Assistance with prototype modelling

Post here if you have a FreeCAD-related job to offer to the FreeCAD community. This can include programming or modeling.
Chance
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:21 am

Assistance with prototype modelling

Postby Chance » Wed Jul 13, 2016 5:00 am

Hello,

I am working to bring a new product to market. This is a side project/hobby for me at the moment, but could turn into something reasonably big if things work out.

I am still trying to determine whether the product can be produced by injection molding, casting, or some other process. In any event, most of the manufacturing/prototyping facilities require a 3D model in order to quote costs for master molds, and to hopefully generate a prototype.

I had initially hoped to put something together myself using FreeCAD. I am having a lot of fun using the software and teaching myself some basics of 3D design, but it is clear that the learning curve is steep enough that it will probably take me weeks of evening and weekend work to get what I am after. After seeing what some of the members of this forum can put together in (apparently) a matter of minutes/hours, it is become all too obvious that it makes far more sense to work with somebody who is an expert designer, and free up my time to work on the higher-level design and the manufacturing/logistics aspects of the project.

Based on the complexity of some of the projects I have seen in these forums, I think my product design will be extremely simple by comparison for an expert designer/FreeCAD user, maybe 5-10 hours of work, perhaps even less. This would be a great project for somebody to work on in their spare time.

I would love to hear from somebody who is interested and available. I would require an NDA to be signed before discussing the details of the project, at which point we could get together on the phone (or in person for beers if you're in the Denver, Colorado area!). Afterwards, you would hopefully be able to give me either a fixed-price offer, or an hourly rate and estimate of hours.

All work done for this project will be work for hire, and I will own the resulting design(s).

Please leave me a private message if you are interested, or know somebody who might be!
freecad-heini-1
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Re: Assistance with prototype modelling

Postby freecad-heini-1 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:02 pm

Guten Tag Chance,

please read my private message.
rard
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:57 pm

Re: Assistance with prototype modelling

Postby rard » Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:41 pm

Hi Chance,
You may have difficulty using Freecad in designing your prototypes for either Injection Moulding or Castings, as freecad does not have any opitions to add scale to the 3D models. You have to add contraction to both the Pattern and Corebox in the matal that you wish to make the casting or Injecting Moulding in.

Rard.
jmaustpc
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Re: Assistance with prototype modelling

Postby jmaustpc » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:29 pm

rard wrote:Hi Chance,
You may have difficulty using Freecad in designing your prototypes for either Injection Moulding or Castings, as freecad does not have any opitions to add scale to the 3D models. You have to add contraction to both the Pattern and Corebox in the matal that you wish to make the casting or Injecting Moulding in.

Rard.


FreeCAD does have a scale for 3d objects, Draft Workbench Scale or Draft Clone (which has scale properties), in PartDesign there is "Draft" that tapers an object usually so that it can be pulled from a mould. The functionality in this area might be limited in some ways but it is not true to say that it does not exist at all.
Chance
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:21 am

Re: Assistance with prototype modelling

Postby Chance » Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:41 pm

Thanks for the information, it is greatly appreciated. Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of response to my original offer and couldn't make the couple of responses I did get work out, so at this point I have contracted with a local AutoCAD designer to help me out. Hopefully his exports from AutoCAD will be reasonably compatible with FreeCAD so that I can play around a bit and potentially make small future design changes myself, but it looks like the original design is going to end up being done in AutoCAD.
jmaustpc
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Re: Assistance with prototype modelling

Postby jmaustpc » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:08 pm

Chance wrote:Hopefully his exports from AutoCAD will be reasonably compatible with FreeCAD so that I can play around a bit and potentially make small future design changes myself, but it looks like the original

The best you will be able to get will only be a simple solid e.g. a step file. Once imported into FreeCAD you can modify the solid but cutting or fusing other bits to it but the simple solid will not have any adjustable properties, hence will not be parametric.
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NormandC
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Re: Assistance with prototype modelling

Postby NormandC » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:09 pm

In addition to what Jim said...
Chance wrote:I have contracted with a local AutoCAD designer to help me out. Hopefully his exports from AutoCAD will be reasonably compatible with FreeCAD

I'm afraid that it's not guaranteed. From what I remember of AutoCAD (I stopped using it at work back in 2007 and mostly worked in 2D), it cannot export to open exchange formats such as STEP (ISO 10303) or IGES. IIRC it can only export a solid model to ACIS (*.sat), a proprietary file format that is incompatible with FreeCAD.

You should check with the AutoCAD designer if he has the means to export his model to STEP or IGES. Failing that, you'll need a separate program to convert an ACIS file to STEP. On Windows you can use CAD Exchanger GUI. http://cadexchanger.com/products/gui
Chance
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:21 am

Re: Assistance with prototype modelling

Postby Chance » Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:49 pm

That's too bad to hear about the export issues. Oh well, I guess I'm stuck with AutoCAD for the moment. That's okay, it looks like I will probably continue to contract somebody by the hour to do design work anyways, so the AutoCAD licensing will be their problem. If the product takes off and sells a ton, it won't matter in the end as I would have the means to hire a full-time designer anyways, and at that point an AutoCAD license would be the least of my expenses.

Still, it's a bit of a bummer, though; I had really hoped to make use of FreeCAD, it just looks like there isn't quite enough of a critical mass of folks who are knowledgeable about FreeCAD and simultaneously available/willing to do work for hire. Hopefully that will change in the future!
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NormandC
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Re: Assistance with prototype modelling

Postby NormandC » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:53 am

Chance wrote:That's too bad to hear about the export issues.

Well as I said:
NormandC wrote:You should check with the AutoCAD designer if he has the means to export his model to STEP or IGES.

Did you do so?
Chance
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:21 am

Re: Assistance with prototype modelling

Postby Chance » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:23 am

It looks like both are supported by various editions of AutoCAD and related products, I am still waiting on a response to see exactly what my contractor owns/uses. However, there are specific warnings on one of the AutoCAD support pages that repeated round trips of IGES data in and out of AutoCAD will result in degradation. Apparently there are a few kinds of attributes/items that aren't translated properly or at all when exported.

I might give it a try when the initial design work is done, or the CAD Exchanger, just for my own interest, but if there are known data integrity issues with exporting the data from AutoCAD, then there it will stay for production purposes. Thanks for the info, though!