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  • This Looks to be a Handy On-Line Reference

    Mechanical engineer creates nearly 2,000 videos showing how various mechanisms work.
    Let's say you're a designer trying to create something with moving parts: A set of double doors that open in an unusual way, a console that deploys a hidden flatscreen monitor, or a space-saving cabinet with panels that slide sideways rather than swing out. Where do you start?


    There are companies that make hardware to achieve these things, but there's no guarantee that hardware is sized to fit your application. If you can understand how the mechanisms work, however, you can create something to custom fit your design.


    That's where this retired mechanical engineer comes in: Nguyen Duc Thang has made it his mission to illustrate mechanisms so people can understand them. Using Autodesk Inventor, he creates succinct 3D animations of various mechanical mechanisms, and staggeringly, he's created 1,700 videos of them to date.
    All in all, Nguyen's YouTube channel is so dense with videos that you're bound to find something interesting. And because the collection is so thick, he's created a freely-downloadable index of it all here, with descriptions and photos, so you can search more efficiently.
    I haven't done anything more than look at the videos at the first link, but Thang's done some remarkable work.

  • #2
    I found that last week. What a great resource, eh?

    Chris

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    • #3
      Totally cool .. thanks !
      John Titor, when are you.

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      • #4
        I had seen the one for the limited space door some time ago, but I didn't realize there were so many more. Thanks for the link - it's now in my favorites.
        http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
        Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
        USA Maryland 21030

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        • #5
          thanks. Now I will be sitting at the computer watching 2000 videos. At least they are short ones.

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          • #6
            Why oh why did you post that link............I now have so many ideas about new projects that I can't do anything. And I have it in my mind that if I keep looking the right mechanism will show up to solve all my mechanical problems on all my machines that I am building in my head.........

            You are a very evil man!
            How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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            • #7
              I now have so many ideas about new projects that I can't do anything
              sort of what I was thinking, I have little interest in making models, however good they maybe, but this gives me several life times of different mechanisms. Also sort of waiting to see Brian R. input as I believe this is similar to what he "does" (going by total recall, so might be very wrong; I also hate that expression, what someone "does" can be but does not have to be "who" they are, its the only way I can put it)

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              • #8
                I'd love to have that animation capability -- so useful for designing all kinds of mechanisms -- but an Autodesk Inventor license is way beyond my hobby budget. Is there a cheaper package that will do something similar?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by alsinaj View Post
                  I'd love to have that animation capability -- so useful for designing all kinds of mechanisms -- but an Autodesk Inventor license is way beyond my hobby budget. Is there a cheaper package that will do something similar?
                  I believe that you can do it with SketchUp: http://www.sketchup.com

                  You can certainly do it with Blender: https://www.blender.org

                  Blender's open source, so the software's not as easy to use as it could be.

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                  • #10
                    Excellent resource, thank you.


                    "Blender's open source, so the software's not as easy to use as it could be."

                    Come on now, it isn't open source that makes the difference, it's the programming in general, open source or not. Blender can seem a bit awkward but it has a huge number of options and features. Any software like that will seem intimidating at first and have a fairly steep learning curve. Sketchup will do the animations very well. The key feature of SketchUp that makes it seem easy to use is that the very important functions that provide real CAD capability are mostly "hidden" to some extent. Where actual precision is not important then the hidden SketchUp features are not required and it is easier to use than most other semi-similar packages.
                    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Evan View Post
                      Excellent resource, thank you.


                      "Blender's open source, so the software's not as easy to use as it could be."

                      Come on now, it isn't open source that makes the difference, it's the programming in general, open source or not. Blender can seem a bit awkward but it has a huge number of options and features. Any software like that will seem intimidating at first and have a fairly steep learning curve. Sketchup will do the animations very well. The key feature of SketchUp that makes it seem easy to use is that the very important functions that provide real CAD capability are mostly "hidden" to some extent. Where actual precision is not important then the hidden SketchUp features are not required and it is easier to use than most other semi-similar packages.
                      Its been my experience that software which you have to pay for tends to have a more polished UI than the open source stuff. Its easier for me to figure out what I'm doing in Photoshop, than it is in Gimp, even if I'm trying to do something very simple. I'm not bad mouthing open source software, by any means, it just has a bit of a steeper learning curve in some instances than does the commercial stuff, in my experience. Frankly, I'd like to see it mandated that if a company isn't going to support a software program any more, they make the unsupported version open source. We'd see a huge boon in software were that to happen, I think. Instead of junking perfectly working machines because they can no longer run the latest version of software, people would be repurposing them for other uses.

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