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  • ulav8r
    replied
    .dxf supposedly allows transferring drawings between various cad programs. Provided by Autocad to allow users to exchange files with non-Autocad programs. It changes with each revision of Autocad and can't be relied on to give 100% accuracy.

    Legacy Data are old files that are still used, in other words, years worth of old drawings. Switching cad programs can mean losing the ability to modify and update older drawings.

    Leave a comment:


  • squale
    replied
    Hey question on file formats for you guys..

    I see that AutoCAD files are .dwg format. And then there is also this .dxf format.

    Are these both SPECIFIC AutoCAD format? why are there 2 different file extensions? what is each used for?

    Because I see most programs will import and export these 2 formats.

    Also I see a lot of talk about preserving "legacy data". What is this legacy data all about?

    Leave a comment:


  • squale
    replied
    I think I am just going to go to Solidworks..

    Leave a comment:


  • jfsmith
    Guest replied
    Why not use AutoCad LT?

    http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet...112&id=2498418

    I got my orginal AutCad while I worked for a university and kept the subscription up. Academics get good pricing, so why not take a local college course and buy a copy at the bookstore?


    Jerry



    [This message has been edited by jfsmith (edited 08-15-2004).]

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  • mochinist
    replied
    Just wondering what solidworks goes for these days.

    Leave a comment:


  • mbensema
    replied
    <<The one thing though is can Solidworks open an AutoCAD file, make changes to it and resave it as an AutoCAD file with no problem at all and with NOT messing up the original AutoCAD drawing at all? This is VERY important to me, because most all my father's customers use AutoCAD to send him some drawings, which I will need to open, make changes to, etc. then resend back to the customer for approval.>>

    Squale,
    what you need is Volo Viewer by Autodeask, about $100 I think. It is a drawing markup program, the customer sends you a drawing, you make comments and send it back so that they can make the changes.

    http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet...112&id=3239384

    Leave a comment:


  • nheng
    replied
    Just another thought on SE vs SW vs Autocad.

    You should not need to spend a dime to try any or all of these. Simply ask a rep for a 30 day trial (NOT a demo). If you are a serious potential customer, they will give you the real package for 30 days or so. Unless you are pressed for time, this is a good way to get the feel of the packages.

    There is much to learn in any of them. Don't be misled by Autocad's 453 tool icons vs SW or SE dozen.

    Autocad's tools may seem intimidating but they are like the cash register at Burger King. All (or many) of your options are laid out in front of you instead of being function or context sensitive as in SW or SE.

    Here's wishing you the best for whichever path you choose

    added - I shrunk the image so it doesn't cause this page to grow horizontally.

    Den


    [This message has been edited by nheng (edited 08-15-2004).]

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  • squale
    replied
    Yes, I understand your points.

    On the earlier post about SolidEdge versus Solidworks, I did some online comparrison, and it seems that everything SolidEdge can do, Solidworks will also do, and Solidworks gives the additional collaboration tools for online veiwing, etc. which would help me A LOT so I can send the drawings back and forth over the internet between the machinist and customers to change, mark up, etc. I didn't see any funtion like this built into Solid Edge.

    Both of the interfaces from what I can see on their webpages look pretty similar so I don't see a huge issue there. I am sure they are both pretty much the same ease of use to get something acoomplished with. Maybe it just boils down to specific tools, etc. that may be different. If you have the SolidWorks Office Pro package with all the add ons, it looks like a program that is hard to beat in my opinion..

    but then again, I haven't really used either of these programs so that's why I ask these questions, lol

    I have played around on a friends AutoCAD 2004 program and wow, that's a pretty complicated program and I am sure would take a while to learn. These SW, SE programs look WAY easier IMHO.

    Leave a comment:


  • plm
    replied
    Squale,

    â€‌The one thing though is can Solidworks open an AutoCAD file, make changes to it and resave it as an AutoCAD file with no problem at all and with NOT messing up the original AutoCAD drawing at all?"

    As with a lot of the newer cad programs, Solidworks will both import and export in the DWG & DWX format. I believe these are the AutoCad formats for their 2D drawing files. I can’t speak for what AutoCad uses for 3D parts or assembly drawing formats but, these may not be an issue if your customers are just sending you individual 2D drawing files for each part.

    With that said, I caution you that you may still have some anomalies pop up. You might want to get a hold of your local Solidworks’ reseller and have them demo this for you using some of your customer’s drawings.

    You also say:

    â€‌because most all my father's customers use AutoCAD to send him some drawings, which I will need to open, make changes to, etc. then resend back to the customer for approvalâ€‌

    I guess when I put my business hat on and think a little more pragmatically about your situation, I would also make this comment: “When in Rome, do as the Romans doâ€‌.

    If you choose a CAD app other than AutoCad, just make sure that these extra steps are going to be worth it and pretty much trouble free. Also, having to import AutoCad files into another CAD app and make changes is one thing. To have to have to export back to AutoCad and have it work correctly could be an entirely different matter.

    plm

    P.S What I have said above does not preclude one from using two or more different CAD packages. I know in the electronics world I have had to use up to three different sets of tools for doing FPGA work, many different programming language systems, etc. This is not just switching from one tool, leaving it behind, and going on to another like tool. For one reason or another, this is bouncing back and forth between several tools that all do basically the same thing but work a little differently and made by a different company.

    Leave a comment:


  • mochinist
    replied
    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by squale:
    you guys really think 3D is much better than 2D for this stuff?

    is it true that SolidWorks is the best and most popular 3D CAD software out there for mechanical CAD?
    </font>
    As a machinist I got say I love it when there is a 3D view of the part to be made. I can make parts from a 2D drawing just fine and part of the job is being able to visualize how the part will look in your head. Now saying that most of the parts I make are drawn up by people that never had any real drafting training . They just got these computer programs and started drawing, I hate it when there is solid lines where a dotted line should be or one view shows a hole and the side view doesn't, etc, etc. So with being said a good 2D drawing by one the few actual engineers I work with is a beatiful thing, with his drawings I dont need a 3D view even though he usually sends one. Another group of guys I work with are very talened with electronics but literally sucked at drawing a readable print have started using solidworks and actually had to take a class. There prints have improved greatly and I dont have to call them so much to clarify what they were trying to draw.

    Leave a comment:


  • nheng
    replied
    Lunch is not quite ready so ...

    This sample plate took 6 minutes to create, color and shade. It is dimensionally accurate, meaning that it has dimensions, holes, etc. which I defined. SE also allows images to be output, such as the .jpg shown here.

    It is 3" x 5" with a milled pocket 0.375" deep, all top edges are 0.125" radiused, 4, .25" x .140" countersunk holes have been drilled and are aligned with each other and the edge of the pocket.

    Dropping a 2D fab drawing out would take about 3 minutes and provide 3 or more views, dimensioned.



    [This message has been edited by nheng (edited 08-15-2004).]

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  • nheng
    replied
    Squale: John posted a link which is very hard to come by. Hope you take a peek at it.

    I would not trust ANY package to open an Autocad drawing, modify it and save it back. There are TOO MANY issues and versions to deal with.

    What I do with the shops I use is output the 2D fabrication drawing from SolidEdge as an Autocad R13 or R14 drawing (.dwg). I verify that it looks about right in Intellicad and off it goes !

    Any changes, etc., are done to the 3D part file, the 2D is automatically (with minor help) updated and drawing revisions bumped up to maintain future sanity.

    What little 3D I've done personally in Autocad was painful and to be fair, you would have to compare the LATEST version of Inventor to SE or SW.

    Not having Autocad or other 2D package experience is a benefit and a burden. You would jump into a 3D package and wonder where your tools went that you have become accustomed to. On the other hand, you know WHAT you want to do and will learn and adjust to where those tools (functions) are in the 3D package.

    Just for reference, in SE for instance, you develop an individual part in 3D, create a 2D fab drawing from the 3D with VERY powerful assistance from the software. If you have multiple parts, you would create an assembly drawing. The SE assembly drawing is powerful because it provides all sorts of alignment "locks" between parts including mating, axial, tangential, etc. etc. alignments. Individual parts can have their own colors and other parameters.

    Change the 3D solid part and the 2D is updated automatically with minor cleanup if required. Pretty cool to watch lengths, diameters, dimensions, etc. jump to their new values

    Sometime later today when I have more time to play, I'll post a new SE sample part and the time it took to create.

    Den

    Leave a comment:


  • squale
    replied
    Thanks for all the info, I too have to agree that Solidworks is looking better and better for what I want to do. And I also agree that I should start off with 3D since I will be learning this all new anyhow.

    The one thing though is can Solidworks open an AutoCAD file, make changes to it and resave it as an AutoCAD file with no problem at all and with NOT messing up the original AutoCAD drawing at all? This is VERY important to me, because most all my father's customers use AutoCAD to send him some drawings, which I will need to open, make changes to, etc. then resend back to the customer for approval. It is VERY important that whatever CAD program I go with, can open and edit AutoCAD files seemlesly and then resave the file as an AutoCAD file to send back to the customer. This is why I was leaning towards AutoCAD in the first place because it's what my customers basically all use, but it to me just seems way to complicated for what I have to do, and when comparing to something like Solidworks, I just think Solidworks looks sooo much easier and better for my needs (especially the online web pages that Solidworks can make to share your drawings with coworkers or your customers).

    Also, can anybody recommend any VERY good and easier to read/understand/learn books out there on Solidworks?

    Leave a comment:


  • plm
    replied
    Squale,

    If you are not locked into having to use any particular application and have the freedom to shop around; I would look for something else besides AutoCad. AutoCad appears to be popular but, I think it is just living on past laurels – you have to ask AutoCad: What have you done for me lately?

    Back in the early-to-mid eighty’s, when it made a splash on the PC scene with the famous Space Shuttle wire drawing, it was truly revolutionary and people in industry began using it. But, I don’t think AutoDesk has kept up with the changes and direction the CAD industry is headed.

    I even bought a personal copy of their lite version of AutoCad in the early nineties and was quite satisfied with it for doing some 2D mechanical drawings I needed to do at that time. But, in late 2002, when I decided to get into Machining, CNC, CAD/CAM, etc., I did a lot of research on all these various components and for the CAD portion, I decided that AutoCad was antiquated and a dinasorer for what I wanted to do (3D Modeling of parts, assemblies with interconnected moving parts and the generation of traditional 2D drawings).

    If all you have to do is 2D and/or 3D, there are much better choices out there; others in this thread have alluded to this. You will find other packages with a lot of features and that are a lot more intuitive to use and, maybe cheaper, than what AutoCad has to offer.

    If you are going to be also getting into CAM, there are packages that have built-in CAD portions that are quite capable. Excalibur, Dolphin, FeatureCam ($$$) are just a few that I have had personal experience with and have found to be a very good value for what you pay for them.

    I am not going to make any specific recommendations on what you should get, you will have to put in the diligence doing your own research for your own specific needs; there are just too many good choices out there. However, I will tell how I decided on the choice I made (Solidworks) to give you some food for thought on how to make a choice on the purchase of a CAD package.

    I started by asking around at work. I am retired now but, at the time, I was an electrical engineer working at a disc drive company, so I began asking the mechanical guys what the company used (which I new would be high end), what they recommended etc. Found out that the official CAD package used was Ideas ($$$) and some said ProE (much cheaper but not cheap) was used a lot in industry. I also found small groups of renegades in the company using Solidworks, Ironcad and, yes, even AutoCad.

    I also talked with an associate/friend at a startup I helped get going a few years back that took care of the mechanical work they needed. He told me he had used Ironcad (which he liked) in the past, but was using this program called Solidworks because he already had a license for it and could get upgraded to the latest and greatest for pretty cheap and, his fabricators could work with Solidworks’ various file formats.

    I also started reading various forums and such on the web and came to the conclusion that there where just too many good CAD programs out there that would probably suit my needs technically and also be within my budget.

    So. . . My next plan of attack was to go to an online bookstore, like amazon.com, and see which CAD packages had people writing how-to books about them - I do this in a lot of situations, when applicable, just for the support aspect of things - I never assume I will get any support from a company I buy something from. This method of a book check also functions as a barometer.

    The two CAD programs that appeared to have more books written on how to use them were Solidworks and, you guessed it, AutoCad - so I started to look closer at Solidworks. Found good healthy discussion forums dedicated to Solidworks, went back for a show-and-tell at my friend’s company etc.

    Boom, I bought Solidworks. For me, it does exactly what I needed and I have actually found it fun to use – even has a built-in motion simulator, something I thought I would have to buy in a separate package from someone else.

    Now, again, keep in mind, I am not saying you should buy Solidworks. I am just trying to point out that aside from AutoCad, there other choices and, how you might go about making that choice. The one thing for sure is that, like taxes, you have a very pleasant problem on your hands – a lot of good deals out there but the choice to make could be tough.

    Good Luck . . .

    plm

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  • motorworks
    replied
    Just A though
    I was at a customer's office the other day and needed a drawing of a part they asked me to make.Two very bright students struggled for 20 mins to make a 3D drawing in the latest version of Autocad.
    I went home that night and made the same drawing in Soildworks in 2 mins!
    I have no "training" in S/W, only selftaught and I play around with it.
    I use Quickcad every day for simple drawings,but if I was just starting out, I would go directly into a soildworks as it is so much easier and quicker to use.

    *Just my opinion,not connected with S/W in any way.*
    Eddie

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