Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's the best CAD program for designing bikes that can do full suspension and hardtail stuff, and 3D too? Are any of them free, or do you have to pay like $500 just for a program? Or, if any body has a CAD program, would it be at all possible to -dun dun dun- burn a copy???
 

·
My bike was -TWO- Wheels!
Joined
·
576 Posts
The best I have Used is Autocad, you can design anything in that, its something like $5K though. You can find it online and download it. But that is just plain mean, becasue (blah blah blah)

I didnt do it, a friend downloaded it... :D

But I took a class to learn how to use it before hand, definatly not something you can teach yourself, especailly 3D
 

·
Some Assembly Required
Joined
·
4,063 Posts
Acad is ok....but if you really want to go 3D

Then I would suggest an actual parametric solid modeling program. Acad is still so popular, IMO, because it is very stable & a lot of cnc machines use it for programming. Solid modeling programs like Soild Edge, (I use it @ work, it's great, built my arm w/it), Solid Works, Pro-E, Catia, Rhyno & I'm sure there are others, give you alot more for your $ , IMO. These packages are very, very robust. They'll let you produce 3D models that you can tie directly to drafting & produce multiple views of parts or assemblies. The assemblies you assemble will give you interference feed back & eleminate production problems, as well as structural analysis testing. Most of the packages mentioned above, have "translators" that allow you to save files as Acad files to let you program w/them.

Bottom line: I recommend getting a 3D model, parts, assembly, drafting & analysis packaged program. The kids in our local comm. college have expressed how Acad is no comparasion to an actual 3D modeling package. A designer I know is in the process of learning Acad. He has seen our Sloid Edge package, he regrets beginning Acad now. I guess it depends on how you "see things in your head", 2D vs. 3D. 3D was the final pc. of the puzzle for me. It all came together w/3D modeling. Acad is way too keystroke driven for me. Most of the other programs allow mouse & keystroke, but you get a much better work flow, IMO, when you use a mouse. Good luck w/your choice.

Choose wisely my son.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,261 Posts
AutoCAD is to paper and crayons to what real 3D modelling programs are to...well...using something way better than paper and crayons anyways.

ACADs like a tricycle, easy and painless to learn on, but....

i use CatiaV5 myself (dont even think of finding out how much a licence would be), but it does have its problems and annoyances.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
I have used autocad, solidworks, and pro-E. solidworks is my idea of an excellent 3d modeling program. pro-E is very powerful, but much less intuitive, and requires probably 10x as many hours to learn to design the same part (as compared to SW). autocad is a good 2d program, but really cant hold its own with a true 3d solid modeler.

The cheapest way to get your hands on a 3d-modeler is to go to your local university and buy a text book that includes an 'educational' version of the program. one of my design class book came with 'solidworks student design kit' and most of the real program is there. plus, you get a book that can help you learn how to use it. but it always has a 'for educational purposes only' label. whatever you do, DO NOT GET AUTOCAT LT!!!!. lt is like drawing with a pencil and ruler.

its hard to suggest one program for all applications, but i would feel confident designing most parts with solidworks.
 

·
Why aren't you riding????
Joined
·
426 Posts
Start with CAD, It may not be everything you want but it will give you the ground work for any other program you may need. Catia, ProE and solidworks are great modeling programs but way and I mean way too deep to just jump into without a basic drafting knowledge. Oh and you can do plenty of modeling with CAD. Good luck!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
11,802 Posts
I know that this sounds stupid but Maya is the best 3-d modelller out there. It has the potential to actual test field dynamics including gravity and wind resistance. These are good to check things like suspension performance etc. Unfortunately this as well as solid works, solid edge, rhino etc will take you so long to learn that you could probably prototype out concepts at full scale in the same time and for about the same cost, when factoring in classes and time and the program costs if you aquire a legal copy. It took me two years to get maya down to basic animation and 3-d forms, about the same for Rhino, 3dVIZ and AutoCAD. I generally build in 3-d in autocad (i'm an architect) but I rarely do boolean relationships either. When I need to do booleans or skins I use VIZ or Rhino. If any of these terms are foreign to you then be prepared for the worst or just get a pad of paper and get drawing.

The other option is the company www.emachineshop.com where they have a prototyping service and software available,
 

·
Team Captain
Joined
·
1,322 Posts
I agree with what Zedro and man w/ one hand said. AutoCAD is nothing compared to a strong solid modeler. We use Rhino 3D and SolidWorks with COSMOS, and Zedro is right, you don't want to know how much it costs.

And summitlt, I taught myself Rhino 3D before I eventually took and advanced class to learn it better. It's possible, it's just hard as hell. I reccomend Blender or BikeCAD for the noob.
 

·
Some Assembly Required
Joined
·
4,063 Posts
I'm the only eng. here w/o a degree.

ScaryJerry said:
I agree with what Zedro and man w/ one hand said. AutoCAD is nothing compared to a strong solid modeler. We use Rhino 3D and SolidWorks with COSMOS, and Zedro is right, you don't want to know how much it costs.

And summitlt, I taught myself Rhino 3D before I eventually took and advanced class to learn it better. It's possible, it's just hard as hell. I reccomend Blender or BikeCAD for the noob.
and I'm the one who takes care of the serv. patch downloads, loading new versions of software & teaching th' rest of the college types, no offense guys, how to use Solid Edge.
Doesn't seem to many guys in the market tat uses as much free form curve as we do. Hard for alot of the new guys to grasp. Some get it, most give up. Cost for a seat of Solid Edge is around 5K w/$1300 for maintanence each yr. Tack on Cosmos or some other analysis package & it goes up. Then you need access to a plotter to print full scale. Unless of course you could...do [email protected] work for instance..... :D ;) :cool:
 

·
i should be working
Joined
·
532 Posts
cadkey workshop is decent for starters

but like the others said if you want to go advanced then solidworks is it.
ANSYS anyone? not much of a designing software but you can find the weak spots if you know how to use it correctly. also, the new,(well not that new now), ProE wildfire is cool to use. you can build, mesh and do analysis all in one. its a nice package.
nothing is cheap in the world of advanced software but many companies will send you a trial package free of charge to help you decide.
 

·
CAPTIN HARDCORE
Joined
·
126 Posts
Autocad is a great program for 2d, 3 view drawings and dimensioning. For 3d it sorta sux because its difficult to use for someonw who is not know how to use the program. If you were to get autocad get a copy of the 2004 editiond. Vector Works is and ok program for someone who just wants to learn about 2d and 3d. Its very easy to pick up and you can do pretty detailed 3d drawings on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Well for what it is worth, I use Solidworks for a living and in my opinion is the best all around package bang-for-buck.

AutoCAD is alright for 2D. They have Mechanical Desktop for parametric 3D which is alright, but a bit old. Autodesk (makers of AutoCAD) now have Autodesk Inventor as well. This is very similar in looks and function to Solidworks.

The new Pro-E 'Wildfire' is also very similar to Solidworks and quite nice.

I have used CATIA v4 for a few years up until a couple years ago. It is still widely used, but becoming ancient fast. It is also being phased out (slowly) by v5 which I have also used.

V5 is way too expensive and way too buggy for what you get. Dassault, the company who owns and makes CATIA also now owns Solidworks. The latest offerings of Solidworks and V5 are borrowing features from each other and becoming very similar. I expect these two to be quite similar down the road. Maybe they may even become one?

V5 is cool in that it does boolean functions and stuff and is hanging on to some v4 features. It may be a bit stronger in surfacing than Solidworks, but Solidworks 2005 looks to be kick ass. Solidworks 2005 also has a new 2D CAD editor that is a complete version of autoCAD LT built into it. This is aimed at companies that still have legacy dwgs in AutoCAD or other 2D programs, but are trying to jump to 3D with a smooth transition.

If you are on a budget, try Alibre. It is similar to Solidworks and other parametric modelers, but is WAY Cheaper and very, very good. I almost dare say as good as Solidworks for a fraction of the price. Check it out here:

http://www.alibre.com

Solidworks however also has one of the best Photoreal rendering packages built in along with COSMOS Express which does the majority of anything needed for FEA, a 2D CAD editor which I mentioned, built in tutorials, toolbox for comon parts which are readily available for sharing through online databases, e-viewer that lets you email parts or assemblies and the receiver can view, rotate, measure etc...and many more cool features.

Check out Solidworks here:

www.solidworks.com

My final thing to say is that until recent years, each CAD system has had its own fan/user base. CATIA v4, older Pro-E, SDRC (no longer exists), Unigraphics, etc... all had their own little quirky things and ways of operating that made them distinct and made them "their own". Todays generation of Parametric modelers (which are mostly all based off of the Unigraphics platform) are making this no longer. What I mean is that they are all becoming so similar, that within a few years, it will not matter which CAD system you were trained in as they will be nearly identical to everything else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I currently finished a short course in Acad 05' as foundation and I'm about to take Viz and/or Inventor. Solidworks looks very promising but I can't afford to train for it at the moment :( . What can you guys say about Inventor & Viz?

man w/ one hand- are you also the one featured in dirtrag's 100th issue, the madman riding the skinnies?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,669 Posts
i asked dad to get me a CAD program to try out my frames suspension etc...

but he kinda only get me auto CAD...:(

so im gunna have to make do with it...(he thinks its really good)

anyways...where should i start with it...try and get the frame to look how it should or concentrate more on the suspension than trying to get it as visually appealing as possible... :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Am I in the right forum?

I thought we are only supposed to brag about 30' drops and wet farts in the freeride forum!

I've been using Solidworks for 7 years now. I've designed a hardtail and a 10" full suspension bike on it for fun. I will do any and every kind of calculation that you can imagine. It is extremely intuitive and fast.
BTW, I also have exp. with Maya and AutoCAD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
autocad is so old it sucks. I'm a mechanical engineer and use these programs all the time. idealy you would want Inventor 8... a rather robust program that your computer will probably not handle, and will cost alot, but if you can find it (even if its inventor 5-7) its better than anything out there. you might be able to download it off of some P2P service like kazza or something but I highly doubt it. Your best alternative is "Ironcad" i've used this program to design a street luge that i built and its fairly easy to design in and its 3D. Autocad is good for buildings and large structures but lacks any real designing ability to make machinery such as a bike. so try to find Ironcad i downloaded it off of Kazza once when kazza was still good. it has stress and weight analysis capablitities too.
 

·
Some Assembly Required
Joined
·
4,063 Posts
Nope, but I know him...Will Craig.

beansworks said:
I currently finished a short course in Acad 05' as foundation and I'm about to take Viz and/or Inventor. Solidworks looks very promising but I can't afford to train for it at the moment :( . What can you guys say about Inventor & Viz?

man w/ one hand- are you also the one featured in dirtrag's 100th issue, the madman riding the skinnies?
This link will lay it all out for you, http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=35103
Sorta hi-jacked Zed's post w/arm/cad background stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,674 Posts
Solidworks and Cosmos Works is very powerful

For the price, there isn't much that can touch it. As Slayer2003 mentioned, there are lots of alternatives, but Solidworks is getting such a strong following that it is becoming the major force for "reasonably priced" cad pacakges. It has it's flaws here and there, but about 98% of the time that I can't do something with the package, it turns out to be my lack of knowledge and not the software's lack of ability. And of that remaining 2%, about 1.5% of the remaining time, I was trying to do something really dumb.

Here are some pretty pictures showing some of the nice integration ability of Solid Works, Real Time rendering, and Cosmos Works (FEA Mesh on the Chainstay yoke, forces applied, and the resulting displacement map due to certain loading conditions). Of course, I've not included any of the real "part specific" information, which we would treat as confidential.
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 28 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top