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  • For 3D Modeling of mechanical parts which is the best software? I need help

    Discussion in '2D and 3D CAD general discussion forum' started by mechanicaldesign, Aug 27, 2012.

    1. cfee

      cfee Member

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      If you're currently using only a 2D drawing generation program (AutoCAD maybe?), you may already have what you need to begin with early 3D modeling. Once you've grown a bit in 3D modeling you'll know more about what you'd prefer, in order to expand your work in 3D. Let's take a moment to consider some ways to plan an approach...

      First, many who are doing 2D drawings are using a basic 2D program. Some are VERY inexpensive, and may offer little or NO 3D capabilities. Here's how you might work your way forward - First, AutoCAD is an accepted industry standard 2D CAD drafting tool. Its expensive at ~$5500 US / seat, NOT including subscription ! Consequently, many companies either go with AutoCAD -LT at around $1500/ seat, but having NO 3D capability or otherwise- an AutoCAD "WORKALIKE". Some just go with a vastly Inexpensive 2D drawing program, but eventually realize that's not good enough.

      So- a possible strategy MIGHT look like-
      1. Short-Term: START with an inexpensive AutoCAD workalike for around $500 US/seat. This will get you the 2D you need to keep making shop drawings, for VERY low cost. I recommend looking into ProgeCAD or BRICSCAD. There are others, too. They all offer 30 day download trials. The nice thing is if you get pretty good using them for your 2D, you'll be "learning" AutoCAD, since they "work alike". AND you can begin to explore their 3D ! So- if you decide 3D is of value to your operation, whatever you learn doing 3D using a workalike, you can transfer that knowledge to AutoCAD 3D, too!

      2. Mid-Term: Grow up to full AutoCAD. Afford the $5500/ seat, and take advantage of all of the things the AutoCAD universe (AutoDESK, ETC.) has to offer. OR-

      3. Mid/Long-Term: Once you've mastered some of the basics of 3D and have decided how 3D fits into your workflow, move up to a real 3D "SYSTEM", such as Inventor, Solid Works, Solid Edge, Pro/E or CREO, UG, RHINO, ETC. There are many to choose from, and I have MY personal favorite, but that's not pertinent here.

      Summary-
      YOU have to decide which will meet your needs, and there's really no way to accomplish that without taking a long close look at your company's needs and how to meet them. Knowing what those needs are within the context of what 2D (you'll still need shop drawings) AND basic or advanced 3D can do for YOU is the priority. One advantage to taking the approach I mention here, is that the CAD world is VAST and you'll be able to make basic progress while still getting the work done, and exploring the entire CAD world at the same time, as your schedule and budget allows !

      Ok- Good luck, and post back here and let us know how it goes ?

      Good luck -

      C.
       
      Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
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    3. ChrisW

      ChrisW Well-Known Member

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      Be very careful not to confuse Autocad with Parametric modellers like SW, Inventor etc. Learning Autocad will be almost no help if later transferring to a mainline alternative and is almost as expensive as Inventor, which came bundled with Autocad last time I used it.
       
    4. cfee

      cfee Member

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      That's an excellent point, and one I endorse, ESPECIALLY considering cost ! Typically, you can get an Inventor design suite which includes AutoCAD and 3DS. This is a VERY powerful approach to full-spectrum 3D. BUT and this is crucial - the cost to adopt is NEVER limited to the per-seat cost alone, ESPECIALLY when considering a bundle that might include AutoCAD and Inventor, etc. At $5500 for AutoCAD, if you bundle it with other programs, you can truly see a strong $ savings at $10,000 for the bundle (and that's PER PERSON - you can't LEGALLY have one person using the AutoCAD and a different person using the Inventor, and a 3rd person using the 3D Studio...) and that doesn't include the subscription cost, but then you have to factor in the cost for training, and the EXTENDED time in "Learning Curve". That can reach to multiple years to gain true mastery. I've got 2+years, and Inventor is my favorite, but a colleague's favorite is Solid Works, and he has 5+ years on it... OR- you can get started TODAY with a $500 workalike, learn some basic 3D, work it into your workflow, and once you're pretty sure how you'll use 3D to meet your needs, you can explore migrating upward to a $10,000 suite. Everyone charts their own path, but ChrisW is ABSOLUTELY correct- you don't want to mistake a Freeform Solid Modeler like AutoCAD, an AutoCAD workalike, or even RHINO, with a Parametric Solid Modeler Like Inventor or Solid Works. They do 3D very differently from how AutoCAD does 3D. Still, what you learn WILL be a good preparation for learning more advanced techniques offered in a Parametric modeler like Inventor or SW. Its interesting that CREO is a product from a Parametric maker, that's trying to focus on some advantages of free-form over parametric ! No matter what, you'll be looking at some transition.

      Good luck !

      C.
       
      Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
    5. navada_do

      navada_do Member

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      my suggestion, for solid modelling: inventor or solidworks, for surface modelling: Catia or NX.
      Currently I am using both Inventor and Solidworks for various customer.
       
    6. John Tindle

      John Tindle New Member

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      I've been a Design Engineer for 30+ years and have used Soliworks for the last 10 years. I think it comes down to personal preferances - when choosing between Solidworks or Inventor. They are both very good.
       
    7. hrishi2086

      hrishi2086 New Member

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      pro engineer ( NOw CREO) and solidworks...
       
    8. drafting

      drafting New Member

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      Truth be told, a great deal of 3d displaying programming is moderately useful for designer.if you do the structural configuration, and I think you can choose the creo,but i need to say focused around your organization items qualities to choose the best outline programming!
       
    9. PRIYA DHAN

      PRIYA DHAN New Member

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      Hi, I am a mechanical engineer. Designing is my passion. On the basis of my experienced, I found that for 2D, auto cad is the best friendly software. In case of 3D software, there are many software like catia, pro-e, solid work, auto desk inventor. I found that pro-e is the most friendly software. It is also easy. But catia is most effective software. It has many option. In catia, tasks are distributed is well manure. There are many tasks we can in catia. Like surface modeling, part deign, assembly design, drafting, kinematic.many things. There is also macro in catia. So, I prefer to learn catia. If you need any help regarding catia, you can contact with me at my email address [email protected].
       
    10. nordnung

      nordnung New Member

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      I use Inventor, and I am very happy:)
       
    11. Lennart_B

      Lennart_B New Member

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      Hi,
      I'd propose you have a deep look into IronCAD.
      Best!
       

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