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  #1  
Old 08-30-2017, 09:04 PM
JStiver09 JStiver09 is offline
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Default Upgrade to Aspire the right choice?

Hi everyone,

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me this far with all my newbie questions.

I purchased Vcarve Pro with my Stinger III for my speargun business/hobby. I worked with a guy who used Solidworks for the prototype 3d model. I was able to successfully make my first prototype gun a couple weeks ago and have been putting it through some vigorous testing. There are a few design issues that need to be tweaked.

I am new to CAD and CAM but am learning fast. My plan is to be able to do the 3d modeling myself and more efficiently set up my toolpathing. I know my cut times are very poor right now due to my inexperience and ignorance.

My main question to you guys is: How powerful are the 3d modeling capabilities in Aspire. None of the videos I have seen shows the answers I am looking for. Do people use Aspire for advanced 3d modeling or do they have to use another program such as Rhino/Solidworks/Fusion360 and import the finished models into Aspire for toolpathing? Am I better off spending my money on one of these and just keep using Vcarve Pro?
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  #2  
Old 08-30-2017, 09:32 PM
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Gary Campbell Gary Campbell is offline
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Justin...
We have discussed this before and it should be easier now for you to see the differences between the various software titles. Aspire is not the best package for your spear guns. In your case Vectric's "top down" pixel based machining strategy will not allow some of the advanced machining strategies that you will require.

Solidworks will be much more appropriate, especially since you have the designs started there already. Rhino is also very capable, but I would be hesitant to recommend Fusion 360 as they don't seem to have the CAM tie in up to speed for the sub 100K machines yet.

The issue you will run into is getting a CAM program that can take advantage of the quality of the models you will be able to produce. Especially one that can generate the required 2d vectors that will produce some of the close tolerance, high precision cuts you need for your added components.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:12 PM
JStiver09 JStiver09 is offline
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Thank You Gary. I am going to look into both Solidworks and Rhino. Solidworks seems to have a bunch of capabilities that I may not need, but they advertise CAM features as well. I have played around with fusion but it has been horribly slow lately, probably due to the fact it is a cloud based program and has become very popular. What are some of the other CAM programs you have experience with? Any of them you recommend?
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  #4  
Old 08-30-2017, 10:33 PM
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Gary Campbell Gary Campbell is offline
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Justin...
I just gave you my recommendations for your work, for the second time. For my work, I always find a way to make VCPro get the job done.
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  #5  
Old 08-31-2017, 07:44 AM
Ger21 Ger21 is offline
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Aspire is very good at what it's designed for, which is 3D relief modeling. While you'll find a lot of people using it and recommending it as a all purpose 3D modeller, it's not, and they are working a lot harder than they need to be. I personally would not use Aspire for any 3D modeling other than reliefs, and I'm a beta tester.

Solidworks does not have CAM features. A seat of solidworks plus an integrated CAM package will run you into the $5000+ range, with annual maintenance costs of $1000 or more, if you want to stay current.
A friend of mine uses Solidworks and Visual CAM for his guitar neck business, and is seriously considering switching to Fusion 360, due to the costs of staying with Solidworks.

Rhino is good, but if you add in a CAM package like RhinoCAM, you get into the $2000-$3000 range.

I'm a paying Fusion 360 subscriber, but haven't used the CAM portion yet. But I think it's much better than Gary thinks it is, as a LOT of people are using it. It is a steep learning curve, as their are a LOT of options.

I don't know what you're parts look like, but my preference is to do most of my CNC work using simple 2D drawings and operations, and only creating 3D models when absolutely necessary. For me. it's faster, and I have more control, but I've been doing this for 20 years.

Since Fusion is free, it's kind of a no brainer to give that a shot first.

While Fusion is cloud based, it runs on your PC, and only saves to the cloud. If it's slow, it's probably an issue with your PC. Put it in Offline mode and see if it makes a difference. I've never had any issues with it being slow.

Since you have V Carve Pro, that, in combination with Fusion 360, should be able to do everything you need.
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  #6  
Old 08-31-2017, 08:48 AM
CosmosK CosmosK is offline
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Gerry's comments are spot on. Aspire is great for lots of stuff, but not a true "CAD" program (parametric design).

It depends on what you're trying to model. The way it often works is you make your 3D thing in CAD, then you translate that into 2D representations (prints) and a machine shop use those to make your parts. So, if you can use this method, you can still use VCP as your CAM program and use whatever CAD program that can output dxf files (all of them).

There are quite a few moderately priced CAD programs. Geomagic is one.
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  #7  
Old 08-31-2017, 11:08 AM
JStiver09 JStiver09 is offline
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Gerry,

Thank you for your advice, this is exactly what I was hoping for. My speargun is a pretty basic 3d shape but has some important 2d cutouts where some stainless steel components are mounted. I think it will be best to model the basic shape without these cutouts so that the tool doesn't want to slow down at every detail and make my cut times much longer. Then I can create a separate file with the components inserted and use an appropriate bit. This would save me cut time as well as the amount of hand finishing I need. I will throw a few pics of screenshots from my 3d PDF and from my first prototype. Thanks again.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1175.jpg (90.7 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1176.jpg (60.7 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1153.jpg (81.6 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1154.jpg (81.6 KB, 49 views)
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  #8  
Old 08-31-2017, 10:21 PM
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Gary Campbell Gary Campbell is offline
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I believe that my comments about Fusion 360 have been misinterpreted. I think it is a very god product and if it isn't close to the best, it most likely will be in short order.

That said, I was personally involved with 2 OEM's specifically in the development of proper post processors. This goes back to 123-D the predecessor to Fusion 360. In both cases customers owned "our" machines and wished to use 123-D or Fusion 360. In both cases the Autodesk engineers would NOT make the required changes and would NOT allow the CNC OEM to make the needed changes.

Note: None of this occurred after mid 2015, and the attitude of the post development team for Fusion 360 may have changed. But, I don't think so, as there are posts in the last few days on other branded forums complaining of improper output from Fusion 360.

Disclaimer: I am not, nor will I ever be a user of a subscription based CAD/CAM program. Especially one that appears to charge for their products what THEY determine you can afford. Its the coke dealer marketing model. Give you some for free, then raise the prices once you are hooked.

Just in case you were wondering, the same would apply to Vectric products. Should they shift to a subscription based service, I will be happy to ride off into the sunset with the last non subscription version.

I have seen Justin's models in Vectric software. The long slow tapers and near vertical sides of the speargun are going to be problematic to machine due to the inherent pixelation.

I am sure that Fusion 360 will deal with the model well, especially considering its only a few hundred dollars a year. I just don't believe there are, at this time, any machining options out of F360 that are up to the quality of the models he possesses or the quality level of his finished product.

His product is well designed and constructed from very costly materials, and as such fetches a good price. Having an investment in design software that equals the price of a few, or at most a handful, of your products retail value is comparatively low by most measures.
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  #9  
Old 09-01-2017, 10:11 AM
JStiver09 JStiver09 is offline
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Very good point Gary. Thank you, I am very proud of my products...sometimes too much to make it profitable.
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  #10  
Old 09-01-2017, 10:16 AM
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Gary Campbell Gary Campbell is offline
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Justin...
Profitability... the root of all ingenuity to some, evil to others. That is the direction I want to push you in.
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