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CAD Tip: What you need to know about IGES and STEP files

Two CAD Tips this week! One might be the best tip I ever share; Round tripping your CAD files for better import!
Also sharing some background information on IGES and STEP files I think you will totally love.
Let me know what you think. Love your feedback!

Is CAD in the cloud helpful or painful?

Fusion 360 Simulation
Is new software technology helpful or painful? What does Windows 10 do that Windows XP didn’t? Any notable differences with your email? Back in the day you might have had a custom “Biiing…” for new messages; today I only check email twice daily. — Email overload — that has changed, the tool in itself, not so much.

CAD software is just another tool. Today’s CAD Developers need to look beyond the latest technology and more at how people are using it. It is not about how many new functions you can fit in there. We do not have time for the latest technology if it is not helping. More can be painful.

CAD in the cloud: is it painful or helpful? If CAD is just another tool we are using to get to the final result, there should only be one question; does it really fit?

An example: My father-in-law recently consulted me as he was looking to buy a new computer. He was debating: laptop or desktop? What would be your recommendation? He told me that he had no interest sitting anywhere else than at his desk — get a desktop —because it fits.

Should your design software be in the cloud? Where are you going to use it, where does it fit? There are benefits to the cloud, but nothing is new. We store data on the cloud and share it with others (Dropbox-style). The cloud is also really good for communication; think emails, instant messages and Facebook.

Autodesk’s Fusion 360 is flexible. It will run locally, and connected to the cloud; making it possible for you to get your work done anywhere. You do not want to tell your boss that a project is late because your Wi-Fi connection went down. Another problem I have had is being at a customer’s location; you cannot control their Wi-Fi and firewall nightmares.

Yes, connection to the cloud does have advantages. Fusion connects with A360. This is a cozy cloud corner, where you can store your data and quickly share, collaborate and connect with your customers and team members.

So why do I think Autodesk’s Fusion 360 is a helpful design and manufacturing package? It starts with the basis of being one solution that can do many things. Up until now, design and manufacturing users have had to jump between too many tools to get the job done. Too many tools, too many vendors, too much confusion…Painful.

Fusion is $300 a year, less than most monthly car payments. Running on your Windows or Mac. Letting you store data and collaborate on the cloud. It uses the latest in CAD. It includes Simulation tools to get you instant design feedback. And, full 3D CAM that will let you generate the NC code to make your finished product.

Autodesk’s Fusion 360 is not a result of developers playing with technology. It is a tool created to be helpful getting design and manufacturing to a finished product — It is the future of making things —It fits.

CAD Tip: Model with All Features!

Great tip from @robcohee from twitter: Model the same part using different techniques. Extrude, Revolve, Sweep and Loft.
Let me know what you think. Love your feedback!

Get going with CAM in Fusion 360 with Quick bite size Tutorials

If you are looking for the quick “How-To” on getting going with CAM within Fusion 360 this should be your answer.

It still amazes me what you get in the Fusion 360 package, and being a manufacturing junkie, CAM is a favorite.
Just to be clear, you get Turning, indexing, and full 3 Axis milling; you can attack things like crazy mold cavities. Not only that, Fusion 360 is by far the most user-friendly, high quality and easy to learn CAM I have ever used. It doesn’t matter if you are a full-time CNC programmer or “twice a month hobbyist”, this software will let you make parts quick.

These videos are broken down into individual toolpaths and will not cost you more than 3-5 minutes of your time. I would love if you subscribed to this YouTube playlist as this short series will grow into a long list of “how”- type tutorials.

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Autodesk’s HSM: Easy to use, Powerful & Free!

There is a CAM product that is easy to use. Making the move from programming your CNC machine by hand, or struggling with a CAM program that is difficult to use should not be a hard decision.
Autodesk’s HSM runs inside SolidWorks and Inventor; giving you the best CAD/CAM, and you will like that the standard 2.5 version is FREE!

Autodesk HSM

If you are already familiar with powerful CAD, the integrated CAM is going to shorten the learning curve dramatically. Many CNC Programmers are having a hard time getting code to the shop floor fast. With HSM’s ease-of-use, you will find that creating good code for your machine can be done faster, even on your first part.

Ever had to re-program a part because you did not trust old files? Don’t burn time and money this way. Working within the best CAD and CAM environment helps to keep your data organized. Having all your CAD and CAM data stored in one file has a huge benefit. There is less data to keep track of, and when you CAD file changes, your CAM toolpaths just updates. You do not have to re-program your part every time there is a design change.

Are you looking for growth and new customers? You can’t tell your customers what software to use, and you do not have to. Both Inventor and SolidWorks comes with the best importing tools, letting you convert IGES, STEP, Parasolid and another dozen types. Not only will you have great CAD tools for part, fixture and work holding designs, you might also experience getting the order just because names like SolidWorks and Inventor will tell your customers that you are on the cutting edge.

So when looking for a CAM product that is easy to use, FREE and runs inside Inventor and SolidWorks, you just need to click here

Autodesk Releasing HSMWorks 2015 R3

HSMW BAC 2_5_1
The Autodesk CAM development team has released HSMWorks 2015 R3. This release is adding up all the deleopment builds since the R2 release back in march. Counting over 50 new features, improvements and fixes.

Some examples include continued improvements to the free post directory, including a CAMplete APT and post for my new favorite Haas UMC-750. Also, rest machining has improved for both Milling and Turning. Further, there are new Simulation updates, making sure you can see what is going to happen before hitting Cycle Start.

Looking for a toolpath of a racecar? They have also worked hard on updates for Adaptive Clearing, a toolpath strategy you could never live without. This is the stuff that fills your CNC machinist heart with love.

One highlight is the Silhouette Feature. Check out this short video from Product Manager, Al Whatmough:

Getting the latest version is easy, just go here: HSMWorks 2015 R3
Now go update and create!

CAD Tip: Do you have a CAD Modeling Style? Should you?

Do you always model up you 3D models the same way? Should you use different styles? I use Revolve, High Roller Stacking and my favorite manufacturing style all the time.
What do you use?

Link to Video

Learn HSMWorks Faster with Bite-size Tutorials

Learning new software can be confusing and frustrating, but I think you will find HSMWorks the easiest CAM you will ever use. Installing the software and get up and running takes minutes, and you will find yourself ready to program your first part in no time.
If you don’t have HSMWorks, download your free CAM for SolidWorks here

This series shows the short, bite-sized “how” on learning HSMWorks. These videos are broken down into individual toolpaths and will not cost you more than 3-5 minutes of your time. Subscribe to this YouTube playlist as this short series will grow into a long list of “how”-type tutorials.

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CAD Tip: Where do you locate your CAD Origin?

If ever taken a CAD class; you normally get told that your first sketch geometry should be connected with the origin. This results that the origin many times gets located in a corner. Is there a better way?

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Podcast Episode 11 – Quick CAD Tip, 7 Skills Needed to be a top engineer & CAD News


Listen to the Podcast!
Quick CAD Tip, 7 skills needed to be… & CAD News!
Show notes:
CAD Tip: Start your CAD Design the right way
7 Skills Needed to Be a Top Engineer
CAD Professional’s Guide to Lightning-Fast R&D
Lawsuit Against Stratasys Claims MakerBot Knew Of Faulty Smart Extruders, Misled Investors
MakerBot opened its new, 170,000-square-foot factory
Massive Investment in GM Arlington Assembly Plant
Delcam Appoints Charles Jones as Industry Marketing Manager
BobCAD-CAM Releases v28 CAD-CAM Series
Develop3D Summer magazine
What you need to know about upgrading to Windows 10
How Fast Can A Ferrari Go On Autobahn? This Video Has The Answer