Author Topic: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill  (Read 2002 times)

Offline PekkaNF

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This has been a long term plan to learn how to "draft" on 3D.

Real design probrams are very expensive, then there is some free programs. I have no idea how to choose right one.

1: Main interest is to learn how to use 3D design software to design "things". Mainly tools.

2: Always wanted to learn CNC, but wife would banish me if I would bring even a small router into spare bedroom....3D printer might be a little less noisy, smelly, smokey, obstructive etc.

3: However, goal is to eventually build small CNC mill.

What I am looking for is a clear CAD/CAM/Slicer path from idea to physical part, without massive loss of money, time and nerves.

Pekka

Offline awemawson

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2017, 02:04:09 PM »
Pekka,

My bits I've been making on my Cetus 3D printer have all been drawn in Fusion 360, which is free to the hobbyist. I have also made bits on my CNC mill with it.

It is very comprehensive, and when you learn it it will do most things, but I am still getting to grips with it and it is rather a struggle, but I am getting there - made this bung to block up a hole in my Beaver Partsmaster CNC mill that I bored years ago to facilitate wiring up my Servo Driven 4th Axis

It came out quite nicely in a blue plastic  :clap:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 04:33:56 PM »
Thank you Andrew,

I have been looking at fusion few days, just haven't made up my mind yet. I was told that it has free cam and slicer too - among other things.

I noticed that it has some tutorials on YT and they look decent. Maybe I just should have a go for it.

How is the actual blue print?

Pekka

Offline awemawson

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 04:43:25 PM »
The only downside with Fusion360 is that it demands a 64 bit machine - I had to source one specially as all my others are 32 bit  :scratch:

The bung turned out ok as per picture below
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline efrench

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 09:44:44 PM »
I don't think any other CAD/CAM program comes close to Fusion 360 in cost/performance.

Here's a video showing 3d printed gears in action on a Rose Engine.

And a Fusion 360 file showing similar gears.



A video with a glimpse of a delta 3d printer effector designed in Fusion 360 and milled on a home shop made CNC router.

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2017, 02:30:14 AM »
How good is fusion 360 with standard parts library? Does it comes ready with (metric) fasteners and other bucket parts, or do you need to import from suppliers?

How does it handles DIN parts like (taper) pins, circlips and such?

Is it easy on import vendor parts like linear rails?

Really silly question, but in micro stone age I spent too much time "designing" headers, connectors and such to circuit lay-out program.

Pekka

Offline efrench

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2017, 03:45:10 AM »
It doesn't have a standard parts library.  It does have most standard metric and imperial threads. You can import directly from McMaster-Carr or from a slew of other companies: http://autodesk-fusion.partcommunity.com/3d-cad-models/ 

It can import over 20 different file formats.  Step files work the best for me.  Large STL files can be a problem.  It can handle up to 50,000 facets in STL files which isn't a lot if you're doing a lot of organic shapes.

I haven't had a need for taper pins or circlips, but I think they would be pretty trivial to model.


Offline David Jupp

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2017, 05:07:07 AM »
For DIN or other standard parts, try Traceparts as a good starting point.

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2017, 06:11:42 AM »
Thank you very much. This did clear things up considerably.

I wonder how is it smart to build libraries, probably smart thing is to have several and well organized. Like one for fasteners, other for DIN-parts, other for standard materials etc.

Relating to that....supose a metric assembly needs non recurrent imperial standard parts and imperial surface model part. Does standard part goes into standard part library and alien surface model is another "part"?

Just thinking that I hear often swearing because assembly has been imported, but it is missing some vital parts (often hydraulic cylinders, motors and such). Not so much problem to me, but I just want to know how to start right.

Pekka

Offline PPRINT

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2017, 06:43:23 AM »
Pekka, libraries are a good idea to help organize...especially in the early stages of learning CAD. 

I have learned that a really well thought out naming convention helps as well.  Make sure to document how you name your parts so you can go find a special widget that you only use once a year.  Surprisingly easy to forget what something is called.  Also find a place to store the vendor name and part number if possible.  That helps track down parts when it is time to buy.

The software I use at work is data base driven so all of my files are accessible at the same time, but I am able to sort through multiple filters to home in on files I want to select from without seeing other files.

Rob
The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2017, 09:16:40 AM »
Thanks Rob

I work in a middle size company, we have ERP, PDM, CAD....PML and what not. To avoid that mess I'm asking what is the right way at the hobby side. Bit like at the end of 1980s there were electrical circuit schematic programs that were really nice to use: you picked the part and then it was in the BOM that you could print or export. You exported the diagram to router/PCB design program and you could export HPGL to pen plotters to print the etching film and GRBL (or something) to drilling machine.

But this old dog probably has to learn new tricks.

Pekka

Offline awemawson

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2017, 09:24:47 AM »
Bring back ORCAD and Protel Design Explorer eh Pekka  :thumbup:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2017, 09:30:25 AM »
I am pretty sure that nostalgia isn't what it used to be :lol:

Anyways electrocity is more familiar to me than mechanics - I'm just surrounded by mechanical engineers and they have it for work. I want to make it my hobby. Call it first world problem.

I just want to find out what is the KISS approach here, make it mantra and keep my eye on the ball when I'll get into it. Not dwell on shady corners of possibilities.

You know what I mean.

Pekka

Offline awemawson

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2017, 09:56:05 AM »
Well I still reckon that Fusion 360 is for you then. It has the full gambit of capabilities from sketching, drawing, modelling to CAD output for a wide range of controllers, and also can save stuff as .STL files for 3D printers both is ASCII stl and binary stl.

AND it's free   :thumbup:

(When you've learnt it perhaps you can spare a few days to teach me  :lol: )
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2017, 02:43:33 PM »
Sounds like need to buy a new second hand PC or laptop with 64 bit operating system for that free program. Not big deal, I can use this old clunker to see the tutorials on youtube and use the "new" one trying out cad.

I actually should buy laptop, if I don't learn it I can also give it to daughter.

Pekka

Offline awemawson

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2017, 02:56:04 PM »
I find some of the Youtube videos painful, as although they say that they are basic introductions but actually start assuming too much knowledge. I find Lars Christensen very good as he genuinely starts at the beginning:

https://www.youtube.com/user/cadcamstuff

Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline nrml

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2017, 08:02:12 AM »
Fusion 360 is a fantastic program, but I am not sure how long it will remain free. It is an incredible package and my gut feeling is that sooner or later once they reach a critical number of users, Autodesk will start charging even for hobby use.  Most people who have invested time and effort in learning the package will simply cough up the money unless it is extortionate. For people on a very limited hobby budget this is something to consider.
Autodesk shut down 123D (which was very nice for simple 3D modelling) and they are pushing users into either their less capable free product (TinkerCAD) or their more sophisticated professional solutions. I think  they will restructure other bits of their product portfolio sooner rather than later.

I haven't bothered reapplying for the free licence after mine ran out earlier this year. I have installed designspark mechanical on my computer instead https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/mechanical-software It is a slightly dumbed down version of Spaceclaim (which I understand is a well respected professional CAD package). The difference is that it is offered by RS components / Allied electrical for free as a way to get you to purchase your hardware from them. You have access to the RS components parts libraries for free. I think this has a better chance of remaining free to use than Fusion 360. The downside is that it is not as capable and lacks a CAM package but on a positive note you don't have to reapply for a licence every year.

I have purchased a licence for Estlcam for 49 Euros http://www.estlcam.com/. IMO is is an absolute bargain at this price. It is available for free trial and free use with no restrictions on features but I understand that a bit of nagware will eventually kick in urging you to purchase a licence. The developer has put out some excellent instructional videos and it looks like an adequate package for hobby use.

The free to use slicing programs do a very good job for 3D printing. There are a few available each with their own strengths and weaknesses and all fairly easy to use.

Offline j1312v

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2017, 01:32:23 PM »
I have the same opinion about Fusion360 regarding it's free status in the future.  :coffee:
My other issues are data legacy and time invested learning the software.

If you are only making small designs and they are for personal use or one-offs the data legacy may not be a big issue.
Also If you want to keep records of your work or want to share it, I will recommend you to make proper drawings and save them as pdf and/or save STEP copies.

On the other side the idea behind F360 is great but its not as easy to use as Solidworks and I wish they have made the menus a bit more simple, for example the CAM side has to many options in my opinion .

Almost all 3D softwares are similar so if you learn F360 you will not struggle when another similar software came along.

In conclusion use it but keep backups of what you want to use later.

Best,

B

Offline awemawson

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2017, 02:25:25 PM »
I had big concerns about it being cloud based - I avoid the cloud like the plague. But then I found that I could keep local copies of stuff so that is less of an issue.

Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Joules

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2017, 02:51:34 PM »
Much point me mentioning Rhino   :thumbup:  Both PC and Mac versions, you pay for the version and then get support and updates for the life of that version (2-3yrs).  Access to the beta program if you fancy, and reduced cost version update.  No extra cost of upgrade if you miss a version or two.  It's a NURBS modeller than a solid modeller, has tons of file types it can import and export, though SolidWorks files are not one of them.
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline awemawson

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2017, 03:33:35 PM »
What sort of outlay are we talking for a seat of Rhino Joules ?
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Joules

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2017, 03:55:19 PM »
Sit down.......

995 for PC version
695 for Mac version
195 if you are a student or teacher   (could be well worth teaching a spotty YOOF, as they can get the student version)

Upgrades  495 commercial, 95 student.

All the above ex vat.   it's a shame we don't have the night schools we once did as I'm pretty sure the education version would be available.  Should you leave education you are still allowed to use it, you don't have to pay the commercial price till upgrade.

You can get a 30 day free trial, not crippled and after 30 days you can't save or print.   You can however continue using it as a viewer for 3D files and carry on learning to use it.
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline CrazyModder

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2017, 06:27:33 PM »
I'll throw in Sketchup.

When I needed to do a little modelling way back, I was also looking for a "real" CAD/CAM solution. One where you could do stuff like parametric screws that automatically make sure that the holes in the other part are correct, and whatnot.

While searching and searching, I installed Sketchup. You know, it seemed a bit like child stuff or just for "architects".

Many, many years later (Wikipedia tells me that it is 16 years old now - they bring out a new version every year, roughly...) I am still exclusively using it - the free version no less. It does *exactly* what I need - hobbyist stuff, quick sketches or involved constructions. The complexity of my designs is limited by what I can do in the shop, not by Sketchup. It has no parametric stuff in the free version (not sure about the paid one, I don't think so, though), but I never actually needed any.

It is *very* easy to get into. You can just install it and go. They have a pretty unique way to model, it is nothing at all like traditional CAD/CAM. Totally uncomplicated.

So my suggestion: while you look for the "real thing", give it a spin. You can certainly do 3D prints from it. It has a large online (community) parts library which you can access directly from inside, without registering anywhere. Your own drawings are offline, no mandatory cloud storage. Import/export formats are a bit limited in the free version - I guess they need a hook for people to eventually pay for it. I always got around that limitation though, or found the necessary parts in their own library.

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2017, 03:05:52 AM »
OK. Bought used businesslaptop, last night I made recovery DVD:s, backked up system and made image to USB drive (64 Gb stick).

SanDisk Ultra Fit 64 GB USB 3.0 flash
Todo Backup Free
http://www.todo-backup.com/products/home/free-backup-software.htm

Maybe today I'll manage to download and start Fusion360. Any good instructions to read before rushing into installation?

Pekka

Offline awemawson

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Re: Which CAD/CAM to learn 3D design and use 3D printer and CNC mill
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2017, 03:35:31 AM »
Pekka,

Just follow a few of this chaps videos:

https://www.youtube.com/user/cadcamstuff

I too am in the process of loading up a new (to me) PC especially for Fusion. Fusion complains my current PC's graphics aren't up to snuff - it works but is a bit jerky.

So I bought an ex corporate HP Z800 tower workstation with 3Ghz Xenon Quad core with 12Gb of RAM and a Nvidia 580 graphics card with 512 Mb on board ram. System has a 120Gb SSD and a 1Tb HDD.

On paper it sounds quite a beast, but I can't try it yet as I'm waiting on a DVI-D cable to drive my monitor  :bang:

Cable should arrive today. This will be my first venture into Windows 10 Professional so there's another learning curve - unless it maybe can be set up in some sort of 'Classic Mode'  :scratch:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex