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CAD Software for Designing a DB1 Replica  

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Moneer81
(@moneer81)
Active Member
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 11
2019-09-05 4:13 am  

Hello,

As I start thinking about building a DB1 replica, I would like to start first by designing it. In the past I used Tinkercad. Does anyone know if it is possible to import the various Actobotics parts into Tinkercad? I found some random parts created by users but did not find all the channeling for example.

Otherwise, does anyone have a suggestion for an easy-to-use CAD software where I can design a DB1 replica?

Thanks!


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Robotics Engineer Moderator
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 1604
2019-09-05 5:08 am  

I'm in love with Fusion 360 and couldn't in good conscience recommend anything else.   Some people say that it has a steep learning curve.  Apparently that's an individual perspective.   I moved from using Google Sketchup to Fusion 360 and found Fusion 360 to  be a piece of cake to learn.  Especially if you're willing to go through just a few of the free online introductory lessons offered by Fusion 360.

The beautiful think about Fusion 360 is that it not only give you great freedom in drawing in 3D, but it also allows you to create and include movable joints.   This way, once you have drawing a movable part, like say an arm for example.  Then you can easily move it to any position you want to after you have drawn it.  No need to choose points to rotate it around, etc., because you'll have all your movable part already described in the drawing.

Anyway, I though I'd just toss that out.  If I was going to start drawing a fully functional robot I'd definitely use Fusion 360 and take advantage of the feature of being able to design in movable joints.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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Pakabol
(@pakabol)
Reputable Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 254
2019-09-05 5:17 am  

@robo-pi

now that i got a 3d printer ive been thinking about playing around with it and you gave me the motivation to get it 


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Robotics Engineer Moderator
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 1604
2019-09-05 5:38 am  
Posted by: @pakabol

now that i got a 3d printer ive been thinking about playing around with it and you gave me the motivation to get it 

I guarantee  you won't be sorry.

I strongly recommend taking the time to go through at least their first basic course.  That will really help you get a handle on the  basics very quickly.

Fusion 360 Courses

After taking the first introductory course I jumped right into the course entitled

Assemblies and Joints

I don't recommend taking such a huge jump in their courses program, but I wanted to learn how to make functional joints and found that I was able to do it fairly easily after having taken this course.

However, I must confess that I was jumping around a bit back and forth between different courses trying to fill in the gaps. ? 

So it's probably better just taking the courses laid out the way they have them. But I definitely recommend going through these courses.  They are free and you just watch them whenever you want.

I've heard people complain that Fusion 360 is next to impossible to learn.  But when asked what courses they had trouble with they confess that they didn't take any of the courses.  Well duh?  No wonder they don't know how it works.  (Where's the slap head emoji?)

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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Pakabol
(@pakabol)
Reputable Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 254
2019-09-05 5:49 am  

@robo-pi

ive been watching alot of makers muse and it does look like it has a steeper learning curve but nothing to be scared of. sadly you cant get it for linux with out using wine and it still sounds buggy. i haven't booted my windows box in a couple months but it might be time to dust it off tomorrow. i have been studying it for a while now. hard thing for me is im not creative knowing what i want to build seems harder then building it  LOL 

This post was modified 7 months ago by Pakabol

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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Robotics Engineer Moderator
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 1604
2019-09-05 5:58 am  
Posted by: @pakabol

sadly you cant get it for linux with out using wine and it still sounds buggy.

Yeah, that is a bummer.  I wanted to run it on my Linux system and discovered that I couldn't.  I don't think it runs via wine.  I think you need to go the whole VM route.

However, you can still use Fusion 360 on Linux via a browser.  Just run it on the web.  They say it actually runs faster that way anyway.  I tried running it on the web and I just don't like running it through a browser as much as on the desktop.  It's not exactly the same.  It feels a little more "boxed in" when running it via a web browser.  I prefer the wide-open space of running it locally.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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ETinkerer
(@etinkerer)
Trusted Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 57
2019-09-05 3:33 pm  

I made a bookmark for this YT site for when I start delving in to CAD. YT 3D Tutorial  Might be another place to learn.

This post was modified 7 months ago by ETinkerer

Pat

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but “That's funny …”
Author: Isaac Asimov


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triform
(@triform)
Estimable Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 215
2019-09-05 3:48 pm  
Posted by: @moneer81

Hello,

As I start thinking about building a DB1 replica, I would like to start first by designing it. In the past I used Tinkercad. Does anyone know if it is possible to import the various Actobotics parts into Tinkercad? I found some random parts created by users but did not find all the channeling for example.

Otherwise, does anyone have a suggestion for an easy-to-use CAD software where I can design a DB1 replica?

Thanks!

Sparkfun has the STL's for the Actobotics parts that can be imported into Tinkercad.  You have to download from each part page. 


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Moneer81
(@moneer81)
Active Member
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 11
2019-09-05 4:40 pm  
Posted by: @triform
Posted by: @moneer81

Hello,

As I start thinking about building a DB1 replica, I would like to start first by designing it. In the past I used Tinkercad. Does anyone know if it is possible to import the various Actobotics parts into Tinkercad? I found some random parts created by users but did not find all the channeling for example.

Otherwise, does anyone have a suggestion for an easy-to-use CAD software where I can design a DB1 replica?

Thanks!

Sparkfun has the STL's for the Actobotics parts that can be imported into Tinkercad.  You have to download from each part page. 

Thank you! That's what I needed. The files were in .STEP formate and Tinkercad wants STL but I was able to convert them online for free using this tool: https://www.makexyz.com/convert/step-to-stl

 

Thanks again!


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Moneer81
(@moneer81)
Active Member
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 11
2019-09-05 4:43 pm  
Posted by: @robo-pi

I'm in love with Fusion 360 and couldn't in good conscience recommend anything else.   Some people say that it has a steep learning curve.  Apparently that's an individual perspective.   I moved from using Google Sketchup to Fusion 360 and found Fusion 360 to  be a piece of cake to learn.  Especially if you're willing to go through just a few of the free online introductory lessons offered by Fusion 360.

The beautiful think about Fusion 360 is that it not only give you great freedom in drawing in 3D, but it also allows you to create and include movable joints.   This way, once you have drawing a movable part, like say an arm for example.  Then you can easily move it to any position you want to after you have drawn it.  No need to choose points to rotate it around, etc., because you'll have all your movable part already described in the drawing.

Anyway, I though I'd just toss that out.  If I was going to start drawing a fully functional robot I'd definitely use Fusion 360 and take advantage of the feature of being able to design in movable joints.

@Robo Pi

That is quite the endorsement! It definitely looks like a solid piece of software. Do you know how much is it for non-educators/students?

I am all about learning something before jumping in and using it. I agree, a complex program like that is not necessarily intuitive and one would need to learn the fundamentals first.


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Robotics Engineer Moderator
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 1604
2019-09-05 4:57 pm  
Posted by: @moneer81

Do you know how much is it for non-educators/students?

I don't know all the details.  I've been using it for free as a non-commercial hobbyist.  I haven't read all the fine print so I'm not sure if there is a time limit on that.     If it starts costing money I'll have to give it up. ? 

The main feature I like are the movable joints.  But if I have to pay for it I'll go back to Sketchup and do without the movable joints.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Robotics Engineer Moderator
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 1604
2019-09-05 5:54 pm  

@moneer81

I haven't used Fusion 360 for a few months.   I just fired it up to see if I can see any expiration date associated with it.  I can't find anything that suggests that it will expire.   I see from my downloads folder that I downloaded and installed Fusion 360 in March of this year.   I downloaded the non-commercial version as a hobbyist.  It was totally free.

If it expires I can't find any information on that.

It does however have some limitation and features that will not work in this non-commercial version.  However, those particular features appear to be very highly advanced and nothing that concerns me.

I've been able to draw everything I've wanted to draw thus far.  Including 3-D sculpting and those joints I was talking about.  So even this limited version appears to have more than enough features to build a totally functional robot.

Keep in mind that the professional version of this software can be used to design a Boeing 787, or an entire space station.  So the features that are not available for a hobbyist are most likely features that a hobbyist is never going to need anyway.   It's unlikely that a hobbyist will design something as complex as a jumbo jet or space station.

For something like DB1 you should be just fine. ? 

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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Spyder
(@spyder)
Honorable Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 668
2019-09-06 2:20 am  
Posted by: @robo-pi

(Where's the slap head emoji?)

3facepalmsml


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Robotics Engineer Moderator
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 1604
2019-09-06 6:06 am  

UPDATE: Concerning Trial Time Limit of the Startup version of Fusion 360

@moneer81

After a little more searching I was able to discover that my Fusion 360 will eventually expire.  Sadly.

I downloaded in March of 2019.   And I just discovered that it will indeed expire on March of 2020.   So it is a limited time trial version.   Not too bad that they give us a full year with it though.  Plus you can keep all the drawings you make with it and be able to open them with other CAD software later.  You'll just loose cool features like the movable joints.

In any case, I'm a little disappointed to learn that it will stop working next March.  I have no clue how much they want after that to that keep it alive.  I saw something on their site about $60 per month.  That's way more than I can afford.   If it was $60 a year I'd probably go for that.

In any case, it does indeed expire after a year.   I don't know if there is a way to get around that.  You might be able to start a whole brand new trial account by using a different email address and name?   I'm not sure what they use to determine if you are the same person who already had a previous account.  There probably are ways of obtaining a new trial version for another year.   I'll definitely be looking into that possibility next March.

It's really nice to use Fusion 360.   Like I say, if they had a reasonable lease price I'd even pay for it.  Even $100 a year would be worth it for me.   But $60 a month is a bit more than I can handle.   That's $720 a year.  I'd need to be making money from my drawings to make that worth while.

I still think it's worth learning even if it only lasts for a year.    Just keep that in mind and don't install it until you are ready, and when  you do install it, use it as much as you can before it expires.

My version has been sitting here on my computer for the past four months and I haven't even had time to use it.   So that's a bummer.  Four months of access to it and I was too busy with summer chores to use it.  Thankfully I still have until next March, so I'll be able to get some use out of it this winter.

Then I'll look into seeing if I can download it again under a different email account on a new computer. ?  Not sure if I'll be able to do that or not.  Like I say, $720 a year is simply out of the question unless I can actually make it pay for itself.  But I'm not sure how to go about doing that.

If I could make money with it producing drawings for people that would be ok.  But I have no clue how to find potential customers.

So after next March I may have to go back to using Skechup again. Or TinkerCAD, or whatever.  And all my movable joints will freeze up. ? 

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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Pugwash
(@pugwash)
Prominent Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 970
2019-09-06 8:07 am  

@robo-pi

The usual tactic is to hide a little something (i.e. an expiry date) deep in the OS on your computer. If you can remember what day you installed it on, you may be able to find, alter or delete the file.

Nevertheless, my research says it costs $495/year! Still a bit steep for the hobbyist!

This post was modified 7 months ago by Pugwash

SteveC - Topple Rudd Poltman


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