Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:04 AM
Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:24 AM
CAD, 3D, geezo. Model building is becoming so complicated
Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:39 AM
Grab a school drafting set and a portable drawing board from Staples. Costs a lot less and in the time you'd need to start your computer and program, and get the CAD system to stop fighting with you to get your drawings done, you'll be finished with a pencil and paper drawing that, if done well, is a work of art in and of itself.
I would suggest getting a copy of the book Technical Drawing which is high school/college drafting textbook and older editions are plentiful and easy to get for short money at used bookstores, eBay and the various other Internet outlets.
Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:35 AM
A bit of caution. I've been a CAD user since 1981, and drawing on a system is second nature to me. I can concentrate on my design without thinking about the system commands and such. I wouldn't draw on paper today. My application has been architectural design, and I had most recently been using AutoCAD Lite (a $2000 program) professionally.
Here's the deal. CAD is a profession. You aren't going to load in a free drafting program and crank out model parts. It's like buying and mastering a lathe. There's a real education to be learned and you must be very serious about it. Someone like Frank already had the professional knowledge and has adapted it to creating some really cool wheels. My own work has been architectural layout so there would also be a long learning curve for me to master 3D mechanical design.
I always considered the first rule of CAD to be never to draw what you can copy. If you down load a program and try to draw model parts, such as wheels, from scratch, there's a lot to be considered. Systems allow you to work in full size and then scale down your work. So you would need to put the wheels dimensions into the program very accurately. Then you would scale your 3D drawing down to 1/25 scale. You'd have to adjust material thicknesses to work in scale, the actual thickness of car parts reduced 25 times would be like tin foil and would crush the minute you touched it, if it printed at all. After that, you'd need to measure off tire candidates and make the rim so that it would allow for mounting. This is pretty much the same job that a professional designing a tool for Revell goes through.
Eventually a program that will allow you to create parts at a reasonable cost will emerge as the standard in the car modeling community. A cottage industry will grow that will sell you CAD files that you can use to start your own design. For instance Frank could sell his work on wheels that you could load in and start designing your own wheel center, knowing that he has already worked it to fit on a specific rim etc. Essentially the same as hollowing out a kit wheel and carving your own center. Most of us will need to wait a long while for this market to mature to this point.
Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:12 PM
If you're not already a CAD user, you might enjoy fooling around with SketchUp. It's a free download from Google for the intro version, and is amazingly useful for the price. A member of my club designs his parts for Shapeways 3D printout with it. There is an extension available to translate SketchUp files to Shapeways-compatible.
This is an example of what you can do. It does not really handle three-dimensional curves.
Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 31 January 2013 - 01:15 PM.
Posted 02 February 2013 - 02:43 PM
Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:22 PM
Posted 17 February 2013 - 04:19 PM
With all that experience, Carl, I can see there's not much I can tell you about CAD .. and being Civil, Autocad! I'm a retired Structural Engineer and have done much drafting on board and computer along the way. I started using 3D in the early 90's when 3D Studio first came out. It was only as a hobby as we didn't even have CAD yet in my Engineering/Architectural/Civil firm. It is a long learning curve with any 3D software, but CAD experience will go a long way in any of them. It's "just" another axis! ... you know how that goes. I have heard a lot about Google's SketchUp but never tried it. I'd be worried about curves from what Bill mentions, but I don't know.
I would never consider myself an expert .. far from it. The complexity does depend on the complexity of the part. Bodies are the ultimate part in 3D concerning autos. I wouldn't want to even recommend any software as it's just like CAD . the best is what you know. Autocad itself isn't bad especially assuming you are familiar.
I do sometimes use 3D Max to layout simple things. I've collected auto meshes from the start and sometimes have one I can use one on a project to test out an idea.
Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:05 PM
Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:22 PM
One trick that will add to the confusion is the use of a graphics tablet and stylus to help draw. I also agree with Bill about sketchup...fun to play with but no curves