Tag: CAD

How to Make AutoCAD Quicker and Easier to Use – 3 AutoCAD Timesavers

How to Make AutoCAD Quicker and Easier to Use – 3 AutoCAD Timesavers

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

How to Make AutoCAD Quicker and Easier to Use – 3 AutoCAD Timesavers

AutoCAD has a lot of tools that are accessible to automate your work flow, and make your job easier, odds are, you’re already using a lot of them without realizing them.  What we’re going to cover today are ways that make these tools work more readily for you.

Tip number 1:  Use templates

In fact, you already are; whenever you create a new AutoCAD document, it loads up the default template.  However, if you’re going to be doing lots of variations on the same sort of design work and drawing, you may want to make your changes of all the things that are common among them and save that file as a template.  Templates are a great way to save time by setting unit types and drawing limits, setting your snap, grid and other drawing settings, organizing your layer information before you begin, and pre-set a lot of common information.

If you’re working for a business, odds are you’re using a company provided template that provides this consistency across multiple draftspersons.  You may end up using a client supplied template, and you’ll be told which templates to use – templates make sure the output from multiple workers is consistent (which is why businesses are big on them) and they can save you a lot of time…but only if they’re designed right from the beginning.

To make a new template, first get your parameters all set up, in a regular drawing.  Then go to File  > Save As and save it as a template.  It’s as easy as that – though you should make sure you save it in a folder you’ll be able to find later.

Tip number 2:  Object Snaps

Object Snaps (OSNAPS) are the most frustrating tool in AutoCAD.  Until you learn what they’re doing, and you wonder how you could’ve ever lived without them in the past.  An object snap is an attachment that you can tell to go to one of the gripping points on an existing object.  These gripping points are things like the centerpoint of an object, or the end point of a line segment.  An OSNAP lets you link an object to one of those attachment points with absolute certainty for provided attachment points.

It’s when you arrange OSNAPs that things get a little counterintuitive.  You can set OSNAPs that are designed to be perpendicular to a selected objects, click to the nearest object, run at a tangent, and even some intersection driven ones.  Try to use only the OSNAPs that are the most convenient for you with the project that you are working on.

Most OSNAPs are activated in ‘running mode’ – you type the command in the command buffer, and they just work.  While this is the fastest way to use a commonly repeated OSNAP, for people who don’t keep the arcane commands in their forebrains, AutoCAD has given iconic OSNAPs as well.  You can access them by bringing up the OSNAP dialog box, or by holding down the shift key and right clicking an object to pull up a context driven menu.  Even so, if you use a lot of OSNAPs, you’re eventually going to learn the three letter codes to use them at run time just to save yourself time.  (It also has the benefit of turning the OSNAP off once that command has been run.

Tip 3:  Learn The Commands

While we touched on it in the prior tip on using OSNAP, it’s always worth it to learn how to use the command line prompts for AutoCAD.  Typing three characters takes a fraction of a second, versus a few seconds for using a mouse to find the icon, navigate through the menu system, click OK, then repeat for turning off the functionality you just used.  It’s always faster to learn the keyboard shortcuts, and more than any other tip, these will save you the most time.

Crazy iPhone Madness in Solidworks

Crazy iPhone Madness in Solidworks

Saturday, February 24, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

Crazy iPhone Madness in Solidworks

Hey all!  So I’m back to talk about more of the many things that I have been up to lately.  One of these things was yet another enjoyable tutorial from the one and only Solidwork’s Mecca of learning….www.LearnSolidWorks.com.  Yes, once again I made my (what seems like weekly) pilgrimage to the great digital tomes of Solidworks knowledge to enlighten my inner Solidworks designer and to achieve a greater place of transcendental empowerment in Solidworks modeling design.  But the path to any kind of empowerment is not easy, and after many frantic nights of computer crashing, starting over from scratch, lots of mediation in the form of clicking on the power off icon on my computer and going to bed with a severely nasty headache, and yes…hair pulling; I finally arrived at a place of….well, maybe not great enlightenment, but I will say completion.  But, I did learn many wonderful, interesting things along the way.  Yes, Jan gave us yet another fulfilling tutorial in the form of designing one of those things we just cant live without these days (whether you like it or not)….the Apple iPhone.

This was definitely a fun little jaunt Solidworks modeling.  There was much to learn in customization of parts and appearances throughout the tutorials.  While designing iPhones was not too difficult of a project in itself; there were other minor areas such as creating the etching for the model stamping on the back of the iPhones, and more noticeably, creating the Apple logo for the iPhone 6 Plus model which was only provided with a sketch image of the logo.  Other areas of notability include changing the color of the etchings to display for rendering, adjusting the appearances and color of the screens, and adding and adjusting the screen decals to display properly and with enough luminosity to render properly.

The decals were probably the only real problem area of the tutorials.  I also found that the iPhone 3G model had several different appearances for the screen which included other appearances created before splitting the face of the front of the model to become the two seperate entities of the face and the touchscreen.  I had to do a bit of tweaking in order to get a good luminosity on the screen in order for it to render with enough ability to see the lightened touchscreen and its buttons.  The charger was relatively easy with a nice sweep involved in the creation of the cable.

This tutorial also came with some other useful information on rendering and the setup and arrangement of your assemblies for rendering processing.  These tutorials give us a little bit more information on rendering image size, lighting, gamma, camera creation and placement, and backgrounds and environments.  They are a great addition to have for any novice Solidworks designer just beginning to work with and understand the program.

Have fun and happy modeling!

CNC Hot Wire Foam Cutting Machine

CNC Hot Wire Foam Cutting Machine

Sunday, April 2, 2017 | By | Add a Comment
Auto CAD

CNC Hot Wire Foam Cutting Machine

A CNC hot wire foam cutter is a computer controlled machine used for mainly cutting Polystyrene foam (also known as EPS foam) and similar materials, such as polypropylene (Known as EPP) and polyethylene (known as PE).  The machine consists of a wire running between 2 towers, which is heated via a hot wire power supply, thus melting and cutting the foam into the desired shape.  The towers can move in an X-Axis (right-left) and a Y-Axis (up-down).

Cutting the foam is done in 3 basic steps:
1. Drawing the desired shape to be cut.
2. Converting the shape into G-Code
3. Running the machine with the software to execute the desired shape.

Any CAD software, such as AutoCAD or Corel Draw can be used for drawing the shape, as long as the file can be saved in a DXF format.  There are various CAD files in the market.  More recommended ones include Instant Engineer 14, which can be purchased online for few dollars, DesignCAD, AutoCAD and TurboCAD.  Another CAD software is DevFoam, that combines both the drawing and the G-Code generation.  It is a user friendly application for cutting foam with a 4 Axis CNC machine.

Next step is to convert the shape into G-Code.  The G-Code is another name for the computerized tool by which we tell the machine what to cut and how to cut it.  For the conversion one can use software such as DeskCNC, DevCAD or FoamWorks.
DeskCNC was originally designed for a 3 Axis CNC Router machines.  It was later on modified to enable a 4 Axis foam cutters to run as well.
FoamWorks is known for its simplicity and being a user friendly software.  It is designed to drive a 4 Axis foam cutter via a parallel port of any windows based computer.  It can cut any shape, but works best for cutting RC wings.

For the last stage of running the machine, software such as Mach3 and DeskCNC can be used.  The Mach3 program is a G-Code reader.  It allows you to turn your PC computer into a 4 Axis CNC controller for machining and cutting.  It is an operating system for running the CNC hot wire foam cutter.  It was originally developed for the home hobbyist, and later modified for use for any CNC machine operation for industrial use.

Revit Architecture

Revit Architecture

Saturday, February 25, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

RKO backlot main hotel views

RKO backlot main hotel views (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Revit Architecture

Those of us who know anything about BIM or Building Information Modeling know how much of an oh-so-joyous happy dandy fun time Revit Architecture can be.  With its tendencies for the user to have to be highly accurate in the development of a structure without having the ability to adjust measurements manually, Revit can be an extremely time consuming and often excruciatingly painstaking program to design fully developed construction in.

Rendering can be a whole other monster to deal with in itself.  Any project with a significant amount of At the school where I learned my Revit skills, we have wonderful 2 core processor Dell desktops which pretty much are good for doing a percentage of the floor plan work and unless you have several hours to spare, then forget about rendering big projects.  Especially if animation or 3DS Max plug-ins are used, then you should really expect to be spending a significantly lengthy amount of time rendering your projects.

Of course, now we have cloud-based rendering with the experimental plug-in dubbed Project Neon, located on Autodesk Labs which is in the beta phases and allows for the user to render their images through their Autodesk account instead of locally through their own computers.  But rendering a project is still very time consuming and the use of your Autodesk account is not always available (at such places like certain schools).  It is because of the complexity of the program and the time it takes to create each individual aspect of the entire program that the program in its entirety is not always taken advantage of in the workplace.

Just imagine the incredible and beautifully polished 3D designs that could be showcased during potential project bids in any given circumstance if the software were to develop with simplified convenience in mind.  Nevertheless, Revit still is a remarkable program and it is improving dramatically by the year.  I hope to see the day when rooms are created and developed with much simpler methods and randomly generated components and furniture are brought into the program.  These improvements, including the ability to freely manipulate measurements would make Revit an excellent program to use regularly in the workplace.

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.

The use of Solidworks design services in engineering products

The use of Solidworks design services in engineering products

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

The use of Solidworks design services in engineering products

In an engineering firm, you are often faced with a lot of tasks to achieve in a limited time frame.  You have your engineers fully engaged in mechanical designs of different specifications and standards.  You may have considered having more experts coming onboard to resolve your time constraint problems.  As true as this may be, you can have an option of hiring equally experienced experts through mechanical design services at a much affordable and realistic cost.

Outsourcing your non-core mechanical designs to mechanical design service companies which specialize in them is the modern approach to engineering today.  Many of them you’ll find around would handle your modeling in 3D, analyze your design specification and layout and provide the required output using latest engineering and design software such as computer aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) software.

If your company requires the services of the areas underlisted, you can make a call through to have them regularly fill your needs.

Mechanical engineering

• You can have services of the following readily available if you are in short of man hour to complete your mechanical engineering works.

• FEA analysis service

• Simulation and animation service

• Standardization of design

• Design modularization

• Design conversions from ISO to ANSI or otherwise

• 2D to 3D modeling conversion

• Design scaling

• Design quality measure and compliance

• You can also have services in value engineering

These services and much more will provide the cushion you’ll need to meet up your company’s target and within a considerably affordable budget.

Solid works design services

SolidWorks is one program employed by many engineers in their designs.  It is a windows based software that will give your design layout and sketch the modeling that meets the required specification. This is carried out through computer-aided design (CAD) and computer aided engineering technology (CAE) technologies.  As a service company will provide, you’ll get the best for your money’s worth and right on time too.

This mechanical design tool will bring out your product in the variant of the model you have requested.  With experts available, you have no need to bother what comes up on your request as all will be completed above and beyond your expectations.

FEA (Finite Element Analysis)

The structure of a design is known through its design components whether they measure up to standard or not, and are the pillars of the final product.  A well laid structure gives a good final product while on the contrary, a bad product is envisaged.

Finite element analysis service is one more area in your engineering work that can be handled outside your core projects.  Engineering designs are with standards and must meet specification. Therefore, the analysis of finite elements for qualitative and quantitative compliance will be well handled with the utmost professionalism of quality standards that are required.  The FEA services experts are experienced hands who would deliver as expected for your ongoing project.

Working with good engineering services provider is an added value you can access for your company.