The Beall Clock Forum

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: dcunningham2 on January 21, 2007, 12:27:51 PM

Title: Need drawing software recommendations
Post by: dcunningham2 on January 21, 2007, 12:27:51 PM
For those who use drafting or drawing software to design clocks and their mechanisms, could you please offer your suggestions or thoughts as to which packages are most suitable for this purpose?

I am in the middle of a clock design project but I'm drafting by hand and the going is tedious.  I'd like to be able to print out precise and accurate patterns in a repeatable manner using a computer drawing package.  Ideally, the software package would meet the following requirements:

-  Intuitive
-  No requirement for specialized hardware such as CAD cursor pads, video accelerators, and the like.  I'd like to use my mouse, keyboard and standard monitor to access all the functionality of the package.
-  Ability to accurately render gear tooth profiles.
-  Ability to create sub-assemblies and form them into a complete assembly.
-  3D capability so that I can view objects from various angles and assess clearances.
-  Ability to render objects that adhere to explicitly defined dimensions, i.e., a cylinder 4 inches high and 0.75 inches in diameter.
-  Ability to print full-scale drawings accurately, i.e., a 4 inch circle that prints as a 4 inch circle, not an oval.
-  Inexpensive

Nice to have but not absolutely necessary:
-  Isometric & exploded views
-  Solid modeling
-  Import & Export of CAD files in industry standard formats
-  Import of images such as .bmp or .jpg files so that artwork may be superimposed on objects.
-  Creation of a bill of materials or listing of subassemblies

As always, any help is most appreciated.
Title: Need drawing software recommendations
Post by: jrbeall on January 22, 2007, 01:24:21 PM
Dave,  I use BobCad Cam software.  It will do all the things you require plus write NC code for the parts you have drawn and  it is less expensive than most similar packages.  If you are as slow as me, you will have a considerable learing curve, but that is true of an CAD program.   With it, I can generate any size or module wheel, draw it, send it to my mill and have a finished part in about half an hour.  It takes most of the drudgery out of making clock parts.  

The BobCad company is kind of a pain, calling you every month or so to try to sell you upgrades but I just ingnore them.
Title: Need drawing software recommendations
Post by: jss on January 22, 2007, 03:42:47 PM
This is only posted to get the discussion going...

I have used and taught (Autocad since 84--- 2d and 3d, Autodesk Mechanical Desktop---- 3d parametric,   Inventor--- 3d parametric software and Solidedge,Solidworks, Catia---are all 3d parametricmodelers

Each person will be bias by the software they learned and by the time they invested in learning. All the major software today is outstanding looking
back from a Drafting board experience.  Talk to friends and see the software in action, stop  by a community college determine their offerings, and  look at downloads

Really decide if 2d is what is needed now or do you want a 3d parametric modeler.

A good starting place for anything CAD:

A good start on evaluation of software can be found
here:  Home Design Software, CADD, 3D Design, Shareware,
Demos & Free Downloads
quote from their web site is so true

"" Which software should you consider? Well, that will
depend upon your goals, your budget, your computer
system, your knowledge of building design, and the
amount of time you can devote to learning a new
program. Software that costs $50 simply cannot be
expected to do everything that $500 software will do.
And, $500 software will not have all the capabilities
of $5,000 software.. ""

Look at older versions for purchase

Look for free versions and/or free timed version for

Free Mechanical Engineering: CAD Software web site

Look at eductional software sites for purchase
Title: Software follow-up question
Post by: dcunningham2 on January 23, 2007, 11:49:35 AM
Following up my original post -- do you feel that 3D software necessary when designing and drawing out a clock for subsequent assembly?

I'm assuming that it aids in placing the gears so they don't interfere.  Do most clock designers use 3D software?
Title: CAD
Post by: rabbit on January 24, 2007, 09:18:04 AM
i use AutoCad.  it has 3-D capability, but i design my clocks using only 2-D.
i make one file for the "front" view to get shaft spacings, frame and dial layout, etc., and another file of the "side" view to determine clearances, posts, spacers, etc.
it requires a certain amount of "visualization", but i find it easier than messing with 3-D.
Title: Need drawing software recommendations
Post by: jss on January 25, 2007, 10:57:49 AM
3D software is just outstanding once you begin using it--- you will not return to 2D.

With great rendering tools, dynamic rotation, ability to add material textures to a cad model and placement of components, and parametric sketching, it is very difficult to resist 3d.

Using 2d cad and orthographic projection,  a design can be created. Two examples of 2d design for clocks:
 Nick Andonis used Visio  a 2d drawing package (like Corel Draw)  not exactly a Cad package to design his clock as I recall from  an old email.

Gary's site show a drawing of  "clockacadver14.dwg" is contained in the zip file.  This file contains all of the gear and faceplate templates in Autocad ver 14 format.
Remember cars, machines, engines all were designed in a 2d cad environment.  However, the 3d design tools are now used in all the major segments.   Even today many  smaller companies still draw in 2d.

If your drawing by hand, move to some type of 2d cad (arrays,mirrors, move copy type of commands).  If you can afford 3d ($100-500) go with the latest and greatest (parametric where the dimension value will change the design of the model).

Title: Need drawing software recommendations
Post by: jrbeall on January 28, 2007, 05:17:38 AM
I think it would be great to have a 3D capacity but fear I am too old and impatient to suffer the learning curve.  I use my cam feature to write the code for my machining center,  and cut the frames and dials as well as the wheels and pinions.  I don't need to use depthing tools to place bushing holes, I drill them at the same time as I cut the frame outlines, all done from my cad drawing.  I am terribly spoiled by all this machinery and technology but it does give me the opportunity to make multiples if I ever design a clock that is good enough to offer for sale.
Title: Cad software --if you're stil looking
Post by: rus on February 08, 2007, 08:59:24 PM
Someone a bit back said that the CAD program you start with is the one you'll suggest.  I'm new to cad--really new.  Being a mac guy I was hard put to find a program.  I've drawn stuff by hand-- oh gawd.  I've done the math and ground my own cutters and cobbled together a gear cutting enigine (see another message I posted here some time back.)
I purchased TurboCAD for Mac 2d, about 80 bucks, and have been dealing with it for about a week.  I read the manual and messed around and finally was able to replicate one of Brian Law's wheels and pinions (he posted all of the major measurements.)    After some hunt and peck I discovered some hidden beauty points in the program.  My CAD drawing lays over the Law drawing perfectly. I did it again with fewer teeth - neat proof--and could change the mod by rescaling the whole drawing.  I've moved on to make drawings of gears I generated with my gear cutters and they match well.  These are built for lantern pinions and quite small.  the printouts are clear -- no wobble between curves etc.  I should be able to cut these nicely with a scrollsaw.
All that to say-- a week ago I felt stupid.---like I was handed a typewriter with no letters or numbers on the keys and told to write the great American novel and I don't touch type.  Now I think I can do this thing!!
This speaks well for the program (for me -- not so much.)
A suggestion-- whatever CAD program you use.-- keep notes so you don't make the same mistake again and again.  Things don't work the way you think they should -- but work well-none the less.
Good luck
Title: Re: Need drawing software recommendations
Post by: Zerlinda on June 08, 2017, 01:28:21 AM
You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject that has been discussed for many years. Excellent stuff, just excellent!it depends on your goal.
Title: Re: Need drawing software recommendations
Post by: BrianC on July 08, 2018, 06:47:53 PM
I've just started learning Autodesk Fusion 360, which is free to businesses under $100,000/year and hobbyists. It's a full 3D program that will do CAM - it generates the M-Codes needed  for CNC machines.
The learning curve is very steep, but then the program is fully capable and it's fully cloud based.