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Learning CAD with Alibre Atom3D

Discussion of the series starting in MEW 274

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Alibre Atom3D

Alibre Atom3D

Thanks to the generosity of Alibre, Model Engineers' Workshop Magazine is able to offer every reader of Model Engineers' Workshop a free six-month licence to Alibre Atom3D. Alongside this great opportunity, starting with issue 274 of Model Engineers' Workshop we are running a detailed tutorial series in the magazine. This page will be the 'hub' for links to example files, tutorials and more so make sure you drop in regularly to keep up to date!

Neil Wyatt26/10/2018 10:30:18
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This thread is for people to post any questions or comments they have on the tutorial series starting in MEW 274 to support the six-month free licence for Alibre Atom 3D.

Various supporting resources are already here:

www.model-engineer.co.uk/alibreatom3d

The page will be updated from time to time.

Enjoy,

Neil

Emgee26/10/2018 11:06:06
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Hi Neil

The link below to the Boring Head article doesn't work for me, perhaps it's my computer, please check.

www.model-engineer.co.uk/news/article/the-mew-boring-head/26646

Emgee

Edited By Emgee on 26/10/2018 11:06:39

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 26/10/2018 11:17:09

JasonB26/10/2018 11:10:38
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All I will say for now having seen the first part is don't be put off having a go by what looks a long complicated process from reading the article. Get the trial downloaded and have a go it really is a lot simpler than it looks.

I do have one question though, why was the XY axis chosen to start drawing? I would have gone with ZX so that when any of the View Icons are clicked the part shows the right way up. I find this also helps later when you come to start assembly of parts.

J

Neil Wyatt26/10/2018 11:16:45
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Hi Emgee,

I have no problem using that link, and I've checked it isn't set to subscriber only.

I've made it into a live link in your post - try it again?

Neil

David Jupp26/10/2018 11:24:50
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Jason,

I can't speak for Rob (the tutorial author), but XY plane often gets used simply because it is 'face on' to the computer screen at launch and hence the quickest one to select. No reason why another plane couldn't have been used instead, and no reason why readers shouldn't try using a different plane (perhaps after building a little confidence).

In some CAD system the 'face on' plane is a carry over from looking at graph paper on your desk (XY plane), in others since the screen now tends to be vertical not horizontal the ZX plane is presented 'face on'. I see huge arguments over which is 'correct' - they are all arbitrary.

In Alibre Atom3D - Initial 'Face on' plane or 'Front view' is looking at the XY plane from the +Z direction, the view orientation icons are consistent with that.

If you plan to later transfer your model to CAM or to 3D printing software, it might save some time to consider which plane you start on - so your model imports 'as expected' into the other software (though this can usually be worked around).

Edited By David Jupp on 26/10/2018 11:39:24

JasonB26/10/2018 13:02:10
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Neil I think it must be set as subscriber only as I could not look at it using my other user name, only the one with my subs details let me see it. I did e-mail you to the same effect yesterday. Works OK now though.

Thanks David, as you say XY is probably the one I use most but I do like to see the top of a part when I click "top view" rather than what would be considered the side by most. I'm sure Rob is limited in how much he can put into the series so can only cover some basics and that may be going a bit too in depth.

 

Edited By JasonB on 26/10/2018 13:05:14

Andrew Johnston26/10/2018 15:47:10
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Posted by JasonB on 26/10/2018 11:10:38:

I do have one question though, why was the XY axis chosen to start drawing? I would have gone with ZX so that when any of the View Icons are clicked the part shows the right way up. I find this also helps later when you come to start assembly of parts.

I normally use the XY plane as the bottom of a part. Then the part is orientated in the same way as a milling machine. This is particularly useful when transferring the part to a CAM program prior to CNC milling. Saves a lot of faffing about.

Apart from the initial part in an assembly, which I usually orientate to the workspace, all the other parts are constrained to other parts, so initial orientation isn't important.

Andrew

Edited By Andrew Johnston on 26/10/2018 15:47:18

Steambuff26/10/2018 18:25:33
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I have just obtained my 6 month license key and downloaded Alibre Atom3D.

I failed at the first step .... the install failed .....

I use "Cubify Design" as my 3D CAD package and it appears I have to de-install it if I want to install Alibre Atom3D as the installation process thinks it is an earlier version that it can't upgrade.

I have emailed support, lets see what they say!

 

Dave.

 

Edited By JasonB on 26/10/2018 18:27:17

JasonB27/10/2018 07:06:56
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Thanks Andrew, starting so that the part suits further use of the file makes sense be it for milling or getting a flat surface on the 3D printer bed. I think I will keep doing it my way for now as it suits rendering if the light falls on the top of the part and shadows below and also if I want to add a 3D image to a 2D drawing the part is the right way up, maybe if I get into CNC or Printing in the future that will change.

Steambuff and anyone else for that matter, I will move any Atom3D related threads or posts to here as it makes it easier for the various people from Alibre who are looking in to keep track of things and possibly get you an quicker answer. If anyone does raise a ticket with support can you include the ticket number in your post as it makes it easier to look you up.

J

Edited By JasonB on 27/10/2018 07:07:39

David Jupp27/10/2018 11:46:30
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Cubify Design is a member of the family of predecessor products to Alibre Atom3D. You can't have Cubify and Atom3D installed on the same computer (that's just the way it is).

Those with Cubify Design already installed, should be able to follow the tutorial series, but won't be able to open the example files. Cubify has adequate functionality, but being an earlier iteration of the software can't open files created in the current version of Atom3D.

The user interface in Atom3D has been updated considerably, but the modelling tools still work the same way as in Cubify.

Edited By David Jupp on 27/10/2018 11:48:54

Steambuff27/10/2018 12:22:34
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David, Thank you for your response and email.

You state that the user interface has changed, but can you tell me -

1/ What new features are in Alibre Atom3D that are not in Cubify Design?

2/ What features are in Cubify Design that are not in Alibre Atom3D?

Based on this I can make a decision to upgrade or not .... Is there an upgrade price available?

Thanks

Dave

David Jupp27/10/2018 12:41:38
678 forum posts
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Dave,

I suggest you contact your reseller - re feature comparison and possible upgrade Cubify to Atom3D.

Neil Wyatt27/10/2018 15:56:21
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I have moved the comments on other CAD packages to another thread.

Please can those who want to promote or debate their own preferences please do so elsewhere and respect That this thread is meant to be helping people learn to use Alibre Atom3D.

Thank you.

Neil

Rod Ashton28/10/2018 14:04:14
283 forum posts
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Trying the demo version. Quite neat.

Confused a little by the "trim" command. Drew a circle with two angled tangent lines attached. Then tried to trim out the inner unwanted portion of the circle from the line tangents. But it would only select and delete the whole circle. What is the procedure please.

Hope I am not premature with queries?

JasonB28/10/2018 14:19:31
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Rod, how did you do the two tangental lines? For the trim to work they must actually be tangental not just look like it on the screen.

1 option if you want the line vertical or horizontal starting at the circles ctr line is to draw your circle then select the line tool, now hover your cursor near circle where you want the line to start and you will see the little image of a line near your cursor arrow change to a line and inverted triangle as you move around to 0, 90, 180 & 270 deg a red guide line will also appear now click mouse to start line. As you start drawing your line now it will automatically snap to the circle and be tangental when vertical or horizontal. You can tell if it is by a black dot where the line joins the circle.

Another method is to draw a line approx where you want it and then go upto the "constraints" box along the top. one icon there is a circle with a tangental line, hover cursor over that and it will tell you what it does. You then click that icon and follow what it says bottom left - select first figure, I usually select the circle then select second figure which is your line it will then move to be tangental to the circle

Easier done that said

 

EDIT rough and ready video, my version is slightly different but you have the same functions

 

Edited By JasonB on 28/10/2018 14:44:20

Rod Ashton28/10/2018 14:47:29
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Jason - I actually tried it both ways.( Incidentally the selection sequence is worth a observing)

So if left with a circle and the two tangential lines to trim, I would usually accept a highlighted cutout suggestion, or select my cutting entities and then the portion to remove.

Could not find a way to do it. At least by my accustomed methods?

David Jupp28/10/2018 14:51:23
678 forum posts
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Rod - though produced for Alibre Design, rather than Atom3D, this video shows general usage of the trim tool. It might help.

Jason is correct - the lines have to either cross the circle, or be truly tangent to it for the trim to work, alternatively the end nodes of the lines could be set coincident with the circle.

JasonB28/10/2018 15:33:28
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Rod, can you post a screen shot of your circle and two lines, we may be able to spot what is stopping you from being able to trim. Zooming right in can also show up if a line that looks tangental is actually just missing the circle.

Normal working size

tangent 1.jpg

Zoomed in and it misses

tangent 2.jpg

What it should look like, the little tangent icon comes up when the two meet correctly

tangent 3.jpg

Edited By JasonB on 28/10/2018 15:47:59

Rod Ashton28/10/2018 15:52:09
283 forum posts
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Well I just redrew it to send you a screenshot and the trim function worked as I would expect. Must have drawn it in a more acceptable way. It was the first time I had used the programme. Apologies for wasting your time.

Still playing

JasonB28/10/2018 15:56:58
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No apologies needed. That was one of the reasons for doing it via the mag as the forum is an easy way to get an answer from familiar faces and not put beginners off asking.

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