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Engineering Tools in the 21st Century Part 3: CAD 2D to 3D

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Engineering Tools in the 21st Century Part 3: CAD 2D to 3D

Computer Aided Design Features Examined

A licensed mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, as well as the other disciplines in the engineering fields, will utilize different types of drawings when working on a project. We continue our discussion on the benefits and abilities of using Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) as one of the tools available.

Time and money play a big role in a products development, so finding a knowledgeable engineering team that utilizes the right tools is a priority in today’s industry. Another ability that Autodesk Inventor™allows the engineer to perform, has to do with converting 2D sketches into a 3D model. Being able to import AutoCAD geometry in an efficient manner allows the engineer to better serve their client by keeping down the costs in a project by completing it less time than it might have previously taken.

tutorial_2.3-resized-600 The next tutorial within the Autodesk™ software takes you through the process of transforming the 2D sketch into the 3D model. As you open the tutorial, you are instructed you on where to find the files containing the sketches. There is a preloaded file within the software that is used for the training purposes. Once you have imported the proper file, the next step takes you through the procedure of creating a solid extrusion which is simply a click on the Extrude button, a few clicks on the top area of the sketch that you wish to extrude, and finally adding the extrusion distance value.

Computer Modeling Software being used in the Mechanical Engineering field.

tutorial_2.1-resized-600Once the body of the part is established, you move it into an isometric position that allows you to see the third dimension as well as the sketch drawing. You are now ready to switch view to the back of the part and place a center hole. Simply choose the Hole button on the 3D Model tab, select your center point, add you dimensions and click Apply to create. The Hole creation window has many options to select from, including bore type, drill point as well as screw options. The hole created for the tutorial is basic, but you can easily apply the other settings.

The next few steps are creating the legs and adding fillet and chamfer features to the part. The legs are created just like the body of the part in the beginning. Select your areas of extrusion, click on the Extrude button, set the value for the distance and click Apply. By selecting Fillet and clicking on the eight angle edges, you are able to select a value to round out the hard edges. The same applies for the Chamfer command being used on the top edges of the base.

tutorial_2.7-resized-600Once complete, you can now add surface materials and textures to the part for a finalized model. The software provides many different material and color types to choose from and the application process is straight forward and simple to use.

Now that we have gone through the first couple of tutorials and have an understanding on the ease and benifits of 3D modeling software available, I will continue this blog series with discussion on using CAD drawings as they relate to Computer Assisted Machining (CAM) within the engineering fields.

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