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  • #16
    John.
    Very frustrating indeed.
    I've posted a link back to here about your experience over on the ViaCAD/Shark forum, so we'll see if anyone jumps into action over there and gets something moving.



    Martin.

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    • #17
      One of my friends suggested that you can become a "student" again by taking a class at a local community college. Then you can get software for free/cheap. Something like a REAL CAD program like SolidWorks or Inventor.

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      • #18
        CAD software

        I have version 8 of TurboCad Professional. It is directed towards architecture but it has enough engineering to suit my needs. I don't know if there is any relationship with CNC. Vewrsion 8 is no longer supported by IMSI but I do knnow it has enough features to produce usable dimmensioned drawings. Older inquiry was around $650, no doubt that has changed .

        It sorta works like training a dog, it helps if you are smarter than the dog.

        Ray

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        • #19
          Kidzimahater,

          I use SketchUp sort of as you suggest but often find it easier to build a part in 3D. You can then produce views of the part from various orthogonal directions or from any arbitrary angle by "Orbiting" around the part. Xray views, etc. are also possible

          You can also put the dimensions on different layers and bring in only the dimensions for the particular direction you're viewing.

          What you see on the screen can easily be exported as a jpg, that's how the angle-view example below was done. You can also color things if that would be helpful.

          I infrequently produce drawings, generally working from a sketch on scrap paper. From lack of practice I have trouble remembering how to work Intellicad Free, which is much like AutoCad. I find SketchUp more intuitive for the simple things I do but I also lean on "The Missing Manual" by Chris Grover.

          The price is right so it's worth getting a copy of SU and exploring what it can do. I was discouraged initially because it took a while to figure out how to change the scale so it made sense for the sizes machinists use rather than sizes for architects. Once I got beyond that it made more sense

          John




          Uploaded with ImageShack.us
          Location: Newtown, CT USA

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          • #20
            Originally posted by KiddZimaHater
            This might be a dumb question, but.....
            Can you draw-up simple prints, 2D drawings for parts, and use 3-place decimal dimensions with the free version of Sketchup?
            No question is dumb except the un-asked one.

            Creating drawings that are a certain number of decimal places shouldnt be the important consideration when evaluating any program, but rather the number of decimal places that the program uses to complete calculations before rounding. Any time you do 3d modeling, or even 2d drafting, you dont input every single dimension. The computer calculates certain lengths and angles based off of other dimensions, just as you would do for dims that are not necessarily on the print that you need for machining purposes. If the program being used rounds to only 5 decimal places, it loses accuracy compared to the one that rounds to 14 or 16 places. While my personal dislike for sketchup is based on "i find it awkward to use," I highly doubt it completes complex calculations to any reasonable degree of accuracy as this is generally what slows these programs the most, and sketchup is decently fast. I tried researching it, but could not find the info. Regardless, it is free, and you cannot knock that.

            Originally posted by beanbag
            One of my friends suggested that you can become a "student" again by taking a class at a local community college. Then you can get software for free/cheap. Something like a REAL CAD program like SolidWorks or Inventor.
            +1. By far the cheapest and easiest solution out there. I have tried several of the "cheap" programs and they are either painful/awkward to use or simply not well supported. Basically, if you havent heard of it, you might end up liking it or you might hate it. Regardless, if youre the hsm type, you could take a basic 3d class and use the school computers with professional software outside of class time to do whatever work you wanted. My alma mater's policy is "dont interfere with classes, dont produce prints for profit with "education" software (not just the "education version"), and you "only" have access priveleges for 10 yrs after you stop attending."
            Last edited by justanengineer; 01-08-2012, 09:00 AM.
            "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

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            • #21
              Don't quote me on this but I believe the educational version of Solid Works is only for one year and cannot be upgraded.

              Looks like Inventor is for three years.

              I'm in a grey area I want 3D personally but *might* be making some money off it, certainly not enough to cover the one years maintenance costs so buying full versions is way out of my league but because it's a steep learning curve I need my hand holding.

              That support is worth more to me than buying the program.

              After downloading a series of programs and trying them over a 3 week period and getting very frustrated because the support offered on even the simple tutorials didn't match what I was seeing.
              Contacting the sellers was a total waste of time, none of them replied.

              I bit the bullet and moved up to the latest version of Alibre,
              I know many do not like it but as far as I can see it's the only affordable program with decent help.

              The upgrade cost me £159 and 15 hours of training video's and a tutorial work book cost me another £169. Plus I have free access to the Alibre forum like any user

              At this point it's up to me to make it work.
              .

              Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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              • #22
                John,

                Please keep us posted on your experiences.

                Besides functionality, I'm very interested in how much care and feeding is required to keep the s/w running, and if it will be provided as necessary.

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                • #23
                  You can buy a "personal" license of PRO/Engineer (now called Creo for some ridiculous, stupid reason) for around $250:

                  http://store.ptc.com/DRHM/store?Acti...ctID=242812200

                  While ProE is very capable, the learning curve is very, very steep and infuriating. I've been using CAD/CAM software heavily for almost a decade and even took two college engineering CAD classes devoted to ProE and still don't know how to do much in it. I'll struggle to figure something out for a couple of hours, then give up and get it done in SolidWorks in 15 minutes or less. Everything in ProE is counterintuitive and hard to find in the menus, the setup and administration of the software is obscenely difficult, and every single feature in the program is named something that is completely different from pretty much any other CAD program out there.

                  But, for almost one third the price of that other software, I think it's a no-brainer on which one is a better deal...
                  -paul

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by John Stevenson
                    Don't quote me on this but I believe the educational version of Solid Works is only for one year and cannot be upgraded.

                    Looks like Inventor is for three years.

                    I'm in a grey area I want 3D personally but *might* be making some money off it, certainly not enough to cover the one years maintenance costs so buying full versions is way out of my league but because it's a steep learning curve I need my hand holding.

                    That support is worth more to me than buying the program.

                    After downloading a series of programs and trying them over a 3 week period and getting very frustrated because the support offered on even the simple tutorials didn't match what I was seeing.
                    Contacting the sellers was a total waste of time, none of them replied.

                    I bit the bullet and moved up to the latest version of Alibre,
                    I know many do not like it but as far as I can see it's the only affordable program with decent help.

                    The upgrade cost me £159 and 15 hours of training video's and a tutorial work book cost me another £169. Plus I have free access to the Alibre forum like any user

                    At this point it's up to me to make it work.


                    SW educational versions were formerly 24 months licenses, but the last two or three releases appear to have been 12 months only. There is no official upgrade support, but I think that it's possible to install service packs in the student version now. You can get the base version without cosmos or any of the FEA stuff for $89 and with cosmos for about $40-50 more. They don't restrict any functionality, but do add watermarks that indicate files were made using the student version.

                    Honestly, I prefer the 12 month license because with the old 24 month licenses, they cost more money and you got stuck with last year's crap by the second half of the license, while DSS rolled out new improvements in the next year's version. I bought the student version four times during college and used it a lot.

                    They added more watermark stuff to files and drawings recently, including an obnoxious graduation cap icon that appears on every line item in the featuremanager tree when you open a file created in the education version.

                    As of last year, you could still open professional files in the education version and vice versa, but there's watermarks on prints that indicate the student version was used.

                    You don't get any human-contact support from Dassault with the student version, but there's tons of good tutorials built into the program's help menu and they were the only real training I ever needed for SW. There's also a couple very good tutorial video sites that don't cost much and youtube has a bunch of good videos, too.
                    -paul

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                    • #25
                      Paul,

                      As long as a person is enrolled as a student, can they just keep buying the student version year after year?

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                      • #26
                        A complete change of direction here but for anyone looking for a very functional 2D CAD program I'd like to suggest DeltaCad. I've used it for several years now and it does everything I need. It's "not" an Autocad clone so it is, in my view at least, quite easy to learn. Sure there are some things you'll puzzle over a bit but if I can learn them I think anyone can. For about 40 bucks I think it's a very good deal...

                        http://www.deltacad.com/
                        Keith
                        __________________________
                        Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

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