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BLACK BELT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm signed up for an Engineering class at the local college. Starts in the middle of Feb. It's required to get into the CAD program.

They have 2 CAD programs. One is AutoCAD, the other is Solidworks. I believe Solidworks is daddy for making motorcycle parts, but pretty sure either one will work for my needs.

Then recently, I found out how expensive AutoCAD and Solidworks are. It's too much for what I'm doing. I could pay a pro to draw up my stuff for less money. I could get one at the student price for a year, but would probably be learning most of the time.

Found CorelCAD 2021. Retail price is $699 usd. No subscription. No internet needed to run the program (and I don't have internet at home). Can use it as long as the program and computer function. I think you can only activate it once.

I can get the student price of $49 usd. CorelCAD is supposed to be similar to AutoCAD in operation. Great price, so I'm thinking about pulling the trigger fast.

If it's not too hard, I could cancel the engineering classes. If it's hard for me, maybe the AutoCAD college classes would help. I would prefer to cancel the classes because the times are inconvenient, and I would need home internet.

If any one knows about CorelCAD, or can evaluate it, please speak up. Advice is appreciated. I'll let you know what happens.



 

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BLACK BELT
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Just enough to make some fairly simple parts, like a rear caliper support, clutch window, kickstand bracket, other small parts that need machining. Even simple things like spacers.

It should be easier to get my stuff machined with CAD drawings, than with my hand drawings.

One of my main concerns is that I don't see .STEP, .STP, or .IGES files on CorelCAD. I thought those are the best files for machining parts.
 

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One of my main concerns is that I don't see .STEP, .STP, or .IGES files on CorelCAD. I thought those are the best files for machining parts.
Those are 3D file types. 2D are usually DWG, DXF or the like.

I’ve been using AutoCad 2D since the late 90’s (R13 I think). I used SW 2018 a few years ago for my previous position. Now I use Nx12 (Unigraphics).

I still prefer 2D for quick sketches rather than fumble creating sketches in 3D model space, extruding (or whatever) a model and then make a 2D drawing.

Dassault (SW) used to offer Draftsight 2D for free but they got greedy and now you have to pay for a yearly subscription.

If you get really good with orthographic projection you don’t really need 3D models unless they’re pretty complex.

Just my $0.02 worth.

Later, Doug
 
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i use autocad at work, autocad and autodesk inventor, for simple parts you don't need 3D, a DXF should suffice. The mills i use work off of PROTOTRAK operating system, and it can take tool paths , pockets profiles etc straight from the DXF. I never bother drawing my bike parts in 3D , unless i really want to see how certain profiles interact
 

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Fuck it, let's do it live
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I've been summoned!

Cancel the classes. There is nothing about using a particular tool, be it CAD software or an angle grinder, that you need to pay someone to tell you. This is the Information Age goddamnit, all of this shit is available online for free. Between forums, Reddit, and YouTube you can learn just about anything to a reasonably intermediate-advanced level... all you really need past that is the hands-on practice. School is for getting shiny pieces of paper to show off to people that assign it value (i.e. employers)... if your intent is just to learn, you don't need to pay for that.

As far as the software itself goes - well it depends on your morals lol. You can buy a .edu email for like $5 on certain websites, which will get you AutoCAD and a bunch of other Auto Desk applications. Solidworks is great, but more complicated and infinitely more capable than what you need to draw bike stuff unless you're trying to draw a whole ass bike with all of it's component parts, and it's a little tougher to get a hold of. They offer 2yr licenses for $20 to military/veterans, or at least they used to. If I hadn't already installed my cheapo license for my own use I'd offer to order it for you, but maybe you can find a veteran buddy who would do it for you?
There's also Fusion360, which I don't have a lot of seat time on but is fully capable and completely free for homegamer use. This is going to be your easiest and most legal option.
And of course, all of these software packages are available through everybody's favorite pirating platforms. Just spin up a virtual machine, cut the VM off so it can't access the internet, and install it on that.

And on the subject of internet. You need it. All of these CAD suites "phone home" to verify the license. The pirated stuff has some 1's and 0's that intercept and redirect that phone call to a local doodad that says "Yeah homie you're good" so they generally work fine without internet.
And I get it, you don't have it and probably don't want it if you don't have it at this point. But like... what's the long term cost comparison of spending a bunch of money on school vs money on internet where you can use it to learn ALL the things?

As far as Corel goes, I downloaded and tried it once for shits and gigs and it sucked. But that was a hand of years ago and maybe they're a solid option now, I dunno.

And regards filetypes - STL is for 3D printing, think of it as a 3d picture. It's just a picture. You can measure a picture, look at it from different angles, but you can't DO anything with it. You can't hop on a picture of a bike and do a burnout.
Solidworks and Mastercam files (STEP and equivalents) are solids. Think of them as a hard object that's just been digitized. You can do things to and with it, cut it, build on it, etc. These are for actual proper modeling, and are the standard for Making Things in industry.
DXFs and DWG's can hold 3D shapes but are really for 2D stuff. You can make things for 2D CNC's (plasma table, waterjet, etc.) with a DXF, but not for a CNC mill (I mean there's a way to make stuff work, but it's not proper).


And text me if you have questions. Most of you have my number, I'm not dead yet, just been busy as all fuck with a never-ending and ever-increasing stream of bullshit.
 

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CAPTAIN AWESOME®
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I've been summoned!

Cancel the classes. There is nothing about using a particular tool, be it CAD software or an angle grinder, that you need to pay someone to tell you. This is the Information Age goddamnit, all of this shit is available online for free. Between forums, Reddit, and YouTube you can learn just about anything to a reasonably intermediate-advanced level... all you really need past that is the hands-on practice. School is for getting shiny pieces of paper to show off to people that assign it value (i.e. employers)... if your intent is just to learn, you don't need to pay for that.

As far as the software itself goes - well it depends on your morals lol. You can buy a .edu email for like $5 on certain websites, which will get you AutoCAD and a bunch of other Auto Desk applications. Solidworks is great, but more complicated and infinitely more capable than what you need to draw bike stuff unless you're trying to draw a whole ass bike with all of it's component parts, and it's a little tougher to get a hold of. They offer 2yr licenses for $20 to military/veterans, or at least they used to. If I hadn't already installed my cheapo license for my own use I'd offer to order it for you, but maybe you can find a veteran buddy who would do it for you?
There's also Fusion360, which I don't have a lot of seat time on but is fully capable and completely free for homegamer use. This is going to be your easiest and most legal option.
And of course, all of these software packages are available through everybody's favorite pirating platforms. Just spin up a virtual machine, cut the VM off so it can't access the internet, and install it on that.

And on the subject of internet. You need it. All of these CAD suites "phone home" to verify the license. The pirated stuff has some 1's and 0's that intercept and redirect that phone call to a local doodad that says "Yeah homie you're good" so they generally work fine without internet.
And I get it, you don't have it and probably don't want it if you don't have it at this point. But like... what's the long term cost comparison of spending a bunch of money on school vs money on internet where you can use it to learn ALL the things?

As far as Corel goes, I downloaded and tried it once for shits and gigs and it sucked. But that was a hand of years ago and maybe they're a solid option now, I dunno.

And regards filetypes - STL is for 3D printing, think of it as a 3d picture. It's just a picture. You can measure a picture, look at it from different angles, but you can't DO anything with it. You can't hop on a picture of a bike and do a burnout.
Solidworks and Mastercam files (STEP and equivalents) are solids. Think of them as a hard object that's just been digitized. You can do things to and with it, cut it, build on it, etc. These are for actual proper modeling, and are the standard for Making Things in industry.
DXFs and DWG's can hold 3D shapes but are really for 2D stuff. You can make things for 2D CNC's (plasma table, waterjet, etc.) with a DXF, but not for a CNC mill (I mean there's a way to make stuff work, but it's not proper).


And text me if you have questions. Most of you have my number, I'm not dead yet, just been busy as all fuck with a never-ending and ever-increasing stream of bullshit.
This guy ^^
 

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I use AutoCAD for work, and it's really a 2D tool, Autodesk Inventor or Solidworks are generally considered to be the industry "standards" for 3D stuff. I've recently been playing with Sketchup for 3D, and with an understanding of how 3D works, it took me a couple of hours to get my head around how their package is organised (AutoCAD it's not...) . but it will create 2D and 3D drawings. The free version doesn't allow export of the file (I used snip & sketch to take these screenshots), but the premium version is pretty reasonable compared to my CAD licence. If you do decide to have a go at AutoCAD, get a student copy of AutoCAD LT (you won't need the full version for 2D work) , and then use the inbuilt training module to teach your self the basics. If get stuck with a particular command, just ask!
Different tools, some easier, some more complex, and suited to a range of things. Sorry it's not a simpler choice. But once you start learning, it'll become a bit clearer.

Did this one in AutoCAD LT
Black Font Line Red Symmetry


And this one in Sketchup (there are loads of Tutorials for SketchUp on Youtube)

Rectangle Line Gas Parallel Engineering
 

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Offering my 2 cents here... I use fusion360 at my day job. (I work in a machine/prototyping shop) For us, Fusion is great because it has an integrated CAM system which makes going from a 2/3D model to CNC ops a bit less head scratchy. the interface is also relatively simple to learn, and there are tons of YouTube how to videos. My go to is the homie Lars: Lars Christensen - YouTube. Unfortunately, they limit your saves on the free licenses to 10 "active saves" (fuckers...) Fusion 360: Your Guide Through the Changes | All3DP .
 

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Fuck it, let's do it live
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great to see your name pop up boss
It's CK's fault. He texted me and told me Smoker needed help, and I can't say no to such a thing
 

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Fuck it, let's do it live
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Offering my 2 cents here... I use fusion360 at my day job. (I work in a machine/prototyping shop) For us, Fusion is great because it has an integrated CAM system which makes going from a 2/3D model to CNC ops a bit less head scratchy. the interface is also relatively simple to learn, and there are tons of YouTube how to videos. My go to is the homie Lars: Lars Christensen - YouTube. Unfortunately, they limit your saves on the free licenses to 10 "active saves" (fuckers...) Fusion 360: Your Guide Through the Changes | All3DP .
The integrated CAM solution is ok until you get into higher end parts/tolerances. Mastercam is wayyy better with toolpath generation, but maybe a bit less capable with actual modeling, and even then Mcam starts to suck ass when you get into higher end stuff. Hypermill is the next step up from there. I had a part recently where Mcam just wouldn't fucking do the thing I wanted, moved over to Hypermill and 2 mins of playing with parameters got it done.
 

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BLACK BELT
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First of all, thanks Mason! You're definitely the right man to set me straight on this. Much appreciated. And thanks to my bro CK.

Everyone's right that I don't need to draw in 3D. I didn't really put that together when looking up software.

Sounds like AutoCAD is the way to go. But, home internet is a way off for me. Was hoping to get it by summer for that college AutoCAD class.

Yan- I see .DWG on the CorelCAD, but not .DFX. Does .DWG work with your machine system?

Was thinking I could mess around with the CorelCAD, or another non-internet software, until I can get home internet. But, I want to use the drawings for making parts.

So, to submit my 2D drawings to CNC machine shops, I need to use .STEP ? Unless they have a program like Yan, then I could use .DFX ?

I'll keep at it.
 

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i think autocad is fussy with importing files from other systems, so I usually request DXF as I have a better chance of opening them. I'm not a machinist, I'm a toolmaker, I don't have access to proper fancy CNC mills , simple 3 axis stuff . Perfect for what we do, more repair ,maintenance and modification
 

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Fuck it, let's do it live
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First of all, thanks Mason! You're definitely the right man to set me straight on this. Much appreciated. And thanks to my bro CK.

Everyone's right that I don't need to draw in 3D. I didn't really put that together when looking up software.

Sounds like AutoCAD is the way to go. But, home internet is a way off for me. Was hoping to get it by summer for that college AutoCAD class.

Yan- I see .DWG on the CorelCAD, but not .DFX. Does .DWG work with your machine system?

Was thinking I could mess around with the CorelCAD, or another non-internet software, until I can get home internet. But, I want to use the drawings for making parts.

So, to submit my 2D drawings to CNC machine shops, I need to use .STEP ? Unless they have a program like Yan, then I could use .DFX ?

I'll keep at it.
If you're sending shit to a machine shop you can give em a napkin sketch with the critical dimensions scribbled on it and they'll give you a part. Everything we're talking about here is to make the files to make the parts... they'll have those tools at hand, so if you aren't trying to do the making of the things yourself, you don't truly NEED any of it. Which is to say, they'll take whatever you give em.

If you want to be super-extra-proper, you give them a STEP file from Solidworks of the part, that you'd better be damn sure is exactly precisely perfect, and then you give them a drawing (which any of these software packages will create for you) that has the critical dimensions and tolerances listed with it outlined in the notes that say "Limited dimension print - solid model filename.filetype is the source file for dimensions not shown."

This is how the Big Names send me stuff at work. There is absolutely zero need for you to go to these lengths.

On the flip side, if you do give them a file and say that, they will make it. Period. Even if it's wrong.
And, you don't need to worry about the CAM side. They'll either politely accept it and then redo it or just outright say they don't need it. Every machine has it's little foibles, every programmer thinks they're smarter than every other programmer, and at the end of the day it's a huge liability... if they run a file you give them and it crashes their machine that's on them and they have nobody to point a finger at. Not to mention, you don't have the posts (basically a translator that takes what the CAM software puts out and turns it into something the machine can understand, and it's usually machine or at least manufacturer specific. My Okuma won't run files posted with the HAAS post, the HAAS UMC won't run files posted with the HAAS 3-axis post, etc.).
So, don't bother with CAM.

I don't mean any of this to discourage you or make you think you're chasing your tail here. What I mean is, ultimately none of this will determine whether or not you can get your shit made, so do whatever you WANT to do. If you want to be proper about it, that's how. If you want to just have fun with drawing pixels, get what's easiest to get your hands on and have fun with it.
 

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backing up what mcanter says, we have maintenance guys at work use a simple drawing package, and if it was being sent to an outside toolroom god only knows what they'd get back, I usually re draw and double check all of their stuff, often having to phone round to ask for enough dimensions. On the other hand we had assembly cell components drawn up by an automation company, they put in so much detail and tight , unnecessary, tolerances that the company they used for manufacturing wanted 6.5K to make a part I made for 1.5. The outside company had no context, just a drawing, so they worked strictly to it, I knew what was important and what wasn't
 

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This is the place I had planned on using when it came time for custom machined parts:


They have free software you can use. That being said, I haven't used it so I don't know how easy it is to make stuff with it, but it's an option.
 

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BLACK BELT
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Okay. College engineering course for next semester cancelled. I didn't really want to go to in-person classes twice a week during weekdays. My welding classes are on Fri night and Sat day, so not so bad.

Will probably grab CorelCAD for a test run. Can't go too wrong for $49 usd. Then, when I get home internet, I could step up to AutoCAD.

Next issue is getting an appropriate laptop to run Corel/AutoCAD.
I know I have to look at all the software requirements. I'll try to make a complete list, and see what laptops fit the bill. Started looking at some graphic design laptops, but didn't get far. Computer specs may as well be a foriegn language to me.
 
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