Category: Featured

Solidworks Audi R8 Tutorial by Dan Lavoie

Solidworks Audi R8 Tutorial by Dan Lavoie

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 | By | Add a Comment


Solidworks Audi R8 Tutorial by Dan Lavoie

Well, hello again from your FAVORITE blogger!  I know, I know….I have had many a delay in posting my blogs as of late, but I have been excpetionally busy for some time now with many, many things which never seem to get accomplished and go away.  I have lately accomplished something worth blogging about, and I thought I would share it with you.  For anyone wanting to learn and practice surface modeling in Solidworks, there is a variety of tutorials available throughout the web.  Three key websites for Solidworks tutorials are: www.learnsolidworks.com, www.solidworkszen.com, and www.solidstufflearning.com.  The first two websites I mentioned have some very in-depth and advanced mechanical design tutorials.  I will go into more detail on these websites at a later time.  The last website I mentioned has amazing surface modeling tutorials available for a price.  But, hey, nothing is free in this world now, right?  In fact, things are REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY EXPENSIVE, aren’t they!!!!!  Even that piece of dirty half eaten, maggot infested, decaying, diseased chicken bone you just were caught stealing out of the garbage bin could potentially be pricey…..you just never know, do you?  Chances are something like that wouldn’t be pricey at all…..however, it could have been placed there as a marker for some member of a bloodthristy crime gang for whatever reasons, and you just took it….and interfered with their business, on their turf!  Like I said….you never know.  So, with that said, let me continue.  Where was I?  Oh yes, so right now, if you can fork out $90 for a Solidworks tutorial on this site, you can purchase a wonderful tutorial on how to model an Audi R8!  Just look at the stunning pictures I created of my Audi R8 from start to finish!  Wooooowwwwww, and who knew Solidworks could create such purrrdy pictures?  I do hope you have a LOT of time set aside to do this project if you are considering it, because it does take a bit of time to complete…..just a warning!  However, when you finally complete the project, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and you will learn quite a bit in the process, especially for people who need to have things shown over and over to them to get it through their thick heads, like me!  (Not from years of suffering fits of delerium from learning things like these projects…..no, not at all, hahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! :(:):((((!%$#%$#@!!!!!

When you purchase the download, you get access to a zip file that you must unzip and then you will get a media player software access to play the included video tutorials to complete the project.  Each video runs about a minute to three minutes max.

I found the project to be very informative and I thought that it instructed me well on a variety of fundamental functions in surface modeling.  These key designer methods are as follows, but are not limited to:

  • Curves and projected curves
  • Converting Entities
  • Splitting surfaces and split lines
  • Offsetting lines and surfaces
  • The spline and relations
  • The use of vertical, horizontal, perpendicular, parallel, tangent, and other relations
  • Piercing endpoints to other lines
  • Planes and sketching on planes to create complex shapes in difficult areas
  • Extruded boss/bases, extruded cuts, revolved boss/bases, revolved cuts, lofted boss/bases, swept boss/bases
  • Boundary surfaces
  • Trimming surfaces and entities
  • Cut with surface
  • Knitting surfaces
  • Deleting faces and bodies
  • Fillets
  • Thickening surfaces
  • Combining bodies
  • Cut, copy, pasting and moving entities and bodies
  • And many more!

This was an extremely fulfilling tutorial on all fronts.  I felt it showed me and ingrained some of the essential things that any modeler needs to be introduced to surface modeling in Solidworks. If you have $90 available and you are willing to set aside some time to work on a project like this, then I would highly recommend that you try this tutorial.  Not only is there an Audi R8 tutorial available now at half the price, there is also a tutorial on creating an F16 fighter jet, a Ferrari F-430 tutorial, and a Lamborghini Gallardo tutorial available now at HALF THE PRICE!

With that said, I wish you luck.  I am going to go now and work on my next project.  YAY!

 

Star Citizen: Working towards v3.0

Star Citizen: Working towards v3.0

Sunday, October 1, 2017 | By | Add a Comment


Star Citizen: Working towards v3.0

And now, for the update you’ve all been waiting for….that game which everyone is eagerly awaiting for….Star Citizen 3.0!  Star Citizen 3.0 has been postponed for quite some time now, with its July due date now spreading into October.  There are new worlds, game improvements, ship and vehicle additions, hangar and item additions, new weaponry, and many, many bugs and problems that need to be fixed.  So, when can we expect the release of one of the most anticipated games of the year?  I sure would like to know when I will be able to fly my Constellation Aquila to explore some new worlds, as well as finally play some storyline campaigns as well, instead of the small quests and space racing they have had for many a long year and a long season now.

Here are some words about the 3.0 expansion from the developers:

Like the Star Citizen Alpha numbering change from 1.3 to 2.0 for the move to Large World, with its 64-bit precision and Local Grid physics tech, that allows us to deliver a game of our detail at a solar system scale, 3.0 represents a giant jump in gameplay potential from the code in the 2.x branch. For a start, it will contain about nine months of our main development branch beyond 2.6.x as well as almost two years of Planetary Tech development that the Frankfurt Engine team embarked on in the last half of 2015. The Planetary Tech opens up a whole new landscape (pun intended) for adventure. In the same way that Large World and Physics Grids created new possibilities in gameplay by allowing players to go from walking around a space station to boarding a ship, flying it hundreds of thousands of kilometers, exiting their pilot seat, walking to an airlock, opening it and EVAing over to a derelict station, all from the same point of view, the Planetary Tech takes it one massive leap further. When you see a Planet or Moon, you will be able to fly there, land and explore on foot, or from your ship or a ground vehicle you have brought with you.

3.0 is supposed to open up the Star Citizen universe for the players to explore and begin their adventuring on the available planets with more in production as the game progresses.  Version 3.2 will provide us with more updates and most likely more planets and additions as well.

Here is the link to the original webpage detailing the timeline for the release of Star Citizen 3.0: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/schedule-report.

I don’t know about you other Star Citizeners out there, but I am ready to build my stronghold off of raiding and lots of other nastiness.  Isn’t that what life in a universe is all about?

Happy gaming!

Can we optimize Revit for interference checking?

Can we optimize Revit for interference checking?

Sunday, February 19, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Can we optimize Revit for interference checking?

Well, people who are not related to construction industry get confused when they hear that Revit can also be used for determining clashes between models.  The reason for that is, normally Navisworks is optimized by AEC professionals for executing clash detection services.  When client companies get to know that clashes between model elements can also be figured out in Revit they are often shocked to hear that.

But the fact remains that, Revit is the most powerful software developed by Autodesk.  It can perform many functions apart from modeling which is its specialty.  For example the software, helps architects and engineers in coordinating multidiscipline models, creating sketches and for providing realistic effects to the models by rendering them.  In fact Revit coordination modeling services have become very popular among AEC professionals now days.

However, its Interference checking feature is very important for design development teams.  Interferences between architecture, structure and MEP models can be easily figured out in Revit by BIM modelers.  First of all, when all the different models are developed by a same company, it becomes very convenient for the multidiscipline design development teams to collaborate with for determining clashes.

Revit users can determine clashes between their own model elements, as well as between multidiscipline models such as between architectural and structural model.

A quite simple method is applied by Revit users to find out clashes.  When clashes are determined within the model elements of a single model, its users simply have to compare the location of various elements.  By comparing their location, engineers can easily understand whether they are colliding with each other or not.  If in case location assigned for a model element does not interfere with the location of other model element that means there are no issues between them.  But if two or more than two model elements interfere with each other’s location that means there is a problem in the design. And hence clashes can be determined easily.

The same formula is applied when it comes to determining clashes between different models.  In this case Revit users are first required to link a model into the host model.  Once the model is linked its users have to compare the locations of the elements of a host model and linked model.  This helps in figuring out whether the model elements of host and linked model are fighting for the same location or not.  If in case they are fighting for a same location that means they are interfering with each other.

In this way Revit users can figure out all the clashes and can eliminate them in time before they could become a serious problem for architects and engineers.

Using Revit MEP for Ductwork Modelling and Ductwork Fabrication

Using Revit MEP for Ductwork Modelling and Ductwork Fabrication

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Using Revit MEP for Ductwork Modelling and Ductwork Fabrication

Having been in the CAD architectural design field for some time now, I have had the opportunity and experience in working in building framing design and ductwork layout.  For a majority of my experience in this field, I have used a variety of CAD related programs including AutoCAD and Navisworks to do the work which is necessary to do in 3D or 4D views.  Revit is quickly becoming an industry standard in the architectural design field, and it is continually upgrading itself to accomodate all of the areas necessary for architectural drafters and designers to accomplish their needs.  Several of the architectural firms I have worked for were in the initial stages of adopting this program, and its use will be widespread in the near future.

Revit is a useful tool in the AEC industry since it was introduced. It has effectively enabled organisations to minimise the possible on-site concerns and helped to lower the overall project cost.  Revit MEP covers of all of the main services including ductwork modelling which is the subject of this particular article and specifically how it is used for modelling and how it is now being used for fabrication.

Focusing firstly on ductwork as a discipline, ductwork is a core feature of MEP design projects as it facilitates heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) for regulating the air flow and to maintain acceptable indoor air quality as well as thermal comfort.

Duct work essentially comes in three types of shape – circular, elliptical and rectangular and they are designed to be fitted at varied elevation levels.  Revit has provided an array of options in its latest update for design ductwork models, yet there are many challenges when modelling ductwork in Revit.  Ductwork is unique in design for each of the structures and all element expose different challenges while designing.  BIM services modellers must create ductwork models to accommodate customised frames, windows, fittings and complex routings.  Specific outlets are also required to be designed for ductwork to fit in the outlets as well as to leave adequate space for electrical and plumbing requirements.

As well as different shapes, ductwork has to modelled in different sizes as well, to suit the design requirements along with the factors such as flow of air and mode of discharge or exhaust.  An oversized duct may pose design challenges such as failing to accommodate the electrical and plumbing requirements and under sized duct may result in a serious design flaw and may not be able to hold the desired amount of air flow.  Ductwork modellers typically model to a high level of detail (LOD), typically at LOD 300 and increasingly at LOD 350.

Although it is only a component of MEP design, ductwork modelling does require expert inputs and precise layout plans to create a clash free duct network for building and engineering projects.  This can seamlessly accommodate plumbing and electrical lines without causing costly design changes at construction level.  Pre-Revit, the industry used AutoCAD MEP, as well as other specialist tools and add-ons such as CAD Duct to create ductwork models.  When Revit was introduced it had a number of shortfalls and incomplete areas for mechanical services and indeed for ductwork.  However later versions have addressed earlier shortfalls and the tool is at a stage where it can be used for detailed design to address the challenges and requirements detailed above but also for interfacing with fabrication level detail, which will be discussed further below.

As well as modelling capability, Revit also provides other advantages such as providing quantity take-offs at an early stage, which helps to avoid costly design changes in the later part of the design process and provides accurate quantities for ductwork, insulation and other materials.  Even though seamless ductwork models are prepared using Revit, the functionality of the design files across other platforms had remained limited.  For instance, when the ductwork model files designed in Revit had to be used for fabrication purposes on related software, due to its incompatibility on these softwares, the duct layouts had to be re-modelled leading to time delays and a more expensive fabrication process, resulting in fabrication errors which can have negative implications while assembling the ductwork.

To overcome the limitations for fabrication, Autodesk updated Revit features for ductwork modelling in its latest version – Revit 2017.  Revit 2017 now has tools to design duct fabrication which are included within the package.  This enables designers and modellers to create the ductwork models, layouts and designs for the entire project lifecycle, including fabrication teams.  The files which have wider compatibility for fabrication tools such as FABMEP help designers and modellers to design ductwork seamlessly over various platforms and save the project in a single file without affecting the actual design.  Historically, this level of interoperability has not been experienced from design, detailing and finally through to fabrication and in the future – facilities management.

In summary, Revit MEP is an established tool for ductwork modeling and it does address the core elements of a ductwork system and allow a reasonably sound set of design drawings to be issued.  The challenge for fabrication from Revit was always a concern and as briefly discussed, Autodesk have now started to address this and we are seeing fabrication interoperability at last.  Added to this is the fact that Revit is working more closely with fabrication tools in its own right and therefore the fabrication (manufacturing) industry is now starting adoption of Revit models in a way that has not previously been experienced.  The end game will surely mean accurate designs, delivered faster and therefore more efficiently – helping to reduce costs and improve timescales in the engineering and building industry.

Revit Families for Beginners

Revit Families for Beginners

Sunday, January 29, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Revit Families for Beginners

Many fresh Revit technicians or architects who go through Revit training spend quite a lot of time in understanding the concepts behind developing BIM families.  Understanding the concepts and analyzing the role of Revit families in a particular project is very important.  Creating Revit content or families is vital for every BIM project, regardless of project size or complexity.

How to get there, is the question?  Let us talk about the concept and give beginners an idea of this essential part of BIM.

Revit family and content creation, is considered extremely important in the field of BIM.  Companies aim to develop families in order the maintain a seamless work flow within projects.  What are Revit families and why are they so important?

Basic Overview :
As discussed earlier, families constitute of elements with similar parameters which are the building blocks of a revit model.  Revit families can be simple or parametric in nature.  Parametric families are extremely important and sought after widely owing to its multiple advantages.  Families can be created from scratch depending on building requirements and later modified according to right project environment.

Types of Families:
Revit families can be categorized under Architectural , Structural, HVAC Electrical, Fire protection and Plumbing families.  Ceilings, doors, windows, furniture, fixtures, walls, curtain walls, etc., fall under Architectural Revit families.  Pipes, faucets, tubs, pots, toilets fall under Plumbing category while air diffusers and conduits are developed under HVAC and Electrical categories respectively.  You cannot modify or change the categories available within the Revit software but you can add types of families required.

There can be numerous variants within same family types.  These variants can have different dimensions, material specifications and parameters that differentiate each family variant from another one.  For example a kitchen faucet can have 3 variants, one can be small with a steel finish,  another can be a bit large with a porcelain finish, and one can be an oval shape with a tile finish.  Key concern is the parameter that is used and the values given to them.  The key point to note is that these four variations have the same set of parameters; however, the value of those parameters varies.  Parametric Revit families can be used within any project environment.

Changing or adding parameters is a tricky part.  All Revit modelers need to identify the difference between modifying parameters of family groups and individual families.

Auto CAD DXF Three Common Mistakes That People Make When Converting Patterns to DXF-AAMA File Format

Auto CAD DXF Three Common Mistakes That People Make When Converting Patterns to DXF-AAMA File Format

Sunday, January 29, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Auto CAD DXF Three Common Mistakes That People Make When Converting Patterns to DXF-AAMA File Format

Hello my readers, the modern world of fashion design and smart fashion requires the use of computer technology and, of course, the use of a variety of computer applications to work with creating modern apparel in precise designs and dimensions.  The success of a modern fashion label requires the knowledge and use of this technology to stay on top and ahead of the global competition in the fashion world.  In researching the use of nesting programs used in fashion production, I found some interesting information regarding the use of DXF files, which are AutoCAD related files, or Drawing Exchange Format files.  These files are used often in nesting programs, where these files are placed on a layout that is used to cut the specific pieces according to the nested file’s dimensions.  The original design and dimensions are created in a program such as AutoCAD, and then imported into a nesting program where they are placed to be cut or sewn on a machine for mass production.  So, please take the time to read some of these mistakes commonly made by people when they are trying to convert a pattern into this type of file.

DXF-AAMA is a file format developed by the American Apparel Manufacturers Association in an attempt to solve the difficulties of using DXF files.  Now when talking about converting a pattern into a DXF (Drawing exchange Format. ) you will find that your converted pattern does not contains neither scale or units nor usually any method of reliably describing what needs to be cut, drawn, drilled or notched in your pattern file however, this file is the most commonly used format for exchange of drawing files.  Listed below, are three of the most commonly made mistakes made by people not software when trying to convert a pattern into this type of file.

1rst Problem: Thinking that your pattern will be a print file and not a cut file.

Thinking that your converted DXF CAD pattern file will be kept in a computer system for further modifications is a common mistake.  Most of the time, your converted file pattern will be neither needed nor wanted.  The purpose of the document is to generate tool paths for a machine.  So keep that in mind when formatting and exporting.  In most cases nobody will need to open the drawing in a CAD program, so eliminate what is not essential.  Think about what is needed in a drawing, format and export accordingly.

2rd problem: Not making the outline of your pattern into one closed polyline creating nesting problems.

In computer graphics a polygonal chain is called a polyline and is often used to approximate curved paths. Not closing your pattern outline will create problems when nesting your pattern and processing your DXF file.

3rd problem: Including objects in a drawing that are unnecessary.

Information such as Fabric type, sewing details, pattern codes, designer comments etc.  They all should not be included in your pattern as these will obstruct the conversion process.  Think of a way to hide or make invisible these text blocks put a reference layer or delete all information before exporting to DXF.

To conclude, three of the most common AAMA DXF pattern conversion mistakes are done by people and not by software.  Converting a pattern into a DXF (Drawing exchange Format.) will allow other CAD programs to read and import your digital pattern into tangent or any other nesting and plotting programs.  Some information lost in the conversion process include: No available information to find if your pattern has a scale or units, notching information, drill marks etc.  Not making the outline of your pattern into one close polyline and including non essential objects like text blocks all around a pattern will all contribute to badly formatted DXF files.

Occupation: Designer/ Prod. Pattern Making Consultant Leading Technical Designer, Alejandro Esparza owner of www.smartpatternmaking.com has provided for over 23 years, Auto CAD DXF and DXF-AAMA pattern converting services to many top manufacturing companies of our time in Los Angeles CA USA.