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SF Hardware Startup Meetup Message Board › CAD For Beginners

CAD For Beginners

James B.
user 58623962
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 1
Hello fellow hardwarians!

With all this new free CAD software that we just got Nick thought that it might be good to do some CAD training.

I have been using Autodesk Inventor (one of the CAD tools that they gave us last night) for about 5 years. I am happy to answer any questions that people have about the software and if there is demand we can maybe see about doing a training workshop. If anyone else has experience with Autodesk software please feel free to chime in with advice as well.

For those of you who use Solidworks and are new to Inventor the basic 3D modeling is very similar. I encourage you to just jump in and give it a try.
capnmax
user 9674285
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 1
Awesome James Thanks!

I used 3D Studio back in the day (R4) but it's been some time since I did any CAD. I'd love to set up some training time after I get the software (and a system to run it on!). I would imagine software like this runs best on a tower, so I don't know about the logistics of doing a traditional follow-along workshop, but I don't know. Maybe Techshop would host, since they have a bunch of workstations with Inventor installed?

Let's stay in touch,

Max
capnmax
user 9674285
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 2
Additionally, if there is anyone else in the group who has any interest in starting a CAD for beginners meetup get in touch! capnmax at gmail dot com
James B.
user 58623962
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 2
At this point CAD software can run quite well on a laptop. FEA software on simple parts works on a laptop as well. The main disadvantage to a laptop is a smal screen, though this is very easy to work around.

The system requirements for Inventor are pretty low actually: http://usa.autodesk.c...­

For a more enjoyable CAD experience I would recommend 4 GB RAM and a i5 processor. This is very achievable on a laptop. The main difference will be that when you try and perform an operation in the software it will happen faster. It is actually quite annoying to have to wait 1 to 2 seconds every time you modify your part.
capnmax
user 9674285
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 3
What's your opinion of how well it would work through a late model mac with Bootcamp?
James B.
user 58623962
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 3
I am currently running CAD software on a Mac Book Air using VirtualBox (a freeware alternative to Apple's Parallels) and it runs well. I have a friend doing something similar and on his new Mac Solidworks inside VirtualBox is unstable, on his old Mac inside VirtualBox is Solidowrks is fine. It can be a bit hit-or-miss.

Bootcamp should perform better since you won't be running Inventor inside Windows inside Apple OS X.

Installing Windows based CAD software on a Windows partition will be more stable than using virtualization software but will take up more hardrive space. Virtualization software can dynamically allocate hardrive space which will save you a some harddrive space when the virtualization software is not running. You can also access all your programs on either operating system if you use virtualization software. If you do a separate partition then you can only access the programs installed on one operating system at a time.

James B.
user 58623962
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 4
A notice to anyone running Windows 8.

Currently Autodesk says that Inventor 2013 does not run on Windows 8. http://usa.autodesk.c...­
Since these are both a brand new program/operating system I assume that Autodesk will fix this issue in the near future.

In the mean time there are some work arounds, though I have not tried them. It seems that the issue is with the .NET framework. This post suggest installing older versions of .NET http://designandmotio...­ Do some searching around the web, there are quite a few people who have made Inventor 2013 work on Windows 8.
Christopher J.
user 58487012
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 1
I was out of the country for work last week and missed the meetup. Did anyone pick up an extra copy of the Autodesk software? I'd love to try it out...
capnmax
user 9674285
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 4
Sorry Christopher, you had to be there -They handed out chits. But they do have free 30 day trials for all their software on their site and I just learned that if you're a Techshop member you can get a free 6 month license and free intro class for Inventor.

Max
capnmax
user 9674285
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 5
For anyone who's interested I've started an Inventor Meetup:

http://www.meetup.com...­
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