Learing curve for Solidworks 2018, with a good base OneCnc Expert & AutoCad
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  1. #1
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    Default Learing curve for Solidworks 2018, with a good base OneCnc Expert & AutoCad

    Hi all.

    I need a new modeling / CAD system, as my old computer with AutoCad 2002 died, and my current CAD/CAM package is not really suited for assemblies. Think injection molds, with lots of cavity inserts, grips, platens, etc.
    I thought about the AutoDesk subscription, but currently thinking Solidworks for 4 reasons:

    A) Most of my customers already use, and are are fluent in S/W.
    B) I am getting more and more into molds & assemblies.
    C) The ability to generate a dimensioned part drawing (3 view + isometric) very quickly, from a solid.
    D) Parametric modeling

    I have a good base when designing & drawing in AutoCad, as I took a few courses in college, and have used it for over 20+ years. (I started with AutoCad 12)

    Beyond that, I am proficient modeling in OneCnc. (Just FYI, it is a decent / good modeling package, but a great CAM system.)

    I would assume that most 3D CAD systems are all similar, with the slight differences with the icons, and terminology.
    Hopefully.

    My question /s (before I ramble too long) are this:

    1) Will it be an easy crossover, from one 3D CAD system to another?
    2) How easy is it to create BOM's?
    3) Will SolidCAM (Camworks) make me want to turn to the dark side?
    4) Is there anyone in the Houston/Conroe/Magnolia metroplex that would offer tutoring privately (for $$) if I need some?

    Thanks all,

    Doug.

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    In our shop, we use AutoDesk Inventor. I mentioned it because you liked AutoCAD. With Inventor, you can import and export to and from a solid works file.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    cmmpro1,

    Thanks.
    I can import/export solid works files with my existing cam system, but sometimes there are issues.
    I figured "Why import a non-native file, when I can just buy the program they are created in?"
    [That] reason just didn't make the final edit of my post, above.

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    Default I think I have answers to my questions

    Youtube seems to have alleviated my concerns as to "crossover"

    Now, what do they mean by full simulation? jkjk

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    IMO, SolidWorks is still the best out there for getting work done efficiently. Moving from one CAD to another is never fun but the power of SolidWorks will quickly outshine the little idiosyncrasies of the software. I used Rhino (still use Rhino every once and a while) and PTC Wildfire for years before picking up SolidWorks and I was fine after a few days and efficient in under 6 months. Because of the large user base most issues can be sorted with a quick Google search.

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    I can't answer the cam part but transitioning from autocad to solidworks is different. It's just a new of thinking.
    We installed it and had training the following week, but in the meantime I messed around around with it and was completely lost. But after the first day of training I got the gist of how the solid modeling worked then it was pretty easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doug925 View Post

    1) Will it be an easy crossover, from one 3D CAD system to another?


    Thanks all,

    Doug.
    Go thru the tutorials in SW,you will be fine.
    I have used onecnc and sw,and bobcad,and proe. They all skin the cat, just in different ways.

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    Solidworks means you can run solidcam - which now also has lots of videos, etc. I wouldn't call it "the dark side" of late, as the tutorials have been shining light on it (:-)

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    The initial SW learning curve for an experienced 3D program user is usually quite quick, but to become really proficient and to learn to use all the time saving options and tricks can take along time. I have been using SW since 1996 and again and again discover some nice feature (some indeed in new versions, but not all)that can make a job much easier and faster.

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    I just bought it (SW professional, CAM professional). I had been a solidworks user but new to their CAM and still pretty new to CAM in general. So far I like the CAM very well. The CAM by default (standard) is only 2.5d. I would think for mold work you would want more 3d tool paths so you ought to look at the CAM professional. I think CAMworks has a feature tree on their web site, saw it somewhere, that shows the various features for levels including for SW CAM.

    My only complaint so far is that although the SW CAM is a mature product it is in a way a new product. As a SW customer the support comes from SW not CAMworks. It seems that the SW people, including my VAR, don't know squat about the CAM. I think some of the VARs are actually long term CAMworks vendors and SW vendors so they have a leg up. I think this will work its way out as the SW CAM knowledge base ramps up but for now at least in my case I have been pretty much on my own with specific CAM questions. There are a lot of online video tutorials for CAMworks and this has been a great help.

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    (1) I think any experienced 3D CAD/CAM user will get up to speed very quickly on simple models and drawings. The more esoteric and in depth stuff comes in time, but once you get used to how SW "goes about" modeling solids, you can make an educated guess as how to create them. The tutorials will have you whizzing along in no time. The hardest stuff to learn might be surface manipulation, but once again, when you understand how SW goes about it, the rest makes sense.

    (2) Two button clicks. Auto Balloon and then BOM. You can manually do it if you wish, or alter it after it's done it.

    (3) SolidCAM has its advantages and disadvantages, just like any other program. The plus is since it's native, it understands the features. Pete is correct about standard being 2.5 axis.

    (4) I live in Tennesseee. But, if you ever have a question, shoot me a PM.

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    I think you will be able to make the transition quickly. That said, you will continue to discover features for years after. For me the weirdest part of SW, one I have never really gotten over, is the fact that you construct things in sketches first and add dimensions second. Against my normal thought process it is.....

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    Here is a link to the CAMworks site where they show what features are in the levels of SW CAM.
    https://camworks.com/solidworks-cam-...d-by-camworks/

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    Quote Originally Posted by doug925 View Post
    2) How easy is it to create BOM's?
    SW does this very well if you get in the good habit of using the file property manager. Creating exploded views and BOMs are easy to do with good templates and the property manager, maintaining them over time is a bit of a pain. On larger assemblies it can be beneficial to create an "Exploded View" configuration and derive the BOM print from that. Good thing is all that crap I said, that would not have meant anything to me before I started, is covered very well in the tutorials, here, and on YouTube.
    Last edited by Kyle Smith; 01-23-2018 at 12:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doug925 View Post
    Hi all.

    I need a new modeling / CAD system, as my old computer with AutoCad 2002 died, and my current CAD/CAM package is not really suited for assemblies. Think injection molds, with lots of cavity inserts, grips, platens, etc.
    I thought about the AutoDesk subscription, but currently thinking Solidworks for 4 reasons:

    A) Most of my customers already use, and are are fluent in S/W.
    B) I am getting more and more into molds & assemblies.
    C) The ability to generate a dimensioned part drawing (3 view + isometric) very quickly, from a solid.
    D) Parametric modeling

    I have a good base when designing & drawing in AutoCad, as I took a few courses in college, and have used it for over 20+ years. (I started with AutoCad 12)

    Beyond that, I am proficient modeling in OneCnc. (Just FYI, it is a decent / good modeling package, but a great CAM system.)

    I would assume that most 3D CAD systems are all similar, with the slight differences with the icons, and terminology.
    Hopefully.

    My question /s (before I ramble too long) are this:

    1) Will it be an easy crossover, from one 3D CAD system to another?
    2) How easy is it to create BOM's?
    3) Will SolidCAM (Camworks) make me want to turn to the dark side?
    4) Is there anyone in the Houston/Conroe/Magnolia metroplex that would offer tutoring privately (for $$) if I need some?

    Thanks all,

    Doug.
    man your about 20 years behind the curve.

    though SW2018 has CAM now it is only a light version, you would need to upgrade it to full blown CAMWorks for doing your molds.

    SW is the most used CAD out there, almost all the schools instruct it, though Inventor, Inventor HSM and Fusion 360 are free to school, students, staff and faculty it still isn't making a dent in SW's hold on the market, because you can only get a subscription..aka rent the software, stop renting software shuts down.

    SW is still perpetual use it until your PC dies.

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    Doug, if you go with SW there will be lots of help just like the mastercam userbase. PM me if you buy and have questions.
    I like the SW route as there are so many CAM addons. Mastercam, bobcam, HSMworks, solidcam, camworks. powermill?..anymore?

    there are also mold design addons for SW.

    another hot package coming up seems to be Topsolid, if your interested in assembly CAD & CAM in one package.

    I friend with a shop swears by Fusion360 for simpler single part cadcam

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    Fwiw..
    I have done some stuff in sw but am not pro or expert level in it ..

    Learning "some" sw is fairly easy.
    Like most big complex programs. Rhino/CATIA/Office for example.

    Here is an example project (I posted before):

    Model a ballscrew.

    Have the correct gothic arc.
    Can it be made ?
    How large is the model ? How long did it take to model ?
    What accuracy in sub-microns or microns is the model ?
    How large is the file ?
    How fast is it to use (On a NVIDIA Quadro 4000 .. etc )?

    ? Could You model the ballnut and the balls correctly ?
    (ALMOST certainly not - I expect.)

    For 10+ years a main interest of mine was 3D CAD stuff, animations etc.

    Imo..
    Good pro users can link sw models to postgres (etc) sql dB databases..
    make families of parts, instances, exports, various levels of accuracy and file size, ..

    Can make and use intelligent version/sub/group/instances of parts/features/details to make the workflow efficient.
    E.g.
    Like holes for bolts, threaded holes, accurately threaded holes (and how accurate ?? important question).

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    Thanks all!

    I spent a few (maybe more) hours watching tutorials on youtube yesterday.
    It looks like the learning curve to get up and running will be quick.
    Proficiency will come in time.
    Beyond the fact that SW uses planes with different names (top plane for the XZ plane, Vs front, will take a second to reorient my brain) and some minor terminology changes, it should be pretty straight forward.

    I do still plan on using OneCnc for my cam, but design / modeling will be done in SW.

    Thanks again all!

    Doug.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doug925 View Post
    Thanks all!

    I spent a few (maybe more) hours watching tutorials on youtube yesterday.
    It looks like the learning curve to get up and running will be quick.
    Proficiency will come in time.
    Beyond the fact that SW uses planes with different names (top plane for the XZ plane, Vs front, will take a second to reorient my brain) and some minor terminology changes, it should be pretty straight forward.

    I do still plan on using OneCnc for my cam, but design / modeling will be done in SW.

    Thanks again all!

    Doug.
    Here is on hint if you want your part to be setup so your ISO view is correct to your machining plane, start your sketch on the top plane in SW.

    Also learn to model in an ISO view that way you'll get the orientation right.
    download HSMXpress it is free plus you get SW-CAM now with a versions of 2018 which is 2.5 axis like HSMXpress

    one last sat thing if onecnc opens native SW files does it bring the model in as with the SW orientation or does it bring it in and rotate it so the SW front becomes the onecnc top, I ask because surfcam does tha because the customers ask for that? That way you can use front in SW.

    i have use SW since 97 as model maker, worked for the SW dealer instructing and have taught students since 2001 how to use it a machinist way not an engineers way, so throw out question we are all here to help you out.

    it may help if you take the classes at the dealer, I know it cost around $1200, but it will get you jamin in a week VS hunt and pecking thru. You also get the course books when you are done with the class, they are super references when you get stuck at work and cannot remember how you did that in class.

    hope this helps

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    Quote Originally Posted by doug925 View Post
    Thanks all!
    Beyond the fact that SW uses planes with different names (top plane for the XZ plane, Vs front, will take a second to reorient my brain) and some minor terminology changes, it should be pretty straight forward.
    If you don't like the plane names, just rename them and save as a template. Use this template when starting a new file. Take the time to get all your settings how you like them in this template (units, number of decimal places, etc, etc,). After that, every new file will be exactly to your liking. Can have any number of templates as well, in case you have different needs (e.g., inch and metric).

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