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View Full Version : Think twice about the Alibre / GeoMagic design CAD program



J Tiers
06-13-2014, 07:40 PM
EDIT: The newer versions of the program, as of late 2015, are much much better, and this can safely be forgotten about. I have not had the sort of issue described below for a couple versions, now, unless it was my own fault. So don't take this as representative of current versions.

And now, it is back to being Alibre, 3D Systems is out of the picture. Things should be even better soon.

ahidley
06-13-2014, 10:30 PM
Many many people have the same issues. I've used mist cad programs available in the last 25 years up until I retired fsdt year from the dept of defence. The bottom line is you have to make it simple. Think of it like this: if you were looking at the TOP ASSY of a house, car, etc. You would have at the most 25 parts . For the car you would have an engine, transmission, exhaust sys, brake sys, elect sys, etc. Then going into detail you could look at the engine ASSY. That would consist of maybe a LONG BLOCK , the stuff that bolts to that, water pump, powersteering pump, alternator, car,. Then farther down looking at the long block. That may consist if a short block and head assy. Then farther down looking at the head assy. You may find head casting assy, valves, springs, rockers, etc. Then looking at the head casting assy you would see the head casting, valve seats, valve guides, studs, etc. Make many subassys. Make one for EVERY LEVEL of a part that you may want to buy separately.

ahidley
06-13-2014, 10:40 PM
By doing it that way the PC won't have to regenerate all constraints at the same time and keep them loaded in RAM. WHERE I worked at the last, management hired newly degrees engineers that wanted everything on one drawing. This caused exactly the issues you describe. The more complicated your assys are the more complicatedRAM is required. Also don't have ANY ERRORS in any subassys. If you have a crack in theffoundation your house will fall down.

ahidley
06-13-2014, 10:44 PM
I submitted this on a cell phone and AUTO CORRECT added a few extras words. So disregard them .

Leadfootin
06-13-2014, 10:50 PM
I submitted this on a cell phone and AUTO CORRECT added a few extras words. So disregard them .

You mean AUTO CORRUPT?

ahidley
06-13-2014, 10:57 PM
Yes the result is the same

garyhlucas
06-13-2014, 11:36 PM
I am on SolidWorks 2014, and used SolidEdge before that, Rhino 3d before that, and Generic 3D even earlier. All of them can be brought to their knees by poor modeling practices. Here are a few biggies. Excess detail, especially on parts you get from manufacturers. Threads, draft, fillets, cooling fins etc. are mostly unnecessary to the design of assemblies, and simply consume processor power and memory. Families of parts, seem like a really great idea, but slow you down to a crawl, because the programs constantly check to see if a part is up to date. Purchased parts don't change, and you don't need the underlying geometry sketches in every bolt, nut, washer, valve etc. Find out how your program reduces a part to just surfaces and use it that way. Find out if it uses "released" parts. Released parts don't get checked ever time they are loaded, always release purchased parts that don't change. Break all links to the parent part. Keep one parent part that has all the geometry for making new parts. Use assemblies of assemblies of assemblies. A subassembly gets bolted on using a subassembly of a bolt nut and washer, and the subassembly is used five times in the main model for example.

Learn how to use the large model capabilities of your program. Some programs can load just surface meshes of parts and assemblies that you are not actaully working on. They look the same but you have to activate/load them do editing. I design equipment skids for waste water treatment plants. The typical skid has hundreds of unique parts and sometimes thousands in total. I also do models of a complete plant, including about five skids and all the tanks and piping, with every nut bolt and washer in the whole job. I get a bill of materials that has every piece I need to purchase.

I'll bet Alibre does a much better job than you think, when used properly. Also this one area of computing that really benefits from a badass computer. Lots of processor speed, tons of memory, solid state drives, dual monitors all make a very big difference. If you work for a company they should buy new computers for the 3D guys every year and hand down the old ones to other engineers, then down to the accounting, word processing people and so on. In my last job I got a new computer 3 times in ten years and the improvement was so great the payback was months at most each time. My new boss bought me a Dell M6700 laptop (I work from home 3 days a week), SolidWorks Professional, and AutoCad LT on my second day!

justanengineer
06-13-2014, 11:48 PM
By doing it that way the PC won't have to regenerate all constraints at the same time and keep them loaded in RAM. WHERE I worked at the last, management hired newly degrees engineers that wanted everything on one drawing. This caused exactly the issues you describe. The more complicated your assys are the more complicatedRAM is required. Also don't have ANY ERRORS in any subassys. If you have a crack in theffoundation your house will fall down.

+1. I work with models daily that have thousands of individual parts. Not sure how many lines are in the average model tree window, but once I start having to scroll it I start looking to create another assembly. Aside from helping with processing speed, having huge models are also a PITA compared to smaller assemblies when you have to start working with them from a remote server or need to use the same arrangement of parts in a different model. Its a bit more work upfront to create multiple assemblies but can save you a lifetime on the back end.

Black Forest
06-14-2014, 03:03 AM
I am not a professional CAD designer nor do I play one on TV. I only use GeoMagic Design and that is the only program I know so I can not speak for any other software.

As Garyhlucas stated best practices is essential for large assemblies. One of the best practices is to constrain to axis and planes as much as possible. Add them as needed to get valid constraints. Also sub assemblies is the most important. If you just constrain part to part while you build your overall assembly you will get lost and have a nightmare to find your mistakes. And they will be your mistakes not GeoMagic's deficiencies.

Also you need a computer with a high clock rate on the processor. Multiple cores mostly only help when it comes to rendering. Mostly only one core is used so it needs to be a high clock speed. My computer is overclocked to 4.6 ghz with 32 GB ram all water cooled, a professinal SSD for operating system and programs with a very fast raid system built with SSD's for file and date storage.

Do you name your constraints as you build your assemblies? Also very descriptive part names are a big help. A final overall assembly should only have sub assemblies constrained to each other not extra parts to parts when ever possible.

Did you just "pick up" your CAD knowledge or have you had any formal training?

GeoMagic works fine for large assemblies if you actually know how to use best practices and correct modeling procedures.

J Tiers
06-14-2014, 09:05 AM
Well, the replies are all along the lines of "you are screwing it up".

How you COULD know that I have no idea. It's a lot of assumptions about how I "might" be doing things. It may be news to you, but I am not an absolute cretin. Apparently the problem here is all the things YOU know for sure that actually ain't so.

EDIT:

There are poor practices which WILL cause problems, for sure.

I keep projects and parts in ONE directory each.... and do a "save-all-as" when a new incarnation of it needs to be created off an older version. You simply CAN NOT do any OS-based swapping and changing, that will break everything in a big hurry.

With Win 7 and 64bit latest version, the same "utterly stupid" operator is no longer havig the issues that used to occur.

Nothing to see here, move along, folks.

John Stevenson
06-14-2014, 09:17 AM
7) Unlike a real program, such as AutoCad Inventor, Pro-E, etc, AD/GD has no manual. What passes for a manual is essentially a compilation of the "help" messages. There is very little depth to it compared to others, and while "operation" is covered, the details are often left out entirely.




What's this then ?

481

All 844 pages of it ?

J Tiers
06-14-2014, 10:49 AM
What's this then ?

481

All 844 pages of it ?

What THAT is, is "not very useful".

I have the PDF.....

It's THERE, but when you look stuff up in it, what you need to know is not where you think it is, is under titles you don't expect, and when you DO find it, it isn;'t helpful.

THAT's what that is, then.

Billy Hill
06-14-2014, 11:20 AM
I have to admit I was kind of chuckling to myself reading all the replies saying you're doing it wrong.

I've been designing via CAD for about the same amount of time, pencil and paper before that. Most of my early designs were small and done via a CAD/CAM program though, I didn't start using CAD programs until the last 20 or so years.

We use Soiledworks 2011 on 3 year old Thinkpads where I currently work. We design and manufacture absolutely ENORMOUS assemblies with it. The machines we build with it have between 8,000 and 13,000 components to them of every imaginable type. There are considerable motion, thermal and visual components that require flow testing, stress testing, heat distribution (via highly customized ceramic elements), liquid nitrogen coolant systems, condensing units, etc etc.

We've got scores of engineers using it (Soiledworks) all over the world and I have to tell you, some of them are truly idiots. There are a plethora of design conflicts in the assemblies but they almost never cause the program to lock or hang.

I can't say for sure what we do that allows us to run these giant models without crashing, but I know it's related to the way they build in sub assemblies. For the biggest machine we make (13,000 parts) there are probably several hundred (thousands?) sub assemblies. It's rare that we load up the finished machine but we do it and it works using both regular mode AND large assembly mode. It's obviously much slower in regular mode.


W
3) The biggest usual offender is fasteners.... it's easy to use the McMaster (or other) vendor models, but when you are using a bunch of them, it's far better to make your own.... Alibre / GeoMagic allows a thing they call (for some unknown reason) a "cosmetic thread", which is essentially like the old draftsman's rectangular box showing where threads 'would be". Using that is highly advisable, and that's what I do.

We use fasteners, both the library and custom. We don't always use all of them though, and definitely do NOT use the threading features. In a pattern of 4 bolts we'll typically use one to define the size then leave the others out.


6) Constraint naming.... with well over 400 total constraints in the design, one would run out of names.... and I do not even try to do that. The program gives names, but does not separate by subassembly


We have thousands of constraints. We don't name any of them. Sometimes we ignore them and yes, sometimes we pay for that.


7) Unlike a real program, such as AutoCad Inventor, Pro-E, etc, AD/GD has no manual. What passes for a manual is essentially a compilation of the "help" messages. There is very little depth to it compared to others, and while "operation" is covered, the details are often left out entirely.


See Sir John's post, maybe he can help you get your paws on a good manual. Otherwise seek help on an Alibre forum for help with specific issues like you've done here.



8) Many people suggest just leaving out fasteners.... That's a stupid idea. If you do that you will never find the interferences in parts which may move, or fold up, you will have to do your BOM by hand, relying on memory, and you are losing over half the benefits of CAD, IMO.

See my reply to #3 above and add the last part of my reply to #6 above in that yes, we sometimes pay for that.

Hope you either find a fix or at least a work-around. Sometimes you just have to give up and move on with the design so you don't get dragged down.

MikeHenry
06-14-2014, 12:01 PM
What's this then ?

481

All 844 pages of it ?

It's the manual for the 2012 version of Alibre Design. Since then there have been 2 major upgrades and a name change to GeoMagic. So far as I know GeoMagic has never released a manual for the most recent version of their software, though the help file can be useful.

MikeHenry
06-14-2014, 12:03 PM
I have come to the conclusion that this program is not particularly suitable for large assemblies, over say 25 parts or so.

Are you the JST from the GeoMagic forum?

Mike

J Tiers
06-14-2014, 12:06 PM
The basic problem is that AD/GD was done on a much lower budget than solidworks or Inventor, etc.

Much was left out in documentation.. The 844 pages (I have the PDF, all 15 mb of it) MAY ACTUALLY HAVE THE INFORMATION. Problem is finding it.

AD/GD has their own language, and it ain't ours.

loose nut
06-14-2014, 12:07 PM
One point that has shown up is that there is a big difference between programs that cost many thousands of dollars/pounds/Euros (Inventor, Solidworks, Pro E) and those that cost hundreds or less like Alibre. You get what you pay/pirate for.

Black Forest
06-14-2014, 01:04 PM
J Tiers, All I wrote were some things I know will break a large assembly. I didn't say you were doing it wrong. How could I know that! You get all snotty and indignant whenever anyone tries to help you or suggest anything in any thread. As far as you being involved with CAD for 30 years so what. Maybe you have been doing it wrong for thirty years. Maybe yo just got by but didn't follow best practices in your CAD work.

You don't mention what version of GM you are using.

Next time you post something why don't you post your credentials and education so no one will offend your fragile self!

Billy Hill
06-14-2014, 01:14 PM
i didn't say you were doing it wrong.




... And they will be your mistakes not geomagic's deficiencies.


... If you actually know how to use best practices and correct modeling procedures.

LMAO @ how ironic irony can be. ;)

Black Forest
06-14-2014, 01:18 PM
Ok so maybe I did say he was doing it wrong!:cool:

Does SolidWorks tell you which constraint is the offending constraint when it notifies you of a conflict? That must be a real timesaver if it does.

Billy Hill
06-14-2014, 01:38 PM
Ok so maybe I did say he was doing it wrong! :cool:

Does SolidWorks tell you which constraint is the offending constraint when it notifies you of a conflict? That must be a real timesaver if it does.

I understood your point the first time I read it and understand that it was not your intention to say he was doing it wrong, but it DID read like you were saying he was doing it wrong if you wanted it to. :cool:

Yes, it tells you which constraint is the problem, but it lets you work through it if you don't want to worry about it, which is an even bigger timesaver. :)

KJ1I
06-14-2014, 02:35 PM
1) I'm still happy to recommend A/G/C, especially for the cost $200/$900 vs the $4k to $6k for Solidworks. I had similar problems when I used Geomagic on my laptop. I moved it to my main computer (faster processor, faster graphics card, and lots more memory) and have had no problems. I'm currently working on an assembly that, so far, has over 500 parts and well over 3000 constraints with no problems at all.

2) My first real job was as a draftsman (yes, in those days there were called draftsmen) for Gibbs and Hill. They design nuclear power plants and waste management facilities.

3) There is a way to identify the location of any constraint, but I'll save the description of how its done for the Alibre forum.

Black Forest
06-14-2014, 02:51 PM
What operating system are you using and how much ram do you have?

J Tiers
06-14-2014, 03:00 PM
What operating system are you using and how much ram do you have?

That was already stated.

J Tiers
06-14-2014, 03:03 PM
The program was just "caught" screwing up, and it was NOT me....

I had several parts aligned in a subassembly, and saved it. I went back and checked it, all OK, parts had all constraints present and good.

Came back from running errands, and went to add some more parts to it and I was VERY irritated to observe that several alignments, which were KNOWN TO BE OK before, were now broken and in fact deleted, the parts in question now had incomplete constraints.

This assembly had less than 30 parts.... NO excuse for that.

NOTHING had been done to it in the mean time, no parts added or deleted, it had not even been OPENED.



One point that has shown up is that there is a big difference between programs that cost many thousands of dollars/pounds/Euros (Inventor, Solidworks, Pro E) and those that cost hundreds or less like Alibre. You get what you pay/pirate for.

There is a lot less difference in price than there used to be! A seat of G-D (and boy is THAT name appropriate!! :D) is well into the over $1K area with all the options that turn it into something close to S-W.

willmac
06-14-2014, 03:56 PM
I use Alibre almost daily and sometimes for assemblies with hundreds of parts. I sympathise with the OP because I had similar (but not exactly the same) experiences when I started working with it. The documentation does not cover good practices, nor what to do when you start to have problems with constraints. I got quite frustrated with this and felt that the system was at fault. In each case I found conflicting constraints that I could resolve when I found out what was causing them. I have found that it is essential to heavily structure big assemblies as others have already stated. You must choose a part or a sub-assembly on which you build your assembly that is itself correctly and fully constrained. When you get a constraint problem, you need to investigate it immediately and not continue building the assembly. It gets much more difficult to sort out the mess if you ignore the issue. You need a fast workstation to work with large assemblies. I have a good machine and for my biggest assemblies, it can take several minutes before the constraints change from italics.

I emphasised that I have not had exactly the same experience with constraint problems. Specifically I have never seen constraints actually DELETED from the assembly. That sounds very strange to me and possibly suggestive of a corruption of the model.

ahidley
06-14-2014, 04:02 PM
Here is my partial resume: starting in 1985- applicon 870 (2d) & (3d) mainframe. Autocad 2.62 (anybody remember that? It came on, I think, 8 five and a quarter 365mbps floppys. This was before windows utility was dos. Then applicon 880. Then CADDS, this was on a sparc station with unix. Then CADDS5 . Then. Cadkey. Then personal designer. Then more acad. Inventor. Solid works. Pro E. I'm most likely forgetting a few . I've had at least 2 weeks classroom training on each of these as well as using them for 25years. Now I worked for the dept of defense. I worked on projects for army, marines, navy, airforce, Lockheed martin, fosterwheeler, Boeing, etc you get the idea. Now every one of these listed had a cad program that they used. So to work with them we had to use the cad program that they used. Thus I've used them all .

ahidley
06-14-2014, 04:13 PM
The reason I'm posting this is that this thread has everybody arguing about how to do it. This is EXACTLY. What I saw for 25 years working. But I can say this and it's a fact. I never had problems with my models/drawings/all the way through .nc programing. But many guys did. But they kept creating their models off the previous ones. Thus the problems always followed them . I don't care how you guys do it. I'm not going to debate it. That's why I retired at least49 years old

ahidley
06-14-2014, 04:41 PM
Black moon's talked about using planes and axis . When assembling be careful which one you choose. Exams. Ten part ASSY. There could be ten levels to that assys constraints or one. Depending on which plain was chosen for the prior constraint. Or because three constraints may be required, any combination could have been choosen. Thus if one part wad moved it could corupt your entire assembly
To clarify. You may have ten TOP. planes, ten front, ten right. Choose the top plane off the correct part. Then choose the others off the SAME part

J Tiers
06-14-2014, 05:45 PM
When you get a constraint problem, you need to investigate it immediately and not continue building the assembly. It gets much more difficult to sort out the mess if you ignore the issue.

If you IGNORE, OR if the system does not tell you until too late. The latter is what I have seen.

That, or something suddenly lights up 20 or 30 constraints in italics.... who's on first? If an "UNDO" doesn't fix it, then you've got trouble, probably you will break things worse by trying to fix it... just start another assembly. Back up the levels, so you can get back to where you were.

In general, in AD/GD, if and when you see the menu of actions (add, modify, etc) turn from greyed out to color, ONLY THEN is the system done. When the menu is greyed out, ALL the constraints are italics. NOTHING is do-able, you need to wait.

If you still have italics after the menu has lit up, then you do have a problem. A problem that AD/GD will NOT help you fix.

I have found that too many planes as "helpers" in assembly will foul you up. Choosing a base part, and build on it is what has worked best. lock THAT part to the co-ordinates.

There are a million ways to foul up, one way to do it right. I am reasonably certain I have seen it foul up when I did everything right. Certain enough to be annoyed.

As CAD goes, this ain't my first ride..... not even in 3D. I used AutoCAd a LOT, in 2D AND 3D, Pro-E a bit, although I opted not to get the full training for that, and misc others.

willmac
06-14-2014, 06:20 PM
That, or something suddenly lights up 20 or 30 constraints in italics.... who's on first? If an "UNDO" doesn't fix it, then you've got trouble, probably you will break things worse by trying to fix it... just start another assembly. Back up the levels, so you can get back to where you were.


If you get a sudden problem like you describe, it is almost certainly the last the constraint that you added. Rather than using UNDO, try suppressing that last constraint you added and see if the rest of the constraints go back to normal. If so, you have a clue to work with. If not try suppressing the next last.

J Tiers
06-14-2014, 07:20 PM
Since we ARE talking about a system using lots of sub-assemblies, generally the only way to light up a LOT of constraints is by adding something bigger, which is easily un-done. At least that is how I have seen it happen.... not constraining just one part.

If you undo, you can always perform the action again. If you start in trying to suppress more than the last one or two constraints in that situation, things will go south fast. Far easier to undo the thing that fouled it up.

If you are working on a subassembly, and have added a constraint on a part, etc, YES then what you say is best. Almost always suppressing or deleting the last constraint will fix the immediate issue, allowing you to fix the REAL issue.

justanengineer
06-14-2014, 07:43 PM
If youre having problems using your constraints, you might be better off taking the time to set up a UCS for each subassembly relevant to the main model. Instead of having 2 or more constraints to place each subassembly, youd have one per. I personally always try to do so in order to avoid having issues when I change/delete planes or axes.

J Tiers
06-14-2014, 11:04 PM
If youre having problems using your constraints, you might be better off taking the time to set up a UCS for each subassembly relevant to the main model. Instead of having 2 or more constraints to place each subassembly, youd have one per. I personally always try to do so in order to avoid having issues when I change/delete planes or axes.

Several folks have suggested that. But the way they explained it seemed to make the whole idea of doing a model irrelevant and un-necessary. Their explanations suggested that they put the subassemblies where they calculate to go, and not where the actual parts show them going. It seems to be an idealization that is a step past the ideal physical parts, one that makes a nice model, but may cover up errors and issues.

I do a model for one main reason, which has side benefits.

I do the model so that I can extract actual parts with dimensions... I can put the product together just as it will be done in production, and have confidence that the parts as-modeled will fit together, will line up correctly, and look as expected.

To do that, one cannot really do pre-calculated locations, and then extract reality from them. It takes real parts, fitting together, with holes where they should be, bolted parts mated-up, and so forth. I can get dims for other parts from that model, pull the modeled parts and create drawings, pull a BOM with all the parts at any assembly level, etc, etc.

So if the part or assembly bolts up to another section, I align by the bolt holes, and put simplified fastener models through. The "faked" or so-called "cosmetic" thread representation allows the drawing of the fastener to be correct with info such as thread length, etc, while not burdening the model with extra details.

Doing things my way has resulted in units that go together correctly the first time, with virtually all problems coming from errors on the part of vendors, not from miscalculations, etc on my part as designer.

That's not to say the models have no errors, they generally do at first. But we knock them off one by one until the model reflects a product that will assemble with real tools (not phantom screwdrivers that magically reach through solid steel walls), that will fit in the end assembly, and will work.

EDIT:

I suppose the above depends on the design method..... put the stuff where it goes, measure the spaces between, and make the parts to fill up the room between, OR make the parts to size, and verify that they DO in fact hold the assembly where it needs to go.

It's a choice.... and my choice is usually to make the parts as they are expected to be, and check correct assembly.... I find the measuring method in AD/GD to be more trouble in the long run.

Black Forest
06-15-2014, 12:32 PM
You didn't answer my question as to what version of GM you have. If I recall you had the personal edition and got upgraded to GM elements, correct?

Have you had any formal training on GM? And how much actual experience in 3D modeling not just 2D CAD? There is a whole different mindset involved.

If you want to use GM exactly like you would use SW it might not work for you and you should cough up the $8000 and buy SolidWorks and stop whining because your $299 package is not just like SolidWorks.

Thousands of real designers and engineers are using GM with success. Do you think they are having the same problems you are experiencing? No they aren't because the have learned how to use the program and then get on with actually designing products and delivering.

You say you are designing something for your work. If so they should at least buy you a CAD workstation and not the XP 4GB box you are using.

As I mentioned I am a hobby user but THE top hand at using all the Alibre Design products is a friend of mine and I have had him build parts and assemblies on my computer via remote access and have learned how to build correct parts and assemblies.

If you really want to end the problems you are having you can send me a non confidential assembly package and I will have him rebuild it correctly and send it back to you so you can see how it should be done.

jep24601
06-15-2014, 02:54 PM
........If you really want to end the problems you are having you can send me a non confidential assembly package and I will have him rebuild it correctly and send it back to you so you can see how it should be done.

Now there's a nice offer!

wayne101
06-15-2014, 03:52 PM
Hi , if you do a google search for "Geomagic user Guide" you will find a new user guide with
957 pages in it . I don't know how well it is written but maybe it is good.
Wayne

J Tiers
06-15-2014, 04:20 PM
Apparently that would be "Ralf", I presume. If it is knowable, apparently he knows it.

But I HAVE TO muddle through, thanks though.

A) The whole thing is confidential, involves patent applications, etc, no can do.

B) Even if it were not confidential, no pain, no gain, no learnee nothing. This horse bucked me off, and ain't no one else gonna ride him until I get back up there and stick.

As I'm pretty sure I mentioned, I am using AD "Professional", 2012. Costs $299? I think this version is closer to a grand.....

The box it runs on does fine with architectural CAD, that's what was running on it before I got it. So it's not a slow box, it's everything you can do with XP, pretty much, including high speed video, and more screen resolution than comes on newer computers. I could upgrade to V16, but I'd have to put it on a machine with either Win 7 or the Win 8 "phone app", and I don;t have a portable win 7 machine at present.

As for the workstation, we HAVE a monster workstation, running Solidworks with every bell and whistle that is available for it. The thing has more processors than SW can use....

Problem is, NOBODY here now knows Solidworks well enough to be productive, the guy that knew it inside out is not here anymore. To get done what I routinely do in a half hour with AD would take days to learn. Classic case of not having time to save ourselves time. So what we do is export a SW file from AD and use SW for some of the final stuff that we know how to do.

Eventually, I'll have to learn SW, since after doing the electrical stuff, I am also the product mechanical designer. I've used this package for several new custom VFDs so far, all of which work and fit as they should.

Now.... About that deal of doing everything wrong...... Possible but doubtful. Like I said, this ain't my first ride, son. I already have a number of successful projects done with this package.

Before you begin to holler about this statement... technically, if the program responds badly, clearly you must have done something "wrong".... At least "wrong" from the standpoint of those who write the program, BUT not necessarily in the view of those who USE the program....
It may not be very possible to avoid doing something wrong.... because the right way is not explained, or is different from what appears to be correct. That is what goes on with AD/GD.

Here is the issue and the real reason for bothering to post here.

If, as you suggest, one needs to attend a 2 week training session to properly make a cube with AD/GD, then it is simply NOT what it has been advertised to be, which is low cost capable but easy to use CAD.

And, that fact should be made known so folks won't waste their time and money on it.

Truthfully, the real issue is probably four or five things that seem to be baked-into AD/GD.

1) There is no effective help from the program to debug constraints. And constraints are a very basic component of the whole CAD deal. It is a major flaw. The program basically whispers softly "you made a mistake" and lets it go at that. Problem is, that small thing has major consequences.

2) Inherent in the CAD project structure is the fact that some basic part can foul up the entire model, if it changes in some way that breaks constraints. Good luck finding that unless it is something you recently did with the model level you are working on. But the bad part can sneak in at a far lower assembly level.

3) AD/GD has a habit of reverting to a prior default storage location.... so despite using separate directories for projects, if you are not 100% vigilant, a part can get put where you don't expect it.... then maybe you find the out-of-place part, and delete it. BAM..... whatever assembly it was in, is now broken.
Generally that triggers an error on opening. But if the part REPLACES another part, it's possible for the program to decide its different without complaining that it is missing, and THAT breaks assemblies also... And is almost undetectable.

4) AD/GD is apparently totally non-tolerant of any errors. Once ONE thing is bad, nothing else can be depended on, apparently. Other constraints etc can show up bad, even if not directly related. Sometimes they do NOT show up bad, other times "the world falls apart".

5) AD/GD is very very bad at telling you what is up. Text turns italic.... IF YOU NOTICE the tiny text at the side, which may actually be off-screen, then good... but odds are you do not see it until you have gone too far to recover. Only if it is a constraint you just added... then a message pops up, and that's fine, just as it should.

6) NOWHERE IN THE INFO does AD/GD explain the consequences of having even ONE bad constraint somewhere..... THAT SHOULD BE A BIG DEAL, EXPLAINED AND SHOUTED FROM THE HOUSETOPS. But the info and manual either is totally silent about that, or hides it where so far I have not seen it.


No, everything I see, and what you yourself say, shows that AD/GD is harder to learn than it seems, and should not be recommended to people without CAD experience. Even those who have been working with 3D for over 10 years can get in trouble, due to backwards ways AD/GD seems to do things.

loose nut
06-15-2014, 04:56 PM
J, having a bad constraint can cause a domino effect in any CAD program but not usually to the extent that you seem to be having. Any chance that something has changed in the way the design has been executed compared to previous designs.

Black Forest
06-15-2014, 04:57 PM
Apparently that would be "Ralf", I presume. If it is knowable, apparently he knows it.

But I HAVE TO muddle through, thanks though.

A) The whole thing is confidential, involves patent applications, etc, no can do.

B) Even if it were not confidential, no pain, no gain, no learnee nothing. This horse bucked me off, and ain't no one else gonna ride him until I get back up there and stick.

As I'm pretty sure I mentioned, I am using AD "Professional", 2012. Costs $299? I think this version is closer to a grand.....

The box it runs on does fine with architectural CAD, that's what was running on it before I got it. So it's not a slow box, it's everything you can do with XP, pretty much, including high speed video, and more screen resolution than comes on newer computers. I could upgrade to V16, but I'd have to put it on a machine with either Win 7 or the Win 8 "phone app", and I don;t have a portable win 7 machine at present.

As for the workstation, we HAVE a monster workstation, running Solidworks with every bell and whistle that is available for it. The thing has more processors than SW can use....

Problem is, NOBODY here now knows Solidworks well enough to be productive, the guy that knew it inside out is not here anymore. To get done what I routinely do in a half hour with AD would take days to learn. Classic case of not having time to save ourselves time. So what we do is export a SW file from AD and use SW for some of the final stuff that we know how to do.

Eventually, I'll have to learn SW, since after doing the electrical stuff, I am also the product mechanical designer. I've used this package for several new custom VFDs so far, all of which work and fit as they should.

Now.... About that deal of doing everything wrong...... Possible but doubtful. Like I said, this ain't my first ride, son. I already have a number of successful projects done with this package.

Before you begin to holler about this statement... technically, if the program responds badly, clearly you must have done something "wrong".... At least "wrong" from the standpoint of those who write the program, BUT not necessarily in the view of those who USE the program....
It may not be very possible to avoid doing something wrong.... because the right way is not explained, or is different from what appears to be correct. That is what goes on with AD/GD.

Here is the issue and the real reason for bothering to post here.

If, as you suggest, one needs to attend a 2 week training session to properly make a cube with AD/GD, then it is simply NOT what it has been advertised to be, which is low cost capable but easy to use CAD.

And, that fact should be made known so folks won't waste their time and money on it.

Truthfully, the real issue is probably four or five things that seem to be baked-into AD/GD.

1) There is no effective help from the program to debug constraints. And constraints are a very basic component of the whole CAD deal. It is a major flaw. The program basically whispers softly "you made a mistake" and lets it go at that. Problem is, that small thing has major consequences.

2) Inherent in the CAD project structure is the fact that some basic part can foul up the entire model, if it changes in some way that breaks constraints. Good luck finding that unless it is something you recently did with the model level you are working on. But the bad part can sneak in at a far lower assembly level.

3) AD/GD has a habit of reverting to a prior default storage location.... so despite using separate directories for projects, if you are not 100% vigilant, a part can get put where you don't expect it.... then maybe you find the out-of-place part, and delete it. BAM..... whatever assembly it was in, is now broken.
Generally that triggers an error on opening. But if the part REPLACES another part, it's possible for the program to decide its different without complaining that it is missing, and THAT breaks assemblies also... And is almost undetectable.

4) AD/GD is apparently totally non-tolerant of any errors. Once ONE thing is bad, nothing else can be depended on, apparently. Other constraints etc can show up bad, even if not directly related. Sometimes they do NOT show up bad, other times "the world falls apart".

5) AD/GD is very very bad at telling you what is up. Text turns italic.... IF YOU NOTICE the tiny text at the side, which may actually be off-screen, then good... but odds are you do not see it until you have gone too far to recover. Only if it is a constraint you just added... then a message pops up, and that's fine, just as it should.

6) NOWHERE IN THE INFO does AD/GD explain the consequences of having even ONE bad constraint somewhere..... THAT SHOULD BE A BIG DEAL, EXPLAINED AND SHOUTED FROM THE HOUSETOPS. But the info and manual either is totally silent about that, or hides it where so far I have not seen it.


No, everything I see, and what you yourself say, shows that AD/GD is harder to learn than it seems, and should not be recommended to people without CAD experience. Even those who have been working with 3D for over 10 years can get in trouble, due to backwards ways AD/GD seems to do things.


I never said you needed a two week course. (At least I don't think I did) With your background if you got two days training you would probably be up and running. Trying to muddle through makes no sense is a waste of time and money.

You are using a very old version. Much has changed.

wayne101
06-15-2014, 06:12 PM
My Bad , sorry that was Geomagic Design X. I never heard of it before.
Wayne

J Tiers
06-15-2014, 09:28 PM
You are using a very old version. Much has changed.

Well, it's only 2 years old... Even in the CAD world that isn't that long... (but in iphones its a century). According to all I have been able to determine, the essential changes have not yet been made, even in V16.

As for muddling thru... well, only the inventor and I have the design.... I'm on NDA and I guarantee that anything meaningful as far as this design is concerned would be a violation of the NDA. Done.

2 day courses? Maybe, don't know of any, but usually they aren't that helpful Don't know of any in any case.

I can upgrade, because I am on "maintenance".... But I would need to upgrade to WIn7, which this machine can run (it came with Vista PRO, and was "downgraded" to XP b.c. Vista was such a dog). I have a license, but no time to be "down" getting that done.

BTW... the annual "maintenance" costs more than you thought the program cost.... it was over $300 US just for the maintenance on what I have.

KJ1I
06-16-2014, 09:35 AM
<<snip>>

5) AD/GD is very very bad at telling you what is up. Text turns italic.... IF YOU NOTICE the tiny text at the side, which may actually be off-screen, then good... but odds are you do not see it until you have gone too far to recover. Only if it is a constraint you just added... then a message pops up, and that's fine, just as it should.
<<snip>>


I don't know how you have your version configured, but mine drops a huge box in the middle of the screen telling me I've created an invalid constraint, and won't let me proceed until I've acknowledged it.

PS - that's a configurable option.

J Tiers
06-16-2014, 07:21 PM
I don't know how you have your version configured, but mine drops a huge box in the middle of the screen telling me I've created an invalid constraint, and won't let me proceed until I've acknowledged it.

PS - that's a configurable option.

OF COURSE IT DOES, I SAID THAT.

THAT'S IF YOU ACTUALLY DO THAT YOURSELF WITH THE ADD CONSTRAINTS....

If one gets broken due to an issue with a bad save (default part location = "my documents"), or something getting messed up with a part a level or two down the chain, maybe it got edited, or some unforseen problem occurred.

Those you will never know about until you suddenly notice 30 or 40 broken constraints.

Alistair Hosie
06-17-2014, 02:34 PM
Black forest
It is not the first time I have noticed that you (whether you realize it or not ) do come accross as sometimes a quite rude and abrasive character in your dealings with people without any significant reason IMHO.You need to chill brother ,and reduce your stress levels if not blood pressure . Seriously. Alistair

Black Forest
06-17-2014, 04:58 PM
Black forest
It is not the first time I have noticed that you (whether you realize it or not ) do come accross as sometimes a quite rude and abrasive character in your dealings with people without any significant reason IMHO.You need to chill brother ,and reduce your stress levels if not blood pressure . Seriously. Alistair

Alistair you are completely out of line with this one. I offered to help JT but he just rants on and wants to be mad and no one is going to cheat him out of it!

He does the same thing on the Alibre forum and none of the really good users and people that could help him will even respond to his posts anymore because of his ridiculous posts.

JT's hardware is outdated and very limited in today's world. He stated they have SolidWorks but no one knows how to use it!! Any alarms going off in your head. He went on about how much experience he has with CAD software but he doesn't know how to use the two packages he has! Hello Alistair, why aren't you jumping on JT he is the one that jumps on everyone that tries to help him.

That he has no time to update/upgrade his computer or software but is spending huge amounts of time trying to design projects for a business he where he works because he doesn't know how to use his 3D CAD programs. There is a thing call best practices and he has no idea and states he has to muddle through.

But not to worry A.H. I will keep quiet in this thread! Please note the lack of a smiley.

Jon Heron
06-17-2014, 05:23 PM
BTW... the annual "maintenance" costs more than you thought the program cost.... it was over $300 US just for the maintenance on what I have.
WOW! your paying a yearly fee of 300 bucks, besides the initial cost of the crapware you have and they wont even give you support? Leaving you to post questions on an open source forum???
Saying you had to sign an NDA is redundant, for 300 bucks a year the supplier of your crapware should be able to sign the same NDA with no issue, as well as anyone else offering to help... I read and sign NDA's weekly, this is no big deal...
Its funny to me that you rant on and on about how lame and inefective opensource software is and how linux programs just dont work as well as paid windoze software.... Thats some funny/ironic stuff right there...
Cheers,
Jon

J Tiers
06-17-2014, 06:04 PM
WOW! your paying a yearly fee of 300 bucks, besides the initial cost of the crapware you have and they wont even give you support? Leaving you to post questions on an open source forum???
Saying you had to sign an NDA is redundant, for 300 bucks a year the supplier of your crapware should be able to sign the same NDA with no issue, as well as anyone else offering to help... I read and sign NDA's weekly, this is no big deal...
Its funny to me that you rant on and on about how lame and inefective opensource software is and how linux programs just dont work as well as paid windoze software.... Thats some funny/ironic stuff right there...
Cheers,
Jon

1) It isn't "crapware", it works very well. The problem is that in certain circumstances it will allow you to get entangled in a tar pit which will swallow your design right up.... And the warnings are very minimal.

And I have caught it doing some things which it should not... Things I might add, which do not actually reflect a problem in the design, BUT THEY LOOK LIKE THEY DO. That can lead to trying to "fix" a problem that doesn't exist, BUT LOOKS LIKE IT DOES.

The software is very powerful, and does 99% of everything very well. As usual, it's the other 1% that gets hairy. And it can get VERY hairy with a large design with a total number of parts in the 1000 area (or more, as people have done considerably larger designs)

from the work I have done with Solidworks, that is no piece of birthday cake either. It has it's own set of problems, besides being rather non-intuitive, and doing some things exactly backwards from how I would expect.


2) Bull****. I don't rant on about any such thing. I have just stated a few times at different threads that the actual software I USE is all windows, and native windows. The folks (apparently like you) who do NOT "get it" and "rant on and on about how open source is better than anything else", can just shut their potato traps, because it flat doesn't matter.... I'd only have to run a windows emulator anyway.

2) An NDA is not "no big deal". It's a legal agreement, which there are penalties for violating. Remind me to NEVER EVER use whatever services you provide, if you consider an NDA to be about as valuable as Neville Chamberlain's famous "scrap of paper". Unlike you, I can keep a secret, apparently.

3) This isn't really a matter of "support".... it's a matter of "how does the program work"?


AS for BF.... more Pferdscheisse.... I would far rather have no cause for irritation.

If he wants to think anything in the world about me, It is of little matter, and even less merit. In other words, I don't care.

But what he has, quite kindly, suggested has two problems..... first, I cannot do it, because the design file is under NDA, and I am not empowered (specifically) to release it to any third party. Second, and far behind, I would not get much benefit from having it fixed anyhow. Far better I find the problems, if there are any.

KJ1I
06-17-2014, 07:00 PM
<<snip>>
It has it's own set of problems, besides being rather non-intuitive, and doing some things exactly backwards from how I would expect.
<<snip>>


You have finally identified the real problem with Geomagic Design and Solidworks. Even though they are designed for use by thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of users, they don't work the the way you would expect them to and you refuse to learn their idiosyncrasies. I have a flash for you -ALL commercial programs work that way. My wife got sick of hearing me bitch at MS Word saying "those f*****g moron engineers at Microsoft think they know better than I do about I use the program". Sorry, but that's just a fact of life.



<<snip>>
2) An NDA is not "no big deal". .... Unlike you, I can keep a secret, apparently.
<<snip>>


Sorry. I also agree that an NDA is no big deal because I can keep a secret. I couldn't count on my hands and toes, in binary, the number of NDA's I signed over my career as a software developer, occasionally for competing companies at the same time.

J Tiers
06-17-2014, 07:26 PM
and you refuse to learn their idiosyncrasies.



Sorry. I also agree that an NDA is no big deal because I can keep a secret. I couldn't count on my hands and toes, in binary, the number of NDA's I signed over my career as a software developer, occasionally for competing companies at the same time.

1) WHO "refuses"? YOU refuse? It MUST be you, because it is NOT *me* who refuses to learn the idiosyncrasies.....

The problem is FINDING OUT about them..... I have found many things that are odd, and deal with them,. Some are actually GOOD, others are stupid.

My issue is that there are some which I cannot find out anything about..... but I see the results. I would LIKE TO know what causes that, but it is not documented in a way that allows me to locate the info, if it exists.

perhaps you should not jump to conclusions..... If you want to rant at someone about refusing to learn the oddities of programs, talk to my boss. He'll rant right back about how confusing they all are, and how they do exactly the wrong thing.

In any case, my point about "backwards" was that there are *established conventions* in virtually all Windows software... I don't even remember most of them, it's all automatic, because I have 20+ years of dealing with windows based software.

if you design your program to go against them, then you are swimming upstream, no matter how "right" you believe you are.

Case in point....

Alibre conforms to Win standard use of the mouse roller wheel. Top away from you means you "go" that direction, i,.e. "zoom in". All my other software does that same thing.... AutoCad, ICAP Circuit analysis, Alibre, etc, etc.

BUT, Solidworks has the "model" of "pushing the view away" when you do that, it zooms OUT with that action. It is "exactly opposite" to the way the bulk of windows software has trained everyone to behave.

As for an NDA..... Signing is no problem.... As long as I have no other project which might conflict, and lead to later allegations of IP transfer.

What Jon Heron seemed to say, is that it should be "no problem" to transfer this design to some unknown person in Germany, "the NDA is no issue". In contradistinction, if I sign an NDA I keep shut up about what it covers. Even if I do NOT sign an NDA, I STILL keep that client's info to myself.

If I let out the information, I deserve the penalties that could result.

Black Forest
06-18-2014, 01:03 AM
1)





What Jon Heron seemed to say, is that it should be "no problem" to transfer this design to some unknown person in Germany,

If I let out the information, I deserve the penalties that could result.

When you stated you are under a NDA I suggested you put together a project of parts you make that have no bearing on a real project and then send that to me. I completely agree with JT about sending anything to anyone whether known or unkown if the subject matter is under NDA.

JT you need to get help! (I am referring to using Alibre!:rolleyes:) Trying to teach and discover yourself how to best use Alibre is wasting your time. Keep an open mind as to how the program works. Just accept that it does some things differently possibly to other programs. For instance in the latest version of Alibre if you have conflicting restraints they become red in the list of constraints. They scream at you for attention. If you ignore them which is hard to do then whose fault is it then?

"AS for BF.... more Pferdscheisse.... I would far rather have no cause for irritation." If that is true then ask a qualified trainer to help you. Seems simple to me.

J Tiers
06-18-2014, 09:01 AM
Indeed.

But the things I have trouble with are in no way standard issues. Not "how do you do "X", so much as "why does this happen?" Not covered by the Alibre training I have already gone through.

I am one of those people who always runs into odd issues... I am very used to the training people for almost anything needing to ask the headquarters people about the odd things I come up with.

As for using the program, that isn't an issue, I think. I have used most of the commands and features available, and had no problems. The training videos show HOW to use the program nicely. They do not go into the errors so much, and they don't answer odd questions... it is one-way communication.

As for getting help.... perhaps NOT for Alibre! maybe more for the problem of accumulating tools.........:D

Alistair Hosie
06-18-2014, 11:49 AM
Black forest please don't take what I said personally, as you seem like a decent guy. However IMHO your tone sometimes not just with this thread comes accross at least to me as sometimes confrontationalangry if you will. Please accept what I say and try to chill out a bit it's only a forum no need to get the old blood pressure increased we will all still be disconcerned with this at the end of the day.Cool your beans brother.Your pal big Al Alistair

Black Forest
06-18-2014, 11:54 AM
Black forest please don't take what I said personally, as you seem like a decent guy. However IMHO your tone sometimes not just with this thread comes accross at least to me as sometimes confrontationalangry if you will. Please accept what I say and try to chill out a bit it's only a forum no need to get the old blood pressure increased we will all still be disconcerned with this at the end of the day.Cool your beans brother.Your pal big Al Alistair

As I stated before big Al my blood pressure does not increase with my posts! This is not the first time you have singled me out for being direct. I feel special!:rolleyes:

Alistair Hosie
06-18-2014, 02:41 PM
You are very special of course,but please cool your beans more often and count to ten.I also lived for a number of years in Deutschland 5 years in total and that sometimes is a very stressful way of living depending on whether you live North or south.I worked in the North and they all told me the people in Bavaria in the south for example led much less stressed than in the north . Now all of thois has nothing to do with my point of course anyway bleben sie gesund meine lieber freund.Alistair

Jon Heron
06-18-2014, 04:35 PM
1) It isn't "crapware", it works very well. The problem is that in certain circumstances it will allow you to get entangled in a tar pit which will swallow your design right up.... And the warnings are very minimal.

And I have caught it doing some things which it should not... Things I might add, which do not actually reflect a problem in the design, BUT THEY LOOK LIKE THEY DO. That can lead to trying to "fix" a problem that doesn't exist, BUT LOOKS LIKE IT DOES.

The software is very powerful, and does 99% of everything very well. As usual, it's the other 1% that gets hairy. And it can get VERY hairy with a large design with a total number of parts in the 1000 area (or more, as people have done considerably larger designs)

from the work I have done with Solidworks, that is no piece of birthday cake either. It has it's own set of problems, besides being rather non-intuitive, and doing some things exactly backwards from how I would expect.
If you say so, that sounds like the definition of needing support in my book... What exactly is the 300 bucks a year for then if not to get support when you need it?

2) Bull****. I don't rant on about any such thing. I have just stated a few times at different threads that the actual software I USE is all windows, and native windows. The folks (apparently like you) who do NOT "get it" and "rant on and on about how open source is better than anything else", can just shut their potato traps, because it flat doesn't matter.... I'd only have to run a windows emulator anyway.
I see, I must have misunderstood your numerous posts and thread about how linux just doesn't measure up as well as windoze and the BS that people in business just cant operate on linux due to all the things which you perceive not to work as well in linux... All of your comments on this can be easily seen in just the last few months with a simple search. For the record I have never stated that open source is better than anything else, that would be a stupid statement...
2) An NDA is not "no big deal". It's a legal agreement, which there are penalties for violating. Remind me to NEVER EVER use whatever services you provide, if you consider an NDA to be about as valuable as Neville Chamberlain's famous "scrap of paper". Unlike you, I can keep a secret, apparently.
Thats a big stretch, your putting words in my mouth. Signing NDA's is no big deal, as I said. Your client would only have to get the software support guy or whomever he wishes to sign it... Insinuating that I suggested you send the information or an NDA that you dont own to anyone is ludicrous.. lol
3) This isn't really a matter of "support".... it's a matter of "how does the program work"?
Again, that is the definition of support. Are you saying your spending hundreds of dollars on this piece of software but are not allowed to ask how it works or how to solve your problem? Thats crap, plain and simple.
Cheers,
Jon

AS for BF.... more Pferdscheisse.... I would far rather have no cause for irritation.

If he wants to think anything in the world about me, It is of little matter, and even less merit. In other words, I don't care.

But what he has, quite kindly, suggested has two problems..... first, I cannot do it, because the design file is under NDA, and I am not empowered (specifically) to release it to any third party. Second, and far behind, I would not get much benefit from having it fixed anyhow. Far better I find the problems, if there are any.
Cheers,
Jon

J Tiers
06-18-2014, 07:40 PM
Since you are intending to misunderstand, there isn't a lot of point in a reply. That said.....

1) I believe I have simply said that I do not see how I can use linux when teh specific programs I want do not run on it.... I would need a Windows emulator to run them, and at that point may as well run the real thing.
Since I have not used the alternate OS, for the previously mentioned reasons, I would have no reason to dis them as a pile of crap, OR to suggest that they do not measure up. How would I know? I simply can't run what I want to directly on those OS, end of story. So they may not measure up FOR MY NEEDS. Yes, I think that is easily available for reading.

If I have sufficiently described your act, you will probably go look it up and see if you can find something out of context that sounds like it might be contrary to that.

2) THE MAIN THING one pays for with support, is upgrades.... access to the newest versions of the program at little or no cost, when they would cost several times that cost if purchased new at retail when not on support. I already have a positive return on my investment in the form of an actual upgrade to a more capable version. And I am entitled to load V16, although I have not done so yet, since I run the last XP certified version now, the new ones are not XP certified, although they might run (but are not supported) on XP.

It looks like "you were in the can when the point left the station".

Jon Heron
06-18-2014, 08:03 PM
Fair enough JT.
I dont have the time nor passion to continue this.
Lets agree to disagree.
Cheers,
Jon