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What software to use?11/21
At our shop we use 2D Autocad then a CAM program called 'Genio' for our Morbidelli 3615 CNC.
I think moving to 3D CAD would be a good move but there are a number of concerns that make me think otherwise too, like -
What software should we go to, Solidworks, Inventor, Top solid...
Can we get the data we need for the CNC out of the software?
Can we produce detailed drawings for the shop?
Any feed back would be much appreciated!
There have been a number of discussions about this subject and I am sure you will get some response!
Just to get the ball rolling, what kind of products are you making? This is a key factor in what is the right software for you.
Also what type of files does Genio accept? Will it read DXF files or do you need G-code ready to go?
Since you are already using Auto Cad, just use it in 3d. In conjunction with Smartlister. Definetly going to be your cheapest option.
Look at Derek's comments on Top Solid in this forum, quite damning.
SW has an add on for going to CNC that someone is peddling covertly on this forum may be good?
I also like Derek's conclusion to do the stuff in 3d that needs to be done in 3d and do the rest through CV or similiar.
We're on the other side of Derek's experience...Topsolid has been great.
Don't rely on some other shop's success or failure...put in the time yourself, research carefully, to find what software is best suited for you.
Thanks for the responses so far everyone.
Richard - We will take on pretty much any job but right now I'd say the bulk of our work is in booth seat carcass's, bars and cabinets. We are a custom shop and no two jobs are the same. Genio is based on Autocad 2008 OEM so it will open DWG and DXF.
Pat - Autocad 3D is definitely an option but could you tell me more about Smartlister? I have heard its name in various places on the forum but I can't find much about it online.
Mark - Top solid looks pretty appealing but the mixed reviews do make me cautious. Plus we are based in England and the support seems none existent here.
The more I think about it autocad 3D seems to be the strongest option at the moment
Smartlister is a program that allows you to stretch or shrink solids. IOW you can select a cabinet and stretch or shrink all of the parts at once.
It will output the parts separately as a dxf for cnc purposes.
It will also export a cut list.
The below link you buy an add on that allows you to put in holes for assembly of the cabinet or hardware.
You might try this link and talk to Jim Falk to see what the current status of Smartlister .
Here is a list of some guidelines I've posted before that you may want to use in your search for software. I hope they are of help to you.....
1. Call the software company for an online demo, making sure they understand you want to see how their program fits your needs.
If these things cannot be shown to you quickly by someone who is WELL-VERSED in the software you are contemplating, then you can rest assured that it will take you much longer to accomplish the task when you have the software on your computer.
On the other hand, if these things CAN be SHOWN to you quickly by the saleperson, then you will probably be happy with the software. Know that there is no software that will do ALL that you want.....but the software you finally decide upon should do ALL that you NEED, and the MAJORITY of what you WANT.
You can call Dave Wishengrad about particulars, After 2 PM PST.
Thanks, I've sent Dave an e-mail for now as I'm still getting to grips with 3D autocad in general and I don't want to try to run before I can walk.
Just a couple of questions,
Any best practices / tips for drawing in 3d for woodworking?
Also, does the smart software require a certain version of autocad? I use 64bit 2013.
Dave has some videos of how to use Autocad in 3d.
If you private email me I will try to put them in drop box.
Until you do a real job you won't be really learning as you won't have to make it work.
There is a learning curve, as there is with any software. Not as bad as Microvellum, harder than Solidworks. IOW don't expect to know it in a few weeks.
I depend heavily on layers, I dimension in paperspace not model space which works fine for 2d drawings but not for 3d drawings.
I use an older version of Autocad that Dave got me a deal on, 2007. I don't think Smartlister will run on 2013. But there is a solution called longbow.
Jack, I work for KCD Software. KCD Commander produces nested G-code for your CNC router, and can be researched at kcdsoftware.com. We don't charge for tech support, and work with our customers and their machine techs to get set up.
Online 3D kitchen constructor