Author Topic: DesignCAD Tutorials  (Read 5791 times)

Crckrjck2

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DesignCAD Tutorials
« on: August 16, 2012, 06:13:19 PM »
Seems someone collected the tutorials from the old DesignCADUnleashed website and posted them here:

http://www.jqoc.com/soft/DesignCAD-Tutorial/

Glad to see they're still available!

(V-17-18 as I recall)
 ;D
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 06:43:46 PM by Crckrjck2 »

prl

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Re: DesignCAD Tutorials
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2012, 05:16:55 AM »
CJ, nice to see these again.

Phil, MarkX -  the tutorial about making the threaded bolt is a must-read. Great approach . . .  http://www.jqoc.com/soft/DesignCAD-Tutorial/20071121/503.html

MarkX

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Re: DesignCAD Tutorials
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2012, 07:21:31 AM »
CJ, nice to see these again.

Phil, MarkX -  the tutorial about making the threaded bolt is a must-read. Great approach . . .  http://www.jqoc.com/soft/DesignCAD-Tutorial/20071121/503.html
Oh yeah. I forgot that I had actually done that one.

In our ongoing discussion about making a bolt, I wanted to do a one-to-one comparison with a tutorial for another product. So that defined the technique I used. 

Mark

Dr PR

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Re: DesignCAD Tutorials
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2012, 07:25:22 PM »
There is an awful lot of unnecessary steps in that method (and a few missing steps in the tutorial), and in older versions it would have created a lot of unnecessary facets (larger file size). In 3D it is best to start with 3D solids and not sweep planes to create them - especially cylinders.

The hex head can be created by drawing a hex plane and extruding it - this generates only 8 facets. Sweeping the plane will create 18 facets.

In the latest versions, using "Solid Add" or "Solid Subtract" will clean up the unnecessary facets.

Phil
DesignCAD user since 1987

JJG

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Re: DesignCAD Tutorials
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 09:41:03 AM »
Seems someone collected the tutorials from the old DesignCADUnleashed website and posted them here:

http://www.jqoc.com/soft/DesignCAD-Tutorial/

Glad to see they're still available!

(V-17-18 as I recall)
 ;D

We recently spoke about this in the following topic :  http://forum.designcadcommunity.com/index.php?topic=4028.0
It appears that some tutorials are not due to their alleged author ... but there are interesting methods.

rjspear

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Re: DesignCAD Tutorials
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2012, 04:28:54 PM »
Speaking of tutorials, I have been a hard-core user of Design CAD 2D for years, but now I find that I have some needs to get into 3D. A program like Sketchup is remarkably easy to use, although I find it not as precise as DC and not as easy to fix certain kinds of errors. I thought, why should I try to learn another program for 3D work when the one I already have is probably very good. I turn on the 3D function and end up staring at the screen without a clue what to do next. Really demoralizing. Are there really no recent tutorials for 3D, even for the most basic functions?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 06:50:42 AM by rjspear »

Dr PR

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Re: DesignCAD Tutorials
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2012, 10:38:03 PM »
rj,

Your 2D drawing background is a great hindrance to working in 3D. You will tend to try to do things like you did in 2D, and that will almost always cause problems. The program works the same way in 2D and 3D, but you must learn to work differently.

You do not create a drawing of objects in 3D, you create virtual objects. These objects are solids, and there are two general techniques for creating them.

First, think of machining a piece out of a larger solid, just as you would on a milling machine or a lathe. Start with a larger object and cut away the parts you don't want with the solid Boolean functions (Solid Subtract, etc.). You can also "weld" solids together with the solid Boolean functions (Solid Add).

The second technique is to build up solids surface by surface. The surfaces MUST be polygons or grids. After all of the surfaces have been created and positioned you collect them all together into one object with "Solid Define." You must be careful here because you can create solids with missing sides or "leaks" between polygons where they don't join together correctly.

In reality you will use both techniques.

Do not draw with lines in 3D and then try to convert them to planes and solids - draw with planes and solids from the start. Do not try to "draw" objects on the screen - this is 2D thinking. You must visualize the 3D object you want and then create it in the 3D virtual universe inside DesignCAD.

****

The "Reference Manual" (Dcad22.pdf) has a section on 3D objects and 3D editing operations. The file is installed in the folder containing the program. Read through it all to learn what 3D features the program offers. On line Help has pretty much the same information, but you have to know what you are looking for.

There are a lot of "how to" posts in the "Tips and Tricks" section of the Forum.

Perhaps the quickest way to get an answer is to ask on the Forum. You will almost certainly get several answers with different ways to do whatever you are trying to do.

Once you "get the hang" of working in 3D it is fun - a lot like playing with modeling clay when you were a kid.

Phil
DesignCAD user since 1987

rjspear

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Re: DesignCAD Tutorials
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2012, 06:59:34 AM »
What you have said is depressing, but not unexpected. I do have experience in another 3D program where just the opposite approach is used; you create solids and add them together by aligning them with spatial coordinates. I think taking a solid  and cutting away anything that's not a violin (my intended use) will be a far from trivial task. However, if my "if I live that long" plans come to fruition, the resulting object will used to generate G-codes for a cnc router, in which case taking a large solid and removing portions of it is exactly what will need to be done.

One good thing about starting at the bottom is that you can't get depressed by slipping backward! Thanks for the very useful pointers. I'm off the check the manual.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 08:59:27 AM by rjspear »

Bob P

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Re: DesignCAD Tutorials
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2012, 07:33:38 AM »
RJ,

DC gives you many, many methods to create/modify solids including:

Creating and modifying the primitive solids available within DC.

Extruding planes (regular or irregular) into a third dimension (including varying the proportion of the plane as it is extruded).

Sweeping planes to make irregular cylinders.

Sweeping planes in a spiral, including variable "pitch" and diameter.

Connecting (multiple) surfaces to create a complex final shape.

And finally, adding or subtracting any of the solids above to make new shapes.

There are surely more techniques that I haven't mentioned here.  Bottom line: There are few shapes that you can't make in DC.  Read through the manual to get an idea of all the tools available.

minstrel

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Re: DesignCAD Tutorials
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2012, 09:48:23 AM »
Speaking of tutorials, I have been a hard-core user of Design CAD 2D for years, but now I find that I have some needs to get into 3D. ........I turn on the 3D function and end up staring at the screen without a clue what to do next. Really demoralizing. Are there really no recent tutorials for 3D, even for the most basic functions?

Hi, rjspear,

....Your story, was my story, not so long ago.  For years I stayed away from the 3D aspects of DCAD....why?  It seemed too involved [plus I already worked 3D in SketchUp].  Well, those days are gone and, though I'm still at the beginning stages of 3D development, I can fully agree with Dr PR..."working in 3D it is fun - a lot like playing with modeling clay when you were a kid."

So, regarding tutorials.  I've been leaning toward sharing my 3D experiences via 'video' screen tutorials for some time now.  After reading your post [and my own experiences] I sense there is truly a need for such basic guidance.  Please understand, by no means do I claim full understanding of DCAD,  yet perhaps they can be found helpful. 

I'll set things up and when ready I'll place a link in this thread.   Tut_001 "See, 3D's not so scary" [it will address your last post - re: solid subtracts]

Minstrel
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 11:48:14 AM by minstrel »

MarkX

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Re: DesignCAD Tutorials
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2012, 02:43:35 PM »
Here's my stab at it:

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpq0igxOHx8
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFQyP8cs7hA

Making a tutorial turned out to be a lot of work ... partly because I was using 3 different pieces of software and a slow machine.

I've noticed other tutorials out there IF you speak German.

Mark
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 04:00:12 PM by MarkX »

minstrel

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Re: DesignCAD Tutorials
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2012, 06:36:38 AM »
Here's the link to the video tutorial ...  tut_001 - "3D Not So Scary"
http://www.crossresolution.nl/3Dspace/index.php
... hope it assists some new DesignCADer's and inspires them to experiment with 3D.

Minstrel

edit - link updated
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 06:34:22 AM by minstrel »

Dr PR

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Re: DesignCAD Tutorials
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2012, 10:11:18 AM »
minstrel,

Nice demonstration. What did you use to capture the video?

You tutorial actually demonstrates all of the reasons you shouldn't start in 2D when working in 3D.

1. First, you should work in 3D mode - this will allow you to do things much faster with many fewer steps.

2. You should create the rectangular solid by

  a. Select the "Box" tool.

  b. Set the first corner anywhere (turn off the grid, it limits your freedom to work).

  c. Set the diagonal opposite corner with the "Point Relative" function.

In your demo you had to do far more things, and took a lot longer, to achieve this result. There is no need to create a plane and then extrude it if you are creating rectangular boxes. It is a lot of extra work.

3. Create the cylinder with the "Cylinder" tool.

  a. Select the "Cylinder" tool. Set the number of facets to 36 - do NOT use the default 144.*

  b. Gravity snap to the midpoint of the lower front edge of the box.

  c. Use "Point Relative" to set the desired radius.

  d. Use "Point Polar" to set the length of the cylinder.

There is no need to create the circle and then extrude it. It is a lot of unnecessary work.

4. This creates the cylinder with the bottom surface coplanar with the bottom surface of the box. This can cause problems with "Solid Subtract." To be safe, move the cylinder down a slight amount.

  a. Gravity snap to the cylinder to select it.

  b. Gravity snap again to the same place to start the "Move" function.

  c. Use "Point relative" to move the cylinder down a very short distance.

5. Use "Solid Subtract" to subtract the cylinder from the box.

****

* DesignCAD defaults to a huge number of facets (144) for circular planes, cylinders, etc. This will cause file size to grow rapidly, and you will soon have long redraws and huge files. In most cases 36 facets are more than enough to get smooth surfaces and ends.

****

The method I describe achieves the same result with FAR fewer steps, and in much less time. If you are going to do much work in 3D you should learn to use the 3D tools to maximize your productivity.

The process described above used five functions (Box, Cylinder, Midpoint, Move and Solid Subtract) and four "Point Polar" operations, a total of about 30 clicks and key presses and 48 seconds.

Your process (not counting all the shading, Info Box, etc.) used nine functions. You used "Point Polar" only once, but just dragged to set distances several times - a total of about a dozen operations. In the end you also had left over garbage (line and circular plane) that must be deleted (more operations).

Also, you messed around with the grid a lot. You should always enter precise dimensions (as I did using "Point Polar") if you are actually designing something that has to be a specific size. In such cases the grid can be a big nuisance, preventing you from placing points where they need to be.

Phil
DesignCAD user since 1987

minstrel

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Re: DesignCAD Tutorials
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2012, 10:44:10 AM »
Thanks Dr PR,

You responded better than I had hope for.  I should have mentioned it on the site, but the follow up tutorial is going to demonstrate the same project, but done exclusively in 3D.  And you have just helped that project along very nicely.  Many thanks for viewing and suggestions.

On the other hand, I want to reach those who never ventured into 3D, and, as I said, get their feet wet at least.
In the beginning, I felt much more confortable converting 2D into 3D ...so this might speak to those who feel the same and get them interested in experimentation.  Each can then develope their own approach and workflow.

As far as the capture software....well, like Mark said, "lots of work"... it also took multiple software approaches to pull it off...but the foundation is based upon a very old version of 'Camtasia Sudio 3'.  I dug it up from an old harddrive I used years ago.  There are several free options that I need to explore....working on 'no-budget' ain't easy!

Thanks again for all your input
...and keep your eyes out for that '3D only tutorial'!

Minstrel

« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 10:48:34 AM by minstrel »

Dr PR

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Re: DesignCAD Tutorials
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2012, 08:25:46 PM »
minstrel,

I do understand about working with the program in ways you are familiar with. I started working in 3D just as you did, coming from a 2D background. Each person should use methods they are most comfortable with.

However, there is a problem with that approach. Until I started following this Forum I was barely using the features in DesignCAD. In many cases I was using complicated multi-step procedures I had learned years earlier to do things that newer features made much simpler and faster. This was especially true with 3D drawing.

Fortunately there are other very experienced users on the Forum who have shown me new tricks. And the newbies have helped me learn by asking questions that forced me to look for better ways to do things.

I appreciate you taking the time to create the tutorials. I will be following them - who knows what I will learn next?

Phil
DesignCAD user since 1987