CAD Software

darksidecookie

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Feb 1, 2016
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Plus the yearly maintenance cost too, yeah. Do you have experience with NX @darksidecookie?
Unfortunately not yet, only solidworks and all its shortcomings but in 2 years i'll begin training for nx as it is part of my educational program.
Our school first teaches us solidworks because it's easier to learn the basics in solidworks and if you wish you can add nx to your program as an elective.
 
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Aibohphobia

aka James
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Feb 22, 2015
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It took me a few hours using Siemens NX which we have licenses of at work.

Ha, you're much more practiced with your CAD program than I am then, took me many hours to get that P12 model done. But I also tried to somewhat accurately model the profile of the blades and that was a total pain since I didn't want to cut it up to get a clear profile measurement.

but it's almost embarrassing that SW lacks powerful direct editing tools these days

Yeah, I've been looking at Solid Edge. Seems like a good hybrid of parametric and direct modeling and I think it's still cheaper than SolidWorks.
 
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CircleTect

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Circle Studio
May 1, 2017
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Yeah, I've been looking at Solid Edge. Seems like a good hybrid of parametric and direct modeling and I think it's still cheaper than SolidWorks.

I would be super interested to hear how you go with that.. I've been looking for a good CAD program for personal use for ages. Done lots of research and can't find anything that ticks all the boxes. I have been very intrigued by IronCAD, which has a super innovative primitive boolean push/pull approach unlike anything I've seen before. Still $6kUSD for one license, but more manageable than $20k :thumb:

Our school first teaches us solidworks because it's easier to learn the basics in solidworks and if you wish you can add nx to your program as an elective.

Interesting decision. Will you be doing the NX elective? It totally depends what part of the industry you plan to go into I think. Lots of industrial design consultancies operate entirely with SW. If you plan to work with a huge manufacturer like GM, Dyson or Apple however, a big chunk of them use NX.

Just a word of advice from experience, NX is weird in that some parts of it actually feel like a huge step down from SW. I still think the sketching tools in SW are WAY better than NX, and when I was making the switch, I was so frustrated by features I missed from SW. The thing is, NX uses a different paradigm. Instead of being so heavily reliant on sketches, NX uses the concept of curves, which is any sketch object, or any edge. So you can make extrudes and features with existing edges, and inside the extrude command you have heaps of options to offest and create detailed features from those curves, without even having to make a sketch. Convert entities? Not necessary in NX. This was so confusing to me at first. But now that I'm used to this new paradigm, I don't think I could go back. Using curves saves so much time.

Another weird niggle was that NX doesn't have 3D sketches. Again, I was so confused, but it actually uses a way better system. Instead of having to draw 3D splines in a sketch, each spline is just it's own feature, and can be attached to any object up to G3 curve continuity.

One of my favourite features in NX, is deleting attributes. You can select the whole model, and essentially 'flatten' it, which removes all the features in the tree, and leaves you with just dumb solid bodies. In SW, I wasted so many hours fixing the feature tree so it didn't fall apart. In NX, just delete all the features after a day of work, and start from the dumb solids the next day. It reduces the file size, speeds up the system, and because of the unbelievably powerful direct synchronous modelling tools, you're never limited by what you can then do with those solids.

The only time I'd use a full parametric feature tree, is when you're making a complex A-surface model for the shape of a product. It's easier to tweak the shape in that case. But for rudimentary geometric constructions often seen in computer design? Delete those features! If a CAD program doesn't have this capability, I don't think I could even consider switching, that's how much time it saves.

Man, I could talk about CAD all day. I'll stop now before this turns into a proper rant :)
 

darksidecookie

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Feb 1, 2016
115
141
I would be super interested to hear how you go with that.. I've been looking for a good CAD program for personal use for ages. Done lots of research and can't find anything that ticks all the boxes. I have been very intrigued by IronCAD, which has a super innovative primitive boolean push/pull approach unlike anything I've seen before. Still $6kUSD for one license, but more manageable than $20k :thumb:



Interesting decision. Will you be doing the NX elective? It totally depends what part of the industry you plan to go into I think. Lots of industrial design consultancies operate entirely with SW. If you plan to work with a huge manufacturer like GM, Dyson or Apple however, a big chunk of them use NX.

Just a word of advice from experience, NX is weird in that some parts of it actually feel like a huge step down from SW. I still think the sketching tools in SW are WAY better than NX, and when I was making the switch, I was so frustrated by features I missed from SW. The thing is, NX uses a different paradigm. Instead of being so heavily reliant on sketches, NX uses the concept of curves, which is any sketch object, or any edge. So you can make extrudes and features with existing edges, and inside the extrude command you have heaps of options to offest and create detailed features from those curves, without even having to make a sketch. Convert entities? Not necessary in NX. This was so confusing to me at first. But now that I'm used to this new paradigm, I don't think I could go back. Using curves saves so much time.

Another weird niggle was that NX doesn't have 3D sketches. Again, I was so confused, but it actually uses a way better system. Instead of having to draw 3D splines in a sketch, each spline is just it's own feature, and can be attached to any object up to G3 curve continuity.

One of my favourite features in NX, is deleting attributes. You can select the whole model, and essentially 'flatten' it, which removes all the features in the tree, and leaves you with just dumb solid bodies. In SW, I wasted so many hours fixing the feature tree so it didn't fall apart. In NX, just delete all the features after a day of work, and start from the dumb solids the next day. It reduces the file size, speeds up the system, and because of the unbelievably powerful direct synchronous modelling tools, you're never limited by what you can then do with those solids.

The only time I'd use a full parametric feature tree, is when you're making a complex A-surface model for the shape of a product. It's easier to tweak the shape in that case. But for rudimentary geometric constructions often seen in computer design? Delete those features! If a CAD program doesn't have this capability, I don't think I could even consider switching, that's how much time it saves.

Man, I could talk about CAD all day. I'll stop now before this turns into a proper rant :)
i'm actuely studying product design (i saw you instagram so i presume you are in the same sector?) and i intend to work in a design agency or internal design departement. But if that does not work out, than having the expiercinece with NX us a huge bonus because just being able to use NX garantees a job due to a big shortage of people who know how to use NX here in belgium. So regardless i'll be taking the elective.

And about the features missing in solidworks; in my expierince is it not that they are missing but rather that most of them are just broken or not stable enough to be usefull, that being said with enough time you will be able to do what you are trying to do but it is far from ideal.

Anyway nice to see a fellow designer interested in sff!
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
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Feb 22, 2015
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Done lots of research and can't find anything that ticks all the boxes.

Is there much similarity between NX and Solid Edge? I've no idea if Siemens has two completely separate dev teams for the two or if there's overlap.

I have been very intrigued by IronCAD

I tried it out a while ago, but it didn't really click for me. But I'd be curious to try it again now that I've gotten comfortable with SpaceClaim and CAD modeling in general.
 

Colinreay

Cable-Tie Ninja
Aug 28, 2016
198
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@darksidecookie @CircleTect, If you guys would be so generous, would it be okay if I ask a quick question about CAD?

I'm using Fusion 360 right now (still waiting for the seemingly perpetually delayed sheet metal update), and was wondering if it would be worth it to switch to Solid Works, primarily using it for enclosure design (it sounds like both of you guys have experience with it.)

Being a broke student halfway through high school, my options are pretty limited, but I was able to find a Solidworks key through my school's robotics team. It seems like Solidworks has more online tutorials/support (what I rely on w/o anyone to help me). In your guys' experience, was there anything particularly difficult when you were learning it? Thank you!
 

CircleTect

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Circle Studio
May 1, 2017
117
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In your guys' experience, was there anything particularly difficult when you were learning it? Thank you!

Ok, first of all.. you don't need a sheet metal module in your software package to model sheet metals. In fact, a lot of pro engineers don't like the sheet metal modules in some programs and prefer to do it manually. By manually I mean constructing the sheet metal body with simple extrudes, calculating the bend radii, applying fillets and then thickening one side of the sheet body by the thickness of the sheet metal. This will give you accurate sheet metal parts. You do have the benefit of being able to 'unwrap' sheet metal parts if you use the proper modules obviously, but you can leave that to the people in the factory making the actual parts - they have the software to do this easily from a STEP file.

And by the way, a STEP file is the default standard for manufacturing, so if your software doesn't export STEP, it's not designed for serious professional work.

In terms of which software to use - I started with SolidWorks and loved it. Any CAD program is going to be hard to learn, especially your first one. But once you've got the core principles of CAD under your belt, it gets easier and easier every time to switch to another program.

Now? I can't stand SW, but that's because I've been using top of the line industry standard software that is out of reach for most individuals. To me, SW throws up annoying error messages all the time, and the feature tree can sometimes break in a complex model, and lead to hundreds of wasted hours trying to retroactively fix features. Also, the way it handles assemblies is the most frustrating, locked in, proprietary thing I've ever seen and is very difficult to manage.

So returning to your question, is it worth the switch to SW from Fusion? I would say, are you competent in Fusion, can you get done what you need to do? If so, maybe stick with it. If you want to try out SW, which may benefit you in the future because so many people and companies use it, then go for it! FWIW, I bought the student license when I was at uni which was pretty cheap, but only lasted a year I think. A good way to see if you like it?
 
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Aibohphobia

aka James
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Feb 22, 2015
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you don't need a sheet metal module in your software package to model sheet metals.

Ah yes, that's very true.

In fact, a lot of pro engineers don't like the sheet metal modules in some programs and prefer to do it manually.

I guess I've been spoiled by SpaceClaim's sheet metal, which is quite good, and just assumed a sheet metal module would be a help and not a hindrance.

How's the sheet metal in NX? Someone on reddit says the sheet metal in Solid Edge is basically the same as NX.
 
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CircleTect

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Circle Studio
May 1, 2017
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How's the sheet metal in NX? Someone on reddit says the sheet metal in Solid Edge is basically the same as NX

I've heard it's pretty amazing but I haven't used it much as we only have 1 license for it and I don't have access to it (Yes, NX gates all its major features into separate license bundles). I model all my sheet metal parts manually. I find it quicker and easier than using SW sheet metal at least. Would love to give SpaceClaim a proper try one day.
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
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Feb 22, 2015
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I'm about halfway through the intro tutorial on SE and I'm liking it already. I'm thinking of doing a live stream Saturday or Sunday to play around with the sheet metal.

You could just get a trial of SpaceClaim to take it for a spin, I'd be curious what you think. If you have to make an account on their website to download the trial though, be sure to use a unique password. Last I checked they were still storing the passwords in plaintext :eek:
 
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SumGhai

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jun 14, 2016
147
175
This is definitely a necroing of an old post, but I didn't want to start a new thread just for asking some small advice.

I'm working in Inventor right now, and while I have most of the case figured out, I can't really figure out how to sketch and model the small slots/tabs that the PCIe bracket's keys slide into (on the bottom of the card, opposite of its flange) using Autodesk's sheet metal tools. I usually see others use a cut across a bend to hold the GPU in place (like in Project Jolokia or Project mATX), but I don't know if such a method would still be suitable when mounting the GPU parallel to the motherboard using a riser. I'm sure i'm not utilizing some tool or feature in Inventor properly to get what I'm looking for.

Edit: I also wanted to ask how I could transition from Inventor to Fusion 360. I'm bound to make the shift when my educational license for Inventor runs out. And with sheet metal coming to Fusion 360, I might not find a need for Inventor in the future for small mods and projects. Does anyone have any tutorials on exporting/importing projects between the two programs?
 
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cowy

Chassis Packer
Oct 19, 2017
13
1
im quite newbie to 3d printing, i wanna ask some really newbie question here.
the software mentioned above are for designing 3d file and generating .stl file am i right?
and what is cura or ideamaker actually?
what 3d design software do you recommend for newbie like me?