My Project: Quad Headlights - Product Design.

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TURK
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:28 am
Location: France

My Project: Quad Headlights - Product Design.

Postby TURK » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:57 pm

Hello all, and good afternoon.

I'm new here, just registered on this fantastic forum :D 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 :mrgreen: 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. >>
2191_IMG_5347.jpg
2191_IMG_5347.jpg (431.72 KiB) Viewed 464 times

Here's a prototype of a formed headlight cover >>
1065_09347.jpg
1065_09347.jpg (97.24 KiB) Viewed 464 times

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 >>
2012_IMG_3974.jpg
2012_IMG_3974.jpg (611.78 KiB) Viewed 464 times

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! >>
2202_IMG_5505.jpg
2202_IMG_5505.jpg (532.47 KiB) Viewed 464 times

And finally, here's a selection of nearly completed prototypes as I'm fabricating various quad headlight options >>
2072_IMG_4261.jpg
2072_IMG_4261.jpg (577.87 KiB) Viewed 464 times


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.



TURK
User avatar
bejant
Posts: 6076
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:06 pm

Re: My Project: Quad Headlights - Product Design.

Postby bejant » Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:31 pm

TURK wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:57 pm
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.

...snip...

Eagerly awaiting your responses on duplicating in reverse .............. flip model. Without which, my task will be twice as hard as it aught to be.
Hi Turk, and welcome here! Seeing what people do with FreeCAD is always interesting to me.

Part WB > Mirror is probably what you want to use. Draft WB > Clone will also work, although in the Data tab (lower left corner of the FreeCAD window by default) you'll have to change one of the Property > Scale values from 1 to -1.

Part Design > Mirror will also work but you'll have to make sure the Mirror touches the original, because in Part Design only one solid per Body is allowed.
oldmachine
Posts: 241
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 11:49 pm

Re: My Project: Quad Headlights - Product Design.

Postby oldmachine » Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:52 pm

I suspect by end of day, you'll have 10 different approaches...

This one is a simple, quick example only. No intention of doing it like I would do it if it were my project but, you'll get the point.

Mirroring it was done in Part wb (as "bejent" indicated)...
MAC OSX Sierra
3D Parts & Links (made using FreeCad and Solidworks): https://www.thingiverse.com/Still_Breathing/designs
Android App & Links: https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... .bestknots
TURK
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:28 am
Location: France

Re: My Project: Quad Headlights - Product Design.

Postby TURK » Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:17 pm

bejant wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:31 pm
Part WB > Mirror is probably what you want to use. Draft WB > Clone will also work, although in the Data tab (lower left corner of the FreeCAD window by default) you'll have to change one of the Property > Scale values from 1 to -1.
Hi Bejant,

I agree Bejant, I think it's great what people are making with FreeCAD, there are a lot of very clever people about. The mind just boggles at the sort of things people are making ................ there's an 'inventor' hiding in all of us! :D

I did see the mirror tool, didn't think it was up to the standard mirror tool that' available in Blender 3D, seemed a bit limited so I wasn't sure if it was doable. Would the mirrored object just be a reflected image of the original part, or can I still edit it or put dimensions on it?

The idea of scaling the value down to -1, as that to make sure the parts are touching?

Many thanks for the info mate ;) At least now I know where to start from. Just got a little confused at to which WorkBench I should be using :roll:



TURK
TURK
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:28 am
Location: France

Re: My Project: Quad Headlights - Product Design.

Postby TURK » Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:32 pm

WOW!, Oldmachine ..............

Did you just cobble that together? That's brilliant. Or is that one you prepared earlier! :P

I've noticed from watching all those tutorial videos that there seem to be a few different ways of achieving the same results. Which one will work for me as the question. I'm not one for cutting corners or taking the easy route just because it's easier, I'd much rather have a clean definitive way with the best results I can get. Even if it means a little more work.

What you have done there with those two 'headlight mounting brackets' is exactly what I'm after. Hopefully I can insert dimensions on the 'mirrored' part, as I will need to generate tool paths on that one as well.

I'll have a play around with it this evening and see how I get on :mrgreen:

Many thanks for all your help guys.




TURK
triplus
Posts: 9475
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:45 pm

Re: My Project: Quad Headlights - Product Design.

Postby triplus » Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:54 pm

Nice project!
TURK
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:28 am
Location: France

Re: My Project: Quad Headlights - Product Design.

Postby TURK » Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:08 pm

triplus wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:54 pm
Nice project!
Thanks mate ;)

I'm currently up to my eye-balls with mould making at the moment. PITA having to work on two different objects at any one time .......... but that's headlight design for you! Once you've made one you have to make the other one in reverse. Trying to keep the dimension exactly the same has been very testing, FreeCAD will be the answer to keeping everything symmetrical.

Strictly speaking, I can even design my moulds using these methods. I mainly use PU foam to form the original mould and cover them with a special resin specially formulated for pattern making. Then I'll use silicone RTV rubber to make a negative mould of that, and then cast an epoxy resin into the silicone mould to give me a positive of the part I need to vacuum form.



TURK
TheMarkster
Posts: 1723
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:53 am

Re: My Project: Quad Headlights - Product Design.

Postby TheMarkster » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:28 pm

There is a tutorials section on the forum. Be sure to post links to your videos on there once you start making them.
My FreeCAD video series on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/mwganson
TURK
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:28 am
Location: France

Re: My Project: Quad Headlights - Product Design.

Postby TURK » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:45 pm

Will do TheMarkster ;)

Right now I'm even struggling to put dimensions on a cube! :oops:

I downloaded version 0.17 last week, had a play ............. looks very promising.
Today I downloaded version 0.18 .................................. WOW!

I've read in few places now that even though v0.18 is not 'ready', a few people have already mentioned that it's stable enough for basic stuff.
I guess I should of mentioned earlier that I'm having to use Windows 7 :| I'd much rather be running Linux as I used to do many years ago. Unfortunately a few of my photographic programs only run on the windows platform :cry:

I've been having a bit of a mare with transferring some of my 'CAD' ( tech drawing ) files from Sketchup! Dumping the whole thing ............. I don't think it's really user friendly ( I never got on with it ), time to move on ................. and learn a proper CAD program! :mrgreen:

It's almost 2 in the morning over here in France, think I'll stay up all night and play with FreeCAD! :lol:
I've got 2 computers running side-by-side, two monitors setup - 1 for FreeCAD 0.18 and the other for the tutorials.



TURK
oldmachine
Posts: 241
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 11:49 pm

Re: My Project: Quad Headlights - Product Design.

Postby oldmachine » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:22 am

There are many ways to accomplish a Modeling goal.

I prefer using PartDesign workbench 95% of the time.

To the show-n-tell of my post: I created the footprint and extruded a solid. Then, drafted the sides, cut the top off part of it to get the lower elevation section, added radius’… Then, made a quick drawing in TechDraw workbench.
The entire thing took 12 minutes.

If I were trying to get a truly similar shape, I would have spent time needed and perhaps would have used the ‘Variable Radius’ tool on ‘Part’ workbench, then gone back to ‘PartDesign’. So, ‘yes’ I threw it together.

A good exercise to consider is a simple block with a few features done different ways, such as a block with added chamfer. Then try a block with corner chamfered in the sketch. The outcome will look the same but, one can affect what’s done next… Could Sweep a radius on the edge, too…

Molds - a useful approach is the create a Body of a mold base and a Body of the gizmo to be molded. Overlap them (i.e., embed the gizmo in the base) and do a boolean operation to get a mold (cavity). Scale it to accommodate for shrink…
MAC OSX Sierra
3D Parts & Links (made using FreeCad and Solidworks): https://www.thingiverse.com/Still_Breathing/designs
Android App & Links: https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... .bestknots