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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!

SillyOldDuffer12/01/2019 11:20:11
3997 forum posts
810 photos
Posted by John Hinkley on 12/01/2019 11:12:36:

Having come to the conclusion that my design for a four-cylinder engine will only ever be a virtual construction, I have ditched the water-cooled version in favour of an air-cooled one. This has massively simplified the block and head design and allowed me to progress a little further. Spurred on by the recent discussion in this thread concerning the use of the sweep tool, I have smoothed out the inlet and exhaust ports to follow an angled path from head side face to valve throat. Very satisfying - but it took some figuring out with the new planes and axes to insert. Not helped, I suppose, by my use of angled valves and ports! Keeps the grey matter working, though.

Here's what it looks like at the present stage of development:

Air-cooled engine assembly

John

I'm impressed! smiley

Dave

Lionel Pullum12/01/2019 23:49:41
11 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks Jason

Thats obviously a mu ch better workaround for the ellipse issue

Tim Taylor 213/01/2019 00:10:14
66 forum posts
8 photos

Awesome John!

I think I'm starting to get a feel for the A3d software. The picture below is a single row wheel for a steam turbine - I did it as a learning tool...the actual scale model turbine I am designing will have a 2 row wheel with reversing sector.

The most tedious part was figuring out the bucket design - it starts out with an extruded rectangular block, which is then shaped to profile by a couple of extrude cuts. The circular pattern was used to create the buckets in two steps - first the rectangular blocks, then the extrude cuts using the same parameters. I did it this way because as far as I can tell, the circular pattern will only work on one feature at a time.

The wheel body was a couple of extrudes and very straightforward.

The rim was created separately and then projected to a sketch, which was copied and positioned on the wheel using the paste stamp function, then extruded to width.

I did this early in the week, and in retrospect it looks like there are a couple of steps that could have been combined - will play with that when I get a chance.

Tim

turbwhl.jpg

Tim Taylor 213/01/2019 04:09:04
66 forum posts
8 photos

I was able to consolidate some operations - this is the 2 row Curtis stage wheel design with a dished rotor..........

2rowturbwhl.jpg

Neil Wyatt13/01/2019 08:29:37
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Hmmm... Nylon 6 can stand temperatures up to 150C, which is steam at 50psi.

How about 3D printed turbine Blades for a low-pressure steam turbine, say 30-40psi?

Neil

David Jupp13/01/2019 08:52:03
649 forum posts
16 photos

Tim - the feature pattern tool should be able to cope with multiple features in a single pattern.

Keith Rogers 213/01/2019 11:54:08
58 forum posts
1 photos

Neil, as Nylon 6 is hygroscopic would that really work as a steam turbine? I guess it would be fine if run on air though.

Keith.

Edited By Keith Rogers 2 on 13/01/2019 11:54:52

Neil Wyatt13/01/2019 13:36:57
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Posted by Keith Rogers 2 on 13/01/2019 11:54:08:

Neil, as Nylon 6 is hygroscopic would that really work as a steam turbine? I guess it would be fine if run on air though.

Keith.

Edited By Keith Rogers 2 on 13/01/2019 11:54:52

Should be fine as long as allowance is made for slight expansion about 1.6% at maximum water content. You could get around this by running the edge of the turbine in a groove rather then just up against the wall of a tube.

It would only be meant as a demonstration, not a hard-working turbine.

Neil

Nige13/01/2019 13:38:27
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370 forum posts
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Im trying to find an 'Undo' button and failing miserably Any help please guys.

Neil Wyatt13/01/2019 13:47:16
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Posted by Nige on 13/01/2019 13:38:27:

Im trying to find an 'Undo' button and failing miserably Any help please guys.

Try the little button with an anti-clockwise arrow on it next to the save icon at top left.

Neil

Nige13/01/2019 15:41:01
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370 forum posts
65 photos

Thank you Neil

I have made the mistake of clicking where I shouldn’t have on the very first screen the result was to change the planes from XY to XZ. The Undo button is useable at this point and when dimmed is difficult for me to recognise 🙂 which I’d why I couldn’t see it !

Trying to change the planes back is proving difficult as I thought the choices in the left pane might do it but no. Easiest thing at this point is to abandon the sketch and start again 😊 Thanks for the help 😊

Tim Taylor 213/01/2019 19:38:07
66 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by David Jupp on 13/01/2019 08:52:03:

Tim - the feature pattern tool should be able to cope with multiple features in a single pattern.

Yeah, I figured out what I needed to make it work. Part of the problem was that i was focused on creating the extrusion at the final radius, then it dawned on me that all I had to do was create it at the origin, extrude to the final radius, then extrude cut what I didn't want.

Rather than using multiple steps to shape the bucket as I did originally, I created a sketch of the final profile, then simply extruded it. Both rows of buckets on the picture I posted above were created simultaneously by one extrude boss, followed by one circular pattern.

I've only been playing with the software off and on since mid-December, but I think I'm starting to get a feel for it. IMHO the integral help is good in some respects, but in others is only enough to make you dangerous. I've kind of filled it in by playing with it, and also tips found here, on the Alibre forum, and some Youtube vids.

Tim

Tim Taylor 213/01/2019 19:58:58
66 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 13/01/2019 08:29:37:

Hmmm... Nylon 6 can stand temperatures up to 150C, which is steam at 50psi.

How about 3D printed turbine Blades for a low-pressure steam turbine, say 30-40psi?

Neil

Neil,

Might work with a single row wheel. In the design I posted above the clearance between the 2 rows of the wheel and the reversing sector is only 0.025", so you would need to really open it up. Also, the buckets are relatively small - roughly 0.2"x0.2"x0.15" - pretty small for a 3D printer....using fewer, larger buckets would probably work.

The disc and hub for my design will be machined out of a singe piece of steel. The buckets will be brass and silver soldered into slots in the wheel, the rim soldered to the buckets, then machined true. Right now I'm working on the best way to make the buckets, and I'm getting closer (in the real world they're done out of SS on a broaching machine).

Tim

Terry Thurtle14/01/2019 18:02:37
1 forum posts

Creating the clamp component as per MEW Issue 276.

Restarted the drawing several times following the instructions to the letter thinking I was doing something wrong but each time I try to deactivate sketch mode after creating the clamp hole and positioning it I get the error message that the sketch is not closed and then when analysed says "Open Loop" and "Intersection". I can't get past this point.

What am I doing wrong? Help!!!!!

Edited By JasonB on 14/01/2019 18:21:11

JasonB14/01/2019 18:23:24
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Terry. If you click where it lists the open loop and intersection it will highlight that on the sketch with a red dot which should give you an idea of where you have gone wrong. often a line not quite meeting another or one on top of another. If not obvious at first zoom in on the red dot.

failing that can you post a screen shot for us to look into.

Neil Wyatt14/01/2019 18:49:47
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15707 forum posts
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Posted by Nige on 13/01/2019 15:41:01:

Thank you Neil

I have made the mistake of clicking where I shouldn’t have on the very first screen the result was to change the planes from XY to XZ. The Undo button is useable at this point and when dimmed is difficult for me to recognise 🙂 which I’d why I couldn’t see it !

Trying to change the planes back is proving difficult as I thought the choices in the left pane might do it but no. Easiest thing at this point is to abandon the sketch and start again 😊 Thanks for the help 😊

Just click these icons for the different views:

Neil

Garry Hill17/01/2019 05:17:59
10 forum posts

I have been following the articles in MEW and managed to draw the base and column and am currently working on the clamp. I have been able to follow the steps needed to create the clamp up until figure 11 and when I try to make a rectangle as instructed in the steps listed the rectangle feature won’t work. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Garry

David Jupp17/01/2019 07:27:25
649 forum posts
16 photos

Garry - what do you mean by 'rectangle feature won't work'?

Is the rectangle tool visible in the Ribbon? If so, can you activate it? A bit more detail will help to understand what has happened.

JasonB17/01/2019 07:35:53
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Garry make sure you are not holding the button down. Click to place the first corner, move, click to place opposite corner.

JasonB17/01/2019 08:22:02
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For anyone that does not get the Alibre newsletter and is looking for inspiration or depression depending on how you look at it they have been running a design competition and the entries are shown here, there are some done with Atom.

BTW should anyone fancy making one of the small KURT style vices shown in one of the entries then casting kits are available and I can point you to a very good build thread.

Edited By JasonB on 17/01/2019 08:28:25

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