Anybody using other platforms and software?

Who’s using other platforms and software tools for CAD and Animation, besides Windows, AutoCAD, Inventor 5 and 3D Studio Max?

Macs, Linux? Maya?

I run Linux (Debian/GNU Linux) on a few computers.

At Linux World, PTC had a demonstration of ProEngineer running on Linux. I think it’s still going through QA, but I’ve heard it’s suppsed to blow Autodesk’s CAD stuff out of the water… Not that I have any experience or skill with any CAD software, whatsoever…

Pro/E has been on Linux/*nix for a long time now. In fact, all of my team’s sponsor’s engineers use this combo. What I want to see is Pro/Desktop (the cheaper version of Pro/E) for Linux. I currently use Pro/D for Windows to do all my design stuff. It’s very similar to Inventor, just a little more powerful and I can exchange files with our sponsor’s Pro/E machines.

The only free 3d program for linux that is operational that I know of is Blender. Sadly, the company has gone under. They’re trying to raise money…if they raise enough, they say they’ll make Blender open source. But until then, I believe nobody is developing Blender.

http://freshmeat.net/browse/109/?topic_id=109

It seems that quite a few of pro. 3D modelers use SUN Solaris. I’m not sure if they’re run on x86 or SPARC…but I just know people use it :stuck_out_tongue: The majority of them don’t use Winders. :slight_smile:

I’m not totally sure on any CAD programs for linux, though. I know of a lego cad program named leocad :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t use any of them, but in the FreeBSD ports collection, under the cad folder , you will find a bunch of CAD programs.

I use Rhino3d in windoze, and one of our kids runs in on his mac using virtual PC. There is a free demo of it from thier website, Rhino3d.com, its just limited to 25 saves, its pretty easy and relatively cheap compared to other software.

I got an educational copy of Pro/ENGINEER from JourneyEd. It really is pretty amazing…I was used to AutoCAD, and Pro/E blew me away. It’s available for Windows, by the way; I have used it quite happily on Millenium and now XP. (The educational version, by the way, is fully functional; it just includes something that means files from the educational and standard versions are not interchangeable; it also adds a small ‘For Educational Use Only’ to drawing printouts).

The main feature of Pro/E is that it is fully parametric. Parts are created using ‘features’, each of which is dimensioned from datum planes and existing features. You can change any dimension of any feature, and all the features based on it will automatically change. One very nice feature, especially for FIRST, is the ability to quickly create ‘part families’ of similar parts such as a bunch of different sizes of gears, nuts, bearings etc; you create the basic part, specify which dimensions change among different versions of each part, and then just dump in a big table of values (often I can just copy and paste out of PDF catalogues).

Parts are then brought into assemblies. You put parts together according to how they should really fit together, not using dimensions; for instance, to start a gearbox, I place a motor, then bring in a gear and say it should be in a vertical plane through the motor, the front faces of the motor pinion and the gear should be aligned, and the surfaces should be tangent. Again, everything is parametric, so if that first gear is replaced by, say, another gear from the same part family, everything else moves so all the placement constraints (mate, align, insert, tangent etc.) are still satisfied. Part families are very nice in asemblies; once you’ve built up a library of the standard parts you use, assembling them together into gearboxes and other stuff becomes very, very quick.

There’s just a massive amount of other features, too…built-in standard hole sizes for imperial and metric (including countersink and counterbore, if you want), a 3D model that’s always fully rendered, the ability to simulate and test the mechanics of your models, sophisticated measurement tools (dimensions, inertia, mass…), an animation option (simple), a massive sub-program for creating engineering drawings with projections, details, cross-sections, bills of material…pretty much every time I’ve wondered ‘Can Pro/E do this?’, the answer has been ‘Yes’.

Unfortunately, the massive power of the program (the commercial version is $34 000) comes at the expense of usability - Pro/E is quite hard to learn and can be quite finicky, especially with file management and especially in Windows, by the looks of it.

Has anybody used Pro/E alongside other programs like CATIA, SolidWorks, or Unigraphics? I have never used any of those programs, and I would be curious to see how they compare.

Blender rocks, it is now open-source so hey why not? I gave it a try and so far I lvoe it, it exists for windows and mac also so compatibility isn’t a problem. Attached is a nasic “Blend” I’ve done in about 15 minutes, keep in mind my camera angle is slightly off and no texture, plus my first time. I thyink it came out well though.

castle.jpg


castle.jpg

I managed to get an Educational release of SolidWorks, as well as lectures on how to use it from my brother’s intro to cad class at college. I don’t really have any expierience in cad, so for those of you that do: have any of you used SolidWorks? Should I continue teaching myself SolidWorks, or start teaching myself AutoCAD/Inventor from the kit last year?

*Originally posted by SuperDanman *
**I managed to get an Educational release of SolidWorks, as well as lectures on how to use it from my brother’s intro to cad class at college. I don’t really have any expierience in cad, so for those of you that do: have any of you used SolidWorks? Should I continue teaching myself SolidWorks, or start teaching myself AutoCAD/Inventor from the kit last year? **

To be honest I’m not sure which system has the most commercial value at the moment. I do know that the major CAD programs are going parametric and that CATIA5’s look and feel is very similar to Inventor.

I’ve been doing CAD for over twenty years now, but it is not a major part of my job (a couple of months every year or so) so I don’t have a lot of time on any one system. To be considered “experienced” you need at least 2000 hrs on ONE system. So 20+ years running CADAM, NCAD, Unigraphics 9 & 10 & 14 & 15, CATIA 4 & 5, AutoCad R14, and now finally Inventor 5 with 200-500 hours each (depending on how long they stayed around) doesn’t count. At least not in most places where when they want an experienced CAD operator they want to just hand him a sketch and have him be productive, before he finds out where the restroom is.

To sum it up, if your team is using one program, I’d learn that. If you are on your own, I’d check the want ads or with a recruiter for what is marketable in your area. Then get really good with that program, which will take you about 1000 hours. Less if you are already good with another system, or have made a profession of learning new systems, like I have.

The really confusing part is when you are using three different systems at once for different projects. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out that the reason the program is acting so funny is that the mouse click does something different in this program than the one your brain thinks it’s using.