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    Solid Works questions..
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    Vendor yoshi's Avatar
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    Been thinking about getting solid works for a while now, and I just wanna get some basic info from people that have it.

    How much does it cost? I hear anywhere from 4k to almost 8k for the same stuff, or are there just different packages? If so, what package do you have, what did it cost, and do you feel limited if it's not the biggest package they offer..

    Can you give solid works designs directly to water/plasma/laser cutters to get parts made, or is there a way to convert drawings for them to use.

    Does it work similar to Bend Tech, meaning after you design a rail, would it tell you how long to cut each tube, where to mark it for bends and/or index for multiple bends, as well as the notch for the ends?

    If someone is willing to take a few classes to pick up the basics, and devote a lot of time behind the computer to pick it up, how hard is it to learn?

    Are plans made in solid works good enough for the end user, meaning if I started to offer my current rail, or designed other vehicles in plans form, would the programs I create be all that a customer would need to build it them self?

    Anything else you think I should know feel free to throw it out there, thank ya much..........
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    Re: Solid Works questions..
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    Yoshi I’m more of a beginner when it comes to SW, but I’ll try to answer your questions.
    1. Cost...no sure. There are several packages just depends on what you want it to do and how many plug-ins' you want. I do know if you are a Student you can get a working version for around $100 that will most likely do everything you will need to do with it, to get started anyway.
    2. Anyone that cuts for a living will be able to use the files directly. Just contact them and see which format they prefer. I also import/export SW files between AutoCAD without problems so you could go that route also.
    3. The details for each piece of the drawing aren't automatically shown, by default anyway-if someone knows what setting to change let me know. You can however have the details shown then when you create a sheet (blueprint page) each piece will be shown in multi views with details shown (I think I got that right) It will take several dozen sheets to show a whole buggy though.....
    4. If you a making a transition from a 2D program some of the commands will be similar. There are several tutorials on you tube and the web to use as a primer, but a formal class would be best. SW offers courses that last a few days in some larger cities and there are also on-line courses you can take from SW.
    5. If a customer can read a basic print they will be fine with the sheets generated by SW. You can determine which views are expressed in each sheet. If they can't no amount of hand holding will help them use anyone's prints.
    Last edited by vidio1; 01-21-2009 at 10:36 AM. Reason: Spelling
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    Re: Solid Works questions..
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    Can't help on the cost, but I think the variance in prices depend on how many suites you buy, how much your salesman likes you, etc.

    Not sure about the water/laser cutter. We transer the files to MasterCAM for CNC & EDM machining, but there is still some additional programming required on the machinist end. We also transfer SW files (in IGS form, just a different file extension that is VERY easy to create) directly to a rapid-prototype machine. I'd guess a 2d cutter like water/laser would be somewhere in between.

    Taking some classes and then workng thru tutorials can get you a long way. If you have any experience in CAD-type stuff (like bend-tech maybe, though I've not used it) that helps tremendously. I learned Pro-E pretty without having used any 3d modeling software (we used 2D in college) and then moved to SW recently with no major problems. I learn best watching a good user as they will show you lots of good shortcuts/methods.

    As for the plans, or prints, yes they could be good enough for the end user, assuming you put the time/effort into making the prints complete. Creating good prints is the most time intensive part of using a solid modeling CAD system. Creating the models/assemblies is relatively easy, but there is a lot of detail work in the prints, but once it's done it's done for good and only needs maintenance.
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    Re: Solid Works questions..
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    The Bob Ross of MBN Bullnerd's Avatar
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    Bend tech is or is going too offer a program that will accept solid works files.

    Check out OFN,the guys on there and lots of info too.

    Start learning SW now,it will only help in the future,even if it does take some time to get efficient at it,eventually it will be worth it.
    "Speed is time-time is speed"-Dennis Hopper

    Quote Originally Posted by TALON View Post
    did you use a special bigfoot camera or something ,you know all blurry could be a tree stump kinda thing .
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    Re: Solid Works questions..
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    Super Moderator minibajaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yoshi View Post
    Been thinking about getting solid works for a while now, and I just wanna get some basic info from people that have it.

    How much does it cost? I hear anywhere from 4k to almost 8k for the same stuff, or are there just different packages? If so, what package do you have, what did it cost, and do you feel limited if it's not the biggest package they offer..
    I don't know what it costs, I have never bought it; just used it at work and I have a copy from work at home too.

    Quote Originally Posted by yoshi View Post
    Can you give solid works designs directly to water/plasma/laser cutters to get parts made, or is there a way to convert drawings for them to use.
    Yes, you can take your 3D part file and make it into a 2D drawing like a .dxf file which can then be loaded straight into a cutting machine. Some shops that have SW can work with the 3D files directly.

    Quote Originally Posted by yoshi View Post
    Does it work similar to Bend Tech, meaning after you design a rail, would it tell you how long to cut each tube, where to mark it for bends and/or index for multiple bends, as well as the notch for the ends?
    I have not used Bend Tech, but SW won't do those things automatically for you. You would have to make your own drawing of the tube showing the dimensions you need. I don't think it can do things like mark where to bend and stuff. But you could take the tube dimensions and put them in to Bend Tech for that stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by yoshi View Post
    If someone is willing to take a few classes to pick up the basics, and devote a lot of time behind the computer to pick it up, how hard is it to learn?
    I showed one of the technicians here at work how to use SW for basics like simple parts and assemblies. Took probably 10 hrs or so to cover that stuff. If you are willing to put in the effort I think you could learn it fairly quickly, and of course the more you use it the faster you get at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by yoshi View Post
    Are plans made in solid works good enough for the end user, meaning if I started to offer my current rail, or designed other vehicles in plans form, would the programs I create be all that a customer would need to build it them self?
    Yes you could use SW to make a set of plans, but it won't do it for you, you will have to make 2D dimensioned drawings of parts and assemblies that need fabrication. Honestly I applaud those that do make plans because it would be a lot of work to make a set good enough that anyone could use to build from. I mostly just make parts right from the models by having my computer with me in the shop while I work, so I can quickly measure any dimension I may need.
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    Re: Solid Works questions..
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    Vendor yoshi's Avatar
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    I just sat down with a local seller/ trainer of the program (recommended by solid works) and he showed me some of the stuff it can do (effin amazing). I asked him about giving the bend numbers and stuff and he said he didn't know, never heard of it. I told him about bend tec and he got on the phone with solid works and they said that bend tec designed a program specifically for solid works that will give you all the same info you get from bend tec. He then took me to the solid works website and should me that bend tec was in fact a partner, and I called bend tec to be sure and they said yes, it worked just like the bend pro program.

    The SW stuff is amazing, and when I get into something I tend to spend a long time on the computer learning it, like photoshop, which was about 2 weeks of 4 hours a day to get pretty damn good with it.

    The program ends up being $5,400 for the basic setup, which includes around $1,300 for yearly tec support, and that gets you the updated versions of the program every year as well.

    There's also a 5 day class for $1,500 i'd take to get into it quick, then i'd prob. devote 4 or 5 hours a day to it to familiarize myself with everything. The easiest thing would be for me to put my entire rail in solid works as well as the panels and suspension, that has enough stuff going on, and will require enough hands on time for me to pick it up.

    It's just a ton of money, but hopefully the skills I pick up will allow me to expand my business into design for others (not just rails, but pretty much anything), which i've been told pays really, really well, lol...
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    Re: Solid Works questions..
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    The Bob Ross of MBN Bullnerd's Avatar
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    You still have to know how to design though, it wont do it for you.
    "Speed is time-time is speed"-Dennis Hopper

    Quote Originally Posted by TALON View Post
    did you use a special bigfoot camera or something ,you know all blurry could be a tree stump kinda thing .
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    Re: Solid Works questions..
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    Admin Gene's Avatar
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    Oh Bull!

    Anyway, my local two year college offers SW classes. To get the student discount you should enroll in class and then get the student priced version. I think it's good for two years. By then prices might fall . . .
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    Re: Solid Works questions..
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    Millenium Member standfast's Avatar
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    If you need anyhelp learning it, I'll do what I can through email or whatever. Applications of it on a buggy are the tip of the iceberg for that program. There are a handful of little tricks you will have to learn to make each part and do different things. Buggy parts are pretty basic really. Once you learn it and apply it, you will wonder how you did without it. It took me a few weeks until I really started understanding how the program worked but once you know it is pretty intuitive in my opinion.

    As for waterjet parts, you move the part files sketches into the drawing filetype and save as DXF's. Your waterjet guy takes it from there.

    As for plans, I feel it would take as much time if not more putting your design into a understandable format that someone could build step by step. That is A LOT of time there.
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    Re: Solid Works questions..
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    The Bob Ross of MBN Bullnerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    Oh Bull!

    Anyway, my local two year college offers SW classes. To get the student discount you should enroll in class and then get the student priced version. I think it's good for two years. By then prices might fall . . .
    Sorry, couldn't resist.
    "Speed is time-time is speed"-Dennis Hopper

    Quote Originally Posted by TALON View Post
    did you use a special bigfoot camera or something ,you know all blurry could be a tree stump kinda thing .
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