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Old 10-14-2012, 11:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Free Design programs?

Free EASY to use program , I have tried a few without much practice I am computer savy and pretty mechanically inclined. But something about seeing these computer programs just overwhelms me and I just dont feel like I know where to start and write them off as being too complicated.

I would like something that I can make a model with and actually see it in action / movement

suggestions?

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I am in the process of designing a new engine type , where so far it seems any type of engine , two stroke , four stroke , new tech and old tech can be easily modified to retrofit.

I have had this idea for years , came to me from an old value meal toy but actually decided to look into it today and within the first 30 minutes I said to myself ohhh **** I think I got it.

in my head the design seems to bring tons of amazing pros that in conjuction with each other seem to be a multiplying result of efficiency due to mechanical advantage , simplicity , lighter weight and rotating masses , and inherent knock accepting qualities leading to high reliability under bad tune/environmental/fuel conditions.

There are a few qualities that i am not sure if they are pros or cons , but I feel if they arent pros they can be fixed with tuning and engineering changes but I am unaware of the actually reliability of some of the components design and friction of them in an engine ... I am trying to be secretive because its so simple I cannot afford to give away an idea to someone who can create a patent and design before me.

One disadvantage that I am encountering is however though , the timing... The engine seems like it may have increased harmonics and vibrations due to the simplicity and pre-detonation abilities of the motor , which I need to figure out a way to keep everything in balance and firing order without creating alot friction , complexity , reliability , size and weight problems. But I am not exactly sure how much of a problem these timing differences cause , and cylinders do not even have to be paired but for balance and harmonics to cancel vibrations and protect bearings seems like it should be a number one priority. I am not a big fan of motors that vibrate so much they seem to be damaging their bearings but it could just be me trying to create a smooth running engine and thinking it may not be practical when reality it would be but "perfection" of certain criteria is on the mind.

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Old 10-15-2012, 01:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ixnay on blabbing about your design until you are ready to have people sign Non-Disclosure Agreements.

To solicit the best response, you could define the design requirement, and your hardware platform.

Design and modelling software could be grouped into box modelers, NURBs modelers, CAD software, automatic mesh capture software, and others.

The workflow includes modelling, texture mapping, rigging animating and rendering. Before you get into simulating gas flows, and etc.

The workflow within any one program can be intimidating; believe, me I know. The result you require may require passing files from one program to the next; for instance you may need to prepare templates in Photoshop to import into your modeller.

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Of course all that is non-responsive. What you need is a free cross-platform program that will do it all, with light-weight system requirements.

May I suggest Wings 3D. I finally settled on it because I can understand the operation. It is a simple box modeler, but it will do texture mapping and rendering. There is a very clear control to tell you whether you are working with the whole object, faces, edges or vertexes. And operations have you select something, then right-click to get a context sensitive menu, fiddle with the middle button or Tab for numeric input or whatever, then left click to accept. That is simplistic, there are modifier keys and additional tools under the menus, but it made things accessible to me. There are tutorials on YouTube.

There certainly are other options.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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ixnay?

I'll gives wings 3d a look thanks , but yah basically I am just looking for something that I can make basic individual components mesh together so I can see if there are any problems with clearances , binding , etc. It doesnt have to be a model that moves just something where I can see it together so I can get a better picture to imagine it.

After a little more thinking , my design will only work practically with 2 strokes without being overly complicated. Would love to be able to throw ideas
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Lol truth is these computer programs are complicated.
I remember Denver University has some software for this type of thing you are looking at.
I can't remember which doesn't help, but I know what your talking about.
I have used many design platforms and even received an award for SME on different design software at my college. Hands down most engineers coming out of college and in industry like how easy Solidwork's is to use and learn.

Taking a class at your local college that has a mechanical engineering department.
Software should be easily accessible.
Only problem is some classes have "requirements", which can be by-passed.

In the end this will cost you something because nothing is free. Time is money.

Most of this is determined by how far you are willing to go, are you willing to go to any length.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well about a year ago , I replaced the heads on my dads truck , in return for doing the work I got his laptop which I kind of wanted a laptop, irony about the situation is he got my desktop so all in all basically I could of just traded him , but fixed his truck to make a trade..

I just realized I do not have a mouse , so wings 3d is kind of impossible to fiddle with and get used to when I cant do all the movement functions without a middle mouse button right now.

So I went back to old school figure things out with my hands way , and figured alot out about my design , I am confident.

I need to see about getting a few good machine tools , and making everything out of wood till I am perfectly happy to move on to sandcasting or machining.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
ixnay?
ixnay - Wiktionary

Wings 3D has modes that mimic 3 other programs, one of them will work with a 2-button mouse (IIRC). My local electronics recycler sells 3-button USB mice for $5.

But if you want to model clearances, then you will need CAD software; e.g., Solidworks or maybe FreeCAD.

Your laptop will have specifications like: Operating System, processor speed, RAM and hard drive size, etc. These will affect its ability to run the software you choose.

Wood working and metal working also have a learning curve. If you do it in software, you can outsource the fabrication; Google '3D printing services' or' rapid prototyping'.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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progeCAD2009, is freeware with some bugs(no mouse scroll)

solidworks, AutoCAD(if you can find either on other sites); see weather your laptop can handle either of those
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Few more design changes , mainly to make things simpler , and from realization of priorities , reliability , costs.

I will look into the other proge program , if that doesnt seem to be a fit for me , I guess I will look more into sketchup , ive used it before a little and out of the few ive tried it seems to be the easiest so far and actually was able to make a few things with it doodling. I will look through old parts see if i can find a usb mouse if not ill buy one.

I will probably format my computer before going further with design though. Clean things up organize them , make things possible run a little quicker I know those programs take alot of operating power.... and can never be too safe with a computer that was used by other people , snooping programs
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Doing some research , seeing a few concepts that are close to mine so its a bit worrying , none exactly the same , mine should offer less moving parts than these. Some for generator design instead of combustion. But I am unsure if these actually exist in the real world yet and what their results are if so , it may give me a greater visualization of what my results will be , due to less energy conversions and friction.

But I found a site that I still have to look at a little better that will sell the parts I am looking for out of plastic , which is good , I can buy them cheap and try to put a basic concept model together , So guess I'm a little closer but still think I may end up going out and buying some tools to get prototypes made. So far there is only one website that sells these parts from a 30 minute search.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sorry, my email was set to sort by name instead of date and I didn't see you'd posted.

Thumbs up on Sketchup. It would have been my next suggestion, but the .obj export is kind of 'sketchy' [yuck yuck] for my purposes. I do like that you can snap protractors onto a face to read angles in Sketchup, though.

If you can formulate questions that don't give away too much of your design, you might post in Hybrids or General Efficiency Discussion. There are a lot of very knowledgeable people here. Why not let them show off a little bit?
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But I am unsure if these actually exist in the real world yet...
But I found a site that I still have to look at a little better that will sell the parts I am looking for out of plastic...So far there is only one website that sells these parts from a 30 minute search.
You will probably spend as much time on research as on prototyping, so unless your [scale? nonfunctional?] model can be built in 1/2 hour, you could look into types of plastic, tooling, efficiency and friction, etc., in more depth; questions that you might pose in the other forums.

For your hardware, CAD designers like graphic tablets better than mice [I don't]. And a laptop your dad was willing to let go of probably will be brought to it's knees. If it's a Windows machine some distribution of Linux will be faster on the same hardware. And there's tricks like this:

Cool Tools Optical Drive to SSD Upgrade

For a price similar to the $150 he spent, it's like a new computer. The solid state drive replaces the optical drive, you have the original hard drive you can dual-boot to, no need to do the clean install or rather you're installing into a clean device, and the latency when it has to go to the drive is *way* down. USB memory sticks replace the optical drive.

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