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Thread: CAD/CAM Software

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tom C's Avatar
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    CAD/CAM Software

    Hello forum,

    I have a few questions for all of you.... I am presently switching over my CAD usage from Designspark to Fusion360 from autodesk. its free like designspark AND it has an integrated CAM package for making toolpaths like mastercam, traceroute, etc..... I also like it because it has the ability to do assemblies AND animate those assemblies. As TeslagenX ramps up production, we will need this to make sure assemblies fit. it will output STL files also for 3D Printing, and allow us to run A CNC router.

    So my questions are as follows:

    what software do you use for CAD?

    what software do you use for CAM?

    What software do you use for PCB layout and Gerber file generation?

    do you have a software electronic circuit simulation package you like to use? I.E. spiceIV etc?

    I want all of us here to be able to collaborate on designs and figure out ways to make better mousetraps! I know a few of us here have 3D printers, and would like to encourage everyone to try and find a new or used one online, it has eccelerated my ability to build and experiment.

    Tom C


    experimental Kits, chargers and solar trackers

  2. #2
    Hey Tom. I use Autodesk AutoCAD 2014 for CAD, Cura for 3D print, and Mach3 for the CNC router.

    DMann

  3. #3
    Hi Tom,
    Not exactly what you are asking of us but I wonder if you could give a beginners overview of 3D printing?

    I do not know anything about it because I have always sent out for my machined parts. I'm not looking for a book on the subject but things like what to look for in a good machine, what separates good ones from bad ones, maybe some recommendations on good ones (brand/model) for the type of work our group members are likely to need to create. Perhaps some offer better materials or more variety of materials to work with, or perhaps some have better detail capabilities, that sort of thing for someone who does not really know what to look for.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tom C's Avatar
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    Bob,

    well 3D printing is still in the wild wild west as far as technology goes, its progressing faster than you can imagine. I was curious as to what people are drawing in. regardless of the software, it needs to save in the STL file format, that what the printer control software uses to "slice" the part into layers.

    basic printing filaments are PLA and ABS pla is easier to print but ABS is way more durable, holds threads better and will not absorb moisture like PLA will.

    I own 4 different printers, a flashforge, a robo 3D R1+ a Davinci 1.0 All in one that is currently broken... and a Rostock MAX from seeme cnc my favorite printer right now is my flashforge creator pro, I have 2 of them.

    I use simplify 3D as my slicing and printer control software, I also use mattercontrol from time to time

    your big parts will still have to be machined, the print dimensions vary from printer to printer.

    do a lot of research and then dive in, I would get a flashforge or a Robo if I was going to start from scratch.

    Tom C









    '


    experimental Kits, chargers and solar trackers

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom C View Post
    Bob,

    well 3D printing is still in the wild wild west as far as technology goes, its progressing faster than you can imagine. I was curious as to what people are drawing in. regardless of the software, it needs to save in the STL file format, that what the printer control software uses to "slice" the part into layers.

    basic printing filaments are PLA and ABS pla is easier to print but ABS is way more durable, holds threads better and will not absorb moisture like PLA will.

    I own 4 different printers, a flashforge, a robo 3D R1+ a Davinci 1.0 All in one that is currently broken... and a Rostock MAX from seeme cnc my favorite printer right now is my flashforge creator pro, I have 2 of them.

    I use simplify 3D as my slicing and printer control software, I also use mattercontrol from time to time

    your big parts will still have to be machined, the print dimensions vary from printer to printer.

    do a lot of research and then dive in, I would get a flashforge or a Robo if I was going to start from scratch.

    Tom C









    '
    Perfect, thanks Tom. I have been wanting a 3d printer ever since I heard about them a a few years ago but as you said they always seemed to be in development and I guess they still are. I bet the current models are way better than how it all started though. Yea I get that size is a limit with them but I'm sure I could come up with tons of things to make like gears, leavers, holders for components and such. Maybe if uncle sam decides to give me any of my money back this year I might get one.

  6. #6
    This is the printer that I use. https://printrbot.com/shop/certified/ It has been a workhorse for me. I have put 7lbs of pla through it since I bought it in May 2016. The build volume is small on it stock at roughly 4" X 4" X 5" but is up-gradable for a larger print volume and heated bed (for abs). At $350 you also get auto bed leveling. You get Cura for slicing and a year trail of one of the Autodesk CAD programs. It prints very detailed down to .05 mm layers (I have not tried that). I generally print .1 mm to .2 mm layers.

    I have used the print service at the library of the university that I work at. The individual that is in charge of that service stands by his flashforge creator pro. The engineering dept. also has a flashforge for the students to work with. The Rockstock gets the best reviews for dimensional capabilities.

    I agree with Tom in that this industry is constantly evolving.

    DMann

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DMANN View Post
    This is the printer that I use. https://printrbot.com/shop/certified/ It has been a workhorse for me. I have put 7lbs of pla through it since I bought it in May 2016. The build volume is small on it stock at roughly 4" X 4" X 5" but is up-gradable for a larger print volume and heated bed (for abs). At $350 you also get auto bed leveling. You get Cura for slicing and a year trail of one of the Autodesk CAD programs. It prints very detailed down to .05 mm layers (I have not tried that). I generally print .1 mm to .2 mm layers.

    I have used the print service at the library of the university that I work at. The individual that is in charge of that service stands by his flashforge creator pro. The engineering dept. also has a flashforge for the students to work with. The Rockstock gets the best reviews for dimensional capabilities.

    I agree with Tom in that this industry is constantly evolving.

    DMann
    Thanks for the info Dmann. I don't want to highjack Toms thread here with a bunch of printer questions but both of you have given me a nudge in the right direction and I appreciate it.

  8. #8

    Thumbs up Me B Novice

    So, we have one of JB’s Robo3D’s and I have to say like many things in this field it’s a steep but sure learning curve. Myself, I tend to shy away from these things at first but with the internet’s awesome communities I can rest assured there is an answer for almost every question out there.

    Our first print was a part for the printer itself – lol - almost a catch 22. Two tiny little plastic parts that hold a belt together for the Y axis were broken, in shipping most likely because it was a very common part and also available on thingiverse. My guess JB opened it saw it was broken not wanting to mess with it put it back in the box. He was probably going to return it and never got around to it. A little superglue held them long enough to print themselves This was an excellent first project! Simple small already designed ready to print. It made us reach out to the community and discover.

    My favorite design software to use so far, as a novice, is 123D there are many many youtube tutorials. This will get you going and thinking in 3d quickly. It’s good for getting ideas into a design with not too much tinkering. For more intricate work Meshmixer seems to fit the bill. One that I’ve used in the past for my videos is Blender – This is the ultimate control, time consuming, huge “ninja vertical wall” learning curve. For me anyway, by the time I figure out how to hallow out a circle I forget why I was doing it in the first place – hahaha. Once you know it, you know it and the control will get you exactly what you want. These are all free and open source, large community for help.

    There are many opinions out there on what to use, this combo has worked best for me so far.
    KR - Patrick

  9. #9
    I have been using Free Cad https://www.freecadweb.org/ and OpenScad http://www.openscad.org/ for making various things with my Stacker 500 3D printer http://stacker3d.com/

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tom C's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses everyone,

    I am really passionate about 3D printing, the biggest reasonis that it enables us to replicate all of John's work without having to have a machine shop. coil bobbins, different coil shapes, the ability to print rotors and bearing supports, with little investment comparatively.

    if you can afford one, please get one, it will be so worth your time and effort.

    Tom C


    experimental Kits, chargers and solar trackers

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