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View Full Version : Do you make drawings of your HSM projects?



Boucher
08-15-2010, 08:18 PM
I donít remember the gunsmithís name but he recommended that if you made a part that you should make a drawing of it because over time you would probably be asked to do it again. The story goes that he sold his file of drawings for a goodly sum at the end of his career. Even though I have a drafting table set up in the machine shop office I donít always document my construction projects. So the Question: Do you make drawings of your HSM projects?

ADGO_Racing
08-15-2010, 08:23 PM
I find it easier to work out many problems on paper first, then build. I know a lot of people disagree with that approach, but I don't build anything without first drawing it up either in cad or at least sketching it out by hand first.

When you have others involved it simplifies things greatly, and helps keep errors in check.

DICKEYBIRD
08-15-2010, 08:32 PM
Absolutely! I rarely delete any CAD sketches. The majority of them aren't "polished up" for everyone else to see but even the simplest quickie tooling projects get saved on my hard drive and backed up on 2 other computers.

The problem I have is file folder/name management so I can find stuff when I need it. I did go through recently and re-arranged folders & files and tried to be logical about it.

ADGO_Racing
08-15-2010, 08:46 PM
The problem I have is file folder/name management so I can find stuff when I need it. I did go through recently and re-arranged folders & files and tried to be logical about it.

I too had that same issue. I had a hard drive become corrupted earlier this year. When I replaced the drive and reloaded Windows, I set up a folder for each type of activity (Accounting, Engineering Calcs, Spread Sheets......) I then setup sub folders for specific things. It took some time to "retrain" myself, but I now have things fairly well organized, I can actually find stuff now!

Your Old Dog
08-15-2010, 08:48 PM
I'm still trying to get my cad program down well enough that I can draw out simple projects, DIMENSION THEM, and then build from my own prints. Remembering all the commands for cad is a bear for this old man.

winchman
08-15-2010, 09:13 PM
I'll work to a print or sketch if someone gives me one, but I do almost everything else in my head. About the most documentation I'll have is is some scribbling on an old envelope. I almost never make multiples of the same part, so there's no point in careful documentation.

DeereGuy
08-15-2010, 09:25 PM
I draw up pretty much everything now. If I during construction I change something I have the laptop with me to immediately update the drawing. I also use Dropy Box and my folder for drawings is always sync with it. I like doing it this way instead of doing manual backups because I would get lazy or forget full and not do it. Another nice thing about Drop Box is it will do versioning for you.

SGW
08-15-2010, 09:26 PM
I draw nearly everything -- sometimes I re-draw a published print so I can dimension it the way I want, and to get a better feel for the part in general. My drawings don't follow any standard except my own -- a "real" draftsman would laugh -- but they work for me.

It's lots cheaper to work out design flaws on paper than by cutting metal.

I use the free version of ProgeCAD.

Mcruff
08-15-2010, 09:34 PM
Yes I draw almost everything out before I build it. It cuts the machine time in at least 1/2 I would think. Having drawn it you are already familar with the job and that helps to. I do not in most cases draw in 3D, I can and once in a while do but most of the time I can draw it in 2D in 1/2 the time it takes to 3D it.

Evan
08-15-2010, 09:37 PM
Anything that is CNC made must be drawn in advance with the exception of very simple chores such as pocketing or bolt circles and the like. For other projects I sometimes draw them in advance but more often I don't. My milling machine was built with almost no drawings at all, just a very few to verify clearances on stacked assemblies. Some projects are so complex that I must draw them to be able to ensure that my calculations are correct.

My drawing tools are varied. I use 2D drawings in Paint SHop Pro regularly for simple items. It has a rudimentary CAD toolkit for vector drawings and I know the software intimately. I use sketchUp these days to help visualize some projects and for CNC work I use CAM BAM.

KINGWELD
08-15-2010, 09:41 PM
For the simple stuff generally no. for the more complex parts
a drawing is nice especially if I'm dealing with right and left
hand parts.
Since CAD(computer aided disaster) is out, I do old school.
Yes paper and pencil can still get the job done.:D

Gary Gill
08-15-2010, 09:44 PM
I make CAD drawings first and often try different designs before making parts.

jb-mck
08-15-2010, 09:44 PM
I begin everything with a drawing or solid model. The reason for this is because I have a difficult time imagining how something will look in real life. I often find interfearences where in my mind there were none. I know many people that can visualize these things but I have never mastered that skill. Hats off to any of you who can.

Weston Bye
08-15-2010, 10:07 PM
Of necessity, I draw everything first - most of it ends up on the pages of Digital Machinist. However, in many cases, the drawings are not yet dimensioned. I put the drawing up on the computer and get the dimension for the particular operation as I go along. After I finish, I go back and measure the actual fitted dimension and then alter the drawings to reflect reality.

strokersix
08-15-2010, 10:38 PM
It depends for me. At my home shop anywhere from no sketch at all to Sharpie sketch on the steel bench to pencil sketch on paper, depending on complexity. Sharpie method gets the most use.

At my day job as a design engineer it's ProE solid models. I'll spit out a quick drawing if I'm building an experimental part or a proper drawing if someone else is making it or if it's for production.

J Tiers
08-15-2010, 10:44 PM
Anything with non-obvious dimensions I sketch at least, just so I can remember them.

Bushing a 0.25" shaft to 0.5" won't get a sketch unless there is a hole thru the side that has to be somewhere specific.

Ken_Shea
08-15-2010, 11:38 PM
Use CAD for most everything now, other then the most basic of projects, generally draw 3D models for most, not only the 2D, even those thing I am just considering. It is very helpful to be able to rotate items/assemblies for visualization.


YOD, hand in there, I was a bit over 60 before I started using any CAD/CAM or CNC, you will get more proficient with every hour spent, the big thing is, just do not quit !

I know Carld would agree :D

wierdscience
08-15-2010, 11:40 PM
I hardly ever draw anything unless it's has multiple offsets and shoulders,but even then it's mostly just a quick dimensioned scetch.If I'm building it for myself,will be using the item after I'm done and chances are any hiers won't have a clue what it is anyway I figure who needs a drawing.

HSM projects I usually keep on mental file and just pull one up during some free time and think on it.I may have several hours of thought spread out over a couple weeks or months before any metal gets cut.

Latest project on the "drawing board" is a compound hydraulic cylinder,design is almost done,except for locating the seals,probably be after New years before I move on it.The only thing I have jotted down on paper so far are the pressure calcs.

Ken_Shea
08-15-2010, 11:51 PM
Not a blanket statement here at all, however, generally speaking, the more proficient one gets at CAD the more likely it is to be used.

J Tiers
08-16-2010, 12:07 AM
Not a blanket statement here at all, however, generally speaking, the more proficient one gets at CAD the more likely it is to be used.

Been using one or anotehr form of CAD for almost 30 years. I know what it does, and I don't always want to turn on a computer to do a sketch Sometimes I do, if it is justified, or I want documentation, etc.

I do quite enough on CAD of one or another sort at work, mechanical CAD, PWB CAD, simulation, etc.

Envelopes work fine, although I usually try to use a piece of paper that looks different from something to be recycled.

oldbikerdude37
08-16-2010, 12:43 AM
All I have at home is some graph paper tablets that steel salesman have gave me. Love the free stuff.

There was as nice laptop in my home shop with autocad but It was left out in the shop all night @ 20 degrees and the next day it died.

Ken_Shea
08-16-2010, 12:54 AM
Been using one or anotehr form of CAD for almost 30 years. I know what it does, and I don't always want to turn on a computer to do a sketch Sometimes I do, if it is justified, or I want documentation, etc.

I do quite enough on CAD of one or another sort at work, mechanical CAD, PWB CAD, simulation, etc.

Envelopes work fine, although I usually try to use a piece of paper that looks different from something to be recycled.

JT,
I was attempting to share my point of view as it relates to HSM. in your case, I understand, the last thing you would be looking forward too when you get home is CAD.

For the same reason you do not see row after row of drafting tables in industry any longer is the same reason why it is so useful in the HSM environment as well. I'll sure never look back to pencil and paper, not that I do not use that at times :)

TGTool
08-16-2010, 02:08 AM
I almost always at least sketch things I'm considering in one of several notebooks I keep around for the purpose. Sometimes things take months or years to jell and I can go back to what I was considering at the time and expand. If I'm uncertain about clearances I'll do 2D sketches on CAD, sometimes just putting in particular dimensions. These aren't what I'd call finished drawings but I can save and modify them or copy pieces for alternative ideas or other parts. I can do solids but don't usually need to. The only truly finished drawings are in connection with the kits I sell since they have to be complete and look good.

Then there's the occasional china marker math on the vise top that I treat like a dry erase board.

dp
08-16-2010, 03:23 AM
I sometimes work from pencil drawings, or descriptions with dimensions, and will work from existing drawings, but for the most part I work from what I want the part to look like when I'm done. And I'll have parked mental dimensions into a dark corner of my gray cells to work to.

Teenage_Machinist
08-16-2010, 03:46 AM
Most of my work is not complex highly dimensioned stuff, and I play a fair amount of it by ear.

Black Forest
08-16-2010, 04:35 AM
For a lot of things I/we build it is the concrete floor and chalk! IF it is important we put pylons around the drawing so no one sweeps up our drawings or walks on them!

I have just now ventured into the CAD world of 3D. It is very interesting for me to see what I have visualized in my head on the monitor. Actually it is really rewarding for me. Not long ago I made my first bolt and a flange for it to go in to. I was really happy about my threads and such. Wife just rolls her eyes at my enthusiasm. It was a great moment for me when I had a picture of my 3D model and 2D drawings and then went to the shop and built the part.
That was really a moment for me. Pretty simple minded I know.

J Tiers
08-16-2010, 09:33 AM
JT,
I was attempting to share my point of view as it relates to HSM. in your case, I understand, the last thing you would be looking forward too when you get home is CAD.


Sure. CAD is very useful for lots of HSM tasks, and I use it quite a bit. Many things it isn't needed for, and so I don't.

The only thing I don't like about CAD at home is that my version is older than the one at work, (which is itself older than optimal) so there are missing commands and a different layout.

Both Work and I need to upgrade to newer, but in both cases we don't want the latest, so there are issues actually obtaining it.....

davidh
08-16-2010, 09:35 AM
usually repair work is by "eye" but for creative stuff, isometric free hand sketch after making a "to scale" sketch.

i have tried some of the free software for cad type drawing and find it way too cumbersome for my old ADHD brain.

garagemark
08-16-2010, 10:28 AM
I keep graph paper in every corner of the shop, along with mechanical pencils, steel rules, and cheap compasses. I also have a full size drafting table and machine, good compasses, triangles, and templates in the house. I will design larger projects in the comfort of home, but I sketch draw almost everything I do in the shop. I have papers laying everywhere. I gather them up occassionally and file them away, never to be seen again.

I tried several CAD programs, but never could find enough butt time to get good enough to use them well. But I can use pencil and paper "on-the-fly".

Guess I'm doomed to old school.