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proppastie

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Hot Wings

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What do I really need to run it?
Can't say for newer versions but my 2012 version runs just fine on an old AMD 3.8Ghz motherboard with an onboard graphics card, a 500GB solid state drive* and 16Gb of memory.
If I try something really intensive like a helical around another helical I run into problems. But who really needs something like that example in the real HBA world !?

Just about any mid level gaming system, I would expect, should work?

* The SSD was a significant boost in load time over the NAS. I still back up on the NAS.
 

rotax618

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I designed the CNC using Freecad, it was built from 150x50x3mm and 50x50x3mm RHS and SHS steel. None of the joints were butt welded to minimise distortion. can post some simple plans when I get to my other computer.
Freecad is very simple and as far as I can see only has one bug, that is topological naming, it is easy to avoid and is apparently being addressed in new versions.
 

rtfm

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Strange that no one has mentioned Sketchup (unless I missed it). It is super easy to use (I mean REALLY easy), and there is a free version, a $199/year version and the full Pro version is $299/year. I would definitely use it in preference to the other 2D CAD programs mentioned. And there are more tutorials and add-ons than you can count on the web.

Duncan
 

stanislavz

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I 'min cnc for ~10 years. So - from start it was autocad 2000i version + dxf2gcode, then for some parts sketchup + gcode/dxf exporter. Big minus - no tool width compensation. And for two years i do stick to freecad - mostly for its ability to normally compensate tool. And being free. + It have fem module inside
 

rotax618

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Freecad uses various "workbenches" because CAD applications are so varied, it has an airfoil workbench, an airplane design workbench, architectural workbench, and a miriad of other workbenches including Drafting, Tech Drawing, Path for CNC and FEM or finite element analysis - the best thing about it is it's FREE with NO restrictions and there are hundreds of Youtube tutorials and forums.
 

Hephaestus

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Fusion 360, still has hobbiest free licenses.

Learning curve is steepish- easier than solidworks IMHO - look up Lars Christenson, follow his youtube as he walks you through the basics. If you're wondering how he gets those views moving etc so easily - 3dxconnection space mouse - expensive new but a lot of kids are posting used ones after they flunk university cad courses - so watch for bargains.

I've put 3-4 people onto this now, it takes a couple weeks - and it's annoying to figure out the newer interface changes - but the process is still the same. You can be creating the basics. Add a couple more months to figure out some of the funkier FEA / joints / mechanical models etc.
 

Hot Wings

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3dxconnection space mouse - expensive new but
The older versions can be used with WIN 8/10 by finding the original setup programs, loading the old drivers first and then the 'proper software'. The Spaceballs need a serial to USB adapter, don't have the extra function buttons, but are dirt cheap.

One hazard is transitioning to from a session of SW to another program and wanting to use the 3d mouse to move things. It gets to be a natural part of using the computer. 3D PDFs can also be manipulated with the 3DConnexion mice.
 

Rik-

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If fusion 360 is too much money, you might consider joining EAA and getting the free Solidworks? Lots of tutorials on YouTube.

Another option might be TurboCad. It is a one time purchase and seems to have developed into a usable 3D program. I started out with it years ago in 2D and still keep it on my system for 2D work but I have never bothered to learn it's 3D so i can't say how good it really is for 3D. There are tutorials on YouTube for TC as well. If all you need is a 2D program for your 2 1/2D system it could be a good option for you.

If all you need is a 2D program DeltaCad is only 20 bucks and does simple things with a very easy to learn menu.
I use TurboCad and it's a fine program. It cost me like $300/yr to keep it up to date but I do no have to keep it up to date but they make you pay for the years you missed when you do choose to update.

I can generate drawings that any cnc, waterjet, laser, or? can view and uses. As sell as save in PDF for customer reviews.
 

addicted2climbing

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With the EAA offering free solidworks seats than you would be crazy to spend any time learning anything else. Even with the router likely being used to cut flat sheet, its a tool worth learning and you may find you want to expand to more 3D machining anyhow. Also really easy to make the 2D view, save it as a DXF and import the geometry in your cutting software. I am doing the same with a 100w CO2 laser. I have been using Solidworks since version 1998 and it is an amazing tool. I used Autocad and their early parametric modeler mechanical desktop before that. I am currently paying for a seat that is defeatured in comparison with what the EAA offers. However I cant use the student version for my business so I own my own seat. If I ever need to do high level FEA I can just use the EAA version for that.

Take the plunge and see if you can find someone to give you the basics. Best to find someone for the foundation to get you going than after, use youtube to build on your skills. If your anywhere in the Los Angeles area I could help. I plan to offer classes for a small fee ($10 or $20) per lesson in a small group setting and tailor it to airplane needs and all fees go to Chapter 40 to help build a young eagles club project.
 

Vigilant1

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Small diversion: It is a shame that none of these CAD programs offer a live tutorial overlay. It is very inefficient to watch an instructor or video, then try to replicate their actions, etc. The tutorial overlay should have audio to explain what is being done, on screen prompts to walk the student through the steps, allow easy "back up and do that again,' support branches off of the main path, etc.
We have tutorial videos and CAD software, but as far as I can tell, no tutorial software that works in "live" mode on one screen to merge the two, taking full advantage of modern computer aided instruction within the live CAD environment itself.
 

Hephaestus

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Small diversion: It is a shame that none of these CAD programs offer a live tutorial overlay. It is very inefficient to watch an instructor or video, then try to replicate their actions, etc. The tutorial overlay should have audio to explain what is being done, on screen prompts to walk the student through the steps, allow easy "back up and do that again,' support branches off of the main path, etc.
We have tutorial videos and CAD software, but as far as I can tell, no tutorial software that works in "live" mode on one screen to merge the two, taking full advantage of modern computer aided instruction within the live CAD environment itself.
I think all the Software guys assume you have 2-3 monitors now... So youtube on one, cad software on the other. Tablets can be setup as a second monitor if you're out of space/running an AIO.

The older versions can be used with WIN 8/10 by finding the original setup programs, loading the old drivers first and then the 'proper software'. The Spaceballs need a serial to USB adapter, don't have the extra function buttons, but are dirt cheap.

One hazard is transitioning to from a session of SW to another program and wanting to use the 3d mouse to move things. It gets to be a natural part of using the computer. 3D PDFs can also be manipulated with the 3DConnexion mice.
About a week after I got mine - I get frustrated without. Had to go buy 2 more. I get seriously frustrated trying to work without one these days, so much faster once you've gotten used to them.
 

addicted2climbing

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I think all the Software guys assume you have 2-3 monitors now... So youtube on one, cad software on the other. Tablets can be setup as a second monitor if you're out of space/running an AIO.


About a week after I got mine - I get frustrated without. Had to go buy 2 more. I get seriously frustrated trying to work without one these days, so much faster once you've gotten used to them.
I am so ingrained with how I use solidworks, I forgot I had the 3D mouse and for me it never caught on... On habits die hard I guess.
 

Jay Kempf

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2 giant monitors is a must. HD is fine. 3 is excessive. I have a projector that throws a 10+foot screen if I want to see something in sort of real scale :) Very good video cards can be had for short dollars on ebay. SSDs and lots of memory helps too. This is all dependent on how patient you are and how large and elaborate your needs will be.
 

Hephaestus

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2 giant monitors is a must. HD is fine. 3 is excessive.
3's not excessive :) But then again my biggest monitor is a 24"

The 19 in portrait mode is my absolute favorite since it's almost always got a nasa/naca pdf open on it...
 

Jay Kempf

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I think my current ones are 29 so a full size piece of paper can be zoomed up on half of one. Those flip monitors were all the rage in the mac world for a while for editing magazine copy. Then real estate just got cheap and hi res. My current matched pair is BenQ HD. They have been the most reliable yet. Most sort of used to start to have color splotch issues around the 3-4 year mark. Amazing that they have become a consumable item. My server workstation (Dell) has been running for almost a decade now. I just keep upgrading it with new matched processor pairs and new video cards. Pretty much maxed out now so next will be the newer chassis. They are bulletproof.
 

Dana

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I am so ingrained with how I use solidworks, I forgot I had the 3D mouse and for me it never caught on... On habits die hard I guess.
I've been using the 3D mouse (used to be called "Spaceball") for years, would be lost without it. But I never got comfortable with the sketch-history based parametric modelers like SWX and Inventor, I use Keycreator (formerly Cadkey) which is a direct modeler and is much more suited to the way I work and think.

I work with an engineer who used to use Cadkey but now prefers the parametric modelers. He's also a very good chess player, he thinks everything out in advance, and his designs are complicated, fussy to machine and assembl, and usually work from the start. I, OTOH, tend to just "go for it", start with very (perhaps overly) simple designs, then I make large sweeping changes (that would be difficult or impossible with a parametric modeler) as I refine it until it works. I'm also not a very good chess player. We end up in the same place, more or less, but the path we take is very different.

2 giant monitors is a must. HD is fine. 3 is excessive. I have a projector that throws a 10+foot screen if I want to see something in sort of real scale
I tried dual monitors, never liked the way they have to be set up. I prefer one large monitor, which I have at work. Lately I've been doing some work from home, and it's frustrating to do it on a 17" laptop.
 

Jay Kempf

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3d mouse is a horrible addiction. So are fancy trackballs. Makes it so you can't use anyone else's computer. And it makes is so nobody can use yours which is a good thing. I also put the windows bar on the top of the screen which drives people nuts. And I have a lifted Microsoft Natural keyboard which is great once you get there but for most it is incomprehensible.

OK, I'm an input snob.
 

rotax618

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The problem with these "free" use licences is the get you in then change the rules, Autodesk has recently tightened the rules for using Fusion 360, If the are selling the software for $1000's you can bet the "free" licence has a catch.
 

rotax618

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I recon that if you are going to expend the energy to learn a Cad system then you should be prepared to pay for the program licence, the "free" is a gotcha.
Either the use can be restricted, your drawings become public property or the export format is not portable.
 
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