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jammyozzy
Dec 7, 2006

Is that a challenge?

One word: spacemouse. I'm at the point where I keep reaching for it while playing city-builders at home, and watching people at work manipulate models without one is almost physically painful.

*E* Wow that was a terrible snipe. Instead of my non-stop bitching, what is everyone's favourite feature of the CAD package(s) they use? For me right now it's NX's synchronous modelling features, aka "butcher this model with reckless abandon". I'd never use it on a real finished part, but for just mocking up quick ideas and hacking together non-parametric models it's really excellent. I'm working on a project right now with a lot of different companies involved and models being passed back and forth, and being able to go in and essentially brute force someone else's imported model has been a lifesaver.

jammyozzy fucked around with this message at 20:38 on Apr 20, 2021

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NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



I really miss Rhino from time to time. I'll really have to pick up another license sometime. Modeling in a coordinate system is so fun.

I think I'll always miss Fusion at least a little out of nostalgia, even though I'm substantially more competent and speedy with SOLIDWORKS.

Shapr3D was super fun, but I think I really just miss modeling on an iPad.

SOLIDWORKS CAM, despite being diet CAMworks, is probably my favorite included feature. I really like how it handles materials, and that it's super customization forward. It's so fun.

Cory Parsnipson
Nov 15, 2015


I've been using FreeCAD and I like it so far, although my total CAD experience is only about 30 days long. I really like the parametric sketching system and thought that it worked pretty well, despite being somewhat eccentric. Recently I had to upgrade to the latest version for some reason and I've got a couple new gripes with it.

They released 0.19 of FreeCAD like two weeks ago or something and it's much buggier than version 0.18 which was awesome. For one, the "Ok" and "Cancel" buttons and every other button in the UI is bugged so that it only responds if you click exactly on the text and not anywhere else in the button. They also did something to the grid which makes it not show up half the time and that's more serious. There's allegedly thousands of bug fixes in 0.19 and the release is so new that I think the regressions will probably get fixed really quickly, so the situation will get better very soon.

I've also had the unfortunate experience of stumbling across their forums and hooo boy is it a poo poo show. There's a small group of developers and regulars in the "Help with FreeCAD" section of the forum for newbies that's so incredibly hostile and condescending that I'm surprised that almost none of the people asking for help comment on how rude everyone is. If you have the hapless fate of having to ask for help there, make sure you don't forget to paste your version info in your post or they'll make lovely passive aggressive comments about your reading comprehension without actually helping. On the flipside, if you're looking for a hoot I recommend dropping by and reading some threads because it's got a whole bunch of odd characters on both sides of the fence.

Random FreeCAD dickhead posted:

So you had 1 failed loft and you ask a question that implies all lofts fail?

You're going on my ignore list.

Same FreeCAD dickhead posted:

I'd be surprised if somebody that is unable to use a spellchecker, would be able to overhaul anything.

At least most of the documentation is spelled correctly!

some FreeCAD dev dickhead posted:

You don't like to read much, I'll try to be short: Use Sketcher. It has a trim function. Then use Path workbench. The dragknife dressup may be suitable for pizza cutting.

Another FreeCAD dickhead posted:

Try MS paint ought to be simple enough.....



Anyway, I'm thinking about maybe getting an EAA license for SolidWorks because I don't want to have anything to do with people like that and that's a shame because I think the software is pretty sweet.

Cory Parsnipson fucked around with this message at 09:12 on Apr 21, 2021

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

Ugh, I hate SolidworksCAM/CAMWorks.

It's fine in a single-user environment but absolutely blows chunks once more than one user is involved.

Zero PDM compatibility because it uses local PC temporary files (a whole other WTF decision) to store CAM data associated with a model file, absolutely lovely TechDB implementation if a network is involved, etc.

It's great basic-level hobbyist CAM, but I've got 11 year old CAM software at work that still has more quality-of-life programming features than it does.

Like, multiple toolpath patterning? In my ancient CAM software when I pattern tool paths there is a prompt asking if I want to pattern operations to consolidate tool changes or maintain the existing tool change workflow (useful when machining flexible materials that will contract after machining and where feature alignment is more critical than outright "speed"). in CAMWORKS I have to manually program the entire workflow I want, pain in my rear end.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



K

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



Cory Parsnipson posted:

I've also had the unfortunate experience of stumbling across their forums and hooo boy is it a poo poo show....

Had a skim. Looks like a few people in particular are responsible for much of the venom.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time


My favorite thing about CAMWorks is that, for all the bragging their resellers do about integration with Solidworks, they can't even integrate it so that something as basic as the Undo command works correctly within CAMWorks (while the MasterCAM plugin does work correctly in this way, also the defunct HSMWorks and other programs like it). It's a simple thing, but you wouldn't believe how big a mess of broken toolpaths will be created if you're working on a complex part and accidentally hit Undo while working in the CAM tabs.

If you're a hobbyist wanting to get into CAM, your best bet is something like V-carve or Kipware, depending on the workflow you want.

EDIT: Maybe something like the offerings by a goofy company named Dolphin?

biracial bear for uncut fucked around with this message at 14:23 on Apr 21, 2021

Sagebrush
Feb 26, 2012


"Why does that Subaru break down every time you look at it, Travis", Punchy said. I nearly fell out of the jump seat in my Brat, aghast. "That thing a princess?" I coughed and gulped. "Hahahaha, nice one, Punchy", I said

Yeah CAMWorks / built-in solidworks CAM is garbage imo. It's amazingly janky and poorly integrated for something that's included with the package.

HSMWorks is the best integrated solidworks CAM but I'm a little worried about its future since it's now an Autodesk product (it's what they used to build the Fusion 360 CAM).

As for stuff I like about my software: my favorite feature in Rhino changes all the time because I'm always discovering some cool new command that's really handy. You can pick up the basic modeling with booleans or whatever in like half an hour, but it's an incredibly deep program when you start digging. I guess what I always love is tools like blendSrf and extractIsocurve and setPt and endBulge that help you make exactly the shape you want, not an approximation. That matters to me and only Rhino and Alias can do it to that level.

Sagebrush fucked around with this message at 15:40 on Apr 21, 2021

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

Sagebrush posted:

Yeah CAMWorks / built-in solidworks CAM is garbage. It's amazingly janky and poorly integrated for something that's included with the package.

HSMWorks is the best integrated solidworks CAM but I'm a little worried about its future since it's now an Autodesk product (it's what they used to build the Fusion 360 CAM).

I can confirm that it was officially discontinued as far as support for Solidworks goes (it is the foundation for the CAM used in Fusion360, as a matter of fact), at least as of 2019 (though they may have changed their mind depending on how well that complaint campaign went).

EDIT: Looks like they did bring it back, also HSMXpress is free if you have a throwaway email address for marketing spam and 2.5D is as much CAM as you require.

https://www.autodesk.com/products/hsmworks/overview?term=1-YEAR#!

biracial bear for uncut fucked around with this message at 15:53 on Apr 21, 2021

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Not even as a reseller, it's because the prompt was "what do you enjoy about your CAD software?" I answered honestly, and every time CAMworks comes up, you just can't help yourself.

I'm having fun with it. I'm not in sales, and I sure as poo poo am not bringing things here I'm not actually interested in and having fun with. I'm not in a production shop anymore, I'm just doing my thing and sharing the stuff I'm having fun with.

It's okay to have different preferences, I just find it hilarious that any mention of enjoying CAMworks gives biracial the unavoidable urge to make it known how bad his relationship is with it.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

I guess there would be a difference in loving around with a software for fun vs. being forced to use it in a high-stress production environment.

Imagine being required to use OpenSCAD to generate 3d models for a production environment instead of Solidworks.

oXDemosthenesXo
May 9, 2005


Grimey Drawer

At my first job about ten years ago I had to create and edit production drawings in og AutoCAD. Not create drawings from 3D CAD, create them directly with lines.

This was to maintain compatibility with the legacy drawings dating back to the 60s that were kept in the fireproof vault.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



biracial bear for uncut posted:

I guess there would be a difference in loving around with a software for fun vs. being forced to use it in a high-stress production environment.

Imagine being required to use OpenSCAD to generate 3d models for a production environment instead of Solidworks.

You should talk to your boss, VAR, or therapist about it instead of taking it out on folks saying they're enjoying something.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

oXDemosthenesXo posted:

At my first job about ten years ago I had to create and edit production drawings in og AutoCAD. Not create drawings from 3D CAD, create them directly with lines.

This was to maintain compatibility with the legacy drawings dating back to the 60s that were kept in the fireproof vault.

Oh, we still have that, too. Legacy CAD systems for legacy product support, Solidworks seat just for design of one product line and CAMWorks to generate CNC programs for that product line.


NewFatMike posted:

You should talk to your boss, VAR, or therapist about it instead of taking it out on folks saying they're enjoying something.

Me calling the software garbage is not taking anything out on anybody. Also my boss agrees with me, but he doesn't hold the purse strings on capital expenditures.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



What I'm trying to convey here is that your response is disproportionate in the extreme. I'm genuinely trying to be kind here.

I've really tried to build this bridge with you before and be supportive, because I like hanging out with fellow CAD geeks, but you really like to take any instance of bringing up CAMworks as an excuse to air your latest screed about it.

Sucks that it's not a good for you and your work, but can you like not drop a payload on any thread where it comes up? I'm actually interested in folks' responses to "what feature do you like?"

Cory Parsnipson
Nov 15, 2015


Dominoes posted:

Had a skim. Looks like a few people in particular are responsible for much of the venom.

Yeah it's only like 2-3 people, but they're extremely active in the newbie forum. I mean of course there's thousands of people who are involved with freecad who aren't posting like that. Going into the help forum put a bad taste in my mouth.

Cory Parsnipson fucked around with this message at 17:57 on Apr 21, 2021

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



That's a bummer about the forums, I stumbled on a few FreeCAD patreons a while back and they seem like they're working really hard. It's a super cool and accessible product.

Have you checked out any Joko Engineering Help or Way of Wood videos for topics on FreeCAD? They do quite a few, if there's a particular technique you're looking for.

Cory Parsnipson
Nov 15, 2015


NewFatMike posted:

That's a bummer about the forums, I stumbled on a few FreeCAD patreons a while back and they seem like they're working really hard. It's a super cool and accessible product.

Have you checked out any Joko Engineering Help or Way of Wood videos for topics on FreeCAD? They do quite a few, if there's a particular technique you're looking for.

Nope didn't know about those. I'll have a look, thanks!

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

NewFatMike posted:

What I'm trying to convey here is that your response is disproportionate in the extreme. I'm genuinely trying to be kind here.

I've really tried to build this bridge with you before and be supportive, because I like hanging out with fellow CAD geeks, but you really like to take any instance of bringing up CAMworks as an excuse to air your latest screed about it.

Sucks that it's not a good for you and your work, but can you like not drop a payload on any thread where it comes up? I'm actually interested in folks' responses to "what feature do you like?"

So you're taking issue with my "tone" and not the actual substance of my complaints about the software? Did you gloss over where I said this:

biracial bear for uncut posted:

It's great basic-level hobbyist CAM, but I've got 11 year old CAM software at work that still has more quality-of-life programming features than it does.

There are far better options out there (many of them even free, or next-to-free) that will do the job most of the folks in this sub-forum want to do, without any of the quirky/janky headaches of the software you're defending.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



I'm not defending the software, I really don't know where you're getting that from. I'm just trying to politely ask you not to dump your latest frustrations about the loving pack in CAM all over any thread where anyone dare publicly enjoy it.

Although, based on the av, I'm not really surprised that my genuine request that you dig deep and reflect on how your behavior impacts others' enjoyment has not gone well.

I'm disengaging. You have valuable and appreciated input on many other topics and I hope the conversation steers towards those waters. I hope that in the future, when folks publicly enjoy something, your first response is to enjoy their enjoyment and not to post your latest manifesto on why thing they enjoy is bad.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

I disabled avatars and signatures back when a previous group of moderators thought it was funny to give gay porn avatars to people that posted in a D&D thread about racism in the US during Trump's first campaign, but only those that said it is still a huge problem (& also rename posters while doing so, I didn't pick this screen name).

There really needs to be a specific CAM thread anyway, because differentiating between CAM for subtractive manufacturing and additive manufacturing could be its own topic.

biracial bear for uncut fucked around with this message at 00:57 on Apr 22, 2021

Sagebrush
Feb 26, 2012


"Why does that Subaru break down every time you look at it, Travis", Punchy said. I nearly fell out of the jump seat in my Brat, aghast. "That thing a princess?" I coughed and gulped. "Hahahaha, nice one, Punchy", I said

There's already a hobby CNC thread which is sleepy and totally appropriate for CAM-specific questions. I think this thread is supposed to be for the modeling part, especially for additive work, since it grew out of the 3D printing thread.

I like that it's absorbed some of the 3D printing thread's animosity too

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

Sagebrush posted:

There's already a hobby CNC thread which is sleepy and totally appropriate for CAM-specific questions. I think this thread is supposed to be for the modeling part, especially for additive work, since it grew out of the 3D printing thread.

I like that it's absorbed some of the 3D printing thread's animosity too

I thought the hobby CNC thread was more geared towards the setup of the hardware side of things (good hobby level suggestions for drivers, power supplies, etc.).

Still wish I had room to set up and experiment with one of those hilarious Maslow CNC builds for the rough woodworking hobby poo poo people in my area like to buy because I'd love to get some supplemental income going.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



I just got served an instagram ad for some company selling those Maslows as a kit - aren't they like crazy cheap to build in the first place?

E: yeah, $500 for a 4' x 8' is great - especially since it's not bad on footprint.

NewFatMike fucked around with this message at 13:30 on Apr 22, 2021

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

NewFatMike posted:

I just got served an instagram ad for some company selling those Maslows as a kit - aren't they like crazy cheap to build in the first place?

E: yeah, $500 for a 4' x 8' is great - especially since it's not bad on footprint.

Depends wildly on the local cost of lumber/an assortment of bricks to get the counterweights right, but yeah.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Grimey Drawer

What's the goto portable shareable file format? I'm working on a machine project and one supplier is using Solidworks, another is using SolidEdge. IGES? Step?

sharkytm
Oct 9, 2003

Gimme Gimme Swedish Fish...



Fallen Rib

Yooper posted:

What's the goto portable shareable file format? I'm working on a machine project and one supplier is using Solidworks, another is using SolidEdge. IGES? Step?

STEP or IGES both work. They both suck, but work.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

Yooper posted:

What's the goto portable shareable file format? I'm working on a machine project and one supplier is using Solidworks, another is using SolidEdge. IGES? Step?

For those specific programs, SolidEdge can open Solidworks files: http://www.soliddna.com/SEHelp/ST5/EN/i_v/opensw1a.htm

And Solidworks can open SolidEdge files: https://help.solidworks.com/2020/english/SolidWorks/sldworks/t_Solid_Edge_Files.htm

So whatever you're using, each supplier can open the other format. Just make sure to Pack-and-Go when sending stuff.

EDIT: This is because both companies use the same foundation format for their file structures, but different interfaces.

biracial bear for uncut fucked around with this message at 15:16 on Apr 22, 2021

sharkytm
Oct 9, 2003

Gimme Gimme Swedish Fish...



Fallen Rib

biracial bear for uncut posted:

For those specific programs, SolidEdge can open Solidworks files: http://www.soliddna.com/SEHelp/ST5/EN/i_v/opensw1a.htm

And Solidworks can open SolidEdge files: https://help.solidworks.com/2020/english/SolidWorks/sldworks/t_Solid_Edge_Files.htm

So whatever you're using, each supplier can open the other format. Just make sure to Pack-and-Go when sending stuff.

EDIT: This is because both companies use the same foundation format for their file structures, but different interfaces.

There may be version incompatabilities. I've had rotten luck with this in the past.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



3D Interconnect is usually pretty good on the SOLIDWORKS side - are you going to be editing the geometry or just including it in assemblies/drawings?

If you're not editing, it'll be great.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Grimey Drawer

NewFatMike posted:

If you're not editing, it'll be great.

In this case it's one piece of a larger machine bolting up to another suppliers assembly. All they need is bolt locations and poo poo. So I should be good!

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

If all they need is bolt locations, exporting the normal-to view of each bolt hole pattern in 1:1 DXF formats should be good for their purposes.

Sagebrush
Feb 26, 2012


"Why does that Subaru break down every time you look at it, Travis", Punchy said. I nearly fell out of the jump seat in my Brat, aghast. "That thing a princess?" I coughed and gulped. "Hahahaha, nice one, Punchy", I said

It can be tricky to interchange parametric models because they aren't really fixed geometric information, like say a JPEG. They're a list of commands and operations used to build the model, like HTML. SolidWorks files do include the raw geometry of the last-saved rebuild of the file, but if that's all you need, just export as STEP and avoid all the interchange problems.

Technically both STEP and IGES are equivalent, but in my experience STEP produces better surface patches.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



I really hate working with IGES imports - it's like 50/50 if it comes through as a totally unknit surface body in SOLIDWORKS. STEP all day, especially if it's a fancy STEP 242 that brings in all the callouts in 3D.

Ambrose Burnside
Aug 29, 2007

pensive


Sagebrush posted:

"feature failed due to geometric condition" hell yeah i love useful information

"the feature could not be created because it would result in zero-thickness geometry." no, actually, it would result in two coincident edges, which is totally fine for a solid model, and i know precisely what i'm doing. thanks for helpfully stopping me though

"this feature cannot be patterned with the geometry pattern option. try deselecting the geometry pattern option" oh ok so you know exactly what the problem is but you still haven't fixed it after literal decades and just pop up an error saying don't do that. great

just reading this is very gently traumatizing


Sagebrush posted:

There's already a hobby CNC thread which is sleepy and totally appropriate for CAM-specific questions. I think this thread is supposed to be for the modeling part, especially for additive work, since it grew out of the 3D printing thread.

I like that it's absorbed some of the 3D printing thread's animosity too

yeah this was intended as a CAD-specific catch-all thread, no reason CAM stuff can’t also get discussed but I don’t really see the same need for a dedicated thread for that specifically because it really is better-suited to multiple, more focused discussions in the attendant megathreads (cnc, 3d printing etc). different flavours of CAD posting are complementary and the knowledge involved carries over substantially between specializations, but CAM is inevitably highly-specialized without nearly as much of that crossover value. for example, the CAD aspects of designing a machined vs printed vs laser-cut part have a lot of overlap and something you learn doing one extends to the others, which makes me want more exposure to other types of CAD work that’s out there; on the other hand the CAM side of things are almost entirely disparate and require their own distinct skill/knowledge-sets. The machinist must understand fixturing and feeds/speeds to do anything safely, yet those have almost no applicability to the other two manufacturing techniques, and learning them won’t really benefit your own work. Having multiple focused CAM communities is also imo more conducive to focused and deep technical discussions that are difficult to maintain in a grab-bag setting with lots of different backgrounds and objectives behind every post.

Ambrose Burnside fucked around with this message at 23:12 on Apr 23, 2021

ZincBoy
May 6, 2006

Think again Jimmy!

Ambrose Burnside posted:

EE/circuit CAD question: what program is a good fit for designing PCB traces if my design parameters are very different from conventional circuit design, and the resultant traces look very different from standard trace conventions?

I’ve experimented a little bit with what a i call “plotter/drag-knife flexible circuit boards”- it’s a potential cheap and easy way to produce CAD-derived circuits using just a Cricut-type digital plotter, the ‘trace’ is cut from conductive copper tape and the ‘board’ is thin but springy Mylar sheet, with transparent adhesive film added over the copper if the traces need to be insulated /physically-protected. thru-holes in both parts are used for alignment/registration and the copper trace is lifted off the tape backing and onto the backer sheet all at once using transfer film.
The end result is flexible and durable and can even be soldered to, but I rapidly found that standard trace geometries/proportions are too fragile for the process- the transfer step easily tears the tape, so very proportionally-chunky, oversized traces with no sharp corners (i.e. tons of filleting needed b/c tears propagate from hard corners) are called for.
I tried laying my own out in a vector graphics program but gave up pretty quickly because it was an incredibly slow way of working. I have zero proper electrical CAD experience. What’s a good beginner-friendly software option that’ll specifically let me design my own custom trace ‘template’ /scheme based on dimensions/ relations, so I can design a circuit without having to do hours of vector graphics gruntwork?

This is quite easy to do in Eagle (also in Allegro but that is not a low cost option). In Eagle you can route your traces using arcs and create the rounded geometry you are looking for. The one thing that seems to be missing is automatic teardropping of trace entry into pads/vias. As long as you keep your trace width close to the width of your pad it should work. You would setup your DRC rules with the desired minimum trace widths and such.

Ambrose Burnside
Aug 29, 2007

pensive


That’s handy, thanks.
I copied my question over to electronicsthread, and i really like the alternate approach that ante recommended- instead of using heavily-modified conventional traces, invert the dynamic entirely and use voronoi distribution to generate circuits that are all trace separated by thin cuts out of the copper tape.
not just Thick Traces, mathematically pareto-optimal thick

ante posted:

I'd suggest using a proper ECAD package like KiCad to do it properly - But hear me out!


It's the "right tool" for the job, and has many tools that will make your life easier for the circuit design. Like schematics, prebuilt footprints, etc.


Afterwards, though, you can do something like a voronoi transformation - Search for "voronoi PCB" to get a few tools that can do that, and different discussions about it.





gonna play with both approaches, see which work out better

Ambrose Burnside fucked around with this message at 10:54 on Apr 26, 2021

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Got some first hand and second hand confirmation of SOLIDWORKS certification exams being extremely buggy this year and last. How's it been for y'all?

I got 2 crashes to black and got kicked out of my third mold design attempt today.

mattfl
Aug 27, 2004

Super Benintendo!


Hey CAD people, help me out here.

I have this (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4345459) STL file that I need to make bigger as this shroud is made for a smaller fan.

I need to enlarge just the base of it so that the holes are roughly 3" apart from each other all the way around and not change the dimension of the mount on it.

What would be my best way to accomplish this?

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Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



Do you have any CAD software files, or just the STL?

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