Author Topic: CAD - what you using?  (Read 10005 times)

Offline raynerd

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CAD - what you using?
« on: December 28, 2015, 07:21:24 PM »
I've been wanting to for years and although I've tried, haven't put the effort in to get to any standard but I would like to be able to draw up my plans and ideas properly in CAD.

For those that aren't using version 1.01 CoC, what are the rest of you using?

I have a legitimate copy of Inventor but it is extremely complex. Being a good industry standard is this what I should be using or too complex for what I need. Considering it is powerful software and I have it, I guess it makes crystal clear sense to use this but having never modelled anything before, is it the right starting point?  Just wanted the discussion before investing time into it.

Chris
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Offline Joules

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2015, 07:48:19 PM »
No quick easy route to learning CAD.   Work with the package you have and start with just simple geometry, blocks and spheres, learn boolean operations (assuming you want to learn 3D).  Watch as many tutorials on YouTube as you can find, make notes.  Learn/try one new command every day, or time you sit and play with it.  Have an object in front of you and try to model it, don't assume you can think an idea then transfer it to CAD straight away, it takes lots of patience and practice.

I use Rhino and model everything in 3D then use Rhino to generate 2D views for dimensioning convetional plans.  Learning curve for me 10yrs+

My biggest incentive to learn CAD, access to a stereolithography machine in the mid 90's.
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline sparky961

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2015, 08:22:54 PM »
Most current popular 3D parametric design packages do about the same thing. They just have different work flows and UI paradigms. Nothing wrong with Inventor, though Solidworks seems more industry standard for manufacturing and machining... unless its automotive, but you won't be buying any of those packages.

Offline ieezitin

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2015, 08:41:59 PM »
Chris,

I am exactly in the same boat as you.. i just downloaded Trimble Sketchup, it used to be Google but now its owned by Trimble.. I digress...I have  been using the free download for about a week now and i have made very complex shapes with sketches and dimensions  giving me math 5 times past the decimal point, my shapes are total 3D, or ISO or Plan... your choice.

Its very intuitive and easy to learn, there are excellent (how=tos) vids on You-Tube plus the company has excellent tutorials on the website. They give you a fullblown package on the first download but after 30 days its restricted, you need to purchase the licence, but by what i read the free program will do us for what we need and certainly worth learning it even after the pro version expires.

Hope this helps...

Anthony.
If you cant fix it, get another hobby.

Offline chipenter

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2015, 12:37:12 AM »
I have Autocad tried for 5 years and keep giving up  :doh: , editing images from Solidcam is a little easyer .
Jeff

Offline Jasonb

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2015, 03:05:21 AM »
I use Alibre PE which is now sold as Cubify design. Tried a few other CAD packages before but never got on with them but like the Alibre. Reasonably priced and has most of the features we are likely to need of the more expensive Geomagic which it is based on. You can get a 14day free trial and instructional videos are on teh net

http://cubify.com/products/design

Fusion 360 gets some good reports and is free.

Offline David Jupp

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2015, 03:48:42 AM »
For any of the 3D packages, you have to put in some time to learn the basics - DO NOT try to skip the very simple tutorials, though they do only create very basic geometry they do teach a lot about the underlying thinking behind the software.  Simple sketch outline defines profile used to create a 3D feature, 3D features combine to create a complex part, parts can be combined into assemblies - 2D drawings drop out 'almost for free'.

In many ways 3D CAD is actually closer to machining than it is to traditional 2D CAD. 

The biggest issue that I see when training users is the tendency to make the sketches that define each feature profile too complex - this can work, but becomes a nightmare to modify as the design evolves.  Try to keep each feature very simple - this will mean you'll need more features.

Inventor should be capable of all you need.  If you find the interface too complex, I'd second Jason's suggestiong of Cubify Design (don't buy Cubify Invent - it is much more limited than Cubify Design and the files don't transfer between - so no upgrade path).

Sketchup - the free version didn't allow 2D production drawings to be created when I looked at it, also fillets and chamfers are not simple to apply.

Offline PK

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2015, 04:39:24 AM »
We use solid edge 2D at work. It's free and really quite good for the sorts of things we do.

Offline modeldozer

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2015, 05:34:09 AM »
Have been using Turbocad Profesional for 16 years and still learn new ways of using it.  It's uder interface , to me, is very user friendly.

Abraham

Offline NeoTech

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2015, 08:28:48 AM »
Would say Fusion 360 is your best alternative atm, if you don't wanna become a pirate (yarhh)
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Offline DavidA

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2015, 11:37:00 AM »
TurboCAD Professional 7.

Though I actually prefer ProjCAD as it is very close to AutoCAD R10 which I learned on.  Many years ago.

Hardly use it at all these days.

Dave

Offline Spurry

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2015, 02:06:18 PM »
I've used versions of Turbocad since v2, (now on v18.2) which works fine for all my 2D drawings.
They are saved as DXF's, then imported into XMC-E (which is supplied with Pacer routers ) for machining.
All the drawings are converted to G Code by XMC-E.
Pete

Offline AdeV

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2015, 03:11:16 PM »
I use SolidWorks for my CAD stuff, it's taken a long time (over 2 years) to get to where I am with it - and I'm still doing very basic stuff really, that a proper CAD designer would do in his sleep. I find the best way to make up a 3d object is to use lots of simple 2D extrusions/cuts; Solidworks (and presumably other CAD software also includes some really quite natty tools to get where you want to be; the temptation to use them can be strong (e.g. 3D-sketches), but I find if you can possibly avoid them, life is much easier.

It took me a little over 1/2 day to draw my V12 valley plate c/w dizzy drive from scratch (making quite a few revisions along the way); I had to learn a few new techniques to make it work for me (e.g. drawing on an angled plane, to get the dizzy drive angle correct), but the end result is great.

Visualising the part you're after is half the battle, the rest is just messing around with lines & relationships (coincident, tangent, colinear, etc. etc.)
Cheers!
Ade.
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Offline Auskart

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2015, 03:20:01 PM »
Nothing wrong with Draftsight and it's free... :D

Offline bertie_bassett

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2015, 03:21:04 PM »
I'm still using autocad 2002 bit slow and very basic compared to what is out there now but oes everything I need.

i use it more like Coc 1.0  draw some lines and work from there, 3D is usually built up after  iv got something 'flat' sketched up.

when i got this laptop i couldn't get autocad to run so tried sketchup or whatever google were doing free, but couldn't get on with it. seems to be overly complex. fortunately i got autocad working in xp mode so all good now :) 

seems most of the newer ones are 'parametric'  or whatever they call it,  i probably should have tried a bit harder with it as I'm sure ill need it one day
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Offline PK

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2015, 05:46:35 PM »
Would say Fusion 360 is your best alternative atm, if you don't wanna become a pirate (yarhh)

Are many here using it? It seems pretty good, has built in toolpath generation, and the commercial licensing costs seem reasonable..

Most of the videos I've seen promoting it seem to end up having been sponsored by AutoCAD though, so it's hard to be sure..

Offline raynerd

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2016, 08:56:20 PM »
Really interesting stuff, I'm quite surprised with the range of different software everyone is using. Does anyone else use inventor - like I say I am lucky enough to have genuine free access to this but it is tricky - but then like you have said, I expect they all take years of learning.
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Offline efrench

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2016, 09:11:49 PM »
Would say Fusion 360 is your best alternative atm, if you don't wanna become a pirate (yarhh)

Are many here using it? It seems pretty good, has built in toolpath generation, and the commercial licensing costs seem reasonable..

Most of the videos I've seen promoting it seem to end up having been sponsored by AutoCAD though, so it's hard to be sure..

I've used Visual Cadd in its various incarnations for 20 odd years, but it's only 2d.
I tried Sketchup and just couldn't find a way to make useful drawings. 
I tried Onshape, but it had no ability to import dxf files, so it was a non-starter.
I have Viacad and it's user interface is closer to the 2d cad program.
I'm now using Fusion 360 and I like it much better than the other 3d programs. The CAM program is quite powerful.

Here's a rendering of the effector for my 3d printer:


And the finished effector, cnc'd and 3d printed:

Online philf

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2016, 05:20:28 AM »
Really interesting stuff, I'm quite surprised with the range of different software everyone is using. Does anyone else use inventor - like I say I am lucky enough to have genuine free access to this but it is tricky - but then like you have said, I expect they all take years of learning.
Chris,

I used Inventor at work but not very much. I couldn't say it was very easy to use but an improvement over Mechanical Desktop which was Autodesk's previous 3d offering.

For 3d over the years I've used Medusa, Mechanical Desktop and Inventor at work and ViaCad and Autocad at home.

I'd love to try Fusion 360 but it will only run on a 64 bit operating system and I haven't got 64. I'd upgrade but I have some other vital software that won't run. Fortunately before downloading it told me my operating system wasn't suitable. I was keen to try it's 3d CAM.

99% of stuff I do doesn't need 3d and I'm happy with Autocad (2008) that I've been using for many years. A friend has done lots of 3d modelling in Autocad. This is a model of Lion - the loco he and I are building:



I haven't now got any examples from Inventor but it could produce photo-realistic output.

 :beer:

Phil.
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Offline Anzaniste

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2016, 02:41:32 PM »
I went to night school to learn Inventor however I didn't manage to attend more than half of the classes nor did I make time to practise. I found it straightforward but hugely complex (of necessity when you consider what it is doing)
As I'm in my seventies I don't learn as fast as I used to!!! I reckon a young bloke like you, Chris, will have no real problems with learning Inventor but like all skills practise is the key to success.
I thought it was brilliant starting the drawing in 3D then producing 2D drawings to work from. A lot better than the Tech Drawing I did at Tech College 50 years ago
Scrooby, 1 mile south of Gods own County.

Offline gerritv

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2016, 04:21:30 PM »
Would say Fusion 360 is your best alternative atm, if you don't wanna become a pirate (yarhh)

Are many here using it? It seems pretty good, has built in toolpath generation, and the commercial licensing costs seem reasonable..

Most of the videos I've seen promoting it seem to end up having been sponsored by AutoCAD though, so it's hard to be sure..
The videos are actually a great course to learn 3D Cad using Fusion360. I struggled to learn Alibre/Cubify Design. I find the training materials for Fusion to be excellent and plentiful. With an hour or so of watching along with videos I managed to model a QCTP design that I am adapting to my Taig lathe. http://a360.co/1R9mmMe. Very pleased with the ease and feel of the product.

Offline nrml

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2016, 02:44:04 AM »
Another  :thumbup: for Fusion 360 from a fledgling learner. Apart from the CAM component to it which is a major benefit, you also have the fringe benefit of familiar interfaces and methods across Autodesk's suite of free products which makes the learning curve less steep if you want to play with other Autodesk free software packages.

Offline awemawson

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Re: CAD - what you using? Fusion 360
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2016, 06:27:25 PM »
Been doing a bit of googling re: Fusion 360 and have come across a few possible Gotcha's I'd welcome comments on.

Firstly it only runs on a 64 bit machine, all mine at the moment are 32 bit so I cannot quickly download and try for my self. I'll have to obtain a new machine so need a few reassurances first!

Secondly it stores your (my!) files on the cloud, I believe you can locally cache files but need to connect to the web every few days to synchronize, has any one used this facility?

Thirdly, it is said to be free to hobbyists, but I've come across at least one comment on the web from someone, a hobbyist, who's 'free' trial expired and could only regain access to his files by paying the commercial rates. Has anyone lengthy experience with it without this happening?

Fourthly if I go 64 bit I run a lot of legacy software that may well not work so would be forced to run multiple machines.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline tom osselton

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2016, 07:20:00 PM »
The guy teaching the 360 intro to it at protospace says it is just as good as solidworks and if you register as a startup it is free at the expiry just renew as startup.

Offline sparky961

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2016, 08:05:14 PM »
This might be the software model of the future but if it is I'll be stocking up on obsolete legacy systems to keep running my offline standalone stuff.

Offline RotarySMP

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2016, 08:31:22 AM »
About 15 years ago when my employer sent me for a weeks course at Honeywell  Seattle to learn flight data recorder read out. The course was a waste, as it was a very easy to understand primitive db to decode, and I never had anything to do with FDR's before or after, but the Honeywell training center computers had Inventor installed, so I learnt it through the tutorials. I had already been using AutoCAD 97. What a leap forward. I wish I had a license for inventor, as I thought it had the nicest rendering.

I did took drafting for 5 years in high school, which making picking up these systems a little easier. Still forgot to put the diameter symbols in front of the number in the CoC below  :wack:

I have an old student licensed CATIA V5 which needs XP, so I keep a laptop loaded just for that. Catia was a steep learning curve, and I only use a fraction of it's capabilities. Really just part, product and drafting.

Don't knock 1.1CoC. It is still fast,  easy and reliable and can be pinned to the wall behind the lathe.

I did install Fusion360, but that whole model of licensing and having your files up for ransom really turned me off. I deinstalled it after a quick 15 minute play with it. Maybe I should give it a second chance.

Regards,
Mark

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2016, 08:43:22 AM »
I use Alibre PE which is now sold as Cubify design. Tried a few other CAD packages before but never got on with them but like the Alibre. Reasonably priced and has most of the features we are likely to need of the more expensive Geomagic which it is based on. You can get a 14day free trial and instructional videos are on teh net

http://cubify.com/products/design

Fusion 360 gets some good reports and is free.


Like Jason, I still use an older copy of Alibre. I bought the Pro version back a few years ago. I still does everything I need. After trying multiple products, I chose this one because it was the easiest for me to learn.

Eric
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Offline efrench

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Re: CAD - what you using? Fusion 360
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2016, 03:28:59 PM »
Been doing a bit of googling re: Fusion 360 and have come across a few possible Gotcha's I'd welcome comments on.

Firstly it only runs on a 64 bit machine, all mine at the moment are 32 bit so I cannot quickly download and try for my self. I'll have to obtain a new machine so need a few reassurances first!

Secondly it stores your (my!) files on the cloud, I believe you can locally cache files but need to connect to the web every few days to synchronize, has any one used this facility?

Thirdly, it is said to be free to hobbyists, but I've come across at least one comment on the web from someone, a hobbyist, who's 'free' trial expired and could only regain access to his files by paying the commercial rates. Has anyone lengthy experience with it without this happening?

Fourthly if I go 64 bit I run a lot of legacy software that may well not work so would be forced to run multiple machines.

Fusion 360 can export your files in different formats like iges, step, stl, etc. so you can ensure having a local copy that is usable in other programs if you can't access Fusion 360.  Offline mode only requires sync'ing every fortnight.

PC's are too inexpensive now to worry about how many you have around  :zap:   

Offline awemawson

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2016, 03:44:31 PM »
"PC's are too inexpensive now to worry about how many you have around  :zap:  "

Yes you are right - I've a bid on a system that ends in 15 mins that I propose to use as a test bed for Windows 10 and Fusion 360 - that way it isolates it from my other computers if it goes belly up
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline John Stevenson

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2016, 05:40:45 PM »
Did you get it ?
John Stevenson

Offline awemawson

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2016, 06:01:58 PM »
Yes, and just within my budget by 90 pence  :clap:

It's a second hand Dell Optiplex 7010 i3 Core 3220 3.3Ghz ultra small form factor, that has 64 bit Win 7. Loaded and a valid COA. The intention is to 'upgrade' to Win 10 using the free offer, and get used to 10, then load up Fusion 360 and take it for a test drive.

I'll probably start a thread on it, if only to keep a log of what I've done. You never know, others may be interested.

I suppose that I'd better look out for a decent sized monitor for it, and a keyboard and mouse would be quite handy!
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline tom osselton

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2016, 12:19:51 AM »
I have built a computer just for the things I want to save with the hopes of getting better organised or compromised.
I am using a smart tv that the puter gets pluged into works good on wifi plus it's a extra tv!

Offline DavidL

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2016, 08:45:53 PM »
Believe it or not, after trying out a number of 2D applications, I now mostly use microsoft Visio.  It's quick and easy and is great for stencilling over photographs when creating working drawings.  For CAD modelling, I use FreeCAD (it's free) which I found great for creating 3D models from 2D baseline drawings.

Offline CrazyModder

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2016, 02:26:41 AM »
I have used Sketchup for years. I have occasionally felt the need to move on to a "real" CAD package; I tried FreeCAD as well as Solid Edge. The first was a bit "meh" for me, I guess it gets the job done, but it didn't scratch my itch, so to speak. Solid Edge is a professional package with a "free for private use" option, and has loads of very good tutorials online. I found it interesting as it has a parametric construction mode; i.e. you can tell two faces to stick together, or you can tell a hole and a bolt to always be the same diameter, and when you change the one of them, it also changes the other. Great if you construct something and you want to rotate/move parts around virtually to see if everything fits together. It takes some getting used to.

In the end, I always return to Sketchup. It is more oriented towards interiour architects or building planners, I think - it has no straightforward way to produce 2D plans with measurements etc. It is possible to do so, but it is a bit of an effort. The 3D stuff is totally flawless; not too overwhelming, not too many options, but very easy to quickly and intuitively model about anything I could ever hope to produce in my shop. It's just so quick to whip up a model and just get it done. Often, it is enough for me to just slap on a few measurements and print out the 3D model without going the length to produce 2D plans.

Offline chipenter

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2016, 02:03:58 PM »
I loded Fusion 360 as I wanted the g code function , with the free ones all I get when trying to convert to code is unsupported format , they all have there own diferent extentions that need loads or programs to convert , as I am hopeless with cad and g code  :doh:  .
Jeff

Offline awemawson

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2016, 03:43:25 PM »
I've Fusion 360 loaded up and I have managed to make usable code from it, it's very good at airy fairy 3 D models,  but the CAM side hasn't been properly thought out - obviously a programmer rather than an engineer did it !

I've bought CamBam - a much simpler package but more engineering orientated !
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline efrench

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2016, 10:12:25 PM »
I haven't touched CamBam since I started using Fusion 360.  The generated toolpaths in Fusion 360 are far more sophisticated than those in CamBam.

p.s. I was a programmer in a previous life :)

Offline awemawson

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2016, 02:25:57 AM »
Oh yes I agree, things like adaptive clearing letting the tool take full sized gulps.

It was the way the post processor customisation needed full programming skills, and the handling of tool libraries was very awkward that put me off. I may well go back to it, but it was getting very frustrating, as was the horribly slow cloud operation
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline chipenter

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2016, 03:56:51 PM »
I have dowloaded cambam trial thank Andrew looks easyer tham Fusion 360 , I am trying to generate gcode for the club logo , the invicta horse of Kent meens unconquered just what I havn't done with cad .
Jeff

Offline awemawson

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2016, 05:08:31 PM »
There is a chap doing something similar here on the CamBam forum:

http://www.cambam.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=5501.0
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline John Stevenson

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2016, 05:53:25 PM »
Something like this ?

John Stevenson

Offline awemawson

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #41 on: February 27, 2016, 06:10:26 PM »
Very good John, but Jeff wants it as G code not just a pretty picture  :lol:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline John Stevenson

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2016, 07:21:05 PM »
OK but you need the code to get the picture.

Material 55mm wide x 50mm high. Engraving tool with 20 degree sides, 40 degrees included angle and 0.2 flat on the bottom to stop it chipping.

Work zero is in the centre of the plate.

http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/Romney%20marsh.txt

Code is for Mach3 or any standard Fanuc code
John Stevenson

Offline chipenter

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #43 on: February 28, 2016, 02:45:39 AM »
Thanks guys I will take whatever help I can get to lower this learning curve .
Jeff

Offline chipenter

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #44 on: February 29, 2016, 01:52:23 PM »
Fision 360 crashed on Windows 10 today I don't think they can keep up with the updates , almost daily some of them take a long time .
Jeff

Offline davro

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Re: CAD - what you using?
« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2016, 04:43:47 PM »
Hi Chris,

I have just finished building my first CNC minimill with LinuxCNC, never done any CAD/CAM before and have been using Fusion360 for the CAD/CAM and now using simulations for stress testing, there are a few stumbling points with LinuxCNC and Fusion360 but it's worth putting sometime in . I have created a few parts for my motorbike engine kitcar and very impressed with the LinuxCNC and Fusion360 combo so far :med: problem is this has given me the confidence to start thinking about bigger milling projects not sure if this is a good idea lol

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcTHjo1ojSo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcTHjo1ojSo</a>