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To all,

I'm a career mechanical design engineer, recently retired.

I own a seat of SolidWorks 3D CAD software.  I've been a SolidWorks user since '95.

If anyone needs a solid model created, I'd be more than happy to give it a wail.

I'm a budding watch repairman and would like to give back to this community that has helped me immeasurably thus far.

cheers

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Are you still using solidworks or transitioned to a different software since retirement? The license for SW is a lot cheaper than I expected. I am a mechanical engineer, but not worked with CAD for many years (2D AutoCAD) so I have moved to FreeCAD and find it suitable for my needs so far, but probably only scratched the surface of what it can do. I would be interested in your professional opinion before I get too invested in FreeCAD, if there are better options out there. My son gets access to fusion 360 through his school via a student license and it seems like a more polished and user friendly software than FreeCAD, but it requires the purchase of a license and does not work natively in Linux (my normal OS).

Other users also seem to like OpenSCAD especially for parametric designing, was curious if you had any opinion on this also.

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5 hours ago, Waggy said:

Are you still using solidworks or transitioned to a different software since retirement? The license for SW is a lot cheaper than I expected. I am a mechanical engineer, but not worked with CAD for many years (2D AutoCAD) so I have moved to FreeCAD and find it suitable for my needs so far, but probably only scratched the surface of what it can do. I would be interested in your professional opinion before I get too invested in FreeCAD, if there are better options out there. My son gets access to fusion 360 through his school via a student license and it seems like a more polished and user friendly software than FreeCAD, but it requires the purchase of a license and does not work natively in Linux (my normal OS).

Other users also seem to like OpenSCAD especially for parametric designing, was curious if you had any opinion on this also.

I’m trying to find the time to get into freecad myself as I am a cheap Scotsman 🤪. I think littlewatchshop uses freecad extensively.

 

Tom

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Kind of a global answer.

Many, many years ago I owned a small business and had bought a seat of SolidWorks.  We're talking the year 2000.

The business failed, but I was lucky enough to find a position that suited all my various idiosyncrasies with the bonus of the owner being generous enough to pay the annual support stipend for my seat of SolidWorks (was $1295/year, now $1695). Unfortunately with my retirement that gravy train has come to an end.  My subscription ends at the end of the month, so when the bill came I asked my wife about the cost.  She asked how much and I said Twelve ninety five. She replied only twelve ninety five, of course go ahead.  I said no, twelve hundred and ninety five dollars. To which she replied, oh hell no....... 🫢  

For the frugal amongst us, a "Maker's Edition" of SolidWorks is available for $39/year right now: https://www.solidworks.com/solution/3dexperience-solidworks-makers.

I'm still investigating the vagaries of that program and will let y'all know what I find out. If it's solely a web interface I'm definitely not interested.  If It includes an installable version of SolidWorks I'll probably go that route.

If it doesn't I'll just use my current seat until Windows doesn't support it any longer.

I've tried FreeCAD.  There are just to many issues for me. 

If you want a good free 3D CAD system and aren't put off by an internet interface, try OnShape. OnShape was created by Jon Hirschtick who was the creator of SolidWorks. 

The downside of OnShape is everything is in "the cloud" and with the free version you have to make your files available to everyone.  No private file storage.

In any event, the offer stands.  Send me a sketch, a picture, whatever and I'll build you a model.

Some info on other "free" systems.

Siemens has a free "maker" version of SolidEdge available: https://resources.sw.siemens.com/en-US/download-solid-edge-community-edition

I've tried this in the past and it works just fine, but already having a seat of SolidWorks available I was not motivated enough to become conversant in SolidEdge.

SolidEdge has been around for about as long as SolidWorks, but has never quite gotten the  industry buy-in that SolidWorks has.,  Dunno why.

Some folks that I respect use SolidEdge and tell me that in many ways it's a superior product to SolidWorks.

So there is your rabbit hole for the day!

edit: the forum merged two separate posts, so I edited them a bit to be a little less incongruous

cheers

Edited by Doobs
dain bramage
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32 minutes ago, Kalanag said:

I‘ve been using Fusion360 and I like it. As a non professional user you get a license free of charge!

I started off learning fusion 360 and almost immediately after they put a lot of features behind a license paywall. I don’t think Autodesk like me 😂. So settled towards freecad as there seems to be almost as many YouTube channels teaching the basics. Can’t be as bad as autocad from the late ‘90s which is the last time I used any CAD software.

 

Tom

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I am in the FreeCAD camp since 2017.  I realize that professional programs are more polished and with perhaps more features, but FreeCAD has done well for me.  Most of my designs are not too complex.  When I need to do something complex, I find someone has done something similar and I learn from them.  FreeCAD also supports OpenSCAD internally.  The Part Design toolbox supports a spreadsheet feature to parameterize designs.

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I tried really hard to like Fusion360.

Early days it was interesting. Very basic, but showed promise. That was when Doug Bass was still CEO of AutoDesk.

And then creeping featuritis took over. Lot's of new capability added, but existing bugs remained. Lot's of chatter in the forums about bugs.

The MAJOR issue with F360 is it didn't support configurations and allow for easy insertion of "catalog" parts. I'm a design engineer and I lived and died by catalog parts that I just drop in models. Don't ever build something you can buy is my motto.

And then Bass was shown the curb and the "suits" took over. After that there were lot's of acquisitions by the F360 team, and the maker/enthusiast versions started being reduced in capability.

In all this it was a fair tool as it would import models that few (no) apps could (namely SketchUp) and provide useful output. It was even better that they had a browser only version so I could log in, convert a file and then go about my business.

Then they restricted access to the browser version to just students and paid users and I was out.

Done.

Edited by Doobs
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On 2/13/2024 at 2:16 AM, Doobs said:

If anyone needs a solid model created, I'd be more than happy to give it a wail.

This is a big ask and some out of the box thinking maybe, but a lot of users on here (myself included) struggle with getting their hands on a friction fit five spoke wheel pulling tool. Pretty much the only tool out there to do this job is the Presto (now Bergeon) #3 tool (blue handle), see below. These tools are constantly out of stock and any used ones on sale are going for crazy prices >$300 for a <$50 tool. If a tool could be designed it would be a huge help to many on this forum.

There is a discussion below which talks about them a little - I think it would be difficult to make a like-for-like one to 3D print, so maybe a re-design is needed that would allow you to pull the wheel without damaging it or the pinion it is friction fitted to.

Here is a youtube showing it in action:

7051 7052.pdf

Like I said, this is a big ask.... but you did offer 🤣 would be glad to help with the design.

One possible idea is a retrofit kit for the readily available (and cheap) hand pulling tool (#1 black handle), to convert it into a 5 spoke wheel pulling tool?

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