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westsidermech

When designing a product using Solidworks or 3D CAD for the first time with lots of individual parts, which have to fit together precisely. Is there a design process or a way to plan a project in detail which can save time?

 

As opposed to trying to create a design in detail (using Solidworks) getting it wrong and totally missing the point of what’s expected, and having to radically change the model and taking a ridiculous amounts of time to complete. Also, to suffer tremendous mental stress trying to complete project.

 

For example: drawing several detailed 2D sketches to describe a preliminary layout with approximate part sizes, and have it approved. Then build a 3D model with a clear (or clearer) understanding of what is expected? Hand sketches I found were totally inadequate.

 

Of course specifications and external constraints unique to that design are critical for shaping the model.

 

But without creating a complete model, how do you know where problems are going to arise and how it's all going to fit together?

 

Does anyone have any links or resources on this topic? 

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SLW210

It is usually easy in Solidworks to make minor tweaks IIRC. Pretty much depends on what you are modeling on how you might want to start.

 

Say I was doing some machined shafts with sprockets, pulleys, keyways etc., that would take some knowledge of the needed fits and finishes and tolerances to do exactly. Same thing with screws and other fasteners. Try doing rough drafts on a computer or by hand that get you started and gather all needed design information. Sometimes you have to tweak it and sometimes start over. Bad in = bad out. Get the best information you can to start.

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stevsmith
Posted (edited)
On 4/29/2020 at 11:45 AM, westsidermech said:

When designing a product using Solidworks or 3D CAD for the first time with lots of individual parts, which have to fit together precisely. Is there a design process or a way to plan a project in detail which can save time?

 

The only way would be to look at previous/similar projects or products and start from there. If starting from scratch there as to be an element of understanding from the designer/engineer/collaborator in order to pull conceptual designs together. There is no shortcut to the process but, initial designs can be created and released quickly initially. More robust developments and impovement generally come in later stages through developmental changes.

 

Quote

As opposed to trying to create a design in detail (using Solidworks) getting it wrong and totally missing the point of what’s expected, and having to radically change the model and taking a ridiculous amounts of time to complete.

  • You cant take a detail design approach from the start of a project. There has to be several milstones within the project. initially, this starts with a specifiaction that leads to a conceptual design. (Stage 1) Then onto initial verification (See if the ideas work) Then onto detail design (Stage 3) then Validation (Does the end product do whats required)
  • After this, the product would go to release. (and gets some money in for further development)
    Upon release, new and improved versions of the product can be worked on. (using the cash from version 1)

Also, to suffer tremendous mental stress trying to complete project.

  • Welcome to engineering. It's just the way and mentality of how it is i'm afraid.

 

Quote

 

For example: drawing several detailed 2D sketches to describe a preliminary layout with approximate part sizes, and have it approved. Then build a 3D model with a clear (or clearer) understanding of what is expected? Hand sketches I found were totally inadequate.

  • Different people use different mediums. Hand sketches are great for generalised layouts etc.
  • Someone might do mock-ups using Illustrator or AutoCAD

 

Quote

Of course specifications and external constraints unique to that design are critical for shaping the model.

But without creating a complete model, how do you know where problems are going to arise and how it's all going to fit together?

  • This is the role of the engineer. Some idea's work, some don't. 
  • I've developed stuff over the years I couldnt think would be possible but through previous build experiences, I can pull bits of 'i done this here' & 'that there' and adapt and change to suit the project at hand. Alot of that comes with age and experience..

 

You can't learn anything if you don't make the attempt and learn from your mistakes. everyone makes them. It's how you adapt and learn.

This is why entry level jobs pay lower.. Lack of experience.

 

Build that experience and the wage will increase because your knowlege will be more intune as you get older.

 

I hope this helps..

 

Edited by stevsmith
Tidied up.

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cadasio

SolidWorks does have the ability to do layouts and its quite good. Basically you can draw some 2D blocks, test things fit / work (i believe you can add motors etc)and then turn them 3D if you want

 

heres a blog article about them

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