EAA No Longer Has Free SolidWorks

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AJLiberatore

Well-Known Member
"And it runs on Linux. I am so frustrated about CAD. The absolute best CAD I've ever used was Unigraphics, pre-NX around version 15 circa 1998. Before the sketcher crap. It ran on Unix. Unequaled to this day, and I've used just about everything. If I could just get back to that, I'd be happy."

I exited at V 10 Monty, yes it was the state of the art at the time.

The seeds of Parametrics were their if you wanted to use it (they had too, PTC was leading the way on it), I thought it was cool. Even more so it was also taught (very much like SW's) that you do not delete base geometry you started with or it could mess everything up in complicated models / assemblies. I really liked the User Defined Feature which allowed you to create an model within a model if you will, then make arrays of that UDF and keep the feature tree / model compact. Both got me in trouble with my employer at the time who was using UG as a 2D drawing tool, which were for legacy programs unless you were on the very limited new contracts ( I kid you not ).

I found SW's to be even more intuitive after opening up my mind to it after a ton of mistakes and perception of how I wanted it to work, not how it worked. During the tail end stint of my Introduction SW's Class they were bringing the Latest NX back as the Class and phasing out SW's. Many students had access to both. 2 very bright kids sitting next to one another picked up SW's on their own and did the exercises for UG w/ SW's it and said it was more intuitive and didn't like NX, that was an eye opener. It was now V20-something etc, and it changed so much vs V10 it was down-right clunky, not my cup of tea.

Monty

Well-Known Member
I exited at V 10 Monty, yes it was the state of the art at the time.

The seeds of Parametrics were their if you wanted to use it (they had too, PTC was leading the way on it), I thought it was cool. Even more so it was also taught (very much like SW's) that you do not delete base geometry you started with or it could mess everything up in complicated models / assemblies. I really liked the User Defined Feature which allowed you to create an model within a model if you will, then make arrays of that UDF and keep the feature tree / model compact. Both got me in trouble with my employer at the time who was using UG as a 2D drawing tool, which were for legacy programs unless you were on the very limited new contracts ( I kid you not ).

I found SW's to be even more intuitive after opening up my mind to it after a ton of mistakes and perception of how I wanted it to work, not how it worked. During the tail end stint of my Introduction SW's Class they were bringing the Latest NX back as the Class and phasing out SW's. Many students had access to both. 2 very bright kids sitting next to one another picked up SW's on their own and did the exercises for UG w/ SW's it and said it was more intuitive and didn't like NX, that was an eye opener. It was now V20-something etc, and it changed so much vs V10 it was down-right clunky, not my cup of tea.
I just want to be able to create a conic curve, extrude it in 2 dimensions, and have the solid update when I change the rho value.....too much to ask apparently. Or make conic blends with variable rho. I guess Unigraphics was just TOO good. Had to be destroyed. SW is going down the same path. It was once good. I never really liked the SW workflow, but the software menu structure was at least clean. Now.....it's like a giant wad of chewing gum you can't get free of. Constantly asking "are you sure??" "are you really sure???"......"make sure!" &$*#&%&#($*&&%&$% AS if the undo button didn't exist!! and models break constantly. SW is now more unstable than Alibre....that takes talent. Make a Parasolid modeler more unstable than ACIS....real talent. Things should get better, not worse. Monty PS- Alibre has user defined features. They are called "catalog features". stanislavz Well-Known Member Things should get better, not worse. Nope. As a developer - world of it is beeing pushed to more complicated area with hope of out-sourced black box do all the magic. But then gone to bare level - all is crappy and unman-aged. Worst example - F35. 11 millions lines of code. And they are forced to add redundancy for error-proof working. nickec Well-Known Member Where does she reliably find videos that don't take 40+ minutes to present 5 minutes worth of knowledge? ... Simply filter YT search results by length. And/or by views. Use shift-> to speed up video. nickec Well-Known Member .. the building portion was so light it almost floated away. ... You reminded me of dreams I have. Imagine a dandelion inspired airframe. So wispy, so large, so both translucent and transparent. Seated inside you float all over the Earth. In some of these repeating dreams there are NO directional controls in the device. In others countless small propulsors allow precise control in all axes. As wonderful as present-day piloting and present-day flight is, the human soul wants more and wants better. Let us hope we achieve these desires. Monty Well-Known Member Nope. As a developer - world of it is beeing pushed to more complicated area with hope of out-sourced black box do all the magic. But then gone to bare level - all is crappy and unman-aged. Worst example - F35. 11 millions lines of code. And they are forced to add redundancy for error-proof working. So many times these things are marketing driven crap. Trying to carve up the software into a bunch of ala-carte modules so they can charge more.$25K for the basic package....you want to do surfacing?? +$10K. Sheet metal?? +$10K....Manufacturing?? +$20K....5 axis?? +$30K....ad infinitim.

Upgrades that just re-arrange the buttons and menus. So more "training" is required. Did any of the bugs get fixed....NO!.....but the training revenue will be up, up UP!!

Alibre and Rhino have been free of this kind of nonsense so far. I hope it lasts. Solid works, NX and the others....not so much. And don't get me started on the cloud subscription model....

stanislavz

Well-Known Member
Alibre and Rhino have been free of this kind of nonsense so far. I hope it lasts. Solid works, NX and the others....not so much. And don't get me started on the cloud subscription model....
Yup. And vw reinvet sheet metal formula for longer die life. And it get rusted from inside in next 3 years. All the time. Regardless of painted or no.

Problem with software is - you can't go minimalist way. It need a lot of bling bling to be salable. And developers are great shortage. And due to systems beeing more complicated - it will grown up even more.

blane.c

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Where do vsp step files hide? Or do you have to make a place for them to go? Cannot find them in Freecad.

It looks so easy in the video.

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Jay Kempf

Curmudgeon in Training (CIT)
Supporting Member
CAD is CAD. You're kidding yourself if you think one is a magic bullet. SW is pretty capable. Fusion is really actually quite good. NX is a monster but based on the same kernel as UG or SW. Surfacing is a futile search for stuff that doesn't work leading you to a limited set of stuff that does in any CAD package. Method rules.

FreeCAD has some interest for me. Not sure it will every replace something like Fusion or SW for raw virtual prototyping leading to building something but I remain hopeful. What is interesting about FreeCAD is all the analysis modules that can be run from inside it's CAD interface. I have an eye on that. Linux is also a nice thread to watch. A Linux machine dedicated to FreeCAD for OpenFoam and maybe an FEA module as well would be very useful if well dialed. If it was impossible to use then not so much. I have way too many processors running all the time doing nothing but aero prototype projects. Time to branch out to other rabbit holes is always limited. But I have an eye towards FreeCAD. If there was someone that knows OpenFoam well that wants to work on a virtual wind tunnel set of macros that work in FreeCAD I'm all ears. Started in that direction and haven't finished building a useable environment. A simple AOA sweep would be a good goal. I have the processing bandwidth doing almost nothing. Several thousand cores. Could host the experiment.

We are using Fusion more and more every day. It has some issues but really for $400/yr it is as good as it can get. I have done the surfacing stress test on it and it passed with flying colors. I bought it for HSM but the CAD ain't bad AT ALL. cblink.007 Well-Known Member Supporting Member CAD is CAD. You're kidding yourself if you think one is a magic bullet. SW is pretty capable. Fusion is really actually quite good. NX is a monster but based on the same kernel as UG or SW. Surfacing is a futile search for stuff that doesn't work leading you to a limited set of stuff that does in any CAD package. Method rules. FreeCAD has some interest for me. Not sure it will every replace something like Fusion or SW for raw virtual prototyping leading to building something but I remain hopeful. What is interesting about FreeCAD is all the analysis modules that can be run from inside it's CAD interface. I have an eye on that. Linux is also a nice thread to watch. A Linux machine dedicated to FreeCAD for OpenFoam and maybe an FEA module as well would be very useful if well dialed. If it was impossible to use then not so much. I have way too many processors running all the time doing nothing but aero prototype projects. Time to branch out to other rabbit holes is always limited. But I have an eye towards FreeCAD. If there was someone that knows OpenFoam well that wants to work on a virtual wind tunnel set of macros that work in FreeCAD I'm all ears. Started in that direction and haven't finished building a useable environment. A simple AOA sweep would be a good goal. I have the processing bandwidth doing almost nothing. Several thousand cores. Could host the experiment. We are using Fusion more and more every day. It has some issues but really for$400/yr it is as good as it can get. I have done the surfacing stress test on it and it passed with flying colors. I bought it for HSM but the CAD ain't bad AT ALL.
I've been pulling myself through a FreeCAD 'transition' for the last month...with great results. Being an AutoCAD guy for 25+ years (without any prior formal parametric modeling instruction), I'm a total fan of this new system.

The wiki tutorials and plentiful videos out there are great for the more advanced functions, but in all reality this book linked below (which reflects current stable version 0.20) has been worth 50 times its weight in gold, only costs \$15 and I highly recommend getting it:

Long story short, even though I am still very much in the learning phase, a colleague and I have a couple validation tests for it in the near future with our laser CNC cutting table and 3d print rig:

1. The creation of functionally accurate 3D printed parts from FreeCAD with the appropriate file extensions (.stl, etc)
2. The creation of a conic lofting of a wing surface within FreeCAD, unwrapping it, cutting a piece with the CNC laser cutting table, measuring it for accuracy then bending it to the design curvature
3. The cutting of an actual metal part from a FreeCAD document

We have been able to transition in a STEP file directly into Flow5 for accurate analysis (once you get the meshing correct in Flow5), and while we understand that we can import a shape (complex or not) from FreeCAD into OpenFOAM is possible; we have not tried it yet.

We also made a parametric product in FreeCAD, exported it as a .stp file, pulled it up in CATIA, and was able to edit without issue, and vice versa.

I like it.

sming

Well-Known Member
There is a CFD workbench you can add that really simplify the setup of OpenFOAM, you should give it a try!

arj1

Well-Known Member
There is a CFD workbench you can add that really simplify the setup of OpenFOAM, you should give it a try!
@sming, are you OK to post here a link to a quick how-to? Thanks!

Marc W

Well-Known Member
I started playing with Freecad a few days ago. I am trying to draw a steel tube fuselage frame. I haven't found a straight forward method of making a 3d sketch. Is the book mentioned above helpful for 3d sketching?

sming

Well-Known Member
@sming, are you OK to post here a link to a quick how-to? Thanks!
Unfortunately, that was like 2 years ago, so things have probably changed. I know that I went nowhere with setting up a OpenFOAM project by itself and that using FreeCAD i did achieve running a simulation.
The workbench is : GitHub - jaheyns/CfdOF: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for FreeCAD based on OpenFOAM solver
There is tutorials on YouTube and a dedicated forum : CfdOF / CFD - FreeCAD Forum
Like always, a lot of time is necessary to fiddle with the various software dependancies the workbench need, so read carefully what's needed, but once setup, you will have a powerful tool.

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Is the book mentioned above helpful for 3d sketching?
That is the focus of the book, yes. It will get you off the ground very quickly. Until my proficiency get to the right point, I still have the book right next to me as I do my thing...

To give a context, I started going through the book less than 4 weeks ago. I am now able to do complex shapes easily and quickly. This part, an exercise in the book, only took me 25 minutes to make...and I do not consider myself a FreeCAD expert by any stretch of the imagination:

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Unfortunately, that was like 2 years ago, so things have probably changed. I know that I went nowhere with setting up a OpenFOAM project by itself and that using FreeCAD i did achieve running a simulation.
The workbench is : GitHub - jaheyns/CfdOF: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for FreeCAD based on OpenFOAM solver
There is tutorials on YouTube and a dedicated forum : CfdOF / CFD - FreeCAD Forum
Like always, a lot of time is necessary to fiddle with the various software dependancies the workbench need, so read carefully what's needed, but once setup, you will have a powerful tool.
I believe there are videos out there on YouTube...such as this one...

Marc W

Well-Known Member
I might have found the right tool for 3d sketching. The Draft Workbench looks like it will do what I want. I will try it later.

rotax618

Well-Known Member
The steps necessary to create a 3D model are pretty much the same for all of the 3D modelling programs, and generally there are quicker ways to produce the same result that comes from familiarity with the command structure.
For the amateur and those who only want an occasional part for printing or CNC, the cost of the commercial packages isn’t justified when a free solution is available. They all have a similar learning curve, and the methods you learn from one system are pretty much transferrable to another, just as learning to code in one programming language makes learning another that much easier.
Apart from the cost the advantage of Freecad is that its workbenches cover almost every design task that you use CAD for, including CAM, BIM, FEM, SHEETMETAL and as has been discussed CFD, there is even a workbench to design parasails - all for free.

rotax618

Well-Known Member
As for drawing space frames, I found the best method was use Part Design and Sketcher to draw the bulkheads on planes, move the planes the desired stations, create a plane from 3 nodes and connect the 3 points on the plane.
Very hard to explain but simple when you know how.