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GreenTwin

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Another thing that helped me conceptualize what I was trying to do in 3D modeling is to think of the old Play-Doh extruder.
The 2D sketch that you create on a sketch plane is the hole in the extruder die, and the extrusion in 3D mode is what is pushed or pulled through the die.
So the technique is to get onto an appropriately placed sketch plane, draw a shape, toggle back into 3D mode, and either extrude, cut or otherwise manipulate that sketch into a 3D solid.
Jumping back and forth from 2D sketch mode to 3D mode was extremely confusing, but you can't do anything without understanding how that works.
You begin with three basic planes, which I think are top, right and front ? I don't even pay attention to the actual plane names these days.
You can insert new planes anywhere, and at any angle, as needed, and learning that was a bit of an art too.

You can extrude solids, or extrude cuts.

Another way to think about it is to slice an orange.
The shape that you see in section is a circle, so to create a 3D sphere, you draw 1/2 of a circle, and rotate it around an axis to create a sphere.

The secret to learning 3D is to be able to conceptualize how to slice up a solid part into pieces, and then create the 2D sketches to make those solid parts.

Extruder-01.jpg
 

Richard Hed

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Another thing that helped me conceptualize what I was trying to do in 3D modeling is to think of the old Play-Doh extruder.
The 2D sketch that you create on a sketch plane is the hole in the extruder die, and the extrusion in 3D mode is what is pushed or pulled through the die.
So the technique is to get onto an appropriately placed sketch plane, draw a shape, toggle back into 3D mode, and either extrude, cut or otherwise manipulate that sketch into a 3D solid.
Jumping back and forth from 2D sketch mode to 3D mode was extremely confusing, but you can't do anything without understanding how that works.
You begin with three basic planes, which I think are top, right and front ? I don't even pay attention to the actual plane names these days.
You can insert new planes anywhere, and at any angle, as needed, and learning that was a bit of an art too.

You can extrude solids, or extrude cuts.

Another way to think about it is to slice an orange.
The shape that you see in section is a circle, so to create a 3D sphere, you draw 1/2 of a circle, and rotate it around an axis to create a sphere.

The secret to learning 3D is to be able to conceptualize how to slice up a solid part into pieces, and then create the 2D sketches to make those solid parts.

View attachment 132888
It was difficult for me too, but not that difficult. It took me a week to figure it out and I was about to kik something for the frustration.
 

GreenTwin

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My problem was that I would try to learn it in a few hours, flounder around, get frustrated, and then put it away for a month or more.
I would come back after a month and do exactly the same thing, forgetting everything I learned during the first attempt.
This went on for a year before I finally got a large enough block of time to devote to learning 3D, in a continuous daily fashion.

Ditto for learning how to run a foundry.

.
 

Richard Hed

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My problem was that I would try to learn it in a few hours, flounder around, get frustrated, and then put it away for a month or more.
I would come back after a month and do exactly the same thing, forgetting everything I learned during the first attempt.
This went on for a year before I finally got a large enough block of time to devote to learning 3D, in a continuous daily fashion.

Ditto for learning how to run a foundry.

.
LOL. I'm like that, however, in my case, I had the experience of other 3D CADs. I did in fact download a free Alibre with a lisence for a mobnth, got frustrated and forgot about it. Then I was reading in these forums and decided 100$ was not a bad price for what the people sed it could do. So I got it and then tried till I cried, kikt my hed, thot I was ded; but as the 3 stooges sed, if at first you don't suk seed, suk suk suk till you do suk seed. -- Really, they really did say that.
 

GreenTwin

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And while I did find some tutorials about how to create 3D models, I could not find any 3D tutorials about specifically how to use 3D modeling effectively to make engine 3D models.

So I would create an engine part, and the need to change one of the base sketches, and boom, the entire model would blow up.
I was left scratching my head more than once.
The sequence in which you create a 3D model, and the way you reference one surface to another can be extremely critical if you design to modify the model, such as stretch out a cylinder without affecting the flanges on the end, etc.

I was ready to throw my 3D modeling program along with my computer out the window many times.
Luckily it finally all jelled in my mind.
One of the main reasons I began modeling the green twin was to finally get a deep understanding of how to use 3D modeling to make steam engine models, and once I got the green twin 3D model done, I really had a good idea of what I was doing.

.
 

Richard Hed

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And while I did find some tutorials about how to create 3D models, I could not find any 3D tutorials about specifically how to use 3D modeling effectively to make engine 3D models.

So I would create an engine part, and the need to change one of the base sketches, and boom, the entire model would blow up.
I was left scratching my head more than once.
The sequence in which you create a 3D model, and the way you reference one surface to another can be extremely critical if you design to modify the model, such as stretch out a cylinder without affecting the flanges on the end, etc.

I was ready to throw my 3D modeling program along with my computer out the window many times.
Luckily it finally all jelled in my mind.
One of the main reasons I began modeling the green twin was to finally get a deep understanding of how to use 3D modeling to make steam engine models, and once I got the green twin 3D model done, I really had a good idea of what I was doing.

.
Been there, done that.
 

ajoeiam

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snip

So what you are saying is really true in most cases--a software developer with no experience on the ground just will not understand what WE needs.
What makes this so frustrating is that it is almost impossible to get this kind of person to understand that they actually do NOT understand what the sam snot they're talking about!
 

ajoeiam

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It's true and it's a big mistake. I understand that in Germany, and maybe other parts of Europe too, have to do an apprenticeship where they have to learn about the mechanics (on the ground) of what they are "engineering" about. they have to do a couple years of it. Look at what is happening in American universities in Electronics: It used to be a lot of hands on fun but now it's all MATHEMATICS!

Frankly this is what is wrong with the American education, and I am told by friends who should know, now European countries are following in that path, it's turned to brain ded, fun starved basura. Richard Feynman said something like this: Modern education is much like doctors from 150 years ago, cupping and bleeding were used extensively and it was never noticed that it didn't work, even to the point of killing the patient (George Washington for instance.)
TL;DR

Hmmmmm - - - - well - - - it used to work that way in Germany. Likely this all changed mostly after WW2 but the when I'm not sure of.
Used to work like this: young lad (age 13/14 choice is made) not clearly an academic kind of person (ie not in the upper 10 or maybe 15 %tile in the class) enters the trades. In the cases we're interested in they might become a turner or a miller or a grinder (yes those were, dunno if they still are though, separate trades) or a mechanic or a millwright. They then started an apprenticeship. Not sure as to the actual ratio of training time to working time but do know that the company trained the people. The companies expected no income from their apprentices for quite a large amount of the apprenticeship time. (The part of the companies not expecting income as a result of their apprenticeship training really needs to be noted!) This process took some 4 years. (Of interest might be to note that an apprenticeship back in the late middle ages was expected to be 7 years.) If the apprentice was successful, there were projects to complete, they were awarded the designation of 'journeyman'. At this point they could also seek a different employer but in most cases there was a vested interest from the training company and there wasn't a lot of people movement! If a 'journeyman' found after working for a time (minimum is 2 years at present) that they were interested in not only learning more but in acquiring greater responsibilities they could then in a 'Master' program. As late as the 1970's this necessitated 1 day a week in classes and evening work (without pay) with a very wide range of expectations. (One individual I know achieved a Master electrician status and was required to learn at least rudimentary skills in blacksmithing, welding and machining.) A large part of the skill development was also the whys and how of training apprentices. Included was developing costing skills so that the 'Master' would be able to present such requirements for new production to the company. 'Master' papers were presented when a project developed and completed by the individual was accepted by their review board - - that being a group of long term 'Masters'. (Dunno if that included such from other companies but I would think it might have.) It was/is (AFAIK still is) necessary to have 'Master' papers to start or even run a business in the trades (including hair dresser - - - there are over 300 designated trades in Germany last I heard). Now if the individual was interested in learning even more about the theoretical in their field - - - that is AFTER the 'Master' papers - - - well then they would attend a 'Technical University'. These were not stripped requirements schools either! ALL the theory was covered and then some in all the related fields - - -you know like chemistry and physics for starters.
I'm not sure of the following but AIUI the goal was most often a PhD although one could stop without completing the 'interesting new invention or finding' accompanied with its 'paper' and was now an engineer.
The minimum of 8 years in the trade before the technical university made sure that the engineer had some idea of what they were talking about and likely resulted in a long term better technical field.
One large part easy to overlook was the acceptance by the initial training company that they just weren't going to make any money using apprentices. There was a fairly strict apprentice to journeyman to Master ratio. I'm sorta remembering something like 5 to 10 journeyman per apprentice as being the normal range. Dunno how that worked in smaller companies though and I'm not sure as to these details.
Here in Canuckistan - - - well one must make money from even the know nothing starting beeples or is that sheeples. As well these has been very little loyalty from companies to their employees so at the merest hint of lower profitability - - - - well people were bouncing out the door - - - but almost never the management (where most of the companies difficulties originated from IMO) - - so people bounce to a different company for as little as a +$0.25 per hour.

For myself I found I wasn't martketable as an apprentice until in my 3rd year and as it seemed to take at least 6 months to integrate into a company I thought I needed at least $2.00 increase per hour before it was even time to look across the fence. Some companies very deliberately worked at keeping their staff as cheap as long as possible - - - they also had what I call a revolving door employment policy. You know - - - where over 30% of the employees changed every 12 months. I have worked in a place where the turnover in the shop was over 100% a year. When I look for employment (haven't for a while now) one of my first questions from people in the area - - not even the employer themselves- - - how many people are they moving through their shop. I won't even interview for a shop that has a revolving door policy. Working in those kind of places is toxic and not worth even an extra $3 or 4 extra. Just too life sapping/frustrating.

One area I was in there was an employer who actually had a great reputation in their industry but their staff working a 4 on 4 off moving from nights to days each rotation. Those people seemed to age fast - - - and then I can't do all night stuff - - - I can start at 04.00 but working from 22.00 to 04.00 - - - -well that's never been a strong point.
 

Richard Hed

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TL;DR

Hmmmmm - - - - well - - - it used to work that way in Germany. Likely this all changed mostly after WW2 but the when I'm not sure of.
Used to work like this: young lad (age 13/14 choice is made) not clearly an academic kind of person (ie not in the upper 10 or maybe 15 %tile in the class) enters the trades. In the cases we're interested in they might become a turner or a miller or a grinder (yes those were, dunno if they still are though, separate trades) or a mechanic or a millwright. They then started an apprenticeship. Not sure as to the actual ratio of training time to working time but do know that the company trained the people. The companies expected no income from their apprentices for quite a large amount of the apprenticeship time. (The part of the companies not expecting income as a result of their apprenticeship training really needs to be noted!) This process took some 4 years. (Of interest might be to note that an apprenticeship back in the late middle ages was expected to be 7 years.) If the apprentice was successful, there were projects to complete, they were awarded the designation of 'journeyman'. At this point they could also seek a different employer but in most cases there was a vested interest from the training company and there wasn't a lot of people movement! If a 'journeyman' found after working for a time (minimum is 2 years at present) that they were interested in not only learning more but in acquiring greater responsibilities they could then in a 'Master' program. As late as the 1970's this necessitated 1 day a week in classes and evening work (without pay) with a very wide range of expectations. (One individual I know achieved a Master electrician status and was required to learn at least rudimentary skills in blacksmithing, welding and machining.) A large part of the skill development was also the whys and how of training apprentices. Included was developing costing skills so that the 'Master' would be able to present such requirements for new production to the company. 'Master' papers were presented when a project developed and completed by the individual was accepted by their review board - - that being a group of long term 'Masters'. (Dunno if that included such from other companies but I would think it might have.) It was/is (AFAIK still is) necessary to have 'Master' papers to start or even run a business in the trades (including hair dresser - - - there are over 300 designated trades in Germany last I heard). Now if the individual was interested in learning even more about the theoretical in their field - - - that is AFTER the 'Master' papers - - - well then they would attend a 'Technical University'. These were not stripped requirements schools either! ALL the theory was covered and then some in all the related fields - - -you know like chemistry and physics for starters.
I'm not sure of the following but AIUI the goal was most often a PhD although one could stop without completing the 'interesting new invention or finding' accompanied with its 'paper' and was now an engineer.
The minimum of 8 years in the trade before the technical university made sure that the engineer had some idea of what they were talking about and likely resulted in a long term better technical field.
One large part easy to overlook was the acceptance by the initial training company that they just weren't going to make any money using apprentices. There was a fairly strict apprentice to journeyman to Master ratio. I'm sorta remembering something like 5 to 10 journeyman per apprentice as being the normal range. Dunno how that worked in smaller companies though and I'm not sure as to these details.
Here in Canuckistan - - - well one must make money from even the know nothing starting beeples or is that sheeples. As well these has been very little loyalty from companies to their employees so at the merest hint of lower profitability - - - - well people were bouncing out the door - - - but almost never the management (where most of the companies difficulties originated from IMO) - - so people bounce to a different company for as little as a +$0.25 per hour.

For myself I found I wasn't martketable as an apprentice until in my 3rd year and as it seemed to take at least 6 months to integrate into a company I thought I needed at least $2.00 increase per hour before it was even time to look across the fence. Some companies very deliberately worked at keeping their staff as cheap as long as possible - - - they also had what I call a revolving door employment policy. You know - - - where over 30% of the employees changed every 12 months. I have worked in a place where the turnover in the shop was over 100% a year. When I look for employment (haven't for a while now) one of my first questions from people in the area - - not even the employer themselves- - - how many people are they moving through their shop. I won't even interview for a shop that has a revolving door policy. Working in those kind of places is toxic and not worth even an extra $3 or 4 extra. Just too life sapping/frustrating.

One area I was in there was an employer who actually had a great reputation in their industry but their staff working a 4 on 4 off moving from nights to days each rotation. Those people seemed to age fast - - - and then I can't do all night stuff - - - I can start at 04.00 but working from 22.00 to 04.00 - - - -well that's never been a strong point.
You are so right. There is a silicon making place in Moses which I wanted to get on at but when I went for an interview, I found they did exactly that, weekly rotate shifts--I left in hurry, told them to stik the rotating shifts. A six month or yearly, maybe even 3 month rotating shift might have been acceptable, but weekly? Absurd. I did however, talk to peeps on those shifts and they claimed they liked it.

An experiment in Psychology demonstrates how this works: A group of individuals are given a $ for some mildly unpleasant task. another group of individuals are given 20$ for the same task. Later, they are all asked why they did it. The 20$ group said they did it for the $$. The 1$ group rationalized many reasons , it was doing it for the good of . . . blah blah, but they always had to come up with a baloney reason. I'm sure I've done this rationalization myself without realizing it.

I workt for a low paying job last season--minimum wage, there was a lot of turn over because of that and the unreasonable standing/walking on cement for 12+ hrs per day. I had actually quit because of the torture to my legs after 5 days but as I was leaving, 2 guys ran out the door after me. They offered me the 8 hour per day job of scale house shack which I was happy to accept. I sat on my butt most of the time, reading, doing a bit of weiging, playing games on phone, (10% job, 90% whatever else to keep me awake). The horrible part was just what we are talking about: I rotated shift every TWO days, as I was giving everyone else their days off! Well, days and swing were no bother at all. It was grave that was horrible. Across the fence was another food processing plant in which it was union because they treated their employees like sh*t. They recieved more like 16$ beginning wage. That place you heard nothing but complaints--no one had a nice thing to say about them, but there was far less turnover unless a new company started in town which happens about every 5 years or so. Then people would jump ship in droves to find employment at the new place. For the peeps who stayed at the place I was working, there were very few complaints (I dug at people to try to find complaints) but they were also people who had very little prospects, low skills, low knowlege, low ambition. I thimpfks people were generally actually satisfied but some were rationalizing as in the above Psycology experiment (fox and the sour grapes).
 

Zeb

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Speaking of all of this, does anyone have recommendations for learning Alibre?

I'm moving from using Rhino for the last 15 years and part of the reason for that is Rhino is very similar to AutoCAD in its interface. I opened Alibre once and there is nothing even remotely familiar. I tried exporting some Rhino files into a format Alibre could read, but I couldn't do anything with them.
I'm actually looking at getting Rhino once version 8 rolls out (whenever that is). Since I just spent a couple hundred hours last fall fumbling through Rhino, here's the inverse of the mental pain (relief?) I went through:

1. Rhino allows drawing anything anywhere with a lot of freedom, and "history" feature aside, all features work independently and in parallel. In other CAD, you have to define the reference plane for anything in gory detail..
2. Sketches build solids. In Rhino, you can make solids to your heart's content with the sketch lost forever (unless copied). You don't need a plane or a sketch to make solids. In CAD, if you delete the sketch, or adjust it, the model may explode, or cease to exist. Some software, like Fusion 360 (I think), won't even let you leave the sketch until everything is defined, constrained, and dimensioned. Many software packages will let you but at the cost of model instability.

The rest is very similar. You will be very comfortable with lofts, extrusions, etc. Fillets even in Alibre are a dream come true. Rhino's fillet solver, well, sucks. Instead of the annoying linux type text entry at the top, you have menu screens, which is much nicer. Coming back to work on a project a year later is waay better in CAD, and if you need to make changes to lofts or fillets, it's easy as changing a value...within reason.

I think of CAD as machining from a block (as opposed to sculpting surfaces in Rhino). The most elegant models have the fewest amount of features (and small sketches). Huge sketches, and huge history trees tend to explode. Fillets almost always go last (like in Rhino). The rest is tutorials and trial and error.

If you have an impossible fillet to solve manually, or need a surfacing solution for less than 30k a year, then Rhino is the answer. Nothing in entry level CAD (including Solidworks) even touches Rhino for surfacing.
 

AndrewW

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Save your money and download Fusion360. It's FREE for hobbyists - thought you might need to spend 10 mins or so finding out how to do it on their website! I've used it for a couple of years and you need to renew the free licence every year. I think some people concern themselves that the hobbyist licence could be withdrawn at some stage and that their learning of the product would be wasted. However there are some excellent YouTube videos to help - eg Paul McWhorter has an excellent series. I guess most CAD programs use similar techniques, so if the hobbyist licence is withdrawn at some stage it shouldn't be too difficult to learn how to use another product. As far as I am aware the Fusion 360 hobbyist licence offers the majority of features of the fully licensed product, but with just a few restrictions. Again, there is at least one YouTube video which explains the differences.
Cheers
Andrew
 

ajoeiam

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Save your money and download Fusion360. It's FREE for hobbyists -
snip
Cheers
Andrew
One significant problem with that idea.
I haven't regularly run windows in some over 20 years now.
CAD companies have a serious hate on for *nix until you want to spend north of $100k - - - per seat.
Then they all would have offerings!
 

awake

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FreeCAD! But we've had this discussion before ...

Some time back I offered to work through a "real life problem" in FreeCAD with anyone who was interested. Several people expressed interest, but the timing wasn't right. I need to go back and find that thread, and see if this would be a good time to do this.
 

lee webster

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I haven't looked back through this thread to see if anyone is using Designspark mechanical. It's better than FreeCad in many ways, and not as good in others. It's free and once I had registered it on my cad computer I disconected the computer from the internet. This means that DS can't check to see if I have been using it for a month or so when it would need to check with its boss that I can still use it. Before I run DS I reset my system date so it still believes I am on the first day of use. Naughty me. Drawing isn't its strong point, but it will save a design as a dimensioned JPG file. That's good enough for me.
 

rweber

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One significant problem with that idea.
I haven't regularly run windows in some over 20 years now.
CAD companies have a serious hate on for *nix until you want to spend north of $100k - - - per seat.
Then they all would have offerings!
You can run Fusion on a macOS system, thats a *ix like OS. But you are right, I would also be very happy if they would provide Fusion for Linux. But besides that, I love that piece of software.
 

Bentwings

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Save your money and download Fusion360. It's FREE for hobbyists - thought you might need to spend 10 mins or so finding out how to do it on their website! I've used it for a couple of years and you need to renew the free licence every year. I think some people concern themselves that the hobbyist licence could be withdrawn at some stage and that their learning of the product would be wasted. However there are some excellent YouTube videos to help - eg Paul McWhorter has an excellent series. I guess most CAD programs use similar techniques, so if the hobbyist licence is withdrawn at some stage it shouldn't be too difficult to learn how to use another product. As far as I am aware the Fusion 360 hobbyist licence offers the majority of features of the fully licensed product, but with just a few restrictions. Again, there is at least one YouTube video which explains the differences.
Cheers
Andrew
I’ve talked to them several times. I’m almost ready to simple purchase their cheapest version and just pay the yearly fee. I don’t like that but I don’t know how long I’ll be able to access solid works as I don own it and it far to expensive . I’ve been away for so long that I’m having to relearn where everything s. Even the file structure has changed from what I knew. I sill have an old windows XP version but nothing created there works on new format so even that computer is out dated. They used to allow a single home user license per retail seat so it was nice but I don’t have that access any more
Byron
byron
 

Mike Henry

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For you Unix users looking for CAD, all versions of Onshape, including the free version, run in a browser so they will work with Windows, Mac, or Unix. I do most of my hobby work in Onshape and it works very well for me.
 

bikr7549

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And Home Shop Machinist ran a series of 'how to' articles recently on using Onshape that might be of value for getting started.
 

johnmcc69

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I apologize if this has been asked before but...

Does Alibre allow you to create detailed views? I thought someone mentioned that it can't. Geez.. with old school 2D AutoCad you could create a viewport (remember Model space/Paperspace?)

How does it create BOM's? Are they "parametrically" driven? Will it create the BOM balloons that are linked to the BOM?

Can you create "exploded" views?

I would also like to know what is involved in animation & sheetmetal development.

I'm very interested in how well it creates drawings & how all that works.

I've used Pro-E for years, so I've been spoiled with that. Times change...

Please don't recommend "On-Shape", "Free-Cad", "Fusion-360" or anything else.
I'm only exploring users experience with Alibre here...

John
 

Richard Hed

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I apologize if this has been asked before but...

Does Alibre allow you to create detailed views? I thought someone mentioned that it can't. Geez.. with old school 2D AutoCad you could create a viewport (remember Model space/Paperspace?)

How does it create BOM's? Are they "parametrically" driven? Will it create the BOM balloons that are linked to the BOM?

Can you create "exploded" views?

I would also like to know what is involved in animation & sheetmetal development.

I'm very interested in how well it creates drawings & how all that works.

I've used Pro-E for years, so I've been spoiled with that. Times change...

Please don't recommend "On-Shape", "Free-Cad", "Fusion-360" or anything else.
I'm only exploring users experience with Alibre here...

John
I've only been using it for a short while. *I have the same questions. BTW, how was Pro-E? I've never ussed it but want to know what it is like in comparison to Solidworks and Inventor
 
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