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View Full Version : Good Entry level 3d cad prototyping tool



Nelsontheunholy
08-03-2009, 08:05 AM
Hi Guys

I am working on a new bot design but have hit a bit of a brick wall as to what to use for a 2d cad software to digitally prototype it. Any suggestions would be much appreciated but I am not looking for anything too daunting or that has a massive learning curve to use. I tried autodesk inventor but stability issues have forced me away from that. Basically once my digital calipers get here i will need to input the dimensions of a servo and from there build the bot off of that.

Noodle
08-03-2009, 08:47 AM
Have you tried Solidworks, or Solid Edge? Lynxmotion.com offers free models of standard servos (Hitec).

sam
08-03-2009, 09:21 AM
I have used Rhino 3D and Alibre Professional (You can get free trials with both).

Personaly I find that making things that aren't square (or rectangles) easier with Rhino 3D (although I didn't really study how to use 3D sketching in Alibre).

Here is quick design I made after about four hours (while figuring out how stuff works) for a car monocoque that I made in Rhino 3D :

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/5/4/9/rhino_monocoque_thumb.png (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1643&c=3)

Here is a few vehicles I made with Alibre CAD. It took me about 4 hours to do the bus (while figuring out how stuff works). I believe Alibre would be easier (learning curve wise) to use to build a CAD model of a robot. Making a robot would be pretty simple with Alibre. Alibre thought does not work in Windows 7 RC :-(

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/5/4/9/alibre_bus_thumb.jpg (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1644&c=3)

I like Rhino to do things like the Car I showed. Nice curves and a sleek odd shape.

Sam

sam
08-03-2009, 09:23 AM
Have you tried Solidworks, or Solid Edge? Lynxmotion.com offers free models of standard servos (Hitec).

Yeah, They also have a step file, which is practical.

Sam

Amp
08-03-2009, 01:03 PM
I looked for free CAD software a while back. I have stuck with google sketchup at the moment, but you may grow out of it for simple things.

Another free one I found as medusa4 which is a free cad tool also.

One other thing you may find usefull if using sketchup is how to output 1:1 scale printouts. There is a tutorial on how to do this here:

http://www.spambutcher.com/blog/index.php?entry=entry080112-061222

1 Switch perspective off
2 Select view
3 Clic Make72dpi or 150dpi image
4 open with gimp
5 select image>Print size and select 72 or 150 for resoultion
6 Press Shift+C and then crop image
7 select colours>threshold and pull slider left (about 2 from end)
8 Select File>print then image settings select 72 or 150 for resoultion

Nelsontheunholy
08-03-2009, 01:38 PM
Thanks for the info yeah I may check out solidworks just to see how it works. I am building a new bot based off the i-sobot servo chains. I have electronics coming later this week but it will be run off of an arduino nano hooked to a logic level converter to output the 5v to 3.3v those servos run. 5v power supply and a super light frame. I am looking at also incorporating a wii motion plus gyro because they use i2c and are dirt cheap good gyros and a xbee interface. I am planing on reusing most if not all of the i-sobot's servo hardware like connectors and such but in the end I will need to part out 2 of them for all the servo's I will need. From what I have been seeing though it looks like the servos themselfs can be run at around 4.2v to get some more oomph out of them but I dont want to test that right not as I dont feel like frying any of them lol.

xx2747
08-05-2009, 07:58 PM
Hello.
I was looking at the print to scale in Sketchup link and how do you create a file?

MikeG
08-05-2009, 11:23 PM
DesignCad is $99.00
http://www.imsisoft.com/Products/OtherProducts/DesignCADSeries/DesignCAD3DMAXv19/tabid/1110/Default.aspx

Amp
08-07-2009, 12:20 PM
Hello.
I was looking at the print to scale in Sketchup link and how do you create a file?


In windows it would be rightclick>createnew>textfile , then enter the code on the website into the file. Then you need to rename the file 72dpi.rb, if you can do this you need to find "folder options" and tick show extensions. It will be in "view" or "tools" menu in explorer.exe

For linux it is very similar, make new text file, copy and paste, then rename.

Robert
10-19-2009, 01:03 PM
I have used Rhino 3D and Alibre Professional (You can get free trials with both).

Personaly I find that making things that aren't square (or rectangles) easier with Rhino 3D (although I didn't really study how to use 3D sketching in Alibre).

Here is quick design I made after about four hours (while figuring out how stuff works) for a car monocoque that I made in Rhino 3D :

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/5/4/9/rhino_monocoque_thumb.png (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1643&c=3)

Here is a few vehicles I made with Alibre CAD. It took me about 4 hours to do the bus (while figuring out how stuff works). I believe Alibre would be easier (learning curve wise) to use to build a CAD model of a robot. Making a robot would be pretty simple with Alibre. Alibre thought does not work in Windows 7 RC :-(

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/5/4/9/alibre_bus_thumb.jpg (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1644&c=3)

I like Rhino to do things like the Car I showed. Nice curves and a sleek odd shape.

Sam

I use Alibre professional as well. They had a deal on it a month or so ago, where you could buy the full version of Alibre 11 for $99 just before Alibre 12 came out.

xdream
10-19-2009, 03:49 PM
What do you guys think of EZcam? I have got a demo and spoke with a salesman....seems that it may be worth a look. Seemed easier to me then Alibre but I'm not an expert here..