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Gene_Olson
12-24-2005, 01:34 PM
This thread should be an exploration of the low budget tools out there.

I think the stuff being done over on the Bugatti build thread is incredible.
Top notch stuff from Alex and all, but I fear it misses the mark at making it possible to spread the process out amongst the masses.

From here in the cheep seats there are a few of us chickens that bawk at the thought of 5 grand and more for an excellent cad system. :p

In keeping with the theme, you can shape and finish fine parts with simple tools (http://showpost.php?p=4359&postcount=3), how about trying to see if we can design and share accurate 3d information with some of the more accessible tools as well.

Richard Crees was doing some excellent work in Blender which got lost as we switched over to the big guns. There was also work being done in other platforms. posts like these one (http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/showpost.php?p=26255&postcount=96) two (http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/showpost.php?p=26563&postcount=219) three (http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/showpost.php?p=26751&postcount=252) and more


Sure there are warts in these lower end programs, but they do have a lot of power,

How much power, what can they do?

For instance, I know Chrissy's copy of rhino that I use, will import Alex's iges files ok, but then again a commercial version of Rhino is almost a grand, and with a rendering plug in to make pretty pictures like Alex did, it's well over a grand. That fails the tdoty cheap seats test.

What can we do with the budget tools.


as stand alone design tools
as platforms which can accept input from one of the big boys and work with it.
Exploring door #2:
Wray is talking about making bucks in the other thread.

A good question would be how can we use the budget tools to make our own copies of this information.

Can you import that iges file from Alex and then use it to generate cutting geometry to make a buck.
Wray came up with one buck design idea. Could you make your own?

If you have the iges file, will your budget cad let you take a section of it so you can print out a surface contour gauge to check your geometry.

That is one beauty of this digital information. A buck has spaces between the stations. If you are working along and for some reason you have a question about a particular spot on the form. What is happening here????
It would be real nice if your cheap seats program could take a section at that point so you can print out a something to cut a profile gauge from.
Then again, I lost track.
Back on #1 - exploring the capablities of the programs.
Did Richard ever zip and post the Blender file of what he did have done?
If so could we link to that post?
If not, would the Rod Doc mind sharing it here?

I am not trying to take the steam out of the build thread, but rather make the process more accessible.

I have a hunch that once people start working with these tools they will start itching for bigger toyz.


Gene

Doug98105
12-24-2005, 02:47 PM
For low cost CAD you can't any lower than Alibre Xpress, it's free. It's a 3D solid modeler capable of doing design work on the Bug. Alibre is trying the give away method to secure market share against competitors like SolidWorks and other mid range 3D modelers.

The problem with Xpress and other CAD programs in it's class is the steep learning curve. Same with SolidWorks, Alex most likely has years of experience with SW to get to his level. The learning curve stops most users within the first couple hours, so low cost, free or $5K doesn't matter.

https://www.alibre.com/xpress/download/alibredesign_xpress.aspx

tdoty
12-24-2005, 10:46 PM
I'm with Doug here! I just can not make myself understand how 3D cad works or 3D in general. I have TurboCad, Blender, Alias Studio, Rhino (outdated, but oh well), 3D Studio Max, AMAPI, TrueSpace, Bryce, Corel Dream 3D and several others .............. and almost none of the 2D cad stuff I learned transfers - let alone my mechanical drafting skills!

The learning curve just takes me out of it. With metalshaping, practicing allows me to make some interesting scrap. With the 3D stuff on the computer, it just really, REALLY, feels like I've wasted time I could have spent doing something productive :D .

Tim D.

Gene_Olson
12-25-2005, 06:25 AM
OK, the learning curve in 3d cad is maybe the hardest part and the chief problem faced.
That is obviously true.
We all bring the hand dealt us to the table.
Some things are beyond what we understand, but part of the fun is trying to knock that door open and see what's inside. (I dare say there have been more than a few clocks and other gizmos sacrificed by this crowd as we grew up)

While we probably may never get to have Alex' command of the tools we are talking about. I think we may be able to find ways to mine the data.

Most of us here are here because we work with 3d objects every day, Changing them, Repairing them, Aligning them, Making them, . . .

The buzz word on software is USER FRIENDLY; sometimes "friendly" needs help.

We might use this thread to explore the tools available. We may not make virtuoso 3d draftsmen out of anybody, but we might get many people comfortable with ways to generate patterns for making bucks.

If we can do that, we can share information well enough to work together.

Gene

Ernie Ferrucci
12-25-2005, 08:07 AM
Hi Gene

This is a topic of interest to me. I have experienced the evolution of computer aided design in my lifetime from old school by hand techniques to completely computer controlled systems of today. At first I was firmly rooted in the old school and skeptical of electronic machines taking the place of years of talent and skill. But I see it differently now. Computers and software are "tools" and very useful ones at that. The talent or idea part is still in the mind of the user.
I have found the learning curve just as difficult as anyone but the reward more than worth effort. Less time wasted, increased quality, accuracy, repeatability, and above all productivity. The communication of information is also invaluable. I have seen the benefits of utilizing the services of others with specialized equipment first hand. I have had material cut with water jet, laser, and routers. Equipment that I do not have the justification to invest in is still at my disposal.
At first, the "Bugatti design thread" ( http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2851) was completely over my head. But look at the possibilities and benefits of the concept. Beside the design itself, bucks, parts, and a host of information can be derived from and communicated through software and computers. It is exciting.
For these reasons I see the future lies in computers, software and the communication in between. Which software? That depends on ones "mission" to accomplish and to what level the budget is justified. A low cost 3-D program would be very appealing to me, a way to get started. To just sit at the keyboard and fiddle around with a program to try and learn it I will get bored and tire quickly. For me the learning is easier with a mission at hand. I will find the "tools" in the software to get it done.
I plan to pay attention to the myriad of programs available with the hope of finding one that I can use to get started with.

Doug98105
12-25-2005, 10:02 AM
....................

A low cost 3-D program would be very appealing to me, a way to get started. To just sit at the keyboard and fiddle around with a program to try and learn it I will get bored and tire quickly. For me the learning is easier with a mission at hand. I will find the "tools" in the software to get it done.
I plan to pay attention to the myriad of programs available with the hope of finding one that I can use to get started with.

Ernie,

As I mentioned Alibre Xpress is the deal of a lifetime, the current version of a parametric 3d solid modeler, free.

If there's enough interest we could start with some simple design projects with Xpress. By starting slow and working together it'd lessen the learning curve. For sure, the chassis and other details of the Bug could be done in Xpress. Having that common goal would make the learning easier.

For a group project having only one user with SolidWorks makes no sense. One person doing all the work and the rest of the group sitting in the bleachers cheering him on. Other CAD programs can read the SW files, but in transferring between CAD programs the history of the design process is lost.

That's the benefit of everyone having and using the same software. Anyone else with Xpress can read someone else's design file and see exactly what steps and method were used to arrive at the final design. Plus the ability to modify portions of the design that aren't to their liking.

Xpress comes with a bunch of instruction tutorials to get started, but there's no better learning tool than having a group working on the same project to answer questions.

Here's a portion of the Bug front fender in Xpress. I took this off of one of Alex's earlier files. I had to eliminate the majority of his body design because it's take a very high end PC to manipulate the whole body, my system bogged down to a crawl with the total body. This is enough for fender bucks. Another argument in favor of Xpress, it runs well on medium speed PC's.

http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/500/bugfender.jpg



Doug

PS, Alibre gave away 120,000 free downloads of Xpress, the Xpress user forum only has 1100 registered members. Which means everyone likes a freebie, but not many are interested in investing the time to learn the program.

Wray Schelin
12-25-2005, 10:17 AM
Hi Doug,

SolidWorks will provide you with a free copy of SolidWorks 2003.

I checked out Alex's company and they offer the same deal as my local SolidWorks reseller/training center.

http://www.capinc.com/pages/seminars/index.cfm

For these companies to grow they need users like us. They want to build their base of users.

Alibre will probably never get to SolidWorks level. I think it makes more sense to start with the right program.

PaulG
12-25-2005, 10:54 AM
It appears that Alibre Xpress is actually a free 30 day trial. Almost all producers offer that.

Doug98105
12-25-2005, 12:43 PM
It appears that Alibre Xpress is actually a free 30 day trial. Almost all producers offer that.

Nope, it's forever, at least when I downloaded it.

Doug98105
12-25-2005, 01:26 PM
Hi Doug,

SolidWorks will provide you with a free copy of SolidWorks 2003.

I checked out Alex's company and they offer the same deal as my local SolidWorks reseller/training center.

http://www.capinc.com/pages/seminars/index.cfm

For these companies to grow they need users like us. They want to build their base of users.

Alibre will probably never get to SolidWorks level. I think it makes more sense to start with the right program.

Hi Wray,

I'm not stuck on Alibre Xpress, it's just I haven't found anything else at the price that's available for download with no strings attached.

MY local SolidWorks dealer, Hawk Ridge Systems, told me there were no demo's available. Besides that, they don't like to even talk about SW, they want potential customers to come to a sales pitch at their location.

Do you have the free 2003 version? Can an individual get it or only business owners? What kind of PC does it take to run it (2006 takes a pretty heavy duty PC to run it)? Can it be used for commercial purposes, some personal versions of software watermark the output to indicate "not for commercial use"? Is there any user support on 2003 (I think 2006 costs $1300/yr for support)?

Do you suppose forum members could get free copies of 2003 SW without attending the high pressure sales pitch?

Doug

Kerry Pinkerton
12-25-2005, 02:03 PM
Do you suppose forum members could get free copies of 2003 SW without attending the high pressure sales pitch?

Doug

I looked on the Solidworks site and didn't see the link for free software. Alex's company seems to be in the Northeast mainly and flying up to New England for a 3 hour pitch doesn't seem reasonable. I downloaded Alibre and will attempt to wade through the tutorial. However I have discovered another package that less than 10 bucks, doesn't require a super desktop, and only takes an hour or two to master. See below.

What would be neat is if someone with an 'in' at Solidworks (like Alex??) could approach them with the project and what the group was attempting and see they would not grant us some sort of 'group' purchase similar to what the student discount is. It would serve the same purpose, that is, bring them a core of dedicated users that would go to future employers with ready skills. Guess what software the employers buy when their staff already knows one???? When we get the Bugatti built, the world is going to be paying a LOT of attention. If we say, "Solidworks" made it possible!", that's going to be a BIG deal for Solidworks.

The reason that Sun was such an early player in workstations is because they practically gave them away to schools. All these graduates had skill with Sun workstations and guess what they recommended to their employeers. Sun kicked HP's butt early on only because HP wouldn't give the same school discount.

If we got a critical mass of members using Solidworks, perhaps we could have someone like Alex come to MM06 for a pre-MM06 training session.....

Now, here is the modeling solution of the future...

Pete's Metalshaping
12-25-2005, 02:55 PM
If you have a casual need for a software package, it's hard to justify a large expenditure. Then after you have the software, putting together the time to learn is another problem.

If the group were to score a good price on a software package, I would be interested.

Wray Schelin
12-25-2005, 03:48 PM
I looked on the Solidworks site and didn't see the link for free software. Alex's company seems to be in the Northeast mainly and flying up to New England for a 3 hour pitch doesn't seem reasonable. I downloaded Alibre and will attempt to wade through the tutorial. However I have discovered another package that less than 10 bucks, doesn't require a super desktop, and only takes an hour or two to master. See below.

What would be neat is if someone with an 'in' at Solidworks (like Alex??) could approach them with the project and what the group was attempting and see they would not grant us some sort of 'group' purchase similar to what the student discount is. It would serve the same purpose, that is, bring them a core of dedicated users that would go to future employers with ready skills. Guess what software the employers buy when their staff already knows one???? When we get the Bugatti built, the world is going to be paying a LOT of attention. If we say, "Solidworks" made it possible!", that's going to be a BIG deal for Solidworks.

The reason that Sun was such an early player in workstations is because they practically gave them away to schools. All these graduates had skill with Sun workstations and guess what they recommended to their employeers. Sun kicked HP's butt early on only because HP wouldn't give the same school discount.

If we got a critical mass of members using Solidworks, perhaps we could have someone like Alex come to MM06 for a pre-MM06 training session.....

Now, here is the modeling solution of the future...

Hi Kerry,

You misunderstood what I said again.:o

The site url I included was not Alex's company. it was the SolidWorks reseller in my area.

Here is Alex's company in Idaho,which has the same deal.

http://www.qintegration.com/A7.htm

There is probably a SolidWorks reseller in your area that offers the same deal, so there is no need for travel.

I suggested that "Free" is a pretty low price to disarm the "too expensive" argument that people counter with.

I'm not saying everyone should go out and learn SolidWorks either.

I did say that 3D modeling is the future of the craft.

I said that in the same spirit that someone would say
"Talkies are the future of movies" as they left the theater playing the Jazz Singer for the first time.:D

If we start today to use SolidWorks we will all benifit from the experience, even the people who choose not to.

SolidWorks unlocks the mystery of this craft, which is: "understanding and defining what a shape is".

I have asked Alex if he teaches classes and if he would be able to put a MetalMeet class together. He answered yes, to both questions but he hasn't supplied any details yet. I'm sure in due time they will come. Will SolidWorks be interested in the Bugatti Build? I can't see why they wouldn't be, and I'd be willing to bet that something good will happen.

I think as a group we should as an appreaciation of Alex's contribution, focus in on SolidWorks as much as possible, if any of us consider learning a 3D cad program.

edwardd_
12-25-2005, 04:10 PM
http://solidworks.com/pages/news/3DSkills.html (http://solidworks.com/pages/news/3DSkills.html)

Doug98105
12-25-2005, 05:28 PM
http://solidworks.com/pages/news/3DSkills.html (http://solidworks.com/pages/news/3DSkills.html)

Thanks for the link.

Okay, that pretty well explains the free software. The ninety day usage limitation may be the biggest stumbling block. Not to mention that none of the sales pitches to get the free software are scheduled in the Seattle area in the next 3 months, so I might not be able to get it anyway.

There also could be some question whether usage in designing the Bug is allowed under their license agreement.

Alibre Xpress unrestricted free download is looking better in comparison.

Time invested in learning Xpress is not wasted. Once you master one CAD program, the experience transfers over to learning another.

Doug

Wray Schelin
12-25-2005, 05:41 PM
Further clarification.

From the SolidWorks site:

http://solidworks.com/images/ghost.gif http://solidworks.com/images/ghost.gif SolidWorks 3D Skills Program

http://solidworks.com/images/ghost.gif http://solidworks.com/images/ghost.gif http://solidworks.com/images/ghost.gif http://solidworks.com/images/ghost.gif http://solidworks.com/images/ghost.gif http://solidworks.com/images/main_dottedrule.gif The SolidWorks 3D Skills Program provides a hands-on introduction and a FREE copy of the SolidWorks Personal Edition software! To participate, sign-up for a 3D Skills introductory session at a reseller near you (http://solidworks.com/pages/news/ResellerSeminars.html?skills=1).

The powerful, innovative, and easy-to-use 3D mechanical design capabilities of SolidWorks® software make it the standard in 3D. SolidWorks Personal Edition provides you with the same unmatched performance and time-saving innovations. Whether you are a beginner or have used other CAD applications in the past, the SolidWorks 3D Skills Program can help you take your design skills to an entirely new level.

http://solidworks.com/images/bodyarrow.gifSolidWorks Personal Edition includes:





SolidWorks Personal Edition software
eDrawings software
Complete online documentation
Introducing SolidWorks manual (online)
Installation option for all supported languages
http://solidworks.com/images/bodyarrow.gifSpecial Personal Edition Terms
The SolidWorks Personal Edition is functionally identical to the core SolidWorks software used by industry professionals. However, the SolidWorks Personal Edition does contain significant use restrictions and may not be used for any commercial purposes whatsoever. The creation of models for commercial use is considered a commercial purpose, and therefore, files generated or modified using SolidWorks Personal Edition software cannot be opened by commercial (or other, for example, educational) versions of SolidWorks software. Other use restrictions include:



A Personal Edition license to use the software expires after 90 days, with option for renewal. It does not include subscription service, and is not upgradeable.
A watermark which identifies both the software and the files created as a "Personal Edition"; is displayed with the model whenever the model is printed, making it unsuitable for use in a commercial or institutional environments.
SolidWorks Personal Edition software is node-locked to you and your computer.
Commercial use of the SolidWorks Personal Edition is prohibited. If your company is interested in acquiring SolidWorks licensing for commercial use, please contact an authorized SolidWorks reseller. The SolidWorks Personal Edition software may not be resold, transferred, rented, modified or copied. Any misuse of the terms of the software license agreement will immediately terminate the right to use this software. Read the license agreement (http://solidworks.com/pages/news/3dskillslicense.html).

Doug98105
12-25-2005, 06:06 PM
Hi Wray,

Are you still suggesting SW demo software after reading the licensing restrictions?

It appears any work done with the demo version cannot be transferred to a commercial version. In other words, if you were so impressed with the software and purchased the "real" thing after your 90 day demo period the work could not be transferred to the owned software. And, the files cannot be exchanged with other CAD systems such as IGES, STL, DXF, etc file formats.

Doug

Gene_Olson
12-25-2005, 07:21 PM
I was looking at the demo schedule and noticed one in Bloomington for Tuesday. I was about to sign up and then noticed the system requirements.

For 2006
System requirements
• Microsoft® Windows XP Professional
or Windows 2000 recommended
• Intel® Pentium™-, Intel® Xeon™-, Intel®
EM64T-, AMD® Athlon™-, or AMD®
Opteron™- based processor
• 512 MB RAM or greater
• Pointing device
• CD-ROM drive
• Microsoft Office XP or Microsoft
Office 2000
• Internet Explorer version 6.0 or later
recommended

No xp pro and it will be a cold day before I willingly buy into the MS office suite.

g.

Pete's Metalshaping
12-25-2005, 09:29 PM
Maybe this is a touchy question, but does everyone that is using Solidworks have a full blown version. In clarifying this, is your version an older, student or personal edition copy.

The reason that I ask, over the years I’ve had an opportunity to use many different Cad programs from AutoCad to CATIA. What I would like to have is a Cad program, for home use, that would be worth learning and doesn’t cost thousands of dollars to buy. I am also reluctant to spend hundreds of hours using a “Free” program that I may not be able to afford.

Gene_Olson
12-26-2005, 04:39 AM
I downloaded Alibre xpress and started wading through the tutorials.

the first thing I found was that I had to back up two steps. The tutorials start in the middle. They assume that you have played with the program before and know the controls.
If you read down to the bottom of the first page there is a hyperlinked statement that says something like "if you don't understand what I just said you need to try this more basic tutorial"

I think that a discussion of the relationship between parts, assemblies, and drawings would be in order. From the tutorials I ran, they seem clear and focused but a bit near sighted. I need some big picture shots of how it works.Doug's comment about the disparity between the number of downloads and the number of people signed up to their discussion board may have something to do with that, free is great but if you are anxious to get somewhere, walk into the foyer and see nothing but:
"okay where do you want to start?



on a drawing,
an assembly
a part ?"



What, where am I? This doesn't look like Kansas.

I think they could use a better introduction, and "site map."

by the way, I successfully imported Alex iges model into it. I have now idea of how to do anything with it yet,:o but it came in ok and I can spin it around and look at it. Shucks, the assembly tutorial was a predefined v8 engine and I managed to import that and place it under the hood.

Now I need to put in a break, and go get some non virtual work done.

G

rockflyer
12-26-2005, 05:19 AM
Gene , Could you please post the location of the IGES file for the Buggatti? I have only come up with JPEG files . I would like to take a look at it .
Dick

v2cad
12-26-2005, 06:07 AM
Gene,

I can help you with that. It makes sense when you understand what they are asking. To make a drawing or assembly you need a part first. That part would be used to create the views in the drawing or connected to some other part in an assembly. All of you guys have the smarts to figure out the software it just takes time. I've been doing this a long time, but I still struggle learning new features with each new revision of the software.

J.

Gene_Olson
12-26-2005, 06:30 AM
Gene , Could you please post the location of the IGES file for the Buggatti? I have only come up with JPEG files . I would like to take a look at it .
Dick
Try this on page 86 of the bugatti thread.
http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/showthread.php?p=40801&postcount=856

Gene_Olson
12-26-2005, 07:01 AM
Gene,

I can help you with that. It makes sense when you understand what they are asking. To make a drawing or assembly you need a part first. That part would be used to create the views in the drawing or connected to some other part in an assembly. All of you guys have the smarts to figure out the software it just takes time. I've been doing this a long time, but I still struggle learning new features with each new revision of the software.

J.

Okay, we have the assemblies and the parts.

TurboCad has what they call paper space and model space. Paper space = the Drawing menu in Alibre.

Model space would be the place where Alibre has parts and assemblies.

Paper space can have 2d drawings done on it or it can have selected views from model space projected onto it.
The projected part is kind of neat because if you draw the part in model space you can change the scale in paper space. You can make two windows in your drawing one showing the entire drawing at 1/2' per foot and a detail of joint at twice normal size, both from the same drawing.

Bambi
12-26-2005, 07:22 AM
We have some what of a dilema, with the CAD programs, well maybe not a problem, a situation. Those that have and can afford it have, not only have but have puters that can do also. To them they are affordable, to many they are not. Some have issues with programs such as Microsoft Office and other requirements. I do also. I do not want Microsoft configurin my puter, it works just fine.
OK now comes in the Free Solid Works for all, with Restrictions. I have had some programs that gave 30 days of usage and then locked up, ya had to go as far as reformatt the hard drive to get things back to normal. I know that NO one wants into that type of scenario.
So we can all be on the same page and with a somewhat more level playing field. As it stands right now, you really can't participate with the Bugatti thing without a level playing field. My suggestions as are others are useless, cuz we can't play with the big boyz. Haves and Have Nots.
Lets see if the powers that be are willing to change and help out the little guys.
The big boyz aren't gonna be happy with out their Solidworks, so let them supply some compatable programs and or Solidworks itself. This would solve one part of the equation.
The second part, is to set up an online MetalMeet Forum for the feeding and training of the students. ie an online class. With assignments.
I know many want to jump right in and do a whole car, forget that noise, ask some of the pros how long it took them to do the car as it is now. I am sure that with all the free time that has been put into this project, that someone can take the time to teach the class, maybe a few teachers. They don't have any spare time, Bull, deduct 10% of the time spent on the Buggatti project and teach the masses. Use the Buggatti project as a teaching tool, since the big boys have already completed it, they can teach us piece by piece. A car is built one part at a time. Skills are learned the same way.
Classes can be daily, weekly or whatever Wray decides, since he started the whole thing.
Doing a tutorial and learning something on ones own can be frustrating and sometimes futile. With a class such as this, there first is an interest and also enthusiasm, once the barriers are removed.
We have the students.
We have the classroom, if Wray opens a separat Forum.
We need the Software and alas some will have to get new hardware. I know it costs money, maybe the more affluant can donate or find sources of cheap puters.
We need at least one good dedicated Teacher, maybe a few. Maybe it will grow so we have beginner, intermediate and graduate classes.
Has anyone contacted Solidworks with a Proposal and a plan.
Personally I use Turbo CAD, it does most everything I can use in the real world. 3D would be nice. Solidworks would be icing on the cake. I can visuallize most things in my head. Turbo CAD allows me to print out templates for brackets etc and play around.
Its like a 2 year old kid trying to communicate with a phd rocket scientist. The kid may be willing to learn but if the scientist is unwilling to teach or supply the tools, the kid ain't will have a long hard road and will not be able to participate in things. I know that my input is futile, with the Buggatti project as the invisible rules require Solidworks affuence, being able to be on the same page. There are many that would like to participate, but as it stands its a look but don't touch attitude and only a few need apply.
Note:
I have seen it too many times with this wonderful world of puters. Many take offense where none is given. Things are misread or misinterpretted. Me and Wray have gone at it a few times. Both of us have read things the wrong way. No ones fault its the nature of puter communication. Maybe there is a little demon someplace in the lines. Anyways take things with a grain of salt. I am not here to stir the pot of offend anyone. We can all agree to dissagree. Enjoy life. Learn to give a little. Wray, I still consider you My Friend. God Bless.

So there is my proposal.
Who wants a MetalMeet Class?

Happy Holidays
Bambi

HotRodKid
12-26-2005, 08:05 AM
Try this on page 86 of the bugatti thread.
http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/showthread.php?p=40801&postcount=856

thats version 11, version 12 of the bugatti is here http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/showpost.php?p=41043&postcount=918
i still cant get alibre to import the iges file ...

tsutt
12-26-2005, 08:51 AM
I haven't been following these threads much from the start, but i've been getting interested. as i would like to build an econmical little sports car using donated parts out of a ford ranger i.e. 2.3 5sp. ect. Maybe i'm missing something here but, wouldn't the smart thing to do is have those who are doing the designing, when finalized, design the needed bucks and produce 2d dxf files that almost any software can read. Or be taken to a printer place, as i'm sure they can print right from the files. So the others can produce there own bucks?

Todd

Gene_Olson
12-26-2005, 09:15 AM
Nick,
It takes a while to convert the data,
go get coffee.

last night I imported it in the assembly view, this is in a parts file.

v2cad
12-26-2005, 09:23 AM
Todd,

I think that's the idea. I wasn't able to do what Alex could with the complex surfaces on the model, but I should be able to work with that data and use it to create 2d dxf files for the bucks. That way we can all pitch in and work together.

J.

PS I like your idea on using the 2.3 and 5 spd. One of my favorite cars was a 1987 Ford Turbo Coupe. That has to be one of the sweetest drivetrains they built. Put that into a light bodied sports car and it would fly.

Gene_Olson
12-26-2005, 09:32 AM
I haven't been following these threads much from the start, but i've been getting interested. as i would like to build an econmical little sports car using donated parts out of a ford ranger i.e. 2.3 5sp. ect. Maybe i'm missing something here but, wouldn't the smart thing to do is have those who are doing the designing, when finalized, design the needed bucks and produce 2d dxf files that almost any software can read. Or be taken to a printer place, as i'm sure they can print right from the files. So the others can produce there own bucks?

Todd

Dang,

Todd, don't go getting practical on us now. :wink:

That thought had occured to me as well this morning as I was headed out to the shop. Share two d files we could print out? It makes way too much sense.

Take it to a printer place, and print out full scale. . .
or
like I did long ago when I didn't have a 36 in printer.
add an array of points to the drawing row a, col 1 each point labeled a1, a2, b1 , b2 on something like a 7 x 9 grid*; that way you can check to make sure you are lined up properly when you tape all the tiled sheets together.
*you need to have at least 2 grid points on every sheet you print.

I'll grant you it isn't the best way to do it, but it is probably close enough for most of the things we are talking about.

G.

Avalonjr
12-26-2005, 09:33 AM
Bambi,

You're in luck, my long winded reply got lost when I posted it, so here's the short response.... If you want to have a training class in Solidworks, call the Solidworks company and ask them to put one on. They're benefiting from this groups interest in the software and stand to sell quite a few copies as a result of the Buggatti project. As a good will gesture they could put on a web based training session, or send a trainer to MM06. I'm sure they have a promotional budget to draw upon.

Alex is putting in huge amounts of time in on this, so I wouldn't expect him to carve out any more. He's been more than generous with his time. Maybe in the long run it will pay off for him, but for now, it is still a lot of effort for no paycheck.

The value of the Bugatti experiment is that it demonstrates the value of 3D software to this group. Undoubtedly the answer is different for the hobbiest and the professional.

I agree that is is a shame that there isn't a lower cost software that everybody could use, but then maybe Solidworks will see the value of picking a different price point for their software for groups like Metalmeet. If they sell more packages at a reduced cost and end up with a broader base of user's, they're better off than being elitest and costly.

You bring up good points. Now its time to pick up the phone and make those points to Solidworks... Let me know what they say. I'd sign up.

Avalonjr
12-26-2005, 09:37 AM
addendum...

I think trying to form a training thread would be a difficult task. My suggestion about a web based training is based on training classes I've attended from other companies. You log on to their site at a specified time and your desktop or browser gets linked to the trainer's. You see what he sees and receive audio from the training session, allowing you to "virtually attend the class". It really is just like being there.

Citrix is one that comes to mind.

tsutt
12-26-2005, 10:14 AM
I wonder if the server would be capable of several hunderd plus, logged in at once? shift classes? I don't think the trainor's would like that. Todd

HotRodKid
12-26-2005, 10:37 AM
Nick,
It takes a while to convert the data,


it finaly converted for me, but it was still slamming my processor hard

i cant get the virtual memory on my machine past 3000mb, and 8000mb is recomended, plus i only have 256mb of ram and i should have double that

after 10 minutes my computer started to crash

as much as i would like to play with cad, my computer hates me enough as it is, im not gonna punish it more, lol

Doug98105
12-26-2005, 10:40 AM
Test.

Hopefully there should be an attached Alibre file zipped.

Doug98105
12-26-2005, 11:08 AM
Anyone want to try downloading the attached zip file in the previous post.

It's a simple part designed in Alibre Xpress. Save it, unzip it, and open in Xpress.

I can do it myself, but am never sure it's working unless someone else can also do it.

Doug

Gene_Olson
12-26-2005, 11:56 AM
Doug,

I got a donut,

here is some coffee.

try c.AD_ASM

http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/3328/coffee.jpg

surfaces modeled in Rhino
cup and coffee saved as step file.
steam imported as an iges.

Bambi
12-26-2005, 03:44 PM
Class would probably be the easy part. Avalon mentioned the Free time spent by others that has been contributed to the Solid Works endeavor. Well they just get down and do it. All that needs to be done is thems that do to allow other to peak over their shoulder, monkey see monkey do.
A student would only need to go up and see the project, for example a fender. The instructor who already has been thru the process, shows a variety of pics, give some instructions just like in the real world and the students duplicate the project on their own. An instructor could do a lesson once a week at his leisure. Its still Home Study. There will be No grading, nor Diploma's. Wrays gave great instructions on how to do Tuck Shrinking and others have done similar acts.
The instructor can't be expected to do a lot of things that many think they should. The student would have to do the lions share of the work to learn Solidworks. Some will learn quickly and others will be slow, thats life.
As for me contacting SolidWorks with a proposal, I am only a peon in here as many. There is a heyarchy in the Metaleet organization. The task of contacting and making a proposal to the Solidworks people is best left to them. There are many in there that are far more eloquent and have credentials. Like Wray, being President and grand pooo bah, plus his list of achievements makes him a far better candidate. They would notice him.
As for waiting for MetalMeet 2006 for the Solidworks, it would be far better for us to have access to it now and when MetalMeet 2006 comes along there would be maybe many that would be a little more SolidWorks litterate. They then could possibly hold some seminars. Gettin a whole bunch of newbies lookin for a Freebie wouldn't be my way of getting business. Better to have some that are out there at least trying and progressing.
For me, I am not gonna wait, I'll find out where Wray got his and see if I can snag one.
I hope others will get on board.
Good Luck All

Bambi

Kerry Pinkerton
12-26-2005, 05:32 PM
Hi Bambi,

I have to disagree with you about the 'training'. It's a LOT more complicated that you seem to think. I was very involved in designing custom courses and even teaching while at HP. Lots of things to consider:

- Prerequisites: that is, what skills and abilities are required for the particular class. You can't just lump everyone in the same group and expect anyone but the lowest skill to learn anything.

- Course goals: What is the desired outcome, ie particular skills and levels

- Course Material: Workbooks, labs, ANSWERS to the labs

- Qualified teacher: Trust me, OFTEN the most knowledgeable folks are TERRIBLE teachers because they have weak verbal presentations skills. I've literally seen one of my absolute best technical consultants faint when forced to present in front of people.

- Lots more:

It's not just looking over someone's shoulder because they are working so fast you won't be able to follow what they are doing and frequently the guys who do their best work are working really weird hours so they won't be disturbed and can get their 'head in the game'.

Finally, this isn't something the 'powers that be' can't really force. First of all, there aren't really any powers that be. The board can approve the concept and creating a forum for training is easy but getting someone to volunteer to teach is another thing entirely. The board could even decide to fund a course but you're talking big bucks. Probably 15K+. Normally standard classes are priced by the 'seat' that is students. Custom courses are also priced per seat but the development is an upfront additional costs. Wray is not really that skilled and probably doesn't have the time anyway. That leaves Mike and Alex. Both have full time jobs, doubt that they will sign up.

Computer based training with a mentor? Great idea but subject to the issues at the front of this post. AND the mentor must be willing to deal with questions from ANYWHERE in the 'class' at the same time. Some folks will rapidly progress and others take weeks to do the first lesson. MOST will not want to do the course work and just ask questions hoping that if they can only get the magic question answered they will become proficient. Never happens and only frustrated the instructor and other students.

I'm not saying it isn't something that could be done and perhaps should be done, just that it's a lot more complicated than it appears. I'm all for getting a contact with Solidworks and trying to get student discounts on the software but I'm not interested in a 'free' copy that won't let me do real work assuming I could ever get my skills up enough to use it......

Ernie Ferrucci
12-26-2005, 05:44 PM
Question:

I have "CADKEY97R2" in one of my computers. Is anyone familiar with this program? I have drawn some simple parts with it but it sure wasn't easy, had to enter every move. I stopped playing with it because I would find myself asleep at the desk drooling on myself and wake up with a stiff neck http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/images/icons/icon11.gif http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif.
I guess this is some old stuff here compared to today's software. Somewhat like Abe Lincoln doing math on the back of a shovel :lol: .
Is the new stuff this user unfriendly http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/images/icons/icon5.gif. Tell me like it is... I like a good joke,
have to go my eye lids are getting real heavy.

Doug98105
12-26-2005, 05:46 PM
Doug,

I got a donut,

here is some coffee.

try c.AD_ASM

http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/3328/coffee.jpg

surfaces modeled in Rhino
cup and coffee saved as step file.
steam imported as an iges.

Nice cup of coffee, Gene.

I spent a few minutes trying to use the "Trim Model" feature to slice your cup. All I got was an obscure error message above the surface or some such.

Thanks, at least we know we can easily exchange Alibre files if needed.

Doug

Gene_Olson
12-26-2005, 05:50 PM
were you able to slice bugatti surfaces?
and did you try the part file for just the cup?

I discovered that the iges that I exported as "steam" also had the cup and coffee attached. OOOPS.

Doug98105
12-26-2005, 06:12 PM
were you able to slice bugatti surfaces?

I was able to trim the model, not sure exactly how since I can't seem to do it again.

When I downloaded the IGES Bug I switched the file back and forth between Xpress and Vector CAD/CAM. A major portion of the file had to be deleted in Vector to get it down to a manageable size for Xpress.

Doug

Wray Schelin
12-26-2005, 07:05 PM
I think the file exchange process that we are seeing right now between Doug and Gene, will be the best approach to being introduced to the power of a 3D solid modeling program. If we are lucky a few more folks will jump in and it will keep building. Then if members start to ask questions about what is happening as the drawings evolve everyone will start to catch on.

Maybe a project like Ernie's motorcycle tank can be modeled with screen shots of the various steps.

As for the difficulty in using a 3D modeling program, it is no different than learning how to use a automotive rollaway chest full of tools. I would bet most of us have a rollaway tool box chockablock full with every socket, screwdriver, wrench, etc.

We also know where to find every tool in our tool box and what each one does. We also need to know the sequence they can be used and on which applications.

When you think about it we know a lot about the tools in our mechanics rollaway toolboxes.

We have memorized all of the information needed to use them.

It is the same deal with learning SolidWorks, you have a tool box of many many tools, which you have to memorize
to use properly. You have to memorize where they are, what they do, the proper order of their use, and on which applications they can be used.

Both the tool box and the 3D cad programs are similar memory problems. The mechanics tool box will allow you to fix just about any type of machinery and you can make a living using them. The 3D CAD toolbox will allow you to design just about anything, documenting every step of the build and it will allow you to go back and modify the design later and update the drawing. Once the drawing is done it is a lot more than just a drawing it is the DNA of the design that you created. That drawing contains the X,Y,and Z measurements of every square inch of the design. It will also let you share the design easliy with others. You can send portions of the design to be made by others, You can sell the design. You can make a real good living selling your designs.

When you sell your knowledge based on you mechanics toolbox you sell the knowledge to one customer, a client or an employer.

When you sell your knowledge based on your 3D CAD program toolbox you can sell to a single client, a employer or to thousands of clients worldwide. You open up your potential thousands of times.

3D Cad knowledge is many many more times valuable than the knowledge based on your use of tools in the rollaway..... The difficulty of the memory problem is about the same. They are both very complex problems when looked at from a newby perspective. They might be insurmountable if you stumble on issues of cost (which is really investment) and complexity especially if you are getting on in years. Almost everyone will, if they really buckle-down, find a way to learn something new, even if it is difficult. If a little help is gained along the way from other MetalMeet members that have already learned the step you are struggling with, all the better.

We have a learning center already here in the Design forum, that is what this thread is about.

We can't expect someone to donate hours and hours of free time. We can expect them to offer fee based lessons where the learning process can be speeded up considerably. I think something like that will develop as we build the Bugatti. I think SolidWorks would be foolish not to take notice of our achievement and to use it as an example. With Alex's help this has become a very real possibility.

Great developments lay ahead, we only have to accept the challenge and learn new skills. It's a win win for everyone.

Ernie Ferrucci
12-26-2005, 07:31 PM
Wray: That was an excellent post http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif. Your analogy of the tool box and the software clears up a lot of smoke, (cigar smoke in my shop).
It's been said that 90% of many things is getting started. This thread could be the ticket for our own learning center.

tdoty
12-26-2005, 07:54 PM
As for the difficulty in using a 3D modeling program, it is no different than learning how to use a automotive rollaway chest full of tools. I would bet most of us have a rollaway tool box chockablock full with every socket, screwdriver, wrench, etc.

We also know where to find every tool in our tool box and what each one does. We also need to know the sequence they can be used and on which applications.

When you think about it we know a lot about the tools in our mechanics rollaway toolboxes.

We have memorized all of the information needed to use them.



Do you have any clue how long it's taken me to get to that level with my toolboxes and the specialized tools in them? Still working on it ................25+ years after I started working with tools on a regular basis.

Also, your wrench works the same as my wrench, but most of these CAD programs have different tools, that work in (slightly?) different ways ............ and sometimes a socket is the better approach.

For me, I've tried a number of programs, but I learned mechanical drafting early on (my stepfather was a trained draftsman, he taught me what my drafting teachers didn't). 2D CAD wasn't so bad. I haven't found a program that allows me to integrate the skills I possess into something useful in 3D. Some come close, but it's still not the same. Hence, my decision to not bother with it.

Tim D.

dauer
12-26-2005, 08:52 PM
There is another option for people in most areas as I have taken a number of CAD classes at my local community college, they are pretty reasonable and gives you access to the software and student deals. Not all schools keep up to date with the latest versions but it will give you a good start on the basics you will need and unfortunatly there are VERY FEW people who are capable of training to the level Alex possesses but it is an option.


Dave

v2cad
12-27-2005, 07:14 AM
I was able to bring the IGES file into the program that I use. I cut away everything but the left front fender and started to make a model of the buck. I'll be basing it on the design that Wray posted a while ago. The neat thing about this setup is that we should be able to flip the cross sections on the main spline to come up with the opposite side. It will make more sense when I can post pics. This buck will be able to knock down and be easy to ship just like the furniture from IKEA. I'll need a few more days to finish, but I think this will work out real good.

J.

Kerry Pinkerton
12-27-2005, 07:50 AM
Got a call from an Alibre sales engineer today inviting me to a free online demo of the product. I'll invest the 30-45 minute. I explained what we were doing and that I was just a hobbist. He didn't care and invited anyone else to sign up. I told him I'd post this email and he'd probably get a bunch of calls. They run this demo all the time...

I expect there is a sales pitch in there somewhere to upgrade to the paid version.. (no thanks, we don't want the condo...we just came for the free cookware... LOL)

Hello Kerry,

In response to feedback from our trial users we have implemented a time-saving way to learn more about Alibre Design.

You are invited to a free, live 30-45 minute online demonstration created by the Alibre Design Training Department. We will show you the entire Alibre Design product and answer any technical questions. By the end of the demonstration you will be able to fully understand if Alibre Design is the right 3D parametric CAD solution for you. We also offer a discount and free training to those that attend these demonstrations.

Please contact me as soon as possible to reserve a seat for one of our demonstrations online and receive a discount offer on any Alibre Design product with free training.

You can also schedule another time for a live presentation on your own. https://www.alibre.com/products/schedule-demo.aspx (https://www.alibre.com/products/schedule-demo.aspx). I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,
Ryan Montgomery
Sales Engineer
Alibre
877-525-4273, ext. 264

Kerry Pinkerton
12-27-2005, 10:21 AM
Gene Olsen and I just partipated in the Alibre demo. Pretty neat stuff. Gene can talk about the capabilities for surfaces but it's pretty obvious that it's a pretty powerful tool.

As expected, the express version does not include some 'want to have' features. Their full featured version (professional) costs $1500 but is half price to those who have downloaded express.

For $1800 you get the Expert version that includes the CAM interfaces and more. All this is described on their web site www.Alibre.com (http://www.Alibre.com) Gene asked if the you could get the pro version and pay the $300 for the Expert upgrade. They will get back to us on that.

Couple things is all their training is online and mentored but they also have a self paced CD version for $200. 12 hours of CDs 4 I think he said.

This is interesting enough to me, I'm going to devote some time to go through the tutorials for Express and for $700 it MIGHT make sense for me....

The demo is a worthwhile excercise for anyone interested in CAD. Wray has preached about this enough I guess I'm beginning to think about perhaps considering evaluating the possibility that it might be something that could potentially offer value to me..... LOL


One thing it won't do well is flowing surfaces. Rhino is a better fit. As Gene observed, if you have to pay $1500 for Rhino and $1500 for Alibre, you are in the same range as Solidworks so why mess with two packages....

Doug98105
12-27-2005, 11:10 AM
"if you have to pay $1500 for Rhino and $1500 for Alibre, you are in the same range as Solidworks so why mess with two packages...."


Kerry & Gene,

Alibre Pro is (frequently) on sale for $750, Rhino has a street price around $650 (per McNeel). Alibre has a plugin for Rhino file exchange, don't know how much since I can't get through to the sales staff at Alibre.

Don't forget the extra cost of a new PC to run Solidworks, it won't run on our clunky older PC's.

Doug

jlrussell4
12-27-2005, 02:38 PM
Kerry, Doug, Gene, and everyone else interested http://206.125.208.236/forum/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif ,

I downloaded the Alibre Expess back when they offered the first 10,000 to sign up the up graded version for free (still not the full program). Last Friday as I was getting ready to leave town for the Christmas holiday, I got a phone call from Alibre. They were interested I what Iwas doing with the program, did I need help? (oh, yeah http://206.125.208.236/forum/images/smilies/icon_razz.gif ) I exlained that I had fooled around with a tutorial a bit, but got real busy and never did do much with the program. It was suggested I sign up for the free 1 hr program that Gene and Kerry just took. The Alibre rep. wanted me to learn so I can find out just how much 3D modeling can do for me. (then I can upgrade to the full version http://206.125.208.236/forum/images/smilies/icon_wink.gif ) I will try to schedual time for this. I would like to learn and Alibre wants to help!! Can't ask for more than this.

Tim,

I took three semesters of drafting waaaay back when and then never used any of it. One thing that confused me right away with 3D is that you model in 3D not 2D. The program takes care of the 2D as you develop your model. Might help you in doing this.

Gene_Olson
12-27-2005, 03:05 PM
Jim,

Both Kerry and I commented on the friendly and open presentation we watched. It started with a couple of slides but then shifted to a live screen view of the presenter's computer, with us listening to him on the phone. (the phone was live so we could break in and ask for clarification if we missed something.) If you want a quick intro to 3d cad, this is a nice start.

Alibre is not the program you want for modeling the skin. It looks like a good one for structural and mechanical components.

I had just hung up from taking to Kerry and Wray called but I was headed out the door to try and get to Bloomington for the 1PM Solidworks seminar.

Traffic was (*&^% and I was late for 1 pm start, but . . .
The seminar had been canceled and Soldworks had not updated their web site; shucks, it even registered me and gave me directions.
I did talk with one of the Solidworks gurus there though, he was too busy to take much time just then but he did give me a cd with the a canned presentation on it and A copy of the program I would have gotten if they had given the seminar.

That comes with a 90 day licence, so I shan't open pandora's box till later in the week when I can spend some time with it.

There next seminar is Jan 20th so I have that on my calendar.

Gene

jlrussell4
12-27-2005, 07:47 PM
Gene,
I don't even kid myself that I could get proficient enough to model a skin http://206.125.208.236/forum/images/smilies/icon_razz.gif . It sure would be nice to be able to quickly model a mechanical device, maybe a planishing hammer frame for instance http://206.125.208.236/forum/images/smilies/icon_wink.gif

One of the biggest problems I face is understanding the terminology. You guys get to talking about doing things in your programs and you might as well be talking in another language http://206.125.208.236/forum/images/smilies/icon_cry.gif

Gene_Olson
12-28-2005, 05:12 AM
We have been talking about ways to get the buck building data out of a 3d model.
When Kerry and I watched the demo yesterday the guy asked for a section view in the drawing (2d) part of the program.
Bingo, there it was.
Unfortunately the section feature which we would need to generate bucks is grayed out in the xpress program.

Gene_Olson
12-28-2005, 05:22 AM
When I got the idea of sectioning a drawing I went immediately to the Bug data, and used it to generate a 2d drawing in Alibre. Not only did I discover that I couldn't section but that there seemed to be some bad lines in the model as Alibre had imported it.
Note the anomolies in these veiws. Those don't show up in the 3d versions alibre displays.

When I couldn't section the car, I tried again with the simple donut Doug had generated within the program to see if perhaps the bad data had messed up the section function. The section function didn't work there either so I concluded "may be turned off" was "is turned off"

Stormshadow
12-28-2005, 07:23 AM
Gene, Alex, and Richard - What software are you guys using to post your pictures for the Bugatti project. I notice some pics look like a CAD program and others have the 3d modelling look to them. Can you guys (and anyone else that reads this and has submitted drawings for the Bug project) list what software you use, please? Thanks for any responses.

Kerry Pinkerton
12-28-2005, 07:47 AM
Gene, if you are considering upgrading to the pro version of Alibre, I'd make Alibre demo the capability to section and anything else you think you want. Speaking from experience, just because the specs say it works, doesn't always mean it works....ya know what I mean???

You could ship them the bug from Solidworks and get them to show/tell you how to do it and see the results.

Doug98105
12-28-2005, 07:48 AM
We have been talking about ways to get the buck building data out of a 3d model.
When Kerry and I watched the demo yesterday the guy asked for a section view in the drawing (2d) part of the program.
Bingo, there it was.
Unfortunately the section feature which we would need to generate bucks is grayed out in the xpress program.


Gene,

Yep, the section view option is turned off in the current downloads of Xpress. That may be part of the 3D sketch option, around $200 to turn it on IIRC.

Section view only shows the sliced section, it appears it can't be used for anything other than illustrating the sectioned part. The exposed face can't be manipulated.

Trim model under the feature menu is what needs to be used (probably also turned off in your version). After trimming you have a face representing the buck.

Doug

DanGunit
12-28-2005, 07:51 AM
Hi Guys,

I have been off the forum for a few weeks getting my new computer up and working, but i'm glad to see a thread about working with programs other than Solidworks.
I suggested using Alibre and Rhino on the Bugatti thread somewhere around pg. 50 or so, I have both the full version of Alibre 8.2 and Rhino 3.0 as well as the "Alibre for Rhino" plugin that allows parametric relationships to be maintained across the two programs so you can work with models from ether program and maintain associativity (though the plugin is still new and I'm in the process of learning it's quirks.) :D
It also incorperates Rhino surfaces into the model history tree in Alibre so you can access them easily.
I can easily do cross sections in the full version of Alibre, (even the base version one step up from Xpress has it so you don't need to go to the "Professional" version to get that function).
A nice thing about doing the cross sectioning in Alibre is that you can orient the section cut in any mannor you want using reference planes, and you can name and save each section view individually and they appear as an entity in the model history tree. Also, I believe you can send the cross section to the drawing editor and dimension them in Alibre directly.
When I get home this evening I will post an example for everyone to see, and we can see if Xpress can read a section view, even if it can't make one!! :D This would at least let people get the construction data cheaply even if they couldn't actually reposition the bucks!

By the way, you can do some fairly complex surfaces in Alibre with the 3-D scetching tools, you just can't manipulate the surfaces very easily and you can't place the reference artwork images in the model to pull the geometry directly from it (though you can do both surface manipulation and background image placement in Rhino! :D )

P.S. I have the 12 hour Tutorial disks and I highly recommend them for quick learning of the tools available in Alibre (mine came free with a version update, and sometimes they will through them in as a Deal with software!)

Cheers,

Doug98105
12-28-2005, 08:03 AM
Gene, Alex, and Richard - What software are you guys using to post your pictures for the Bugatti project. I notice some pics look like a CAD program and others have the 3d modelling look to them. Can you guys (and anyone else that reads this and has submitted drawings for the Bug project) list what software you use, please? Thanks for any responses.

Some are screen shots, Alt-PrScr, puts the complete screen image on the clip board.

Others are JPG's output directly from the CAD software.

There may be other ways I don't know about.

Whatever method the poster is using, he may have cropped the image so you're only seeing a small portion of it. Some posts show use of a photo editor program to add comments to the image for emphasis.

Doug

Gene_Olson
12-28-2005, 08:24 AM
Gene, if you are considering upgrading to the pro version of Alibre, I'd make Alibre demo the capability to section and anything else you think you want. Speaking from experience, just because the specs say it works, doesn't always mean it works....ya know what I mean???

You could ship them the bug from Solidworks and get them to show/tell you how to do it and see the results.

Funny, Ryan our first contact yesterday just called me about the downloaded version as it came up under Chrissy's name in stead of mine. (I had downloaded from her computer)
I described the problem to him, and sent him the screen grab of the bad drawing as well as a screen grab of the bugatti in an alibre part window.
He is going to turn it over to their engineers to see what went wrong with the import.

I also suggested that they should put together a live demo of how to make a buck;) from imported iges geometry. Post pictures of the section here and a sample 2d data file from the buck and then invite us all to come watch.

G.

Avalonjr
12-28-2005, 08:37 AM
I appreciate the irony that a month ago this site was all in a tizzy about "tools" and "machines" and "no projects" and now the only thing going is everyone trying to work on software.....

In the previous discussion, the concern was that there was a perception metalworking couldn't be done without xxxxx tool or machine. Now we'll spend all of our time trying to exchange computer files unless you have xxxxx software.


Get on the treadmill gentlemen. Once they have you by the nads, you'll be shelling out money from here on out for support and upgrades. Wait till your first computer crash.... there goes a few more days or weeks rebuilding, reinstalling and looking for the backups that you forgot to make.

Got your "el-primo" design saved on to CD for those future projects... you know the ones where you'll really get the benefit.... what, they stopped making CD's? Remember floppies? My kids don't. Storage is a problem.

Of course there is also all the hours you'll spend sticking CD's in the drive looking for a file, because you can't find it by looking at the disk, and who knows what disk its on?

And then there is the matter of magnetic media decaying over time, meaning that you really can't archive files indefinitely without a schedule of revival and re-storing.... CD's aren't magnetic? The photosensitive dye on the DVD or CD isn't permanent either.

Kind of makes you reflect on how metalshaping skills became obsolete in the first place. Victim of the latest hot new idea...

Some yesteryear's future is now and this site was about skills of the "past".
I guess 3D modeling is the "future". Who am I to speak against it. Look at the advantages. Hell, you can see what the project will look like without ever having to build it. Next we'll have virtual Metalmeet regionals where you just think about going and don't actually have to attend. And look at the money you can save, because you can do it all on the computer, you don't really need to have a shop after all.

I guess my question is; if this is the future, do we really want this future?
Be careful of what you ask for.
Now go run a tutorial...

Gene_Olson
12-28-2005, 08:58 AM
I guess my question is; if this is the future, do we really want this future?
Be careful of what you ask for.
Now go run a tutorial...

John,

That future is here already, and Randy Fergeson has made a buck (or so we hope) and a part from it.

You may recall a while a go somebody wanted a special form made to be used as tooling to make parts.

Randy took that job and made the tooling.

Cnc milling of parts is done all the time, but when the part gets big, the cost of a block of aluminum that big to mill it out of and the milling time to make it can get out of hand.

Randy made their tooling out of sheet metal to their spec.

here is the data, here is the buck, make me a part.

Making bucks from cad drawings and parts from them is already history.

G.

Doug98105
12-28-2005, 09:16 AM
I guess my question is; if this is the future, do we really want this future?
Be careful of what you ask for.
Now go run a tutorial...

John,

Myself, I'm more interested in the software, etc than hand metalshaping.

Here's my version of the future, get rid of those noisy power hammers, E-wheels, tucking tools, mallets and so on. Go from a CAD file to the finished part on CNC. This cover plate would be a hard part to do the "old" way, I did the whole thing in under an hour, CAD design and making the part.

http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/500/notspun.jpg

Doug

Ernie Ferrucci
12-28-2005, 10:26 AM
Doug Wrote: Here's my version of the future, get rid of those noisy power hammers, E-wheels, tucking tools, mallets and so on. Go from a CAD file to the finished part on CNC. This cover plate would be a hard part to do the "old" way, I did the whole thing in under an hour, CAD design and making the part.

Doug's photo:
http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/500/notspun.jpg

Hi Doug
That cover looks straight and accurate. Assuming the metal is 18 gage or thinner I don't think it would be that hard to do using "old" ways. I'm thinking in terms of a hammer form. Not faster but most hand versus machine methods do take more time. A large quantity of the parts is another story, the machine wins. This leads me to my question: What machine did you use to make that part? I vaguely remember this being discussed before and I'm curious.

Stormshadow
12-28-2005, 12:02 PM
Doug - thanks for that info. I guess I phrased my question a bit awkwardly, and I apologize. I was looking for what kind of software those pictures came from. I saw some were looking like Rhino and 3ds Max, as well as Alibre Xpress. I was looking more for what software suites were used to create those models that the picture was of. I apologize for the confusion, but thank you for the information on the screenshot/post-prod editing.

Washbush
12-28-2005, 05:32 PM
Nope, it's forever, at least when I downloaded it.

Gents ...

I have been in touch with Alibere over that last week or so. I can confirm that the present downloadable "lite" version is yours forever. As soon as you have it, you will be invited to jump in on a video conference with an hour of instruction. Make that "demonstration". THEN, having had that introduction, for the month of December, the $1600 version is being sold for 1/2 price. If only I had $800 to spare ... THAT is inexpensive CAD!

Stormshadow
12-29-2005, 04:29 AM
Washbush - Very true, I think I missed my chance to jump on that one. Oh well, I will keep using lite versions and free software until I find a need to shell out the money (what I have is working well so far).

Avalon - Thank you for your point of view, and for continuing the discussion. I am not going to argue or dispute the circumstances or points you make in your post. They are all valid and I am just as worried about the tangible art of metalcrafting going away because of all the new technology. Personally, I believe that will never happen, because even as complex as machines and technology and software have become, some things will not be replaced anytime soon. You know the Etch-a-Sketch toy is still made by hand because no one can get a robot to do the complicated mono-filament wire work needed for the internals, and how long has that thing been around? I think the "future" as everyone is so fond of quoting is figuring out how to take this tool - the software programs - and put it to best use within the tangible art of metal work and system construction. The future IMHO is not whether software will replace hands on work and physical prototyping, but how it will help streamline and make more effective, the already existing skills. And I remain confident that as long as there are people around like the people on this forum, the tangible art and skills will never disappear, it just may become very small and specialized, like so many other arts have become since the industrial revolution.

Okay, sorry to rant, seems like I did, but I had to get that out after reading a handful of posts that were just arguments on how software is evil or computers are the devil or software is the future. Its a middle road in my opinion, neither extreme.

PaulG
12-29-2005, 10:14 PM
Nope, it's forever, at least when I downloaded it.

"During your 30-day trial, you may access all the features of Alibre Design including parametric 3D solid modeling and 2D drawing creation, real-time team design, and live customer support through the Alibre Assistant."

I am just going by what their site says. Maybe it's wrong.

DanGunit
12-29-2005, 10:37 PM
Paul,

I think if you look more closely you will see that the 30 day trial is for Alibre Design (Standard, Pro, and Expert), these guys are talking about Alibre Design XPRESS, which I belive the whole point of offering it was that it is free with limited functionality and limited assembly size (25 parts) so people can try it out at thier own pace and get aquainted with the Solid Modelling environment, then purchase a full copy when they are ready to do more intensive work with it. :-)

Cheers,

Stormshadow
12-30-2005, 03:59 AM
That is exactly what they are doing. I got tripped up in that whole thing too here recently. If you dig around a little bit there is a link to getting to the Xpress section of the Alibre site, they definitely don't make it easy to find. I just downloaded Xpress, but haven't started using it. The limited assembly size, etc is part of the limitation, and I have also read on a couple forums that you have to stay constantly connected to the internet while using the program...not sure if this is true or not, I will find out tonight.

jlrussell4
12-30-2005, 04:04 AM
Yes, you have to stay connected to the internet just like we are now. So what? It is free for use (limited). If you can get used to modeling and want to pursue it further you will have to buy upgrades or someone else's program. At least you get to try 3D modeling before you spend money for something you may never use.

Stormshadow
12-30-2005, 04:22 AM
Jim - 100% agree, I have cable modem access and its free! Only problem I have is that I really wonder what info it is sending them, and if someone can have a look at stuff from my computer through that connection, oh well, thats why I have my firewall and security programs customized to deal with this stuff.

I have tried a ton of the time limited demo programs for everything from SolidWorks to Alibre to Solid Edge, and for me, it just wasn't enough time to feel that I knew enough about the program to buy the entire product (especially not at the price some ask, though it is reasonable for what you are getting). I have been playing with Blender (a free 3D CG and solid modeling program) for about 4 years off and on, and that is a great tool for conceptualization and proof of concept. But once you get down to the nitty gritty of system component design, you need a program like Alibre Design, SolidWorks or Solid Edge to work it out electronically (if thats how you decide to go about the process).

jlrussell4
12-30-2005, 04:41 AM
Hi Dave,


I hope that my reply didn't sound too harsh.....it wasn't meant to be that way.

You will get some banner ads with your free trial version. Again, I think that's a small price to pay http://206.125.208.236/forum/images/smilies/icon_neutral.gif for the use of the program. Now, if I could only get a few hours to get up to speed on my version http://206.125.208.236/forum/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif .

Doug98105
12-30-2005, 04:45 AM
Yes, you have to stay connected to the internet just like we are now. So what? It is free for use (limited). If you can get used to modeling and want to pursue it further you will have to buy upgrades or someone else's program. At least you get to try 3D modeling before you spend money for something you may never use.

Guys,

The latest version of the download eliminated the requirement for the internet connection. That's version SP 8.2. Look at "Help"- "about Alibre", it'll give the version you have loaded.

If you have the earlier version, download the latest.

Doug

DanGunit
12-30-2005, 08:21 AM
Hey Guys,

I just checked on the Greg Millken blog (CEO of Alibre) and he said that in the latest version of Express there would be no more ad bannors in addition to eliminating the internet connection requirement.

Cheers,

Stormshadow
12-30-2005, 08:59 AM
Awesome, thanks for the checking, good to know. Like I said, I hadn't installed the program yet, but I am more than willing to deal with some ads and stuff if need be, but thats even better if they aren't!! Right on, I guess this weekend is going to be spent between starting my work on my MG and doing some engineering modeling for some pieces (because its supposed to rain on Sat and Sun). Thanks all...

Avalonjr
12-30-2005, 10:38 AM
Avalon - Thank you for your point of view, and for continuing the discussion. I am not going to argue or dispute the circumstances or points you make in your post. They are all valid and I am just as worried about the tangible art of metalcrafting going away because of all the new technology. Personally, I believe that will never happen, because even as complex as machines and technology and software have become, some things will not be replaced anytime soon. You know the Etch-a-Sketch toy is still made by hand because no one can get a robot to do the complicated mono-filament wire work needed for the internals, and how long has that thing been around? I think the "future" as everyone is so fond of quoting is figuring out how to take this tool - the software programs - and put it to best use within the tangible art of metal work and system construction. The future IMHO is not whether software will replace hands on work and physical prototyping, but how it will help streamline and make more effective, the already existing skills. And I remain confident that as long as there are people around like the people on this forum, the tangible art and skills will never disappear, it just may become very small and specialized, like so many other arts have become since the industrial revolution.



Okay, sorry to rant, seems like I did, but I had to get that out after reading a handful of posts that were just arguments on how software is evil or computers are the devil or software is the future. Its a middle road in my opinion, neither extreme.



Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I didn't take it as a rant, but a well written response. I appreciate your thoughts.



You are correct in that I wanted to stimulate some discussion about the value of this site's focus on computers and software recently. On one hand, the interest in tool making and machinery was chastised recently, when if fact, it goes hand in hand with the fabrication process .... somebody had to get excited about the first hammer, right? On the other hand, computer modeling has become the dominant discussion recently. It sort of begs the question about the purpose and scope of this group.



I'm OK with exploring 3D from a capability standpoint. When it gets beyond the gee-wiz and into the cheese of "how to", it seems out of place here. The Federal Government hasn't figured out how to exchange files between all of its defense contractors yet, so we could spend years sharing the nuances of all the programs available and how to exchange files. No offense intended here... but is Metalmeet really the place for computer minutia?



In actuality, my opinions are seriously split on the value of computers in our lives. There are a lot of tasks that I can do better and faster with a computer or only with a computer, but there comes with this an inordinate amount of wasted time and money. Without computers and software this group wouldn't be as diverse and wide ranging as it is. The ease with which we are able to get together and share ideas is phenomenal. I highly value this aspect.



I don't buy into a lot of the claims made about the future. You are right in taking a middle road. I recognize that there is always a gap between the promised capability of a software and actual utility that can be realized. The double edged sword that comes with this is as individuals, we are genetically coded to "conquer" and will spend our dying breath trying to make "it" happen. That is just human nature. So we spend hours or days trying to figure out some task in a software package, only to have the method changed with the next revision.



It is also human nature to be attracted to the next new thing. It is easy to explore this attraction without any regard to its value. I'm just asking that question.



My thoughts probably won't gain any traction in this thread. Groups hate dissention, but what the heck, I'm putting it out there anyway. Personally, I miss seeing kids playing outside in the neighborhood. Nowdays, they spend their time indoors on the computer or playing Nintendo.... Truth be told, my wife bought our kids a Game Cube for Christmas and I feel like I haven't been able to spend any time with them since. Maybe I'm just a bit irritated and voicing it here. I just don't like the thought of my metal shaping buddies gluing their noses to the computer screen trying to bend virtual metal while fending off carpal tunnel. Lets go pound some steel!



Ok I'm done. I promise to play nicely. Although I'd like some more perspective from you guys.... I feel like its worth talking about. I don't hate computers... Its like dating the bad girl, if you know what I mean.

Wray Schelin
12-30-2005, 11:36 AM
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I didn't take it as a rant, but a well written response. I appreciate your thoughts.



You are correct in that I wanted to stimulate some discussion about the value of this site's focus on computers and software recently. On one hand, the interest in tool making and machinery was chastised recently, when if fact, it goes hand in hand with the fabrication process .... somebody had to get excited about the first hammer, right? On the other hand, computer modeling has become the dominant discussion recently. It sort of begs the question about the purpose and scope of this group.



I'm OK with exploring 3D from a capability standpoint. When it gets beyond the gee-wiz and into the cheese of "how to", it seems out of place here. The Federal Government hasn't figured out how to exchange files between all of its defense contractors yet, so we could spend years sharing the nuances of all the programs available and how to exchange files. No offense intended here... but is Metalmeet really the place for computer minutia?



In actuality, my opinions are seriously split on the value of computers in our lives. There are a lot of tasks that I can do better and faster with a computer or only with a computer, but there comes with this an inordinate amount of wasted time and money. Without computers and software this group wouldn't be as diverse and wide ranging as it is. The ease with which we are able to get together and share ideas is phenomenal. I highly value this aspect.



I don't buy into a lot of the claims made about the future. You are right in taking a middle road. I recognize that there is always a gap between the promised capability of a software and actual utility that can be realized. The double edged sword that comes with this is as individuals, we are genetically coded to "conquer" and will spend our dying breath trying to make "it" happen. That is just human nature. So we spend hours or days trying to figure out some task in a software package, only to have the method changed with the next revision.



It is also human nature to be attracted to the next new thing. It is easy to explore this attraction without any regard to its value. I'm just asking that question.



My thoughts probably won't gain any traction in this thread. Groups hate dissention, but what the heck, I'm putting it out there anyway. Personally, I miss seeing kids playing outside in the neighborhood. Nowdays, they spend their time indoors on the computer or playing Nintendo.... Truth be told, my wife bought our kids a Game Cube for Christmas and I feel like I haven't been able to spend any time with them since. Maybe I'm just a bit irritated and voicing it here. I just don't like the thought of my metal shaping buddies gluing their noses to the computer screen trying to bend virtual metal while fending off carpal tunnel. Lets go pound some steel!



Ok I'm done. I promise to play nicely. Although I'd like some more perspective from you guys.... I feel like its worth talking about. I don't hate computers... Its like dating the bad girl, if you know what I mean.


Hi John,

From your two recent letters posted in this thread which lament discussion of 3D cad, it is obvious that you are misunderstanding why the discussion exists.:D

If you reject for reasons of cost, or imagined complexity, etc.you're ignoring what 3D cad offers the craft. 3 cad is a tool no different than a planishing hammer or a Ewheel, the only difference being it allows the individual greater freedom to express their creativity.

Being able to express your creativity is what it is all about.

This 3 D Cad discussion is not prohibiting anyone from "going out and beating on some metal"

The discussion is ultimatly not about 3DCAD, I personally could care less about 3DCAD, its' about learning what you need to know to develop an original design very complex shape like an automobile.

There are many traditional ways to create complex shapes, but they offer only a tiny fraction of the potential that 3D cad offers. I have designed one car body, it took me several months and 55 gallons of bondo to sculpt the shape. After it was done I wasn't entirely happy with the design.:mad:

I don't ever want to do that again.:o:o

Gene_Olson
12-30-2005, 11:57 AM
John,

There are many threads going on here on this site, one doesn't need to read them all.

If we are talking about information exchange, this is the place to do it. In a clearly labeled thread.

Tim D. is absolutely right, for himself. This stuff isn't everybodies "cup of tea" and if it doesn't work for you, do something that does work.

The discussion is about getting tools to do the job.

We hope to find a recipe that is a straight forward way of sharing data, that has simple intuitive controls that even Tim wouldn't complain about.;-)

We would like to find an inexpensive solution as well.

We won't find solutions if we don't look and we need to talk about what we have found.

Gene

Doug98105
12-30-2005, 03:34 PM
Here's a pretty impressive use of 3D modeling software.

First pic is a model designed in Rhino. Second pic is the cast parts back from the foundry.

http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/500/casting1.jpg

http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/500/casting2.jpg

The castings were made by a modern variation of the lost wax process. The foundry was e-mailed the CAD files. Their software adds a shrinkage allowance and sprues for pouring the molten metal. The new file including shrinkage/sprues is sent to some sort of CNC machine that builds the wax model. The wax model is covered in a slurry to form the mold. The mold is dryed and put in a kiln to burn/melt the wax out. Metal is poured and after cooling the outer mold is smashed to give the castings. All untouched by human hands, well not quite, but not much in the way of hand work involved.

The 5" high castings are aluminum, wall thicknesses are around .1" except in areas where extra material was added for machining the mating surfaces. Around $1400 for the foundry's work. Not exactly cheap, probably much less than if a model needed to be hand made to do the same thing. Not to mention how accurate these castrings are to the CAD model.

This isn't metalshaping, but it should give some idea of why some of us are so interested in the possibilities with 3D CAD. This casting process might be a good way to reproduce a rare cast part for a high end restoration.

These castings were done at Seacast in Arlington, WA. I imagine precision foundries all over the country have the same capability.

BTW, I didn't do the Rhino work.

Doug

Tisdelski
12-30-2005, 03:55 PM
hi doug,
the castings look great but i`m wondering why go through the casting process instead of just cnc`ing a billet? 1400 should be enough to make these pieces right?

gary

DanGunit
12-30-2005, 04:05 PM
hi doug,
the castings look great but i`m wondering why go through the casting process instead of just cnc`ing a billet? 1400 should be enough to make these pieces right?

gary


Gary,

I'll bet that the castings are hollow judging from the .100" wall thickness quoted and I don't kow of any CNC machine that could reproduce that hollow profile (and i've worked on them all).
Another reason could be the numbers required (volume price reduction) :-)
Cheers,

Doug98105
12-30-2005, 04:15 PM
hi doug,
the castings look great but i`m wondering why go through the casting process instead of just cnc`ing a billet? 1400 should be enough to make these pieces right?

gary

Gary,

Nope, you couldn't even begin to CNC these parts from billet for $700 each. I don't even think it'd be possible at any price. These are hollow, with .1" thick walls, no way to get a tool in to do the cutting.

If they were solid chunks then CNC'ing might be an option. These parts have to be hollow for weight saving and low thermal mass.

I'm guessing we'll have more than $350 in each part just to fixture and mill the mating surfaces.

Doug

Gene_Olson
12-30-2005, 04:16 PM
Dan, you could have made each part in two pieces of machinable wax and stuck them together with a bit of jewelers paste filler wax in the joint.

then you would still have the machine time , the programing time, the wax cost, and the casting costs. . .

G.

Tisdelski
12-30-2005, 04:19 PM
and thats why i ask these questions, i like to learn.

gary

jlrussell4
12-30-2005, 04:51 PM
Hi John,

I too noticed the irony. The difference (small difference) is that this time around there is metalshaping being discussed and shown on other threads. When the tool discussion was going on the metalshaping discussions were at a stand still. I voiced my opinion at the time for more balance. Another small difference is that this time the discussion is about getting the 3D software to build us a buck to get started metalshaping. In other words we are in the process of metalshaping. Small differences to be sure, but along with the metalshaping projects that are being discussed, in my mind we are O.K. with the focus of this forum.

Feel free to disagree or discuss more if you want......keeps us all a little more "honest".

Ernie Ferrucci
12-30-2005, 05:04 PM
Doug wrote:
Myself, I'm more interested in the software, etc than hand metalshaping.

Here's my version of the future, get rid of those noisy power hammers, E-wheels, tucking tools, mallets and so on. Go from a CAD file to the finished part on CNC. This cover plate would be a hard part to do the "old" way, I did the whole thing in under an hour, CAD design and making the part.


Doug's photo:
http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/500/notspun.jpg

According to this we may not need any of the metal shaping skills discussed on the site. Then we can call it "CNCMeet".

Gene_Olson
12-30-2005, 05:58 PM
my bad guys,

I'm sorry I started these two threads in the wrong forum.

I was two off.

http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=16

maybe Jack can slide them sideways to the proper place.

They should have been here.
http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=65


G.

DanGunit
12-30-2005, 06:24 PM
Dan, you could have made each part in two pieces of machinable wax and stuck them together with a bit of jewelers paste filler wax in the joint.

then you would still have the machine time , the programing time, the wax cost, and the casting costs. . .

G.

Gene,

Yeah, I think if you look at Doug's original post that is what he said they actually did, and that is the same way I would make a lost wax model for casting a complex part like that.
I was saying that there was no way to machine that geometry directly out of a single billet of aluminum on a CNC machine. :-)


B.T.W. Doug, those are some **** fine looking castings! Where they used as a rotating coupling in a fluid carrying system?
Cheers,

Doug98105
12-30-2005, 07:15 PM
Gene,

Yeah, I think if you look at Doug's original post that is what he said they actually did, and that is the same way I would make a lost wax model for casting a complex part like that.
I was saying that there was no way to machine that geometry directly out of a single billet of aluminum on a CNC machine. http://metalmeet.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif


B.T.W. Doug, those are some **** fine looking castings! Where they used as a rotating coupling in a fluid carrying system?
Cheers,

No, I don't think it's a glued up fabrication for the wax pattern. More along the lines of an ink jet printer that makes repeated passes over the model squirting wax where it's needed to build up the shape. Totally automated, no hand work involved.

We didn't get to see the wax models. As it was, I was pushing my luck with the foundry after close to an hour on phone with a million questions. This job was small potatoes for them so we didn't exactly get the royal treatment.

I may be able to get the customer's permission to post pictures of the project. there's even a little metalshaping involved.

Doug

Hairy-Neil
12-31-2005, 02:40 AM
I just don't like the thought of my metal shaping buddies gluing their noses to the computer screen trying to bend virtual metal while fending off carpal tunnel. Lets go pound some steel!

I'm with you on this one to a degree............... :-)

The long term project I have on the back burner ATM involves building an accurate replica of a low volume British production car of the mid fifties. 80% of the bodyshell is easy as its identical to the run of the mill saloon car that it was developed from. So simply restoring an existing vehicle gets me most of the way there. The final 20% needs models and bucks etc to further it.

I am lucky in sone respects in that I have a full size version of the finished vehicle, albeit an extremely rough example that would normally be considered well beyond ecconomic repair. Phase 1 of the project involves restoring this which I can then use to build the replica.

Before I could start the resto though I had to build a bracket jig to retain the integrity of the original vehicle. This done work progressed fairly rapidly on the repairs to the floors/chassis parts. Its an Austin A35 so is integral/monocoque design, and was actually Austin's first chassisless design. Work then progressed to restoring the unique parts of the body and this is where I started to stumble. Its a chicken and egg situation, I need the finished product to be able to build the buck but I need the buck to restore the original.

I then went down the route of bondo/glassfibre/wireforms et all but progress seemed so slow it was less than encouraging. Work came to a halt over a year ago now for various reasons and is proving difficult to kickstart.....until that is I read of reverse engineering, CAD, CNC cut bucks etc on this website.

That said I'm far too dinosaur/luddite based to be able to learn the whole process for myself. I neither have the time or cash, even if I could become proficient enough in the art to be able to further my project, nor the future use for the knowledge to be bothered to go through all that. I simply need the help of one or more experts in the field that will do the lazer scanning/CAD/CNC bits for me and I'm going to pay for that expert help.

Fortunately I also have several friends who own complete, sound examples of the finished vehicle I am building so far better to copy the genuine article rather than a Bondo built "replica".

However, all that said I learned about lazer scanning/CAD/CNC on this very website so am grateful that the subject has been covered in some depth, without it I'd still be struggling with catch 22. ;)

Stormshadow
12-31-2005, 07:03 AM
Avalon - very well put and I think we are close to being on the same page. Its just so hard to seperate some of that stuff because so much design is being done on computers...I think it has its place on the forum here as well as in the practice of production, but maybe not as the main focus.

Those cast parts look incredible, well done and excellent use of Rhino...I'm still getting my feet wet with the program. You built those models in Rhino and then exported tham as a CAD file (properly dimensioned and all?)? Because if Rhino can do that, I need to seriously go back and look through what I thought I had learned.

Wray Schelin
12-31-2005, 07:32 AM
HairyNeil has voiced an excellent example of a common problem that we all face. "How do you create an accurate surface and shape of a missing panel"

In HN's case he has the advantage of having the whole car to fit the missing panel into, which makes the process a lot "easier" but HN wants to be very accurate. Eyeballing it will work, but it won't be exactly right, it will only be close.

That is what we are talking about here. How to create very complex compound curve surfaces and shapes that don't exist and to make them very accurately.

We can do that with 3D cad, and if we do, we will also have the benifit of having on file the DNA of that surface so we can make as many copies as we want and we can share or sell that information. 3D cad also allows the user to make whole assemblies. In the case of the Bugatti Build, Alex has made us the outer shell of the body, with that shell we will be able to now create all of the missing components that make a whole car and design and fit them into the shell. In effect, we do a virtual reality digital file build right down to the nut and bolt and rivet level before we cut or shape our first peice of metal. We will go into that project with a complete super accurate plan and if we want to we can also change the plan at anytime by updating the files as we build the project.

HN has come to the conclusion that he doesn't want to learn 3D cad so he is open to hiring out the job. That is a valid approach that a lot of members will choose.

HN has other choices such as accessing another panel from someone else's car and making a wireform and bondo, molded copy buck or he can make flexible shape patterns and gages.

Understanding and capturing the surface information of a shape is the most difficult aspect of the craft of sheetmetal shaping.

3D cad helps us do this, it's one of the most important tools that we have the opportunity to use, whether we use it, or hire it out to a consultant depends on individual circumstances.

Pete's Metalshaping
12-31-2005, 05:34 PM
I think that using a cad program might be harder to draw a missing part for a car then you think.
You will have to have all demensions or measurments from the the part to draw it!
Drawing a car like the bugatti project is easier because we don't have to copy anything. Just draw what you like.
.

Richard is right, you would need reference points on the surfaces (from the part you're making) to develope the surfaces in CAD, to make your model. Otherwise you could make it anyway that you want.

Hairy-Neil
01-01-2006, 04:29 AM
I think that using a cad program might be harder to draw a missing part for a car then you think.

Thats why I hope to be able to have a friend's car lazer scanned and to that end I'm in contact with a firm with one of these:- http://www.faro.com/products/scanarm.asp

Pete's Metalshaping
01-01-2006, 11:58 AM
Thats why I hope to be able to have a friend's car lazer scanned and to that end I'm in contact with a firm with one of these:- http://www.faro.com/products/scanarm.asp

What you are going to do, is create a 3D model from an existing car using the Faro. The Faro digitizes surfaces (or creates points in space) and that data are used to create a model. The Faro system is used, in some companies, to inspect surfaces to determine if they are per drawing/model.

So, when TheRodDoc said "I think that using a CAD program might be harder to draw a missing part for a car then you think. " he meant that not having a model or a part to scan/measure, would make it difficult to develop the data to draw the missing part. It would be a best guess effort.

Hairy-Neil
01-01-2006, 12:33 PM
So, when TheRodDoc said "I think that using a CAD program might be harder to draw a missing part for a car than you think. " he meant that not having a model or a part to scan/measure, would make it difficult to develop the data to draw the missing part. It would be a best guess effort.

Yes, that was the problem I mentioned I'd been having in my post. I was in a catch 22 situation. I have a totally rotten, several times bodge repaired and bondo'd up original example of what I want to replicate. I know the correct contours have been lost in places on this example. I wish to restore this original vehicle plus build an acurate replica of it for myself.

I've several friends that own better examples of the vehicle that I could borrow to have scanned.

Pete's Metalshaping
01-01-2006, 12:49 PM
Yes, that was the problem I mentioned I'd been having in my post. I was in a catch 22 situation. I have a totally rotten, several times bodge repaired and bondo'd up original example of what I want to replicate. I know the correct contours have been lost in places on this example. I wish to restore this original vehicle plus build an acurate replica of it for myself.

I've several friends that own better examples of the vehicle that I could borrow to have scanned.

I'm not sure where we are going with this. If I was trying to come up with the CAD data, I would probably use your friends vehicle/part for that data. If I was just trying to make the parts (for a one time shot), I'd make pattern and gauges from their vehicle/part too. Either way, eventually you could get the information back into a model if that is where you were going.

Hairy-Neil
01-02-2006, 09:08 AM
I'm not sure where we are going with this. If I was trying to come up with the CAD data, I would probably use your friends vehicle/part for that data. If I was just trying to make the parts (for a one time shot), I'd make pattern and gauges from their vehicle/part too. Either way, eventually you could get the information back into a model if that is where you were going.

Short term aim is to restore the existing and build a replica. Long term dream is to build more replicas, hence the need to be spot on with the shape first time. ;)

Pete's Metalshaping
01-02-2006, 03:18 PM
This would be a great way to get the information that you'll need for the projects. You just need a part to be to scan/digitize with the Faro.

Hairy-Neil
01-02-2006, 03:22 PM
This would be a great way to get the information that you'll need for the projects. You just need a part to be to scan/digitize with the Faro.

Fingers crossed the quote will be realistic and cost effective. :)

Pete's Metalshaping
01-02-2006, 05:56 PM
Let us know what the cost is for this. Like everything else, several years from now, you'll be able to pick up one of these machines for pennies on a ten dollar bill.

Hairy-Neil
01-03-2006, 02:07 PM
Let us know what the cost is for this. Like everything else, several years from now, you'll be able to pick up one of these machines for pennies on a ten dollar bill.

I will, and I'll try and post some pictures of the project too when I get my PC working correctly. :(

fuel
01-22-2006, 07:05 PM
There is a program out there that is mainly used for designing. It is called SketchUp. I have never used it, but I ordered a demo copy (poor connection here, so I can't download) and when I get back home in a few months, I'll play with it.

It is supposed to be for architects and designers to use as freely as you would a pencil, but still being able to do "walkthroughs" and views in 3D. If you will look on the website, it shows several different uses; architectural design, mechanical design, set design, etc. This is mainly used to get your ideas down on paper and to view them in 3D. There is no CAM interface.

I have heard that it is much easier to use than other solid modeling programs and that it is much simpler. There is a free download for 8 hours (?). That is supposed to be the actual time you are using the program. Not time since you downloaded it. The price of the software is, I think, $400-500. I am not sure. Anyway, some of you may want to try it out. It may not suit your purposes, but then again it may. Here is the website, www.sketchup.com

FWIW, I have used 2D (Autocad 12-2002, Microstation) and 3D (Unigraphics, very little SolidWorks) and I still prefer to draw parts up on a napkin or piece of paper first. This always helps me think through it a little. I guess I am just old fashioned. I thought about playing with this software and using it in my preliminary designs, before I actually dimensioned everything.

Again, this may be of no use to ya'll whatsoever, but then again, somebody might find it useful.

Gene_Olson
01-22-2006, 07:36 PM
I managed to import my bugatti cyclecart file into Turbocad 7 but I can't seem to do much with it.

I wonder if some of the later versions can slice it up. (I think 12 is the current one)

this is a rendering in version 7pro

G.

Pete's Metalshaping
01-22-2006, 08:27 PM
FWIW, I have used 2D (Autocad 12-2002, Microstation) and 3D (Unigraphics, very little SolidWorks) and I still prefer to draw parts up on a napkin or piece of paper first. This always helps me think through it a little. I guess I am just old fashioned. I thought about playing with this software and using it in my preliminary designs, before I actually dimensioned everything.


Over the years, I have had quite a bit of experience with CAD programs too. I've used Computervision (CADDS 3 and CADDS 4), AutoCad and CATIA. With all of the hours spent at work on a Cads terminals, it is hard to get very excited about learning (spending the hours involved) on something at home for minimal usage.

Several years ago I had a project (test procedure) at work, that I ended up using Canvas to do. I started to use MS Word, but Word couldn't handle all of the graphics that were needed. Most of the stuff that I draw today, is done on an engineering pad or with Canvas 9.

FriarTuck
01-23-2006, 09:21 AM
I agree with whose who get frustrated with the learning curve. I have spent hours with TurboCad Pro 10.4, and with my copy of Alibre Designs that we got free last year during their initial giveaway to guys who registered. Both appear to be great programs, but just don't have the grey matter or ability to stick to it long enough to use either for anything practical. Wish I did.

Tuck

Tony Sanchez
01-23-2006, 09:40 AM
---Tuck, I agree with you. I have been battling with Solid Works for about six months. Guess that is why I like banging metal so much, just can't get that computer operated electronic gizmo stuff.
---Tony.

Pete's Metalshaping
01-23-2006, 10:28 AM
I agree with whose who get frustrated with the learning curve. I have spent hours with TurboCad Pro 10.4, and with my copy of Alibre Designs that we got free last year during their initial giveaway to guys who registered. Both appear to be great programs, but just don't have the grey matter or ability to stick to it long enough to use either for anything practical. Wish I did.

Tuck
I also got a copy of Alibre, last year. Installed it onto my computer, but couldn't ever get it to work. All of the commands were under intesified, so when you clicked on them, nothing would happen. I sent an email to the folks at Alibre and got no response, so after spending some more time gave up. I would imagine that it is a configuration problem.

Over the years, I've spent a lot of hours getting my computer to work correctly. Now days, I just don't want to deal with many problems with the computer.

Avalonjr
01-23-2006, 12:04 PM
The older we get, the less trainable we become. Not because we are less smart, but because we are more experienced! Experience teaches you what to expect. It gives you insight regarding what is to come and how to achieve your goals.

Unfortunately we're not hunting anymore. We're at the mercy of somebody elses version of a great idea... Sadly, Software isn't constrained by convention or standards. It is partly why progress has been swift if not smooth in this arena.

If the designer of the software doesn't have similar experience, you will find the package illogical and difficult to work with, because you're expecting something else. It seems contrary to your experience. Along comes a kid, with no expectations, and he's up and running in no time.

For this reason, it is better to just get what ever programs those around you use. At least you can share the experience and hopefully figure out the how and why.

Gene_Olson
01-23-2006, 12:28 PM
I went to the soldworks Hands On demo.
That was kind of fun.
I picked up a few points on how a "real" cad program works, as opposed to my friendly home turf of Rhino.
Some of the info I picked up helped to understand how to approach some stuff in the Alibre download.

I was pretty impressed with the Solidworks interface, and layout. Things seemed to flow pretty well, BUT . . .
There were configuration issues.

The version on "my" machine didn't have the same settings as the instructor's machine. Things worked, but differently. Twice we had to go thru a short tree of long lists to change the setup options.

As with any complex program. one could get lost.
It is one thing to sit in the cab shifting gears, and quite another to open the hood take a screwdriver and change something, (let's see was that screw on the hose clamp or the carburator)

When you see the canned demos things go so-o smooth.
Here it went pretty smoothly but one got a feeling of the huge pile of options under the hood. There appeared to be a lot of preferences that could be set. Knowing where those controls are seems important, though that knowledge also seems a bit beyond the experience of a beginner who doesn't yet realize the tool exists let alone whether it's sharp or not.



Gene

Boogiemanz1
01-23-2006, 10:05 PM
Hi John, I wholeheartedly agree with what you said. Kinda, how dumb you are depends on where you're standing.

When I hired people for my bike shop, I would rather hire someone that had no experience so I did not have to "unlearn" them of their bad habits.

I'm interested, but I don't need a new thing to learn..................

briggsy97
01-24-2006, 06:47 AM
I learned AutoCad V14 at the university. It was the last version where you created a part in 2d and then manipulated it into 3d. I've also been forced to learn CADKey98 for work. It is another 2d to 3d program. (You'll never click the mouse more to make a rectangle than in this program) Now the university has switched to Pro Engineering Wildfire. It is the standard around here, especially for the mold and die shops. My company has moved on to solidworks and it is great. I still don't have a full version, but do get to use it on anothers pc once and awhile. For my limited experience I prefer solidworks. Here is a link the instructor at the university gave me.

http://www.journeyed.com/department.asp?DID=engineering&SKW=DPengineering

This is where the university gets all of their materials and software for the class. The same books that they use at the university are on the site too. I don't know about the others that have had a college CAD class, but mine was light on the instruction and heavy on the application. The teacher did little lecture, but set the pace. We just worked our way through the book, and he was there to answer any questions. Most of the time a fellow classmate helped. I think most of us could learn soldworks with just a book, and helping eachother.

Robert

Avalonjr
01-24-2006, 07:12 AM
Gene,

I love your analogy:


It is one thing to sit in the cab shifting gears, and quite another to open the hood take a screwdriver and change something, (let's see was that screw on the hose clamp or the carburator)

Can I use that?

I agree with you about setup issues. Usually its done once and forgotten about.... until you upgrade your machine and find out that you're out of the technical support window. Arrrrgh!!!

Gene_Olson
01-24-2006, 12:29 PM
Gene,

I love your analogy:

Can I use that?


Help yourself, I think just about anybody here might have written that. :)