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OnShape Resource

My director just shared with me a great resource.  OnShape.  This online free CAD is a great resource for those at home looking to work on their designs for engineering or the 3D printer.  I have played with it for about 2 hours and fairly easily I made moderately complicated designs.  It is definitely not as powerful as solidworks and seems to lack things that we use often enough like weldments, sheetmetal, surfaces, structural analysis, and molds.  That being said, if you have an idea at home and can’t get access to our solidworks, OnShape might be perfect for you.  Another huge benefit is that you can use it with your district ChromeBooks.  Since the software is cloud based, you do not need to install it on your computer.  One more great thing you can do with OnShape rather than Solidworks is the ability to access and work on your parts on your mobile devices.

 

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Review of Vectric Aspire

We have been using Vectric software for four years now. We are lucky enough to use their flagship software Aspire. Aspire has become the cornerstone of our program as we use it to operate 7 different machines in the class. It has limitations, but they are beyond our equipment.

We use the software as intended on our 4 CNC routers. We use the software as a vector designer for our CNC plasma and desktop cutting plotter. On those machines we export the .dxf files for post processing on machine specific software.  We have converted photos and designs into .stl files for our 3D printer.

The ease of post-processing for our CNC routers was the biggest reason for choosing Aspire.  We have grown to use Aspire as a powerful vector tool. We have prepared some vectors in Aspire and exported to Solidworks because Aspire was easier.

There isn’t a day that goes by in our program that doesn’t have dozens of students using Aspire. It is one of the most important tools in our program.

http://www.vectric.com

You can get ideas and help on the vectric forum.

http://forum.vectric.com/

These pictures are a couple of screenshots of how we prepared one of our skateboards.

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Great Manual Machining Resources

This YouTube channel is my go to place for any manual machining help.  He goes by the name Tubalcain.  He has great lathe and milling skills.

Tubalcain

I also like open source machine tools.  He finds older training videos and makes some fairly modern instruction videos about manual machining.

Open Source Machine Tools

Our machinery is a Bridgeport Mill, small Grizzly mill and a Graziano lathe.

If you know of some other great youtube or website instructional places, let me know so I can share them.