Cafe Racer Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,267 Posts
I use both AutoCad 2008 and SolidWorks on a pretty regular basis.

I use them both because they both have strong and weak points.

AutoCad if you are doing drawings for a building, a porch, a railing, fence etc. Something largish with many seperate entities. It's not very parametric...meaning entities in your drawings are not readily changed...can be changed yes, but could be much easier.

SolidWorks if you are doing drawings for a smallish item, something to be machined, something with a few descreet parts, something to be manufactured in mass. Projects with more than one component must be created in an "assembly". Seperate parts in the assembly can be modified separately. Much more parametric. Solid works translates into CNC code better.

If I was designing rear-sets....I'd use SolidWorks...if I was designing a porch railing I'd use AutoCad.
Of course I just have a working knowledge of both....either can be used for either purpose....but I find the above generalizations work better for me.
JohnnyB
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,267 Posts
Lefty,
I could really use a basic course in AutoCad. Lots of features I don't know about. I do mostly 3D work, so AutoCad...although it much more 3D friendly these days than it used to be, is still kind of primitive in that aspect. But so often the defacto standard for drawings that one must use it. When I see command line stuff I tend to kind of glaze over :).
I just recently made use of blocks and layers on a stairway project. What I meant by changing entities, is I'm used to parametric software like 3DS MAX, and Solidworks, where you can for instance bring up the properties of any object and change them in any way you like, usually with spinners.
I can see why the AutoCad people recently bought 3DS MAX, a combination of those two programs could kick solidworks butt I bet. 3DS MAX is in general a 3D modeling, animation and special effects software, extreme versatile and easy to use. All it lacks is the dimensional accuracy of real CAD software. It's creation methods and intuitive 3D modeling is excellent. Where CAD software is dimension driven, MAX is...visually driven. Combine the two and you end up with easy to create, dimensionally accurate drawings
3D in CAD always seems to be "extrusion" based. Whereas in MAX...you can create 3D objects with a click and drag method (or spinners, or keyboard)...then place the objects where you want them. With all the usual alignment and orientation tools.
Here's some MAX stuff I did for an upcoming project.
http://www.jrbranson.com/cgstone/cgstone2.htm

Most of the textures came from on site photos. It's about 95% dimensionally accurate (not enough) but it was for the project presentation. Took only a couple of hours to draw up...... I'm still working on the AutoCAD drawings needed to generate the accurate drawings on paper. Of course I've used MAX for about ten years so it feels very easy to me.
As much of a pain as it typically is for me, I usually fall back on AutoCAD when I have to generate prints to take down to the shop with me. Just one of those things where if I had an expert user sitting next to me I could lean over and ask how I do something...and it could save me hours.
JohnnyB
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,267 Posts
Lefty, the way your brother is using the two packages makes a lot of sense. AutoCad would actually be easier than 3DS to create a 2D building plan to extrude.
I recently got AC 2008, I make good use of the new 3D tools...and the interface looks more like 3DS with every new version. Most drawings I can't make much sense of until I rotate them in 3d :)
Haven't actually played much with the 3DS to AC import....gonna have to check that out. It might be much easier to build in 3DS and correct the dimensions in AC.
I'm in upstate NY, I'll keep your email handy for questions.

SolidWorks is just amazing for some things. Their setup for doing "mates" for checking the operation of a mechanical drawing is awesome. As are things like flawless, almost mind reading when it comes to filets and such. If a person was designing something like rear-sets, Solidworks does a tremendous job, very easy, and generates dimensioned drawings effortlessly.
JohnnyB
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top