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Thread: Alibre trial of Atom 3D user question

  1. #1
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    Default Alibre trial of Atom 3D user question

    Hi Group,

    Trying my first CAD program on the recommendation of this months HSM, with a 6 month free subscription to the trial program Alibre Atom3D courtesy of George and Village Press,
    Thanks.

    As a CAD newbie and not a user of the computer much, except to email and other simple stuff, I'm trying to figure out how to use the Powerpoint example tutorial at the same time as I work in the program, seems like the only way I'm going to learn is to do as I read vs reading or watching a video and then trying to remember the steps to use it... I have a laptop that is a couple of years old and seems to have what I need to use the software, I opened the program and I was able to start a 2D sketch no problem.

    Any other newbies or experts that might be able to lend a hand? !!!

    TX
    Mr fixit for the family
    Chris

  2. #2
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    Back in the day I started with a model that followed this linked pdf.

    Are you able to provide a link to the powerpoint?

  3. #3
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    Hi Norman,

    That is the exact powerpoint that I want to be able to use at the same time as I work through learning how to use the program. It seems to be a good starter to learn from as I read through it, and it shows what happens as well as what tools do what.
    Any suggestions how I view the tutorial at the same time as I use the program with one laptop screen?

    TX
    Mr fixit for the family
    Chris

  4. #4
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    Here's a tutorial on Windows 7. You may want to learn that first.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odLZiGf-6bY

    For a quickie lesson; Any program you start will appear along the bottom left of your screen (with other quick links). You can jump between programs by clicking on the appropriate icon.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default

    Any CAD is a very complex program made of of lots of very simple operations. Don't focus on the big picture or get frustrated by how much there is to learn, focus on one item or command and then go to the next. The only way to learn it is by doing it, you need to spend lots of time drawing and then it will fall into place.

    There probably is some sort of file management or structure to be learned (if you fail here it will cause a lot of problems latter) so start with that, then go on to simple 2D drawings, extruding and then assemblies. If you need paper drawings then learn this now. After you can do that then go on to more complex drawings and assemblies. Once you feel competent at those then tackle the more complex functions like motion constraints etc. if that program supports those things.

    It is all little steps done over and over and lots of time to get really good at it.
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Green Bay, WI
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    I think you are asking about viewing while working ?
    I have spent the last 2 years learning Solidworks at our Tech College.
    They have two monitors per work station, so it is easy to have the instructions and the CAD program visible at the same time
    Another approach is to close all program except fpr the CAD program and the Power Point, and then use your thumb and forefinger and press
    the 'Control" Key and the "Tab" Key and your screen will jump immediately from one program view to the other.
    Was really handy for me when two screens were not available.
    Rich

    Brain Fart
    I should have said "Alt" and "Tab"
    Last edited by Rich Carlstedt; 08-19-2019 at 07:11 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Chris,
    loose nut is spot on, and the way the assemblies and 2D drawings reference the part files is important. For example, if you modify a part file, the next time you open the assembly that uses it, it will automatically update. That can cause you problems if you're not watching out for it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Carlstedt View Post
    They have two monitors per work station,
    Rich
    Two is great three is WOW.

    I have two and I couldn't go back to using one for anything, cad or otherwise. My new video card has three outputs including an HTMI so I can hook up a small TV ( I have a 28" TV that actually is the same brand as my monitors, looks the same too) as a third monitor that would give me an extra large screen for drawing in, one for command bars etc. and a third for other apps (calculators and such), info tables, internet etc.
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

  9. #9
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    Two or three display screens would be great and all fine and dandy but the OP is on a laptop. Unless he spent a fair amount of wages on it, most can barely drive their own display. Most smart phones have more power. He needs to learn how to switch between open programs.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Fixit View Post
    Hi Norman,

    That is the exact powerpoint that I want to be able to use at the same time as I work through learning how to use the program. It seems to be a good starter to learn from as I read through it, and it shows what happens as well as what tools do what.
    Any suggestions how I view the tutorial at the same time as I use the program with one laptop screen?

    TX
    Mr fixit for the family
    Chris
    As others are saying. Use the Alt + Tab keys to change between programs.

    The universal joint tutorial is a beauty. It covers the basics thru to quite a complex assembly; and the result does work. You can crank the handle and the parts revolve in place ... very rewarding.

    For the file structure; my approach (from the keep it simple for me as a HSM person) is to put all the files for the parts and the assembly, for the same project in same folder.

    As you go along you may find it practical to put some things into their own assembly then put those assemblies into a main assembly. Think motor + gearbox + diff all going into the main assembly a car. The separate assemblies (and the parts therein) can be put into a separate folder for tidyness. The parts for the sub assembly can also be edited and the main assembly will pick up the changes. Do not do this initially; wait till the learning curve on how to create a part and make an assembly go has settled for you.

    I also from time to time create a sub folder off the project folder named like Back_01, Back_02 etc. The folders when they are created have a dateTime so you get a historical record. The files in the backups can be copied back into the main project should you need to go back due to making a mess of a part or simply the project part evolving to be other than you need.

    Sometimes I name the backup folders with a little extra like "Back_01-AfterAddOfCrank". Note I have kept the Back_01, Back_02 start to the folder name. This keeps them in a logical dateTime order.

    Part files can be moved (copied using copy then paste) between project folders.

    What you cannot do is to copy a file (say a 10mm nut) and paste it to a file with another name (say 14mm nut) and then edit that file to change the dimensions etc. If you want to do that sort of action (make your 10mm nut part into a 14mm nut) then open the 10mm nut file and then do a SaveAs to the 14mm nut file. The SaveAs action will modify the internal identifiers (for likes of lines, dimensions, faces etc) to be unique for that part.

    Having duplicate internal identifiers are not a problem while editing the parts themselves (all will work normally). The issue arises when you try to use both 10mm parts and 14mm parts in the same assembly. The assembly uses the internal identifiers such that you will get either 10mm parts or 14mm parts but not both.

    For clarity, it is ok to add many of the 10mm part and also the 14mm part to the same assembly. The assembly is used to managing those.

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