To make you comfortable: If you know Inventor, Fusion 360, SolidWorks or any of the other mainstream CAD packages, you know that everything starts with a 2D sketch that then gets extruded into a 3D shape. And, with enough practice, you can model just about anything you want, as long as you know what the best design will look like.
To make you even more comfortable: Generative Design is super easy to use, AND it does not care if you dont know what the best design should look like. You tell it the problem you need to solve, and then Generative Design will provide you with a number of design solutions so you can explorer different and better options.
This video will show you the steps so you can understand what Generative Design does…If not, well then please let me know…Have an awesome day! Best, Lars
“There is no secret to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure” – Colin Powell
Here is a practical way to learn. Fail and fail quickly.
However, in most machine shops there are two rules: Don’t crash the CNC machine (That’s a good one) and don’t come and ask for another endmill Do you know the cost of that 12mm endmill!?! *(Insert angrily Boss name here.)
The problem is the way we think about failure. For centuries. Errors of all kinds have been considering embarrassing. It is why children don’t dare to put their hand up in the class to answer questions (how embarrassing to risk getting it wrong.) But we know better. Taking calculated chances will always lead down the road of winning.
As business leaders, coaches, and professionals, we have to change this idea about failure. We should encourage and praise each other for trying, experimenting in an attempt to resolve problems.
How are you ever going to know if you can run that part faster without pushing the limits? You are a true professional, right? Just as professional in your trade running CNC machines as a Formula One team pushing to win the next race.
So, if you one day are standing in front of one of my CNC machines; feel free to turn that feedrate up a little and take a bigger cut. Even if this is risking breaking the endmill, and denting the sheet metal as pieces bounce around. Because in the end, we will learn from our failures and we will succeed.
Most of us believe that new technology replaces old. New CNC machine in, old Bridgeport out. But did you know that your old dusty bandsaw might become one of your most valuable machines next to a Metal 3D Printer? I did not.
I never realized how dependent Metal 3D Printing is on old technology. For example, Powder Metal 3D Printers are welding the part directly to the build plate. That means that in most cases you need a bandsaw or the more expensive Wire EDM process to separate the two. And, with the bandsaw method, I believe most of us can agree that a cleanup pass on the CNC or Bridgeport most likely is necessary.
This brings up another question: how are you going to hold onto the part for that cleanup pass? Most 3D Printed parts aren’t prismatic at all, rather the opposite. That question is for another day.
Of course, it is not only Metal 3D Printing that has to mix old vs. new technology. Take for example last week’s eye-opener:
“Never memorize something that you can look up.”- Albert Einstein.
Do you remember your childhood phone number? Most likely you do. But, what if I asked for your best friends current number? Or your brother or sister? Most of us will turn to our smartphones for that. Same thing for calendar events and driving directions. We are moving away from storing information in our head that can be accessed in a better way.
Ordinary vs. Generative Design.
The same is happening in the manufacturing industry. The distinction between ordinary and generative design is going to be crucially important.
Ordinary design is based on conveying known information to achieve a specific outcome. This is how people are designing in CAD today. You know how you want the part to look like in the end before you even start. In short, ordinary design is about creating a part to specifications that someone has decided acceptable.
Generative Design, on the other hand, is about figuring out a design that is better than the known.
With generative design, we only have to know the boundaries and what our design will encounter. Then, the generative technology can create multiple iterations of possible designs. Letting the designer or engineer explore and validate different designs within minutes. This is the tool to make your best design better.
Ordinary design maintains the status quo. You design to the best of your capabilities and experience. While, generative design involves not just what you know but also generate new information, opportunities, and more options for better results.
As our world is moving from a “This is how we have always done it” to a “Figure out better ways” one, it is critical to the manufacturing industry that we look for more efficient ways to design and create products.
Generative design is a way to empty the limited space in your design brain and letting technology work harder and smarter, so the result is a truly better design.
Want to learn more about generative design? Check out this, Rob Cohee, article Here
In manufacturing, there is always a fear of falling behind in technology. You better not miss that next industry trade show! Or you lose the edge on your competition on what is happing tomorrow.
Take 3D Printing….Take METAL 3D Printing!….Don’t worry…. Technology moves slow. 10 Years from now, there will still be sold more CNC Milling machines than 3D Metal printers.
Fun fact, Stratasys, one of the leaders in 3D printers has their 30th. Anniversary this year. And yet, how many companies can you name in your area who successfully are leading with 3D printing? Plastic or Metal?
It is coming, but you got plenty of time to jump on the train.
Just my two cents…
Now, Manufacturing and Facebook! That is another talk…Check out this video:
No one is spending more than 30 seconds on the foundation when looking to buy a new home. Though, Most of us understand the enormous importance of a solid structure on the ground.
It is no different when trying to learn a new CAD system. The foundation is what will make or break the life of the design.
The recipe for a house foundation is simple, dig deep enough and have the right mixture of concrete.
Here is the absolute beginner foundation for a good CAD design:
1. It starts with a 2D Sketch that then extrudes into a 3D Shape. Think to doodle on a paper napkin that then becomes alive.
2. Make sure you connect your first sketch entity to the origin. This is like nailing your part in space.
3. Always fully define your sketches, turning them from blue to black*. Dragging corners will normally help to show where you need to constrain the sketch.
If you are having trouble where to start your model process; use the manufacturing approach. Think, How would I carve the model out of a bar of soap? Simply, Start with a block of 3D mass and start cutting material away.
*Color if using Autodesk Fusion 360
I am sorry to bring it up, but someone has to do it.
If you on a regular basis gets in contact with a CAM program or a CNC milling machine tool, you better keep reading.
They said it was for roughing and so much faster, but that was only because they did not know how to explain it to you. If you are in the game of removing metal chips, making money and at the same time take care of your endmills and machine. Then, You need to know that smarter toolpaths exist. Adaptive Clearing, Vortex, Dynamic Milling, Volumill and whatever other names the CAM companies could come up with are your answer.
If you are using any kind of professional CAM system, but still machine like it was 1996…Just watch the video…
Lifting the veil on a CAD/CAM Academy that has gained much support (from likes of Kennametal, Haas Automation)— and it’s as good as you thought it might be.
When passion for manufacturing and learning is in the front and the attitude for “getting things done” are rooted deep, no surprise then that the jungle drums have been beating about Titans of CNC— Academy for a while now.
Founded by Titan Gilroy, the owner of TITAN America MFG, an aerospace CNC Machine shop and Star of the television series, TITANS of CNC, The Academy is a free learning site including 2D pdf drawings, 3D Fusion 360 models, and detailed video lectures.
This is not just for school kids…However, the brilliance of designing a ten part course where every part can be cut out of the same bar of stock, and supplying the Fusion 360 Tool library with feeds, speeds, and links directly to Kennametal’s website should make any shop teacher smile. One could say this is the stepping stones for the next generation in manufacturing.
Let’s deal with the most obvious question first: It is totally free. You create an account and have access to the biggest CAD/CAM and CNC Manufacturing education program ever developed.
Manufacturing around the world has had its ups and downs. Mentoring and apprentice programs have, by many companies, been trashed for faster production of parts, either for more profit or simply for survival. The question many top machine shop owners are asking themselves “Where can I find skilled people?”
The truth is that most shops must do the work themselves. Find the young ones with the right attitude and teach them the skills.
Titan’s Academy is your resource library; Structured projects that will teach step-by-step. Everything from basic “How-To” design and model in Fusion 360 for mill, lathe and Mill/Turn.
The core of a great learning site is an ease of navigating. At the academy, everything is sorted in projects. Each project is ranked in difficulty, contains 2D pdfs and 3D Fusion 360 models followed by a video lecture showing you how to model the part in Fusion 360. These videos are between 8 to 30 minutes long and professionally produced.
Each video starts with a short introduction followed by a detailed explanation in a step-by-step format on how to access and download the 2D print. Making sure you are not lost in the process of sharpening your skills.
With over 100 Fusion 360 files (I stopped counting) available for download, and let me just remind you, with associated 2D pdfs. There is so much great content for you to practice your skills. It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned machinist or a newbie; here is something that can help raise your level.
This might be the most valuable item. The academy has tutorial based videos teaching you how to setup your part on a CNC. There are CNC Tooling classes and even in-depth “How to quote jobs” and “How to build a CNC Machine Shop.”
It’s clear that the Titan of CNC Academy is taking on some of the hurdles most machine shops are facing. It is peeling back the first layer and providing content to train the skills of designing parts in CAD and machining them with CAM. Even if you don’t normally use Fusion 360, you can easily transfer the learning content to other platforms. Of course, you have to ask yourself: “With a 30-day trial and already a free post processor available for your CNC machine, why not just test it out”…Remember, besides a little of your time, all of this is free.