seeking need knowledge about developable surface programs

Discussion in 'Software' started by timber, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. timber
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Pagosa Springs, Colorado

    timber Junior Member

    I own the i550 sportboat design and want to enhance the kit I sell so it is easier to put together for all the people who want to build one but are not that confident.
    I have really good AutoCAD files for the panels but not the budget for the Program. Also my skills with CAD are low. OK really low....
    What software might be a good choice for modifying the files so that a slot and tab kit can be CNC cut?
     
  2. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Probably the software you are looking for does not exist. Manual labor is required and AutoCAD is very good tool for doing. If you could show what you have and where you want to go, maybe I could help.
     
  3. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Rhino, with a user who is knowledgable and comfortable working with 3D surface design.
     
  4. Baltic Bandit

    Baltic Bandit Previous Member

    There are a variety of CAD programs out there that are essentially free:

    Draftsight by Dassault Systemes http://www.3ds.com/products-services/draftsight/download-draftsight/

    NanoCad http://nanocad.com/ (truth in lending the CEO of NanoCad is a friend of mine)

    And if you want Autodesk itself, they have moved to a 100% Cloud based offering http://www.autodesk.com/subscription/overview That lets you pay a monthly subscription. at $75/mo I think you can afford it


    As for not being a CAD jockey - pay someone.
     
  5. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Draftsight is essentially 2D only. If all that's needed is to modify 2D drawings then DraftSight would be sufficient. Based on the nanoCAD website it appears to be primarily 2D with limited 3D capabilities but nothing about 3D surfaces

    I assume from timber's question that he needs to deal with developable surfaces and locations of tabs and slots on the surfaces. That requires software which can work with arbitrary 3D developable surfaces. Rhino is the lowest cost software with that capability which I'm aware of. Autodesk's (AutoCAD's parent) offering for 3D arbitrary surface design is Alias. The "low cost" version of Alias is about four times the price of Rhino and is less capable.
     
  6. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    I guess timber needs not only a program to develop the hull plating but he wants to redo the design so that it is easier to build for amateur builders.
    He has, I suppose, drawings and wants to redraw them in any CAD progam to meet his new ideas, adopting, as a result of that, new construction solutions.
    Timber would be nice you to explain better what you have and where you want to get to know what kind of help is what you need.
     
  7. DGreenwood
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: New York

    DGreenwood Senior Member

    Interesting. I had no idea that Chris Beckwith had sold the plans rights. I remember him peddling those plans on the internet back when sailing forums were a much cruder affair and he was not having much luck drawing attention. It is great what has happened to them since.
    It is also curious that they are being sold from Colorado. I am from the Gunnison CB area myself and never expected to see a company like yours in a little mountain town like Pagosa! As a kid, I worked for the Fish and Game up in the Weminuche Wilderness area near there for a winter. Pagosa was my touch with civilization for a few hours every few weeks. I was just there a few months ago and stayed at a hotel and ate an elks steak at a restaurant called Somebodies Attic (can't remember the real name)
    Anyway to address your problem.
    If you know where on panels you want the slot or tab it is a simple matter to add them to the cutting file. Of course you will need to test the process first before you go sending out any designs or kits. I presume you are talking about tabbing the bulkheads into the skin? It really doesn't take very much for a location tab in this case. The slot would not need to even go all the way through the skin.
    BB is right...you can open and manipulate your files with Draftsight. If you feel like doing this yourself, Draftsight has good free teaching tools and with some study you can probably do this no problem. If you hit a snag there are plenty of people around to help or I can give you some guidance.
    I suggest using small pieces of ply and perfecting your tab and slot before you add them to your existing cutting file.
    Feel free to PM me anytime.
    D
     
  8. timber
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    timber Junior Member

    Thanks all for the advice. I will start to look into the different software mentioned, especially Draftsight.
    Chris Beckwith sold the i550 design to me in January 2008. Since then we've sent about 541 plansets to about 40+ countries and there are clusters of multiple boats built as group efforts in a few of them.
    As far as tweaking the design-- no not going to do that--- but the goal is to make a simple build simpler and less intimidating for those who want to but doubt their abilities.
    I have been testing panels to see how large a "tab" with corresponding "slot" will begin to affect the fairness of the hull panel when it is coaxed into shape. None of the panels have great amounts of torture needed to form the three panel shape of the hull.
    Again thanks for the guidance.
    T
     
  9. Baltic Bandit

    Baltic Bandit Previous Member

    And again, look at Autodesk 360. $75/mo license isn't onerous. The only downside is that once you save off your designed files, you will be unable to edit them if you give up your license. Basically at $75/mo they figure you will pay for at least 2 years. In which case they have recouped a lot of the revenue lost to piracy. Its a good deal since you essentially are getting the stuff for a fraction of your costs.
     
  10. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    I'm with David on this one, Rhino is still the best 'cheap' 3D program that can do the job. Unfortunately Maya (originally developed by Silicon Graphics but bought by Autodesk) could have done it as well, but now it is twice the original price and four times that of Rhino.... Not to mention it is more an animation tool although it handled parametric surface development really well in earlier days.

    Strange how Autodesk have not developed a single proper 3D program, but bought every one, including Alias and Revit - more a parametric architectural beast. Actually almost any cheap/free 2D decent CAD program would do the job if you put in the hours. I even have a developable surface program add on for a 2D CAD program. Mind you, as it is DOS you will need DOS Box to run it all - less than 700k of code all told, yes only half a floppy!.
     
  11. Hampus
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Hampus Junior Member

    If your only goal is to create CAD files for CNC cutting, any free 2D CAD program will work as long as it's able to produce files of the required format. Just manually develop your plates in the software just as you would have on paper.
     
  12. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    DCockey Senior Member

    If timber already knows where the slots are located and their orientation on the sides before the sides are bent into position then DraftSight or AutoCAD will be sufficient for adding the slots to the drawings used to create the cut files.

    If timber wants to determine the location and orientation of the slots on the assembled boat and the corresponding locations on the flat panels then a tool such as Rhino3D is the way to go. In theory it can be done in 2D, either on a computer or on a drafting board, but appropriate software will be much faster.

    Alias from AutoDesk is quite capable of doing the job and I have a copy of 2012 Alias Design. I tried it but found it to be less capable than Rhino. And if you need to buy it the price is around four times that of Rhino. Alias Surface and Alias Automotive are more capable but much more expensive.
     
  13. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Please do keep us posted on your progress. Making plans easier to build would be of real interest to me. I am a big fan of making building more efficient.

    Slots in the CNC cut panels for frame alignment is a great benefit. I noticed that many 'stitch and glue' kayak kits now come with precut building jigs - and after building some kayaks without them, I can understand the benefits.

    I got some panels cut with CNC, and after I put together the test panels, I modified the drawings prior to the 'live' cut, and paid an extra $50 to the cutting person for a new tool, to also add the small holes for the 'stitches'. Such a small adjustment, but I really enjoyed the saving in work effort.

    I would also recommend Rhino for consideration. It appears to be the 'sweet spot' as far as cost versus power in 3d Cad.

    I cant figure out how you could do your job properly using 2D cad myself, but do let us know how you get on.
     
  14. Baltic Bandit

    Baltic Bandit Previous Member

    Actually Autodesk Inventor is quite a nice 3D solids Modeler.
     

  15. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Cheers Baltic, maybe you should reassess Rel 1 of Inventor...I know resellers Beta testing it and they almost universally reported back to not release, it was so buggy, and frequently crashed running on Win NT4. Now SolidWorks was a hell of a lot better and Solid Edge too but much much more limited.

    It's a decent modeller now after kernel changes etc etc but the first few releases were, er er lets say a bit sad when some other alternatives were around. It might be just me but I prefer the older license/purchase model still employed by vendors/developers like McNeel and others. I do completely accept that the monthly license etc is suitable for some business users.

    Even I have found several repeatable bugs in LT before now so 16,000 Beta testers did not do a very thorough job IMHO. It is OK ish as a drafter just slow and a bit cumbersome, and there are a lot of decent alternatives even Illustrator is a pretty good drafter, if you are familiar with it.
     
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