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October 22, 2006



You helped me a lot in studying CAD. Thank you very much.

John Burrill

Oh yeah, I've done this basic top-down excercize. It goes with theh whole jewellry box example (can you design a box so that no what shape the bottom is, the top always fits correctly)
Let me offer you a couple insides on Solidworks, since it's the software I use most. I expect some reaction to this because your article has the message of experimental control requiring you to go this alone. But all software mastery requires the individual to seek a higher power. For free, CAD gives you documentation and peer groups, and I've ground by bounds on the help of the second source.
OK, here's my explanation of the lip thing.
By a majority (although it's changing) the solidworks commands are sketch driven.
so whether your making a slab or a footer, you still need a sketch profile to work from. That's probably where your sketch geometry came into play. Incidentally, if you pick a face and do a convert edges, the sketch will update to match the outline of the face, no matter how it changes. It sounds like a waste, making a sketch everytime you want to perform a different operation on a face, but fortunately, you can re-use teh same sketch for multiple features.
By a similar majority, Solidworks 3D commands can generate either a filled region or an open region surrounded by a wall of a specified thickness. it all comes down to a checkbox that shows up in extrude, revolve, loft, sweep-both the cut and fill versions of each. It's labelled 'thin feature'
Now, this is more precedent than rule. It doesn't include surfacing geometry, body/face deformation features and the loft, sweep and patch commands now let you select model edges directly.
I enjoy your article, but maybe you could post a couple of screen captures to help synch us with your progress.
CAD Naked.
(ever notice that Computer Aided Design and CTRL+ALT+DEL have the same acronym?)


Solid Edge had a "lip" command that allows you to add (male) or remove (female) material. They had it from quite a while now.

Bill McEachern

That was a lot of text to tell us you didn't bother reading the directions with enough rigor and yet somehow the CAD vendor is still the culprit. They wouldn't make you "blindly" put in geometry if they didn't need it would they?

You might try the approach of I will do what it says and try to figure it out after as oppose to just going at it and then getting frustrated.....

The stuff is pretty easy but it is a lot easier if you try to forget whatver else you knew about "drafting". The big difference is that you are not tying to represent an object with lines and circles, you are trying to model it with the tools at hand. I find thinking about it like you would a machine tool (albeit a special one) makes the whole thing a lot less mentally taxing. It is a much better metaphor for trying to figure stuff out than trying to apply what you know about drafting to get it done. It isn't the same. Not even close.

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