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  • #16
    Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    Is it really still free? The last time I attempted to use the free version they wanted me to pay. Since there is no way I can afford the paid version UNTIL I actually start making money with it, I am trying to switch to FreeCAD.




    Yes, there is still a free version.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
      Is it really still free? The last time I attempted to use the free version they wanted me to pay. Since there is no way I can afford the paid version UNTIL I actually start making money with it, I am trying to switch to FreeCAD.
      In my opinion, NO. Yes, there is a free version, I'd rather pay the subscription to use the software they way I want to use it.
      I'd hate to be a software developer, knowing the customer will go to extreme lengths to never pay me for the work I do. It's a catch 22, I refuse to install any "free" game on my cell phone, the advertising is so obnoxious that it is literally too painful to tolerate. The built in micro transactions, the pay to win mentality, has destroyed the simple concept of paying once to enjoy for life.

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      • #18
        Often, there IS no "why" that is definitive, positive and "the only best" way to do something.

        The only helpful way to explain "why", is to explain "how". "How" in the sense of "what you are doing", and "how that works".

        In any "parametric" type CAD, virtually any that I know about, it is fairly easy to describe. There are very few real "why" considerations, and generally they have to do with the effect of changes. You want to be able to make changes with the least disturbance to the final assembly, since that is one of the huge benefits of CAD.

        CAD works with a co-ordinate system, usually the cartesian system with an origin point, X,Y, and Z axes, and planes defined by pairs of those axes.

        You make "parts", which are usually complete "pieces" much the same as in the physical world. The "parts" have surfaces, corners, edges, holes, etc, called "features". In addition, they have an "original co-ordinate system", the origin, axes and planes that they were made in.

        In general, you build up parts by adding and subtracting material. The order in which you do that can matter, so you want to start with a basic unchanging portion of the part, adding and subtracting from that to build up the part. For instance, to make a plate with holes in it, and portions cut away, you probably would start with the plate as a rectangle, and then cut the holes, as well as cutting away the unwanted portions. That way it is easiest to change later. You will notice that that is like machining, and not like "casting". The part is built in many steps, not made all at once. CAD is much like machining and welding.

        You assemble parts together by relating them together or to the co-ordinate system of the assembly. You make surfaces touch, holes align, etc. You can also usually use the original co-ordinate systems of the parts, so you can make a plane of a part align with or be offset some distance from, a plane or feature of another part, etc.

        Once you see how that works, you can visualize what you will need to do, what features etc you need to relate to each other to get what you want.

        Usually, you will want to use features of a part that are unlikely to change, because if you relate part 1 plane A to part 2 plane F, and then you remove plane F from part 2, the assembly is no longer attached together, because there is no longer a "plane F" (or worse, plane F may now be a different plane altogether, since the program numbers them automatically). That is why the true academics state that you should only use original geometry and never part features, to relate parts together. Almost nobody ever really does that, however.

        There is much more to it, of course, and this is very simplified. And some CAD programs allow using different relationships to connect parts. But essentially that is the story.

        It would be useful for CAD instructors to go through those basics (and others) up front.
        Last edited by J Tiers; 05-21-2022, 09:51 AM.
        CNC machines only go through the motions

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        • #19
          Well, I am installing this Solidworks version. All I can say is that the entire process so far has been very "French". What a convoluted mess of crap it's been just to navigate through all the bull**** to get to where you really want to be. You really need to use the link in the email, otherwise you'll never be able to navigate it correctly! I'm already liking Autodesk as a company better!

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          • #20
            Originally posted by RB211 View Post
            Well, I am installing this Solidworks version. All I can say is that the entire process so far has been very "French". What a convoluted mess of crap it's been just to navigate through all the bull**** to get to where you really want to be. You really need to use the link in the email, otherwise you'll never be able to navigate it correctly! I'm already liking Autodesk as a company better!
            Well, There is a difference in CAD systems.
            I learned AutoCad IN 1990 and used it for years and then tried Pro Engineer and Inventor and just could not get the hang of it
            Then I tackled SolidWorks maybe 5-10 years ago and my instructors said 'Forget AutoCad- you have to do it this way !" and I realized that knowing one way is a detrimental to learning the other !
            So RB211, I can understand your frustration !
            Perhaps the biggest issue is LEARNING the vocabulary .
            I'll never forget trying to "erase" a line ... In one system it's known as "Erase", yet in another it is " Undo" and in another it is " Delete"
            And when you do a "search" in that systems vocabulary , it does not even recognize the "other" words.........very frustrating
            or with some you "paste' an object, which is the same as " insert" the object in another !-- it goes on and on from there

            So in essence, it isn't learning all the steps, it's using their vernacular or interpretation of what you are trying to do ---and they do not agree
            So for the past 5+ years I have done Solidworks and then tried recently to learn the new version of AutoCad...nope.. no can do.. I will go back to my AutoCad 95 on
            the old Win 95 machine
            Rich
            Green Bay, WI

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            • #21
              I finally got it to where I can simply click on a desktop icon to start Solid Works. Never have I ever used any software written for Windows(or Linux for that matter) that required so many steps just to get to that point!!!(And I am a competent power user!!!)

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              • #22
                Originally posted by RB211 View Post
                Well, I am installing this Solidworks version. All I can say is that the entire process so far has been very "French". What a convoluted mess of crap it's been just to navigate through all the bull**** to get to where you really want to be. You really need to use the link in the email, otherwise you'll never be able to navigate it correctly! I'm already liking Autodesk as a company better!
                lol. Im a supplier on 3Dexperience. It’s such a giant POS and has been since they launched it, not surprised this is no different. I’ve emailed with the support staff there multiple times and had a few phone meetings. Nothing has changed.

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                • #23
                  Simply as an observation, McMaster-Carr has 3D blocks of their products in native Solidworks format, and 3D-SAT format for Fusion.

                  I don't know if that means there's a difference.

                  I just installed the free version of Fusion. I've always used Macs, and the installation, therefore, was painless.

                  The last time I used CAD of any kind was in the mid eighties.

                  CAD has changed.

                  Carry on.

                  P.S. When I wrote this, a couple hours ago, I had it stuck in my mind that McMaster-Carr putting out native Solidworks drawings was an advantage, somehow, for Solidworks, and that pissed me off. But a few minutes ago I realized that they had covered virtually all drawing formats, and their participation was neither advantage nor disadvantage to any drafting (or even just drawing) or modeling software. So I picked myself up off the floor, wrote this, and here we are.

                  And now, do ignore the little man behind the curtain, for I am Jammer, the Great and Powerful...
                  Last edited by Jammer Six; 05-27-2022, 04:21 PM. Reason: Added P.S.

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                  • #24
                    Don't know why I didn't realize this before now: there is no native Mac version of Solidworks. Deal breaker.

                    There appears to be some kind of browser kludge, but Fusion has a native Mac version. Game, set, match.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by polaraligned View Post
                      Fusion is still free to hobbyists and includes CAM.
                      https://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/personal
                      The major problem with the free version CAM is that they neutered the rapid moves, they happen at the feedrate rather than rapid speed. This can make a 3d part take 10X longer or more to make. That was the change that got me to abandon Fusion, I liked it otherwise.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Sparky_NY View Post
                        The major problem with the free version CAM is that they neutered the rapid moves, they happen at the feedrate rather than rapid speed. This can make a 3d part take 10X longer or more to make. That was the change that got me to abandon Fusion, I liked it otherwise.
                        Forcing rapids to feed rate isn't just neutering. Its deliberately fracking it up. That's insane.

                        *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Bob La Londe View Post

                          Forcing rapids to feed rate isn't just neutering. Its deliberately fracking it up. That's insane.
                          Well, if businesses were more honest, you would still have rapids The primary reason for a lot of the changes were businesses were violating the license terms and using the free version.

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                          • #28
                            If you're running CNC and do ALL of your CAM with Fusion, well... You should be paying the subscription. You pay more in a year for your daily coffee than the piece of software that controls all of your machines...

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                              You are touching on one of the big problems in a lot of the instructional videos. They all seem to assume that the best way to teach how to use some software is to take you through a use of that software step by step. But they fail to EXPLAIN the theory behind why a particular step was chosen.

                              And they also fail to give the novice a general understanding of the environment of the creation process when using that software. By "environment" I mean the relationships between the various processes in the software. You start by creating a part. But in most programs that "part" can actually be several or many parts. So, what constitutes a part in the CAD software? And then, how can parts be combined into assemblies? And assemblies into complete devices? And complete devices into a project? And different CAD programs can use different words for these concepts. Oh, and what about how these are stored? What is an individual file? A single part. A single model/drawing for one or more parts? An assembly? An entire project?

                              It seems that NONE of the instructional materials actually try to explain just how the world within their creations is organized. And to my mind, that is the VERY FIRST thing that the user should, no MUST know if he/she is to use the software properly. Without that knowledge you are forced to just move through a design with guesswork and hope for the best. And after hours, days, perhaps even weeks of work, you discover that you were not doing it right.

                              Duhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!Perhaps classes at local community colleges would provide this missing information. But then, how do you know that in advance? I would want a refund if not.


                              Back when I initially bought Solidworks, I signed up for three different classes in succession at one of the local college. They taught eveything you and jtiers mentioned. Top down modeling, bottom up modeling, skeletal modeling, multi body parts, and design tables, all taught along with the plusses and minuses of each method and why they are used. Years later I wanted my son to learn it, different local community college but the instructors name and email was on the class description area, so I emailed him and and ended up talking on the phone about a bunch of stuff including Solidworks. So perhaps try getting ahold of the instructor at your local college and try asking them what is taught.

                              LOL @ no rapids and a surfacing program taking 10x’s longer, waaaaah. Before fusion a machine shop would need to spend $10k+, plus additional yearly maintenance for a cad/cam program that could surface Unpopular opinion maybe, but if you can afford to have a cnc as a hobby, you should be able to afford the modest price of Fusion or now this version of Solidworks as part of your hobby, if you want the convenience of a modern cad/cam program anyways. If not, there is finger cam and other crappy cam programs out there. Or stick to manual machines and a drafting board…

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by elf View Post

                                Well, if businesses were more honest, you would still have rapids The primary reason for a lot of the changes were businesses were violating the license terms and using the free version.
                                So many cheapskate business owners out there. I regularly get quote request from customers at legit businesses, these aren't home business type places, not that those aren't legit, just saying these are big places, some with hundreds of employees. Anyways they will send a solidworks partfile and drawing file, and when I open it there will be a big ol watermark and warning that this was made on a student version of solidworks…

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