Electronics > PCB/EDA/CAD

CAD with most advanced wizards?

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coppercone2:
Is there a mechanical CAD type thing, kind of like if you had the entire MCMASTER catalog of parts general shapes listed as an option like "new part type", and it would bring up a generic version of the part and give you a bunch of intuitive tools with pictograms that you can click on for specific things related to the part (i.e. for a right angle bracket it would show up with some buttons that have 'creative sketches' in mind for the type of part you are imagining) and bring up some kind of drag/drop 'working with clay' type tool set to further make it easier to modify the part.

I had a calculator program for a 3d print that I downloaded which was just basically a knob program, but the author put like 15 different parameters you might want to adjust for a knob in that program to tailor your print. For making replacement equipment knobs it became as easy as re-scaling the thing via the list of scaling options. If someone showed me that particular modification configuration screen, I could have 'designed' the knob as a first grader just matching the text boxes to the rendering.

It was literary a program for a knob. It looked like someone put alot of work into making that one program.. totally unnecessary if you KNOW how to use the program, but I am not exaggerating.. if I put that program in a mall kiosk with a 3d printer, it would function as a effective vending machine of replacement parts for the layman, so long they wanted HiFi knobs. One of the nicest features in it was the fact that someone researched all the types of shafts that are common, so you could actually pick D-shaft, o-shaft, X-shaft.. etc. If you need a d-shape shaft, thats already pretty complicated. 

So I am wondering if there is a CAD program built around this kind of thinking. Like if an AI went through Thingverse and made everything parametric & easy. And some common stuff like "add attachment" where it would bring up a list of "attachments' that it has a conformal bracket for (i.e. like iphone, go-pro camera, with different 'shock grade" class designs).

dunkemhigh:
I think most mechanical CAD apps allow for variables to be used when specifying dimensions and stuff, and many allow dragging of edges and surfaces the rubberband (or mould in clay). The problem (for you) is that there isn't likely to be a parts library as such, so any part you want to make available like that you'd have to make yourself. That's essentially what the chap with the knob did - created it himself so it's a generic programmable library part.

Most likely he used OpenSCAD to do the biz. You could do similar: use openSCAD to create a part calculator (like the knob one) then export to whatever format your CAD app will read.

Or... someone might suggest Fusion360 and it's grab'n'drag features...

TimFox:
One great thing about McMaster Carr is that they give free CAD drawings for many mechanical parts.
Looking at a shaft coupling, I found these formats available:
3D:  EDRW, IGES, PDF, SAT, Solidworks, and STEP
2D:  DWG, DXF, PDF, and Solidworks.

Bassman59:

--- Quote from: TimFox on October 25, 2021, 08:40:44 pm ---One great thing about McMaster Carr is that they give free CAD drawings for many mechanical parts.
Looking at a shaft coupling, I found these formats available:
3D:  EDRW, IGES, PDF, SAT, Solidworks, and STEP
2D:  DWG, DXF, PDF, and Solidworks.

--- End quote ---

Fusion360 (and others, I'm sure) has a direct link to McMaster -- you can add a McMaster part to your design right from within Fusion. It's pretty cool.

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