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A quick look out on the CAD/CAM Web Aug09

man reading
A couple of cool CAD and CAM related places on the web you might enjoy along with a cup of coffee.

Alibre 3D CAD for $99
Looking for 3D CAD? This might be the deal you have been looking for, Alibre offer there $999 for a nice discount…..$99…should be worth a look I would say.

Tony Stewart and Haas on your shop floor!
Tony Stewart who is one of American stock car series NASCAR’s superstars started his own racing company with American machine builder Haas Automation as one of the main sponsors. Haas Automation makes some very affordable CNC machinery and uses Solidworks for there machine design process.
Only in America… but if you are a serious NASCAR fan and you are the guy who pays for the machines, why not Tony Stewart on your machine

Talking about Solidworks and Haas, check out this cool rendering of a Haas rotary unit, The original Haas product. By Dorn Kennison

ToolingU Adds Robotics and Rigging Training provides online training for manufacturers. With more than 550 unique titles, they offer a full range of content to train machine operators, welders, assemblers, inspectors, and maintenance professionals. And now with Robot training you might just find the tools to attack the future with.

3D Dudes Gone 3D
If you are a Solidworks user you might come across these guys but I believe most CAD/CAM users can relate to these guys one way or another, have a laugh on Solidworks tap
3D Dudes

3Dconnextion spice up Spacepilot PRO
Enhancing its full-color LCD Workflow Assistant that delivers quick access to important commands and information without interrupting the design workflow. New driver is available here
I have to admit that I have not had a chance to test out the new driver but that a review of the new functions will come in the near future. If you are not familiar with a 3D mouse I would recommend you took a look at I know people that say that working without there 3D mouse is like sawing off there left arm. Honestly my SpaceNavigator follows me everywhere…..almost.

I hope you found some useful information in this blog post….
But if not, maybe you can at least leave with a couple of tricks to make your web browser better
Firefox tips and tricks
Internet Explorer tips and tricks

More coffee anyone?

How to fix Mastercam views for SpacePilot PRO

3Dconnexion do not write any patches for Mastercam it is the other way around, so with the new SpacePilot PRO on the Market less than a week you are going to find you are missing bottom, back and left view on you SpacePilot PRO. Hopefully it will be taken care of with the next Mastercam upgrade, but until then why don’t we just fix it ourselves.

In Mastercam go to Settings => Key Mapping

Under (1) Category select View Manipulation => (2) click bottom view => and by default (3) would be Alt+4
click (2) and check that back is Alt+3 and left is Alt+6 (all default settings)

Push the menu button on your SpacePilot PRO and click “Custom functions”

Click (1) New => Type (2) function name “Mastercam Bottom” => (3) Hold down “Alt” Key and pres “4” => Press (4) Save.

Press New again and repeat last instructions for the last 2 views.

Push the menu button on your SpacePilot PRO and press the drop down menu for the “B” button and select “Mastercam Bottom”.

Repeat for the “L” and the “Bk” drop down menu.

Last, Do Not Forget to Save.

So now, no need to wait for next Mastercam release, right? 😉

SpacePilot PRO is here, and you want one!

SpacePilot PRO is here, the latest creation in the 3D mouse world.
~Don’t forget you brain needs oxygen, breath, and yeah this is way cool~.

Back in the end of 2008 I wrote a little thing that included a product from 3Dconnexion “Who dare talking about money”
As I stated in that post my experience with the Navigator from 3Dconnexion has been good, but oh boy, this thing is out of comparison. SpacePilot PRO is the new flagship from 3Dconnexion and it is defiantly not a rowboat, 3Dconnexion has created something here that for sure will get your toes tickle.

Never used a 3D Mouse?
The number one thing with a 3D mouse is the dynamic rotation, you spin your model around with ease, its like you are holding the part in you left hand while you poke at the model with your mouse. Think about how many times you press the different view buttons in a work day, with a 3D Mouse views becomes secondary.
Back in the day I became a big fan of shortcut keys in Mastercam, and yep also here SpacePilot PRO is loaded and ready with totally programmable keys, “Analyze Distance” 1 click, “Create Line” 1 click, you pick the functions you use most and with a easy interface you set it up to you personal preference, it is like all your old “hotkeys” are now in planted in your fingertips~Welcome to the future~.
But that is not all, what about email, twitter or you calendar reminder? the cool looking LCD screen will with a quick glance give you a update on what is going on outside the model you are working on, no minimizing your window to see a stupid email that there is doughnuts in the break room, that will be gone anyways because you are located in the dungeon they call the basement.
Another thing that really struck me as cool when I saw the screen shots of this model is it can be used by left handed people, something that really must have been frustrating in the past.
So if you are sitting staring at a CAD model more that a couple off hours a day I would highly recommend you to look in the direction of 3Dconnexion, like you would never agree to drive cross country only steering with you right hand, why should you limit yourself to only control your model with your regular mouse.

The real thing…….
With the review model arriving only one work day before this release post, my use have been limited to about 4 hours with the new SpacePilot PRO.
3DConnexion states it takes about 1 week to be comfortable with the SpacePilot, and there is no doubt that my daily use with the navigator makes things a lot easier. I will post another review of the SpacePilot Pro in about a week, when I got a couple of more hours under my belt, but with a few hours of use I will with out a doubt recommend this product.
A few things that stands out.
This product is so easy installed, you are kinda surprised that something this high tech can install this smooth. And just check what this product is pre-packed with.
Dynamic Rotation speed:
You can adjust the speed of the dynamic rotation on the fly, something that really comes super handy when switching between software’s like Solidworks and Mastercam where the SpacePilot PRO is a great enhancement.
Function key in LCD screen:
Switching between Solidworks and Mastercam you like function keys to be a little different, a quick glance on the LCD screen, and you are quickly with out interruption reminded of the keys location on the SpacePilot PRO.
Quick keys:
Never realized how my left hand always seems to be resting on the Esc button on the keyboard, how nice that the SpacePilot PRO is equipped with its own Esc button right for your pinky.

Overall (for a short test) I give this product a very high score, its all about the details, and 3Dconnexion is dishing out a very high standard product here.

For more information visit 3Dconnexion

Who dare talking about money?

Me, fact is that many bigger companies have a budget running from calender year to calender year, and that means time is almost up, and before I show you what I purchased this past year let me just say that I work in a company where the IT yearly budget is calculated from leftover quarters in the coffee can, well that is not true (Its work in progress) but a few years back I was talking about graphics cards and got a list of $50 to $100 graphics cards and was asked which one I wanted, if I back then had said what I really wanted there would have been a lot of laughter, not so much more but I still don’t have it, yep work in progress. So when it came to do minor IT purchases this past year, I took matter in own hands, 1st of all I was sick and tired of using a $15 Dell mouse so I bought the mother of all mouses, thinking that I am the one using it every day, and if I got fired I would just take it with me. Well SAVE YOU RECEIPT because the next day when the boss saw this awesome mouse he crapped his pans and told me that he hoped I had the receipt because he would gladly pay for it, not claiming that this will work for you, but hey if not then at least you have the cool gadget.
So here is what I bought, and I tell you …….. if you buy these and are not satisfied I’m almost willing to buy them back from you. I can not explain how happy I have been with these 3 items I am going to show you, they have really made my work day with Mastercam and Solidworks so much better.

1) MX Logitech mouse, this thing has 5 programmable buttons, I got like “S” key in Solidworks, Isometric and top views in both Mastercam and Soldiworks, I can jump to “Desktop”……. pure awesome.
Here is the link to MX Mouse

2) 3Dconnection SpaceNavigator, this thing is just as awesome as the mouse, wow you are like working in another universe, this model has also programmable buttons, I got “Measure” in bought Mastercam and Solidworks, again the “S”key in Solidworks and “Level Manager” in Mastercam.
Here is the link to 3DConnection

3) Last thing is the mouse pad for true CAD/CAM guy, not those cheap once with a kitty on them. Kinda funny that you don’t realize how importen this thing is until you have tried this one.
The link to Razer

I realize that the picture I stole from the web do not do these product justices., but in my opinion they are every dollar worth.