Hello all, and good afternoon.
I'm new here, just registered on this fantastic forum
I've been reading the members posts for a few days now, watched dozens and dozens of YouTube tutorial videos ......... Particularly the brilliant tutorials by SlipTonic. I'm an avid supporter of 'OpenSource' software, have been for a number of years since discovering Blender 3D, but now I really need to learn a CAD package of some kind. I've looked at most of them this last year and I always seem to come back to FreeCAD, I think what you guys are doing is amazing.
I want ( and need )
to be part of this fantastic community
Firstly, I'm not purely an OpenSource software user because it's free software and that I'm a cheapskate not wanting to spend money! I truly believe that the strength behind any OpenSource project is the community that exists behind it. In my 'evaluation' of various CAD packages available on the Internet, FreeCAD seems to be the only one that's going somewhere, I can only see the software going from strength to strength.
I haven't got anything to contribute right now, but my intentions are to put together various tutorials concerning product design ( as that's what I do ), I hope to get up to speed relatively quickly, demonstrating the use of the various FreeCAD Workbenches from the concept of the design to fabrication of the parts and then how to actually profile the parts on a CNC machine.
So, a brief 'Showcase' of what my current project is. It should help to show you guys what my intentions are and where I may need some help:
Quad Headlight Design Project
Right now I'm working off sketches ( the sort of sketch you get on a sheet of paper! ) .............. My current prototype as all done by hand, We'll begin with a picture of the headlight cover tooling plugs ( moulds ). I then use a vacuum forming machine to 'form' the headlight cover part from transparent Polycarbonate. >>
Here's a prototype of a formed headlight cover >>
Here's a picture of the headlight unit mounting brackets, made from 3mm ABS plastic which is surprisingly strong!
Afterall, the entire automotive industry use ABS plastics to construct entire headlight assemblies >>
And here's how I intend to profile the headlight mounting brackets with my CNC machine. On this prototype I had to saw, cut and Dremel out all those holes by hand, took almost an entire day! >>
And finally, here's a selection of nearly completed prototypes as I'm fabricating various quad headlight options >>
Which brings me to my question of 'Workflow'. From the tutorials I've seen 'SlipTonic' in particular when he demonstrated the new 'PATH' workbench tool for creating tool paths for CNC machines. Most, if not all the tutorials I've seen and read about, only discuss working on one part design, moving it about, resizing and such. But nowhere have I found a way ( or the possibility ) of copying a part and flipping it.
What I'm asking is, is it possible to simply design the left hand headlight part being the headlight cover or the mounting bracket, and making a copy in reverse for the right hand headlight? Including all the dimensions obviously.
I hope to share what ever procedures are necessary for product design, and what to do with your design once you have your CAD drawings. I will include things like how to machine your design with the various tools included in FreeCAD, so I'm hoping to cover quite a lot of CAD/CAM to CNC machining. FreeCAD are on the right path and I see great potensial for the PATH workbench. I have a YouTube Channel, not a lot of content right now, but I do have the opportunity and the time to upload FreeCAD, CNC and Vacuum Forming tutorials.
I thank you all for your time, and I hope I haven't bored the pants off everyone on my first post!
Eagerly awaiting your responses on duplicating in reverse .............. flip model. Without which, my task will be twice as hard as it aught to be.