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Author Topic: Looking for Software to Plan Project  (Read 311 times)
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A Guy In Town
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« on: February 06, 2020, 02:23:53 PM »

Hi,

I found some software called "Linkage" which allows me to draw various things, link them together and then animate the contrapti on to see how it moves.  This is sort of what I seek, but I am looking for something with more umph!

I want to plan out a complex mechanica l array of things, gears, chains, levers, fulcrums, etc., and design and animate it on the PC before I start cutting metal and other materials

Example: I need something that will allow me to create a gear, wrap it with a chain, drive a second gear that will move an arm attached to the side (think locomotiv e).  The arm would move something else, that would in turn affect another component .

I can DRAW all of this easily with my DesignEdg e software, and get all of the measureme nts to create the skeletal frames, etc., but DesignEdg e does not have the ability to animate the design.  Google Sketchup can do it ... sort of, by moving the mechanism (n) distance and taking another photo of the screen, and then the animation happens when you play them together, but that is VERY time consuming .

I would appreciat e any help finding the software that will let me design this thing, and create the DXF files to cut the skeletal frames on my CNC plasma table, and plan and make the various component s.  This will be a BIG project that wraps an entire 32'x60' workshop with a moving, mechanica l DO NOTHING that is for the sole purpose of eye candy, and to attract people to my shop.

All help is appreciat ed!

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ArtF
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2020, 08:48:22 PM »

Hi:

   It sounds like you need a full animation cad program. SolidWork s can do such a thing, as can various
versions of high end CAD programs, but they dont tend to come cheap and take quite some time to learn.
 You may be better off to find someone on a board somewhere that can generate the simulatio n on their
program using your drawings if you need it animated. VExx and Gearotic will only do fairly simple animation s,
nothing to the level your describin g, though I understan d exactly what your thinking of doing.. had
though of it myself over time..Smiley

Art
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A Guy In Town
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2020, 09:39:44 PM »

Thanks, Art.

I have this CRAZY idea in my head, and lots of time, lots of tools and (almost) enough money to accomplis h it now.

I have spent the entire day on this computer, looking at dozens of software offerings .  I have DesignSpa rk Mechanica l, Google SketchUp, and a few others.  I am currently looking at ON SHAPE, which seems very good, but I won't know until I delve deeper into it.  A lot of the animation software focuses on games, with animated character s who fight battles.  I just want a visual and accurate represent ation of gears, levers, chains, belts, rods, actuators, etc.

This "ON SHAPE" program (cloud based and FREE!  Grin ) looks like the ticket. Since I am just an old retire guy with a crazy idea to make my workshop a tourist attractio n, I really have no restricti ons on just how elaborate this may become.  The building can be seen from the main highway, so some of the mechanism s may be quite LARGE.

I DO KNOW that I want it to be quiet.  I don't want a lot of clanking metal and noise.  No steel balls dropping onto cymbals or bouncing off of drums.  No wind chimes.  No bells....  My neighbors are a couple hundred yards away, but I still respect their right to enjoy the Kentucky countrysi de without some constant mechanica l backgroun d noise.  The machine would have to move slowly, so I don't crush birds and squirrels in the mechanism s, and I would shut the machine off at night, of course.  I suppose it would make SOME noise simply by not being a close tolerance machine, but I believe I can quiet it down enough, using Teflon strips where the large gears mesh, and other tactics.  Some of the component s would be made from sheets of HDU foam. 

I will create an online album with photos and videos if/when the project begins.

Joe

"FrankenBa rn"

http://flic.kr/p/e8rHdv




.

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A Guy In Town
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2020, 09:41:37 PM »

I did purchase SolidWork s in 2012 for a LOT of money.  I just haven't had the time to learn the software, so I may have wasted my money.  Embarrassed

I think I can pull off this project, without needing to learn SolidWork s.

Joe
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Mooselake
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2020, 10:11:48 PM »

I don't know if it's any help, but I found and bookmarke d this free linkage design program some time ago

Kirk
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A Guy In Town
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2020, 01:45:03 AM »

I don't know if it's any help, but I found and bookmarke d this free linkage design program some time ago

Kirk

Hi Kirk,

Yes, thank you.  I did download that program, and it seemed as if it would work for me, but I fought it for a few days trying to understan d how to work with the limited tools it provides.  I could create random mechanism s, but I saw no means of accuratel y laying out dimension s or planning a skeleton frame for gears, etc.  I have not given up on it.  I just need to find some good training videos or something, so I can understan d it better.

Joe
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ArtF
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2020, 08:13:34 AM »

Hi Joe:

  Yes, its typically a tradeoff of accuracy vs ability for lower end simulatio ns.
Having written some simulatio n code I can understan d the problem, there are so
many tradeoffs in the math of such a thing its a hard thing to do right.
   You should be able to make such a thing slow enough to make it quiet,
or at least you'd think so. I would love to see any pictures as you go along,
it sounds like quite a project.. .

Art
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A Guy In Town
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2020, 09:06:30 AM »

I don't need a lot of pretty graphics, or lighting, or shading, etc.  I just need something that allows me to create a mechanica l "art piece" that will function through one complete cycle without binding or kinking.  This LINKAGE program seems as if it is what I need, but I am fighting with it.  I cannot seem t get it to cooperate .

I can create a link with a rotating input and an anchor.  Okay ... so an arm moves around a center point like a clock hand.  I assume this represent s the drive motor.  I can create a link with two connector s, and join one end to the far end of the first arm, and change its length. There are other things too, like a linear actuator, and a three connector link and a four connector link. 

I can also create GEARS, but I cannot seem to figure out how to incorpora te them into the design.  If I want a link to attach to the gear off center so the gear can operate the arm within the constrain ts of the circumfer ence of the gear, the whole thing locks up.  I cannot get two gears to work together at any ratio, or when connected by a chain or belt.

I can see that this program is useful, but their training videos SUCK!

Joe
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A Guy In Town
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2020, 11:55:38 AM »

I have been working with this software, and I believe I have figured it out!

Joe

http://youtu.be/8RkSkImQhJo
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ArtF
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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2020, 01:15:45 PM »

Joe:

  Yup, brilliant program, I have it as well.
Does a great job in what if type designing ..

Art
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BillM
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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2020, 06:57:58 PM »

Joe

I read your initial post a few days ago.  The first ideas that I came up with was to use some combinati on of gearotics,  Vexx, & the Augie vector processor .   I had posted a couple of models under the Mechs & Kinematic s topic area that use the Augie Vector processor:
  "walking man"
  "Simulatio n of Denison double 3-arm gravity escapemen t" 

The above two simulatio ns demonstra te some of the capabilit ies of the Augie vector processor .

After seeing your more recent post using the linkage program I decided that perhaps I should play with that program for awhile.   My interest is mainly simulatio ns of mechanism s both to explore capabilit ies of design programs but also to document/simulate real mechanism s.

Bill Michael



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