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Newbie to CAD

Discussion in 'DRAWING, LAYOUT & CAD' started by boostin53, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. boostin53

    boostin53 United States Active Member Active Member

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    Hey guys. I've been contemplating on doing a cnc conversion on my little X2 mill just for fun. So in the case, I have downloaded a fee different CAD programs. I also have Mach3 ready to rock and roll for when the conversion is complete. That way I can learn and use it by the time the machine is converted.

    I have been using Freecad the most part. All of this is overwhelming to a newbie. Are there any other programs that are more straight forward to use for beginners? Not really wanting to design complicated parts right now. Just wanting to get a feel for it.
     
  2. easymike29

    easymike29 United States Active User Active Member

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  3. T Bredehoft

    T Bredehoft Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I use Draftsight as a replacement for costly AutCad, it's pretty good, but I occasionally find minor problems. If I were making money from my hobby, I'd spring for a better program.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
  4. SEK_22Hornet

    SEK_22Hornet United States Active User Active Member

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    I'd suggest you go ahead and download and set up an account for Fusion 360 (if you are using Windows 7 -10 64 bit). You have not mentioned what your thinking about using for the CAM side of the equation - the software that takes the CAD information and allows you to assign tool paths and generate the G code for Mach 3. Fusion 360 is somewhat similar to Freecad in that it is a 3d modeling program. You can download a 30 free trial and once installed and running, request a hobbyist license, which lasts 1 year and is free. At the end of the year, you should be able to renew the license at no cost. For simple flat parts in Fusion, you would just draw a sketch of the part with dimensions and extrude the sketch to the thickness of the part. At that point you can take it to he CAM module to assign drilling and milling operations. Once all the tooling and machining is defined you can generate the G code using one of several post processors - I'm pretty sure Mach 3 is supported by Fusion 360. Here is a link to the Fusion 360 page. http://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/overview There are a couple other threads here on the forum about Fusion 360 you may want to look at as well.
     
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  5. RJSakowski

    RJSakowski H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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  6. SEK_22Hornet

    SEK_22Hornet United States Active User Active Member

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  7. Technical Ted

    Technical Ted United States Active Member Active Member

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    There are a lot of great resources on line for Fusion 360. YouTube has several and AutoDesk has a good source as well. I had never used 3D CAD before, but after a couple days of watching videos and reading I was able to make a couple of drawings for projects I have done in the past in my home hobby shop. I've never used the CAM portion and may never since I only have manual machines, but as others have said NY CNC YouTuber has a lot of great videos I suggest you watch. By the way, I gave up on FreeCad once I found Fusion 360.

    Here's my first 3D CAD project using Fusion 360. I also posted this pic on another thread. It's a B&S #21 collet my K&T collet head uses on my mill.

    Good luck and have fun!
    Ted

    collet.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
    SEK_22Hornet and brino like this.
  8. SEK_22Hornet

    SEK_22Hornet United States Active User Active Member

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    Looks great!
     
  9. rickGI

    rickGI United States Iron Registered Member

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    Those that recommend Draftsight for Newbies have been drafting too long. Draftsight is very difficult to understand if you are brand new to CAD and I haven't found any good tutorials on you tube to learn it. Draftsight tutorials go so fast that I literally can't keep up without constantly pausing. There is a high school instructor on you tube that goes at a good pace but he uses an older version apparently that is too different for me to find useful. I am trying Fusion tutorials today, wish me luck.
     
  10. Technical Ted

    Technical Ted United States Active Member Active Member

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    Draftsight is almost identical to AutoCad Lt (or AutoCad 2D). You can probably find a lot of YouTube or other tutorials on AutoCad that will really help you with DraftSight (since DraftSight is an AutoCad clone in most ways, command wise). I love Fusion 360 but it's apples and oranges different than DraftSight or AutoCad 2D. There are a lot of tutorials and on line resources for it though... IMO, it all depends on what you want to do. If you want to create 2D drawings and sketches then DraftSight is the way to go. If you want to do solid 3D modeling, then go with Fusion.

    Good luck and have fun!
    Ted
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  11. rickGI

    rickGI United States Iron Registered Member

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    The only drafting experience I have is from high school and that was long enough ago that it was with pencils t-squares and the like. I spent yesterday watching Fusion 360 tutorials and did manage to finally make a drawing although it was probably luck. for everything other than my CNC router 2D would be sufficient. I am noticing most tutorials regardless of the program, tend to go to fast. They assume you know where all the features are located and which features you need. I wished there was a local school that taught it.
     
  12. Technical Ted

    Technical Ted United States Active Member Active Member

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    I agree that most tutorials are a faster pace than most, including me, would like at times... Having both the tutorial and Fusion 360 running on my PC at the same time, I found I was continually pausing the tutorial and jumping into Fusion to work along. This worked OK, but now I have a better solution. A couple of weeks ago I bought a laptop. What I do now if I want to learn something new is have Fusion running on one system and the tutorial on the other. I still have to pause the tutorial, but it makes jumping back and forth easier.

    Using either method, I still find myself at times pausing and replaying sections of a tutorial over and over until I can understand what is going on and can do it myself. Sometimes I even have to go out to other sources to get more details about a certain function before I can actually resume the tutorial and understand it. But, in the end, it proves to be a successfully learning experience. I'm not a patient person by nature, but I've found that this is the only way I'm ever going to learn this stuff so I tell myself if I stick with it I WILL learn it!

    Hey, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it! Flustered

    Good luck and stay patient,
    Ted
     
  13. SEK_22Hornet

    SEK_22Hornet United States Active User Active Member

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    I second what Ted said - look around for training material for AutoCAD - there are tons of books and videos on it. The reason Draftsight is so popular is that there are lots of people who have used AutoCAD . No it is not simple, however you will be amazed at what you can do with just a few commands and basic principles. I use both Draftsight and Fusion 360 exactly like Ted says - 2D drawings (like the old napkin sketch) I use Draftsight. For 3D modeling (a totally different though process , by the way) I'm learning Fusion 360. Some of these might help you get started - https://www.google.com/search?q=getting+stasrted+with+autocad+2d&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8. If you prefer a written guide - take a look at this one https://www.3ds.com/fileadmin/PRODUCTS/DRAFT_SIGHT/PDF/GETTING-STARTED-GUIDE.pdf
     
  14. SEK_22Hornet

    SEK_22Hornet United States Active User Active Member

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    One more comment on Draftsight - you don't have to use the menus - there is a command line. That sounds intimidating, I know, but I learned AutoCAD using DOS versions and use the command line as much as the icons. Foe example, to start drawing a line simply type L. you will see prompts in the lower left hand corner of the screen walking you through the steps. Most common commands have a command line command and one or more "aliases". C is circle. L is line, O is offset, etc. Most are so simple it is faster and easier to remember the alias and start the command from the command line. Just an option. This capability came directly from AutoCAD.
     
  15. grzdomagala

    grzdomagala Austria Iron Registered Member

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    Maybe I'm using draftsight wrong way but for me its a program to "document" something that's already designed. Fusion360 is great to design - fiddle with dimensions, move whole modules, add new features till the vague idea changes into something that can be manufactured. Therefore for everything that i build myself i use fusion360 and drafting program (draftsight or similiar) to create drawings with tolerance symbols, correct dash/dot lines and other shenanigans when i must "outsorce" the parts to real shop
     
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  16. SEK_22Hornet

    SEK_22Hornet United States Active User Active Member

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    grzdomagala - if you are using fusion 360 to design the part, then drafting the paper drawing for the same part in another CAD program (not sure if that is what you are saying or not) you should look into the drawings module for Fusion 360. Once the part is modeled, you can do all of the documentation very quickly in Fusion 360 - just right click on the browser header and select Create Drawing - select the standard you want, paper size, etc in the little box that pops up, and the paper will pop up ready for you place the first view. You can do multiple views, sections, details, etc with various drawing style for hidden lines etc. Obviously if you have not modeled the part in Fusion 360, drawing it in 2d in CAD is as good of choice as any when starting from scratch. Here is a drawing I did from work and the model it is bases on both from Fusion 360.

    Cabinet drawing.PNG cabinet example.PNG
     
  17. grzdomagala

    grzdomagala Austria Iron Registered Member

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    Hallo SEK_22Hornet. I use fusion360 drafting for most of my projects - it's already quite good and i can see it's creators work to make it even better. Sometimes i need other drawing program to add info on the drawing - like simple dash-dotted circle with diameter to mark bolt pattern. Or to cheat a bit and edit non critical dimensions text from 49.98mm to 50mm without changing modell. Or use non-standard thread like M13x0.75. Or create simple dxf drawing that could be interpreted by dxf2gcode tool.
     
  18. SEK_22Hornet

    SEK_22Hornet United States Active User Active Member

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    From your post I wasn't sure - and to be honest, the drawing side of Fusion 360 was a little limited not long ago, so I wasn't sure if you knew how much it can do now. I have noticed several improvements in the drawing side over the last couple of months!
     
  19. rickGI

    rickGI United States Iron Registered Member

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    Well I have a you tube capable TV so I watch the videos on TV while working on the desktop. I pause and start all the time. I have been working with Fusion 360 for two days now and can now draw parts like hand wheel for my lathe model rocket nozzle for my step son. It is a really powerful program and I am not using it anywhere to its capability but better than I was two days ago. I will try again with the Draftsight when I get a chance.
     
  20. JayMcClellan

    JayMcClellan United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I've been using Fusion 360 for about a month now and the learning curve was pretty steep at first but now that I know my way around I'm liking it a lot. I especially like the parametric CAD capability, i.e. dimension drawings using symbolic constants and then you can modify the constants to update the entire design. I like the integrated CAM and I wrote a post-processor to output G code for my CNC Shark router; I've cut a few simple parts in aluminum with it and the Fusion toolpaths worked well once I figured out enough of the myriad options they provide. I also use Fusion to generate models for my 3D printer, but it doesn't (yet) have built-in slicing capability so I just export to an STL file and send that to the slicer, easy enough. My next (non-CNC) project will be a machinist's hammer done mostly on my old Logan 210 lathe and I used Fusion 360 to design it so I could visualize the proportions, clearance of the threads etc. and then used its 3D rendering capability to make this image. Hopefully the real thing will turn out looking something like this.

    Machinist's Hammer v11.png
     
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