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MSK Mech Commander
01-18-2009, 12:21 PM
...Like I said, it was just something I freehanded in Inventor.



Inventor? What is that, a CAD software?

Dementedwombat
01-18-2009, 12:33 PM
Google is your friend...

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=4246282

DresnerRobotics
01-18-2009, 12:35 PM
Inventor is a variant of Autodesk built around designing mechanical parts, makes prototyping MUCH easier.

Adrenalynn
01-18-2009, 01:21 PM
Not "a CAD software" - THE CAD software.

It's effectively the rename for AutoCAD.

ahweh
01-18-2009, 01:40 PM
Adrenalynn
how many of the CAD software have you had the opportunity to use other than inventor.
I have seen a number of low end CAD that had some good features but none with all of them that worked well together.
Have you seen the one called Solid Thinking.

Adrenalynn
01-18-2009, 03:27 PM
I've used a few, mostly historic. I've used AutoCAD for about two bazillion years to draw-up plans for submission to planning departments. Up until a few days ago I was still on AutoCAD r9 though. Did everything I needed, and I was familiar with it. I haven't seen Solid Thinking - just Solid Works. I've played with a bunch of the low-end low-priced stuff, but after using AutoCAD since the first version - they just annoyed me.

gdubb2
01-18-2009, 05:03 PM
My wifes a draftor (retired) and we have almost every version of Acad from r3 through 2007. She always preferred r14. I've played with Microstation, ProE, and Solidworks along with Acad. If I need it done right, the wife does it.. if it's just for me to visualize with, I use a 3D animation package (Animation Master, or TrueSpace). I find that I can build a 3D representation of a part or parts in Animation Master much quicker than with drafting software. Of course that is without all of the usual 4 decimal accuracy, but good enough for me.

Gary

MSK Mech Commander
01-18-2009, 08:13 PM
Google is your friend...

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=4246282

Hmmm... I think you're right on that one.;) Thanks for the link.


Inventor is a variant of Autodesk built around designing mechanical parts, makes prototyping MUCH easier.

I'll bet that's true, but there's no way I'm going to be able to afford that with my payrate.:robotsurprised:
Thanks for the info.

Any other software you guys know of that's less than 1 grand?:D

EDIT - Now that I looked at the right link, I can afford that. Please ignore the under 1 grand comment.

elios
01-18-2009, 08:14 PM
i got autodesk inventor v11... does that count...? im still learning how to use it ;)

MSK Mech Commander
01-18-2009, 08:49 PM
i got autodesk inventor v11... does that count...? im still learning how to use it ;)

Not really, I'm looking for under $1,000 price range.

EDIT - You guys think Autosketch 10 might work for just drawing a simple design? I don't really get what the difference is between Autosketch and Inventor.

Ok, um, let me sum it up this way: all I need is a software that I can draw in 3D and do it accurately with a mouse.

http://store.autodesk.com/DRHM/servlet/ControllerServlet?Action=DisplayProductDetailsPage&SiteID=adsk&Locale=en_US&ThemeID=516200&Env=BASE&productID=108927600

Oops, never mind, its only 2D.

EDIT - First off, it does count. Second, as I said before, ignore the under $1,000 comment.

lnxfergy
01-18-2009, 09:00 PM
Not really, I'm looking for under $1,000 price range.

EDIT - You guys think Autosketch 10 might work for just drawing a simple design? I don't really get what the difference is between Autosketch and Inventor.

Ok, um, let me sum it up this way: all I need is a software that I can draw in 3D and do it accurately with a mouse.

http://store.autodesk.com/DRHM/servlet/ControllerServlet?Action=DisplayProductDetailsPage&SiteID=adsk&Locale=en_US&ThemeID=516200&Env=BASE&productID=108927600

Not sure about Autosketch - but what makes autodesk inventor so great is that it is a "parametric 3D" modeling software - similar class as PROe, Solidworks. Basically that that means is that every dimension (really every piece of info) is a parameter - you can change the value on the fly and the model readjusts - thus making changes is really easy. You start with a 2D sketch(s) and then extrude, revolve, loft, etc to get it 3D. Most lower-end packages can't do this - and even if they can, you can't easily go back and change the sketch without serious headache....

EDIT: for reference, back when I first started in CAD, I was doing 3D in Autocad R12 or so. You had to be sure to save the file seperatly before extruding a 3D, because if you later found out a dimension was off the 3D model was a solid blob - a real pain to edit, and you had to go back to the 2D sketch to re-extrude after editing. Doesn't sound terrible - unless of course it was some crazy part that had multiple extrusions and you had to edit the first one you made!

-Fergs

MSK Mech Commander
01-18-2009, 09:04 PM
Alright, thanks, that answers a lot of questions.

DresnerRobotics
01-18-2009, 09:27 PM
If you're a student, you can also get Autodesk Inventor as a free license student edition.

MSpurk
01-18-2009, 09:28 PM
I believe SolidWorks offers a free 30 or 90 day trial.

-Matt-

MSK Mech Commander
01-18-2009, 09:30 PM
If you're a student, you can also get Autodesk Inventor as a free license student edition.

Really? Cool! Wait, whoa,...... does it count for homeschoolers?:robotindifferent:
I REALLY hope so!

MSK Mech Commander
01-18-2009, 09:31 PM
Yeah, but I'm thinking of long-term uses

ahweh
01-18-2009, 10:06 PM
For those who are interested Auto CAD Inventor. There is a version called Inventor LT which was and might still be free for download.
http://labs.autodesk.com/technologies/inventor_lt/
George

Adrenalynn
01-19-2009, 01:36 AM
For simple design - Google Sketchup, Free version.

elios
01-19-2009, 02:06 AM
yes i agree. i have tried it, but haven't put any proper designs into it. only put some simple cubes triangles and circles.

Sienna
01-19-2009, 12:33 PM
I have been using Autodesk Inventor LT for a while now, and I have to say I love it. However, being limited to a single piece at a time is a royal pain.

So, I bought a copy of Pro/E Personal Use edition (only $250 or so) and am trying to switch over to that instead for assembly and sheet metal support.

srobot
01-19-2009, 08:47 PM
Really? Cool! Wait, whoa,...... does it count for homeschoolers?:robotindifferent:
I REALLY hope so!

Sorta...

Basically you need a *.edu email address, or an invite from a school to sign up.

A lot of times homeschoolers can *sign up* for public school to receive "bonuses" (like software, and about $2000 for books and such) in return though you must do an everyother year test at the public school to make sure you are actually doing school (meaning you must do subjects such as math and spelling, not just "real life experiance"). I forget what they call it, but I know some people who do it in WI.

--Scotty
(Who's name was in Robot Magazine : )

MSK Mech Commander
01-19-2009, 09:49 PM
OK, thanks for the info. Sounds like I qualify, I do the ACT every year.

On another note, I am so sorry for confusing all you guys out there. When I navigated the autodesk website, I clicked on the Autodesk Inventor SUITE. When my mom, on the other hand, navigated the page to check out what I was saying was around $6,000, she navigated onto the correct page and I saw that the software itself was under $200. My dad later informed me that the suite comes with the complete office stuff, like hardware and extra software, yada yada yada.

Talk about embarrassing. I'll edit my replies that I posted when I was completely oblivious to the real price of the software.(oops!:p)

Even though I said some pretty stupid stuff without knowing it, you guys still gave me some pretty useful info, that said, thanks a bunch!:D

DresnerRobotics
01-19-2009, 09:52 PM
OK, thanks for the info. Sounds like I qualify, I do the ACT every year.

On another note, I am so sorry for confusing all you guys out there. When I navigated the autodesk website, I clicked on the Autodesk Inventor SUITE. When my mom, on the other hand, navigated the page to check out what I was saying was around $6,000, she navigated onto the correct page and I saw that the software itself was under $200. My dad later informed me that the suite comes with the complete office stuff, like hardware and extra software, yada yada yada.

Talk about embarrassing. I'll edit my replies that I posted when I was completely oblivious to the real price of the software.(oops!:p)

Even though I said some pretty stupid stuff without knowing it, you guys still gave me some pretty useful info, that said, thanks a bunch!:D

No worries, there are actually versions of Autodesk that are easily in the thousands of dollars. I think Autocad 2008 Professional runs about $4k a seat if I remember correctly.

Sienna
01-20-2009, 05:59 AM
Ummm... Last time I got a quote for Autodesk Inventor, it WAS $6000, with options (routed systems or simulation) that could bring the grand total up to about $9000. (Thereabouts, I don't remember the actual numbers now.)

I have no idea what you saw thats $200.

MSK Mech Commander
01-20-2009, 04:09 PM
Ummm... Last time I got a quote for Autodesk Inventor, it WAS $6000, with options (routed systems or simulation) that could bring the grand total up to about $9000. (Thereabouts, I don't remember the actual numbers now.)

I have no idea what you saw thats $200.

I think you might have clicked on the suite link too. Somewhere in the website, there's a list of versions of Autodesk Inventor. I clicked on the v11 link I think. Lemme try to find the link.

EDIT - Aha! Found it!
http://store.autodesk.com/DRHM/servlet/ControllerServlet?Action=DisplayProductSearchResul tsPage&SiteID=adsk&Locale=en_US&ThemeID=516200&CallingPageID=SubCategoryProductListPage&Env=BASE&keywords=AutoCAD+Inventor+Professional+2009&x=0&y=0

Of course, this link makes me more confused. I guess there are different types of Inventor?:confused:
Maybe the suite's a combination of all the different types(If I'm reading the titles correctly)?

EDIT EDIT - I looked at the link more closely and they are training programs, not the real thing. Sorry for the confusion.

ahweh
01-21-2009, 12:00 AM
I found a site to get Pro/e personal edition for right at 300 dollars but I have never seen it on a computer so have no clue if it would be a good match for me.
The price is within my range but how good is it being a personal edition
George

Adrenalynn
01-21-2009, 12:31 AM
You can download the trial and see. If the trial isn't the personal edition, then just compare feature sets and not use the features in the trial that don't come with personal.

cmmguy
01-21-2009, 01:37 AM
There are two mid range modeling products that are being used heavily in manufacturing today - Inventor and Solidworks. It seems that Solidworks is the most popular in the circles that I run in but I prefer Inventor. From what I hear, ProE is more expensive and has a steep learning curve. There maybe other mid range products but the ones mentioned seem to be the most prevalent.

You can get a 13 month student license of the $6000 product for $199 at JourneyEd. You need to have a current student ID. http://www.journeyed.com/itemDetail.asp?ItmNo=55531123NF

Adrenalynn
01-21-2009, 01:49 AM
OT: Woah! Haven't seen you in awhile! How'd the robotics course go?

ahweh
01-21-2009, 07:44 PM
I found something that is called Solid Edge and here are two sites, one is for the 3D and the other is for 2D.
I looked at the little videos and from what I saw I might like it but who knows until they have tried them.
I am also thinking of going back to school for CAD related learning.
http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/products/velocity/solidedge/free_trial/free_trial.shtml
http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/products/velocity/solidedge/free2d/index.shtml
George

srobot
01-22-2009, 08:51 AM
System Requirements for Inventor:

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=8410923

Inventor 2009 downloader for x86 and x64 XP and Vista:

http://students.autodesk.com/ama/orig/adt_setup.exe

Once installed you can use it for ~30 days.

sunithaya
01-25-2009, 01:09 AM
There are so many products on the market and most of the time they are overkill for most situations. I have used 3D Max since its inception (3DStudio) so I am somewhat partial to it, but even then it is overkill for many projects. I do like Sketchup a lot, not only because it is free but also because it becomes more powerful by the month! It is easy to learn and get up to speed but if you want to do something really sophisticated you can and there is a good community to help you out.

3D Max has a student version where the only difference is the price (if you do not use it for commercial purposes). I have not checked but I think it is as low as US400 for students. What you might like about it is that in addition to being a superb modeling and rendering package it also deals with all the issues important to robotics, animatronics etc, such as physics, friction, dynamics (springs, shock absorbers etc) so not only can you model your project but also test it up to a point. Needless to say at this level it has a very steep learning curve, or I should rather say, proportional to your free time:-)

Although not many people do (or know they can) it, you can also "drive" your model using different external inputs (other than mouse, joystick etc), practically anything that produces a signal (sound or whatever). Also you can drive your model over accurate terrain using elevation data such as USGS, NIMA, EOS-EDC etc. which is interesting if you want to test things like center of gravity and other issues that might impact your Grand Challenge project!!!:-)

lnxfergy
01-25-2009, 01:34 AM
There are so many products on the market and most of the time they are overkill for most situations. I have used 3D Max since its inception (3DStudio) so I am somewhat partial to it, but even then it is overkill for many projects. I do like Sketchup a lot, not only because it is free but also because it becomes more powerful by the month! It is easy to learn and get up to speed but if you want to do something really sophisticated you can and there is a good community to help you out.

There are many packages on the market - but many are not overkill. They may be for a particular project, but Autodesk Inventor is a 3D CAD program. The intended purpose is for people who are going to build this from specs. I'd really like to see someone hand a 3D Max drawing to a machinist!

Or even better, try to use sketchup for a CNC program......

-Fergs

sunithaya
01-25-2009, 01:53 AM
There are many packages on the market - but many are not overkill. They may be for a particular project, but Autodesk Inventor is a 3D CAD program. The intended purpose is for people who are going to build this from specs. I'd really like to see someone hand a 3D Max drawing to a machinist!

-Fergs

I agree. Special purpose packages make sense, I also use things like Revit etc if the purpose is so specific. However, Autodesk is now doing a pretty decent job of integrating many packages and making them talk to each other. If you have a chance take a look at 3D Max 2009, the baby has come a long way! I guess I am a little lazy and don't like to change from program to program so I am happy that all major packages now talk almost seamlessly with each other. I am actually handing out detailed construction plans to our physical plant for a remodeling of our studio including "smart" lighting installation.
So the layers, blocks and entities of Autocad are organized in a "VizBlock" under 3D Max. Not intending to go into technicalities or push one over the other, but simply to say that finally Autodesk is recognizing the overlap that is needed between different versions that have evolved over the years.

THe main difference for me from the roboticist perspective is the ability to not only animate but test the physics and mechanical aspects of your design making interact with a simulated but data accurate environment (like terrain simulation).

metaform3d
01-25-2009, 01:59 AM
Or even better, try to use sketchup for a CNC program.....Actually there you might be surprised. Many if not most 3D formats can be adapted to CNC, since that's the "lossy" direction. In the same way that complex vector graphics can be converted to images, almost anything that defines a vague volume in 3D space can be converted to a tool path or stereo lithography data. It's a bit like rasterization.

The resulting model may not be good (I've seen a lot of STL objects with polygonal artifacts) but depending on the topology of the CNC method the conversion is either automatic or impossible. Prepping something for a human machinist is a whole different problem.

Adrenalynn
01-25-2009, 01:59 AM
Inventor has more complex and accurate mechanical simulation than even Max 2009. Inventor is built just for that purpose. Sure, there's some overlap, but to my knowledge (and I've spent a pretty fair bit of time in 3DS / Max over the years), you can't have it calculate bends with shrink, and turn a 3D model into shop-ready plans with cut-list and BOM with a single click. Max doesn't know 5052 aluminum from stainless steel (except, perhaps, for texture rendering, and that's reflectivity, not how it behaves when you machine it).

The upshot is that Max is awesome for animation and especially low-poly modeling (I still like Maya better for the more organic modeling, although now that Autodesk owns it, that too is changing). If you're trying to do mechanical design, layout, and CNC - stick with Inventor - it's made from the ground up (for faaar longer than 3DS has existed) for just that thing.

sunithaya
01-25-2009, 02:12 AM
Nuff' said, who would argue with our in-house cyborg? it all comes down to purpose and availability (pencil and paper are also good...very good:-)

Adrenalynn
01-25-2009, 02:40 AM
You're welcome to disagree with me, as vocally as you like (outside of ad hom), any time, any where, any format, any gravity. I'd prefer a tangible argument: "yes, it will do dimensioned drawings, cut-list with bends, and spit-out code for you CNC. Click here, then here, then here." - that's a good argument. I get to learn something I didn't know AND it's pretty hard for me to make a snappy come-back. If you search my handle with "mea culpa", you'll see a handful of times where that's happened here (assuming the search engine is behaving), and I gracefully [I hope] acknowledge my mistake. Because of years of being accused of not doing so, I try to always prepend or append "mea culpa" to make it easier to quickly demonstrate the contrary. ;)

So, yes, by all means debate away! This is the Trossen Robotics Community, not JodieCo. :)

And I agree - pencil and paper work really well for some. I got slapped down in mechanical drawing. I don't have the patience - if a line comes up a little short, don't expect me to erase it and start again with perfectly even pressure. I'm simply going to slap the ruler down and drag that line out a little more - if I bother at all with the ruler. ;) Not the best way to carry an A through drafting/mechanical drawing - so I dropped it.

mallster
01-25-2009, 02:50 AM
I have a copy of inventor 8 series (inventor8, mech desktop,autocad and something else in between the previous 2) for sale. It is registered in my name but i think it can be transfered. Problem i had was that it will not work with Vista and most likely never will. Not sure what it'd be worth now but probably start at $200 Aus and give it to the highest bidder. I'll also offer full return-refund if the thing doesn't work.

Besides that- does anyone have Solid works? I've atached some model files for a pico-itx and would like them to be converted to iges or step or something wildfire2 compatible.
Thanks in advance...

sunithaya
01-26-2009, 09:52 AM
Hi Mallster,

here are your converted files. Let me know if IGS works fine for you, if not I can export them in another format
:-)
1073

sunithaya
01-26-2009, 10:10 AM
You're welcome to disagree with me, as vocally as you like (outside of ad hom), any time, any where, any format, any gravity. I'd prefer a tangible argument: "yes, it will do dimensioned drawings,etc...

UhOh! no,no, I do not actually disagree with you! (of course if I do I will be as vocal, but will be sure to back it up with facts :veryhappy:!) My comment was totally sincere, you actually have a breadth of knowledge that is quite astonishing and I think makes it easy to trust you (quite a responsibility, uh?) since, as you say, you usually provide proof other that just words. And coming back to tools, I am a proponent as well, of using the right hammer for the nail. But as we were rambling about options (and you yourself mentioned Sketchup as one) in a pinch you should look for the flattest and hardest stone at hand to nail the nail in the head.

I use Solidworks but I have not used Inventor. Now you wetted my appetite to lose (invest?) a little more of my life picking up another promising hammer:-) (dubious thanks heheh)

Adrenalynn
01-26-2009, 12:34 PM
+Rep for the work!

>> in a pinch you should look for the flattest and hardest stone at hand to nail the nail in the head.

Sometimes I feel like I just drive nails in with my forehead far too often. ;) A rock is a good idea! I'll have to try that. :)

>> you actually have a breadth of knowledge that is quite astonishing and I think makes it easy to trust you (quite a responsibility,

Thank you for the kind words! But I'm far from infallible - as a "mea culpa" search will demonstrate. I learn quite a bit here too!