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Do you make drawings of your HSM projects?

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  • Do you make drawings of your HSM projects?

    I don’t remember the gunsmith’s 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 don’t always document my construction projects. So the Question: Do you make drawings of your HSM projects?
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

  • #2
    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.

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    • #3
      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.
      Milton

      "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

      "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DICKEYBIRD
        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!

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        • #5
          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.
          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
          Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

          It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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          • #6
            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.
            Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

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            • #7
              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.
              Bob
              Pics of shop and some projects
              http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y39...achine%20Shop/

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              • #8
                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.
                ----------
                Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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                • #9
                  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.

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                  • #10
                    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.
                    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                    • #11
                      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.
                      JIM : You don't get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression.

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                      • #12
                        I make CAD drawings first and often try different designs before making parts.
                        Gary

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                        • #13
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            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.
                            Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                            ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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                            • #15
                              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.

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