need some workflow advice for mechanical sculpture

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 From:  Christopher (SCHARDT)
7343.1 
Hi,

I'm new to MOI. I've been making mechanical sculpture for a while though, stuff like this:
http://www.pbase.com/schardt/charwash

For CAD, I've been using a ca 2002 version of VectorWorks. It's slow as heck, with a hacky UI, and it won't run on any version of OSX later than Leopard, which I have on my old Mac. (Don't laugh too much now!) It's served me well but I really want to move on to a modern CAD program that has what I need:
1) Under $1000
2) 3D editing of solids, but strong 2D editing too.
3) Parametric editing of surfaces and solids
4) Outputs good quality curves for laser cutting.
5) Outputs well to 3D printers
6) Outputs good quality construction drawings, with dimensions, labels, etc...

I don't need:
A) Photorealistic rendering (for now at least)
B) Wall tools and other features specific to buildings.

I'll be running on OSX.

My first "date" in this partner-search was Sketchup. I liked a LOT about it, but the fact that all of the model data is faceted made it useless.

MOI is my second "date". I like it even better, but because it lacks dimensions, labels and scales, I guess I would need to output my model to a second program in which I could add these features necessary for construction drawings. I'm wondering if you sage, experienced MOI users can suggest a good workflow for this:
1) Which program would be best for adding dimensions and labels and drawing to scale?
2) What file format for model transfer?
3) Export the model 3D and render to 2D in the second program, or export 2D from MOI?

I guess I'm also asking:
1) Do you think MOI is the right program for me?
2) Any other comments on this workflow?

Thanks so much!
Christopher
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 From:  coi (MARCO)
7343.2 In reply to 7343.1 
Hi Christopher,

you might want to check out Rhino, it really does the lot. The OSX version is still WIP though...but nevertheless usable and "free" at the moment.

http://www.rhino3d.com/download/rhino-for-mac/5.0/wip

Best,
Marco
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 From:  Michael Gibson
7343.3 In reply to 7343.1 
Hi Christopher, MoI fits some of your requirements but not all.

It's a good fit for these ones:

> 1) Under $1000
> 2) 3D editing of solids, but strong 2D editing too.
> 4) Outputs good quality curves for laser cutting.
> 5) Outputs well to 3D printers


But not these:

> 3) Parametric editing of surfaces and solids
> 6) Outputs good quality construction drawings, with dimensions, labels, etc...


For construction drawings, you would probably want to do a 2D export out from MoI into DXF format, and then use a 2D CAD program for adding dimensions and annotations and printing. One free 2D CAD program for doing that is DraftSight: http://www.3ds.com/products-services/draftsight-cad-software/free-download/ or also Rhino could work well for that too.


If parametric editing is important for you though, you may want to look at other CAD programs like TurboCAD or ViaCAD - MoI itself is not oriented around parametric editing, it's more about trying to make the initial drawing of stuff to be quick and fluid. TurboCAD or ViaCAD will be kind of more clunky for the initial drawing experience but they will have more stuff about parametric editing.

Even though MoI does not have the parametric editing in it that you're looking for you may want to spend some time fiddling with it to see if you like how it works.

- Michael
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 From:  Karsten (KMRQUS)
7343.4 In reply to 7343.1 
Hello Christopher,

have a look at FreeCAD (sourceforge). It's still under development, but some things are working. It won't working on Macs. There is an interesting Assembly2-Module in development that allows studies for your part positions. I don't know if it fits to your requirements.

Good luck
Karsten
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 From:  OSTexo
7343.5 
Hello Christopher,

I haven't used it but I know when I was looking to purchase Rhinoworks to add some parametric functionality to Rhino I ran across BriscCAD since the company that used to develop Rhinoworks currently concentrates on their core CAD product. It looks interesting as a 2D/3D hybrid modeler and is right under $1K to purchase, you might look into it as an option that at first glance seems to fit your basic requirements.
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 From:  Mark (MARKG)
7343.6 
Definitely check out ViaCAD Pro. Quite capable and only $250.

And it's a nice supplement to MoI!

http://www.punchsoftware.com/p-103-punch-viacad-pro-v9.aspx
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 From:  RobertH
7343.7 
Hi Christopher,

Here is another option that you might want to consider, Formz. It meets all your options:

http://www.formz.com/

And some videos:
https://www.youtube.com/user/formz3D/videos

I just got an email about a sale on it thru the end of April $220 off ($775) :
http://www.cadgarage.com/formz36modeler.html?utm_source=formZ+8+April+Special+-++APR+2015&utm_campaign=fZ+8+APR+special&utm_medium=email

And a 30 day free trial version:
http://www.formz.com/home/trialLanding.html

HTH
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 From:  RobertH
7343.8 
Hey Mark,

I tried out ViaCAD Pro 9 awhile ago. I really liked it, but it was incredibly unstable for me. It crashed so often, and during the simplest of operations. With MOI I've never had a crash. What was your experience?
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 From:  Christopher (SCHARDT)
7343.9 
Thank you all so much for your feedback! You've given me much to look into!

I REALLY hope I end up working with MOI 'cause I like its UI very much (mostly). And its simplicity is quite endearing. Michael, if you were to add dimensions, labels, drawing scales, and "views" to MOI, I would just stop searching here. Indeed, I'd pay a lot more than $300!

Cheers,
Christopher
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 From:  Christopher (SCHARDT)
7343.10 In reply to 7343.6 
Thanks! This link takes me a page where I can only buy ViaCAD. Do you know of a way to get the (seemingly) standard 30-day trial?
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
7343.11 
Why put measures inside Moi as you can put them inside DesignSpark Mechanical for free ? ;)
http://moi3d.com/forum/messages.php?webtag=MOI&msg=6186.1

System of components / Inferences or more geometric visual exotic volume / surfaces functions will be more vital in my opinion! :)

What about "and views" ? There are not yet present ?

EDITED: 14 Apr 2015 by PILOU

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 From:  Christopher (SCHARDT)
7343.12 In reply to 7343.11 
By "views", I mean an entity in a CAD program that stores:
* 3D perspective
* zoom level
* active layers (some of which containing labels and dimensions)
* printing options

Maybe there is already this in MOI. As I said, I'm new. :-)
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 From:  Michael Gibson
7343.13 In reply to 7343.12 
Hi Christopher,

> By "views", I mean an entity in a CAD program that stores:
> * 3D perspective
> * zoom level
> * active layers (some of which containing labels and dimensions)
> * printing options
>
> Maybe there is already this in MOI. As I said, I'm new. :-)

Sorry no that's not available in MoI right now - currently MoI is focused primarily on just the modeling and drawing part of things and not on annotation and printing stuff.

But I do expect to be adding those in the future. There was a step towards this functionality in MoI v3 with a new feature to export hidden line drawings to 2D drawing formats like PDF, AI, and DXF files which does make it easier to use MoI in combination with a 2D CAD program for adding the annotations.


re: ViaCAD trial looks like that is here:
http://www.punchcad.com/trial.aspx

- Michael
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
7343.14 
For measures you have also this free one! ;)
just import your model inside

EDITED: 19 Apr 2015 by PILOU

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 From:  Christopher (SCHARDT)
7343.15 In reply to 7343.14 
Thanks! Onshape looks awesome!
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 From:  Finema
7343.16 In reply to 7343.15 
Hi Frenchy !
When i test onShape, i can't see : create Drawing
see my screenshot
thanks
Image Attachments:
Size: 25.2 KB, Downloaded: 3 times, Dimensions: 225x161px
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 From:  Finema
7343.17 In reply to 7343.16 
In fact createDrawing in onShape is coming soon ! not yet !!!
too bad !
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