PM
Pro-E personal use edition is only $250. why would you mess around with any other wanna be's? Unless of course you are a business, then that is not a legitimate option.
http://store.ptc.com/store/ptc/DisplayCategoryProductListPage/categoryID.10011800


They also have a free program called co-create. Havent used it, and others I turned on to it said they didnt like it.
http://www.ptc.com/products/cocreate/

I wont judge what you want and why, I'll just answer your question and let you make the decision.

Stepside
03-09-2009, 08:01 PM
Rhino is not parametric but Pro-E is. Pro-E reads Rhino files. Rhino $1000.00 or less on line. Pro-E for industry many thousands.

alanganes
03-09-2009, 08:13 PM
Pro-E personal for $250 sounds like a pretty good deal, considering that there is little out there for the home use in that sort of price range(I think). I could likely justify spending that, 500 to 1K and up, not so likely.

I am familiar with Autodesk Inventor, I used it a bit at work a while back. I have never used Pro-E, nor even seen it "in person."

Any of you guys familiar with these two packages? I'm curious how they compare. Are they similar in ease of use, interface, etc? Are the more similar than they are different? Everyone seems to have a favorite. Thoughts, opinions....?

Spin Doctor
03-09-2009, 08:28 PM
One reason is the old test drive. Another is having done some 3D solid modeling on AutoCAD it is a trying process. The avatar I use on PM was done on AutoCAD and took a bit of time as I wanted to get the shape of the gear teeth right. I suspect that JS if he has seen this thread has an idea where this is going. And that is part of the reason. The other is when presenting ideas for others to poke holes in it helps to have pretty pictures. This was another view of the avatar I am using and IIRC it took me at least an hour probably more to get this done with out the leaders

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v19/markandannie/Leadscrew%20Reversing%20Drive/LeadScrewReversingSystem5.jpg

rubes
03-09-2009, 08:31 PM
I love Inventor!!! I use it every day at work. Very intuitive in my opinion. I'm still struggling with Pro-E. But I'm sure anyone that has used Pro-E for 10 years and just started Inventor would feel the same. They are similar in that they are feature based molders, but the way to get to things is what is getting in my way right now. ie, in Inventor, to create a new sketch to start a new feature (you need to learn the basics of sketches and features for either) takes me two clicks...the same in Pro-E is six clicks. Inventor is much easier for me.

Like you said, everyone has their fave's...but for us home hobbie guys, the cost comes into play much more. If I could...I would have Inventor at home, not Pro-E. Unfortunately, work is transitioning to Pro-E, so I'm just trying to get a jump on it. I guess fortunately, I'll be able to get training though them though. I'm also guessing fat chance any of the Pro-NC tools work with the personal edition.

loose nut
03-09-2009, 08:45 PM
I use Inventor also and it is very cool. Since most of use aren't going to shell out big bucks for a program like that at home you are limited to free versions of programs like Alibre etc. As for gears etc (Inventor will generate accurate gears, splines, nuts, bolts and anything else you could want) they can be downloaded off of manufactures web site for free, there isn't any reason to draw these things anymore.

rubes
03-09-2009, 09:02 PM
...IIRC it took me at least an hour probably more to get this done with out the leaders

That could be done in about 30 minutes with Inventor. With great cost, comes great power...LOL. The best part is that you then can grab a gear and spin it and test the function of the design as well!!!! Then if you decided to change the gear ratio's...about 2 minutes!!!! For design, nothing beats parametric...if you just need to draw parts stick with Autocad. Nice job by the way doing that in Autocad... I couldn't do it.

ooops, sorry, I think I'm getting a little OT from the OP.

BillH
03-09-2009, 11:07 PM
Ask the kid next door for your favorite poison.

Fasttrack
03-10-2009, 12:18 AM
I throw my chip in for Autodesk Inventor, too. Its a great program. If you happen to be a student, you can get a one year license for the software for free. Then, you can keep updating the software as long as you have a valid school email address. The same goes for teachers/professors.

fdew
03-10-2009, 12:37 AM
Any SolidWorks users out there? If so, read the licence very carefully

If you are the primary user at work, you can install another copy at home. Very nice.

Frank

hardeep kim
03-10-2009, 12:57 PM
Tried the search option here and Google so bear with me. I'm looking for a decent CAD program for doing some solid modeling. But it has to be able to generate gear and spline forms as parts of an assmbly. I have access to AutoCAD and it isn't up to the task. I have an idea I am playing around with and have already gotten as far as I can get on paper doing isometric drawings.
well i happy to help who ever i can,, in this case i have downloaded two auto cads for free, one was from delcam.com other was from emachineshop.com, emachineshop.com can help u draw spur gear simply by putting number of teeth and diameterical pitch

RobbieKnobbie
03-10-2009, 01:48 PM
Any SolidWorks users out there? If so, read the licence very carefully

If you are the primary user at work, you can install another copy at home. Very nice.

Frank

Yeah, you don't even have to install the same version! I use 2007 at work and put 2008 in at home. It looks like 2009 is even better still.

There's no doubt that SolidWorks is the easiest to learn/use, but you're not going to get a free version anytime soon.

alanganes
03-10-2009, 03:47 PM
Yeah, I know about the kid-next-door option, I don't even need to go nextdoor, I have a bunch of those here(!). I would rather not take that route, though.

I believe that the Autodesk license is the same, that if you are a primary user at work, you can have a legit copy at home. At least that was so at one time. That was how I got most of my time in with inventor, the place I work had an unused seat that they let me install at work, and a copy at home. A year or so later, they needed the seat back, so I had to give it up. That was a bunch of versions back now.

Is the Alibre freebie version 3D and parametric? I seem to think it was 2D only. Anyone using that? Opinions??

PaulT
03-10-2009, 05:07 PM
Over the past year I've been using the "preview" free "light" version of Inventor, its called Inventor LT 2009. Its a limited but still pretty useful 3D design tool that's been free to use for the last 2 years, search on "Inventor LT" to hit the download site.

The primary limitation is no assembly modeling, only individual parts, and the other bad news is they are not going to keep it in "preview" mode any more, as of May 09 it will go to a charged version, apparently in the range of $995.

But those that need some 3D design capability still may want to take a look at it, I've become hooked at this point and will be forking over the dough in May.

Paul T.

Evan
03-10-2009, 05:30 PM
This took me about 6 minutes to create in CamBam Pro and can be exported as a DXF to use in the cad program of choice.

http://ixian.ca/pics6/cambamgears.jpg

alanganes
03-10-2009, 06:36 PM
Evan,
So you do your model directly in CamBam and then export to drafting software to generate drawings?

Is that the $149.00 version, that they call "Cambam Plus"?

Evan
03-10-2009, 09:12 PM
I do almost all of my designing directly in Cam Bam Plus. One reason is that it is highly extensible so I wrote a small script that automates the generation of a large variety of shapes.

http://metalshopborealis.ca/pics4/spg1.jpg

oldtiffie
03-11-2009, 03:08 AM
Evan.

That cambam seems to be pretty good in lots of ways.

Is it in fact a CAD system - and if so how limited is it?

As it generates DXF files, can or does it convert its own and/or any other DXF file to G-code for use in a CNC system, particularly with or for Mach3?

What are the costs and limitations of each of the presumably several "levels"?

Will you post the cambam link please?

Evan
03-11-2009, 05:08 AM
Cam Bam is primarily a CAM system with CAD features. It is not a complete CAD solution but is, at least for me, good enough for most purposes.

In the interest of full disclosure I received my Cam Bam Plus licence in exchange for my assistance in beta testing the software. It is still under development with additional features expected but is entirely functional in the current version. If I ever find the time I will be writing up a full user interface for my Spiral PollyGone script but don't hold your breath.

What I see as the greatest strength of Cam Bam is the extensibility. It can use both simple scripts written by third parties and much more complex plugins also.

Cam Bam takes a DXF input file and creates a tool path in G-code for machining. That is it's primary function. It can also take g-code as input and recreate the the CAD file from the tool path, with some limitations.

It has a range of CAD features that complement those primary functions sufficiently to replace a CAD program for most simple tasks.

In the lastest version it now produces quite good G-code and is a reasonably stable product. I do expect that some people will not like the philosophy behind it's design as it leaves a number of things up to the user instead of automating them behind the scene. It is not a full featured CAD system nor is it intended to be one at this time.

http://www.cambam.co.uk/

oldtiffie
03-11-2009, 08:01 AM
Thanks for that great reply Evan.

I am at the novice neophyte stage so its all new and news to me.

Will the code work "as is" or "as out-putted" on a mill running under Mach3 or does the code require editing or checking?

What will be the final cost? - anywhere between a wild guess and a ball-park figure will do.

sansbury
03-11-2009, 11:16 PM
s the Alibre freebie version 3D and parametric? I seem to think it was 2D only. Anyone using that? Opinions??

Yes, it is 3D and parametric. I believe the free version even allows assemblies of up to 5 parts.

Evan
03-11-2009, 11:53 PM
Will the code work "as is" or "as out-putted" on a mill running under Mach3 or does the code require editing or checking?

The code runs fine on Mach III. Cam Bam has a variety of post processors for various controllers.

I don't know what the final cost might be. That is Andy's department. It currently licences for about $150 I believe. You can download a non crippled and functional version for free which has a subset of the features of the Plus version.

oldtiffie
03-12-2009, 07:19 AM
Thanks Evan.

My apologies for being late as I missed that post.

Spin Doctor
03-13-2009, 07:50 AM
This is where this whole started from

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v19/markandannie/scan0002.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v19/markandannie/scan0001.jpg

Evan
03-13-2009, 11:22 AM
I wonder how many programs make it possible to rough out a three start worm and matching wheel in just a couple of minutes?

http://ixian.ca/pics6/3start.jpg

mochinist
03-13-2009, 12:33 PM
I wonder how many programs make it possible to rough out a three start worm and matching wheel in just a couple of minutes?

Who knows, but I would bet it would take more than a couple minutes for your average user to figure it out.