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  1. #1
    Sterob's Avatar
    Lives in Australind, Australia. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 37. Received thanks 1 times, giving thanks to others 4 times.
    I have not used any3D CAD Software before, except for minutes playing with Sketchup a while ago and recently, Fusion 360.
    I have used Autosketch 10 for basic 2D work quite a bit.

    I want to try and design my new Extrusion CNC Router using 3D CAD Software but have some very basic questions.....
    I want to use Modular Components Extrusion ( available from Melbourne ) Is this 'Item24' brand?
    and Hiwin Rails.

    How do I choose a file format to use? Most CAD seem to accept multiple file formats?
    Do I have to download all the files I want, preferably, before I start designing and create a new 'Library' within the Software?
    Do all the file formats have to be the same?

    What is the most popular software to use? Fusion 360?, FreeCAD? Anything else? Happy to buy if needed as long as its not 'thousands' of dollars....lol

    I've googled and search here but have not found what I am looking for....

    Steve

  2. #2
    AndyUK's Avatar
    Lives in Southampton, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 12 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 294. Received thanks 62 times, giving thanks to others 27 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    Hi Steve,

    I suggest you pick a software tool, then watch some YouTube tutorials and follow along. You can learn a lot that way!

    I personally use SOLIDWORKS because it's what I'm used to, but learning Fusion 360 will pay dividends later when you want to design things to cut on the machine, as fusion can do the CAM as well. Fusion would get my vote for anyone with no previous experience. The learning curve will be steep but worthwhile, and you have experience with another Autodesk tool which will help.

    Usually you can download models in any format the software accepts, and bring it into an assembly, which is an arrangement of multiple parts. When you save it, it transfers it into its preferred format. With profile rail, you might just find they're in DXF which is a 2D drawing which you can just extrude to the desired length.

    Hope that helps, good luck and we're looking forward to seeing the results!

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  4. #3
    Kitwn's Avatar
    Lives in Exmouth, Australia. Last Activity: 8 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 315. Received thanks 36 times, giving thanks to others 9 times.
    I gave up trying to do two complex things at once, learn how to master Fusion 360 at the same time as designing my machine, and used paper and pencil instead. The stress level dropped significantly and the machine got built a lot sooner.
    Engineering is the art of doing for ten shillings what any fool can do for a pound.
    Wellington.

  5. #4
    Sterob's Avatar
    Lives in Australind, Australia. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 37. Received thanks 1 times, giving thanks to others 4 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitwn View Post
    I gave up trying to do two complex things at once, learn how to master Fusion 360 at the same time as designing my machine, and used paper and pencil instead. The stress level dropped significantly and the machine got built a lot sooner.
    Yes....That might be the case as well....Hard to visualise the design but you may be right Kit....lol
    Fusion won't let me log in now so it all may be moot....lol

  6. #5
    Kitwn's Avatar
    Lives in Exmouth, Australia. Last Activity: 8 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 315. Received thanks 36 times, giving thanks to others 9 times.
    It's obviously very useful being able to visualise everything in 3D and have all the components listed with dimensions always up to date as things change but I've found the learning curve for F360 a bit steep, especially if I put it down for a while and do something else for a day or thirty.
    Engineering is the art of doing for ten shillings what any fool can do for a pound.
    Wellington.

  7. #6
    Sterob's Avatar
    Lives in Australind, Australia. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 37. Received thanks 1 times, giving thanks to others 4 times.
    I watched a few videos and managed to import the CAD files for the extrusion I want to use into Fusion, so I'm off on the steep learning curve!
    Can see some extrusions....just have to make them match up....lol

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitwn View Post
    I gave up trying to do two complex things at once, learn how to master Fusion 360 at the same time as designing my machine, and used paper and pencil instead. The stress level dropped significantly and the machine got built a lot sooner.
    That is some really good advice!

    I have been struggling with Fusion (although I do think I am starting to get to grips with it now) and trying to design my machine with it. I have persevered but with hindsight I would probably have a fully operational machine now if I had just drawn it out by hand (and cut down on the procrastination!). Instead I still have a pile of components and 14 iterations of my machine's design!

  9. #8
    Kitwn's Avatar
    Lives in Exmouth, Australia. Last Activity: 8 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 315. Received thanks 36 times, giving thanks to others 9 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainBarnacles View Post
    That is some really good advice!

    I have been struggling with Fusion (although I do think I am starting to get to grips with it now) and trying to design my machine with it. I have persevered but with hindsight I would probably have a fully operational machine now if I had just drawn it out by hand (and cut down on the procrastination!). Instead I still have a pile of components and 14 iterations of my machine's design!
    I do think F360 is an amazing piece of software, especially at the price, and would recommend every beginner to get it and learn how to use it. My aging brain just seems to be having a problem holding onto it's details. I use CamBam which is not a 3D package but very capable and far more intuitive to use, especially for an old f**t like me who was raised on 2D drawing software in the early 1990s.
    Engineering is the art of doing for ten shillings what any fool can do for a pound.
    Wellington.

  10. #9
    Sterob's Avatar
    Lives in Australind, Australia. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 37. Received thanks 1 times, giving thanks to others 4 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainBarnacles View Post
    That is some really good advice!

    I have been struggling with Fusion (although I do think I am starting to get to grips with it now) and trying to design my machine with it. I have persevered but with hindsight I would probably have a fully operational machine now if I had just drawn it out by hand (and cut down on the procrastination!). Instead I still have a pile of components and 14 iterations of my machine's design!


    Thank you gentlemen...You have made sense and I will stick with 2D drawings.
    I have found it far easier to make reasonable progress and I can do without struggling with learning 3D at this time.
    I'm 54 soon, so new tricks take longer to learn....lol

  11. #10
    Kitwn's Avatar
    Lives in Exmouth, Australia. Last Activity: 8 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 315. Received thanks 36 times, giving thanks to others 9 times.
    I vaguely remember being 54...
    Actually it wasn't THAT long ago, just seems like it on some days

    PS When I was at school (back in the day when men walked on the moon every few months) they taught me how to do isometric drawings.... On paper!! With a Pencil!!!!! That knowledge has been very useful in the evolution of my CNC adventure.
    Engineering is the art of doing for ten shillings what any fool can do for a pound.
    Wellington.

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