Three-Dimensional Parametric Modellers
A number of three-dimensional parametric modellers are available, including Cubify Design, GeoMagic Design and Solid Edge (increasing in cost from left to right). Use of a parametric modeller will allow for rapid modelling and drawing changes.
Youtube tutorials relating to GeoMagic and Alibre may be useful for learning how to use three-dimensional parametric modellers.
Sketchup is not a parameteric modeller and is therefore not recommended. Nonetheless, if you use Sketchup, you will have to provide us with 2D DXF files exported using: (i) 2D Graphic PDF export with white shading; (ii) http://extensions.sketchup.com/it/content/skema-2d-projection; or (iii) https://help.sketchup.com/en/article/3000165#export-2d
Two-Dimensional Line Drawing Packages
A number of two-dimensional drawing packages are available, including CorelDraw and Inkscape. These packages allow editing of DXF files.
Inkscape is not able to handle some drawings with many thousands of lines. We use CorelDraw to edit two dimensional PDF and DWG vector files provided by our clients.
Another package that we use is REACONVERT PRO. This package converts PDF into AI format (Adobe Illustrator format). AI format is a specific PDF format that can be read by CorelDraw. CorelDraw sometimes has trouble with some other PDF formats.
JPG and PNG images produced by programs such as Photoshop cannot be modified to meet with line thickness requirements. For this reason we prefer vector drawings produced using Cubify Design and CorelDraw or similar packages.
In some instances a filter can be used to convert a high resolution JPG or PNG image into a vector image. We have used FilterForge and CorelDraw to convert PNG images to vector drawings. Nonetheless original vector drawings are preferred.
Sometimes JPGs and PNG images can be embedded in a PDF. These types of PDF are not preferred. It is possible to determine whether a JPG/PNG has been embedded in the PDF by zooming into the PDF drawings and seeing whether the line quality degrades based on the zoom level.
Some clients provide website images in single page HTML format. We use a variety of custom solutions to produce such files. One free package we sometimes use when converting MHT files is https://github.com/Y2Z/monolith (Creative Commons Zero v1.0 Universal license).
Patent drawings must meet formal drawing requirements, including line thickness and margin requirements. We use functionality in CorelDraw to ensure that our drawings meet these requirements.
We recommend Cubify Design as it is a low-cost option for sole inventors. Cubify Design is a feature limited version of Geomagic Design.
Unfortunately, Cubify Design does not provide for STEP export. Cubify Design also limits STL export to 3D faces.
Geomagic Design provides for STEP and STL export with full body data. In our opinion, Geomagic Design provides the most comprehensive mid-range package.
SolidFace is another option. SolidFace allows export in a variety of formats, including parasolid format. It is more difficult to learn but should have significant performance benefits over Cubify/GeoMagic for large assemblies. SolidFace can export parasolid format but not STEP files. There does not appear to be an upgrade path for STEP files.
SolidEdge, AutoDesk-Invent and SolidWorks are feature-rich packages. SolidEdge is able to view many formats of files, including STEP, Autodesk-Invent and SolidWorks files.
We are able to use Cubify Design and SolidEdge when viewing 3D files.
For editing 2-dimensional DWG or PDF files generated by one of the packages above we recommend CorelDraw (Graphics Suite X8).
REAConvertor PRO will convert PDF drawings to ‘Adobe Illustrator’ PDF Format (AI/PDF). CorelDraw sometimes has difficulty importing other PDF formats.
As Cubify is very similar to Alibre (Geomagic), we recommend viewing videos on both Alibre and Cubify.
Youtube Keyword Search (Playlists)
*As with all information provided by this website, the content of this webpage is subject to our disclaimer. The material provided is not to be relied upon under any circumstances.