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Discussion Starter #1
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Two options that I can think of is pdf format... these are quite versatile
and readable by a variety of computers with free programs in order to print
them (either native for Mac, or free downloads for PC).

A little more versatile would be .dwg format from autocad, which you can
download a variety of free readers (which do not allow modifying of the
files, but you can view them) for mac or PC. Not too hard, and doesn't
require buying the several $ cad program unless you want to modify it (if
you allow people to do that anyway...). Most of the other CAD programs out
there (visio, omnigraffle, etc) do allow importing dwg files from autocad,
though with varying degrees of corruption of the drawing while doing it.....

Z


> Maybe this is a good time to ask. What do people think would be the
> "best" way to provide plans? Printed on paper like R.Q. Riley? In some
> cheap toy CAD package that no one uses? In some popular commercial CAD
> package that you have to buy? I don't want to just give everything away;
> we have to somehow keep control of the design, or all I've done is waste
> all our time and money.
>
> -
>
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Discussion Starter #2
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Lee Hart wrote:

> Maybe this is a good time to ask. What do people think would be the
> "best" way to provide plans? Printed on paper like R.Q. Riley? In some
> cheap toy CAD package that no one uses? In some popular commercial CAD
> package that you have to buy? I don't want to just give everything
> away;
> we have to somehow keep control of the design, or all I've done is
> waste
> all our time and money.


Google has a free program that is easy to learn and share. Its called
Sketchup.

http://sketchup.google.com/

I use it and highly recommend it.


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Discussion Starter #3
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Lee Hart <[email protected]> wrote:

> Maybe this is a good time to ask. What do people think would be the
> "best" way to provide plans? Printed on paper like R.Q. Riley? In some
> cheap toy CAD package that no one uses? In some popular commercial CAD
> package that you have to buy? I don't want to just give everything away;
> we have to somehow keep control of the design, or all I've done is waste
> all our time and money.

Google sketchup. It can be used for simple 2D dimensioned drawings as
well as 3D assembly illustrations, which are very simple to do. It's
comparatively cheap - try the free version to start with.

It is easy to use, you don't have to spend any time learning it, just
jump in and do your first drawing- the second one will be better ;)

Then produce PDF "prints" of the drawings for distribution. Although
it's a proprietory format it's completely ubiquitous and not likely to
go away soon. The documents can be watermarked if you're concerned
about people pirating them.

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Yes, Google Sketchup is a very good program for being free (still very
cheap, like under $500 for the pro version), and more and more people are
using it. We used it extensively for solar layouts and renderings the last
place I worked. It is aimed more for 3D stuff than 2D, so we used
omnigraffle for the 2D stuff (which is a similar program to visio, only a
bit nicer IMO -- only for Macs).

Z

Evan Tuer <[email protected]> wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 3:21 PM, Lee Hart <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > Maybe this is a good time to ask. What do people think would be the
> > "best" way to provide plans? Printed on paper like R.Q. Riley? In some
> > cheap toy CAD package that no one uses? In some popular commercial CAD
> > package that you have to buy? I don't want to just give everything away;
> > we have to somehow keep control of the design, or all I've done is waste
> > all our time and money.
>
> Google sketchup. It can be used for simple 2D dimensioned drawings as
> well as 3D assembly illustrations, which are very simple to do. It's
> comparatively cheap - try the free version to start with.
>
> It is easy to use, you don't have to spend any time learning it, just
> jump in and do your first drawing- the second one will be better ;)
>
> Then produce PDF "prints" of the drawings for distribution. Although
> it's a proprietory format it's completely ubiquitous and not likely to
> go away soon. The documents can be watermarked if you're concerned
> about people pirating them.
>
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Discussion Starter #5
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Lee wrote -

> . I'm trying to learn CAD
> to create good drawings, but it's slow going. It seems that all CAD
> programs are expensive and hard to learn, and try to lock you into
> "their" way of doing things, which makes sharing very difficult.

Lee,

So what else is new?

I use ACAD everyday for my job and I couldn't agree with you more... but from an
engineering/architectual point of view it is fantastic, as are all the Autodesk, Solidworks,
pro-Egineer, etc programs.

I recently came across a new free/beta drawing program from Dassault Systems, the Solidworks
Company. http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/draftsight-overview/.

I've experimented a little with it and really like it.

Rush
Tucson AZ

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Rush,
Thanks for that link. I know of Lee's headaches. In the past 5 months I've had
to learn Altium Designer for schematic and board layout, what a PITA.
I'm also in the process of learning Autocad since packaging of my new AC
inverter control for golf carts needs to be designed without help
of a mechanical engineer/drafting technician. This drags out the design cycle,
but should be rewarding knowing you did the hardware and packaging work on your
own.
Rod


----- Original Message ----
From: Rush <[email protected]>
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List <[email protected]>
Sent: Thu, November 4, 2010 6:53:55 PM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated
Conversions !


Lee wrote -

> . I'm trying to learn CAD
> to create good drawings, but it's slow going. It seems that all CAD
> programs are expensive and hard to learn, and try to lock you into
> "their" way of doing things, which makes sharing very difficult.

Lee,

So what else is new?

I use ACAD everyday for my job and I couldn't agree with you more... but from an

engineering/architectual point of view it is fantastic, as are all the Autodesk,
Solidworks,

pro-Egineer, etc programs.

I recently came across a new free/beta drawing program from Dassault Systems,
the Solidworks

Company. http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/draftsight-overview/.

I've experimented a little with it and really like it.

Rush
Tucson AZ

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Rod Hower <[email protected]> wrote:
> Rush,
> Thanks for that link. I know of Lee's headaches. In the past 5 mont=
hs I've had
> to learn Altium Designer for schematic and board layout, what a PITA.

I'm sorry! ;)

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Rush,

I agree, DS really raised the bar with releasing draftsight, and i'm not
being biased, i just happen to be a software engineer at Dassault Systemes
:)

Another decent freebee out there i've tried recently is called QCAD. just
google it, you can find easy windows installers for it, etc.

Ed Moore
Tolland, CT

Rush <[email protected]> wrote:

>
> Lee wrote -
>
> > . I'm trying to learn CAD
> > to create good drawings, but it's slow going. It seems that all CAD
> > programs are expensive and hard to learn, and try to lock you into
> > "their" way of doing things, which makes sharing very difficult.
>
> Lee,
>
> So what else is new?
>
> I use ACAD everyday for my job and I couldn't agree with you more... but
> from an
> engineering/architectual point of view it is fantastic, as are all the
> Autodesk, Solidworks,
> pro-Egineer, etc programs.
>
> I recently came across a new free/beta drawing program from Dassault
> Systems, the Solidworks
> Company. http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/draftsight-overview/.
>
> I've experimented a little with it and really like it.
>
> Rush
> Tucson AZ
>
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Discussion Starter #9
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Lee,

First, what is it you're trying to do? Are you trying to provide 2D
engineering-type drawings? Or, is it more like 3D assembly instructions?
Are people supposed to work with (i.e. enhance or modify) these drawings in
some way or just view them?

Several people have mentioned Sketchup, which I think is awesome and
brilliantly simple to learn. It's great for modeling - even in excruciating
detail. You can rotate objects in any direction, zoom in, even go inside,
hide or expose portions by toggling layers. It's no good for engineering or
architectural drawings, though.

Not to overwhelm you, but I use AutoSketch, by AutoDesk (actually they
bought out another company) for architectural working drawings. Anyway,
it's more user friendly than AutoCad from what I see. Pretty cheap. Very
simple to learn the essentials. It does a good job with layers, colors,
line weights, better with right angles than organic shapes, though you can
do the latter. All 2D. Has a proprietary file format, but can produce DXF
files too.

Peri


-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf
Of Zeke Yewdall
Sent: 04 November, 2010 8:33 AM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated
Conversions !

Two options that I can think of is pdf format... these are quite versatile
and readable by a variety of computers with free programs in order to print
them (either native for Mac, or free downloads for PC).

A little more versatile would be .dwg format from autocad, which you can
download a variety of free readers (which do not allow modifying of the
files, but you can view them) for mac or PC. Not too hard, and doesn't
require buying the several $ cad program unless you want to modify it (if
you allow people to do that anyway...). Most of the other CAD programs out
there (visio, omnigraffle, etc) do allow importing dwg files from autocad,
though with varying degrees of corruption of the drawing while doing it.....

Z


> Maybe this is a good time to ask. What do people think would be the
> "best" way to provide plans? Printed on paper like R.Q. Riley? In some
> cheap toy CAD package that no one uses? In some popular commercial CAD
> package that you have to buy? I don't want to just give everything
> away; we have to somehow keep control of the design, or all I've done
> is waste all our time and money.
>
> -
>
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Discussion Starter #10
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

>
> Maybe this is a good time to ask. What do people think would be the
> "best" way to provide plans? Printed on paper like R.Q. Riley? In some
> cheap toy CAD package that no one uses? In some popular commercial CAD
> package that you have to buy? I don't want to just give everything
> away;
> we have to somehow keep control of the design, or all I've done is
> waste
> all our time and money.
>
> --
> Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
>

Sketchup, please!

Regards, Martin Winlow
Herts, UK
http://www.evalbum.com/2092
www.winlow.co.uk



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Discussion Starter #11
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Peri Hartman wrote:

> Several people have mentioned Sketchup, which I think is awesome and
> brilliantly simple to learn. It's great for modeling - even in
> excruciating
> detail. You can rotate objects in any direction, zoom in, even go
> inside,
> hide or expose portions by toggling layers. It's no good for
> engineering or
> architectural drawings, though.


I use Google Sketchup Pro for engineering drawings. Its true that the
free version limits your output to "pictures", but the companion
program called 'Layout' that you get with $500 Pro version lets you
import your models and export standard drawings. I switched over from
being a long time AutoCAD user since 1995. For about 2 years now I
have been using Sketchup Pro almost exclusively. It does everything I
need, and costs 1/6 the price of Solidworks.

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Lee Hart <[email protected]> wrote:
> On 11/5/2010 2:25 AM, Martin WINLOW wrote:
>> Sketchup, please!
>
> I was unaware of it, and so took a look. Unfortunately, it won't run on
> any of my computers. Even trying it will require buying a new computer.
>
> But from their description, this is a picture-making program, to make
> pretty illustrations. It does not appear useful for drawings that tell
> how to make something.

It can definitely be used for that. I did the plans for my house with
the free version.
And was then able to use them to make a 3D model and walk-through, just for fun.

Strange that it won't run on your computer, it worked on my $200
netbook and my 5 year old Mac..

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Lee,

Have you considered trying to find a college student that would take
the project on to gain experience. Can you really afford the time to
do this all yourself?

Lee Hart wrote:

> On 11/5/2010 2:25 AM, Martin WINLOW wrote:
>> Sketchup, please!
>
> I was unaware of it, and so took a look. Unfortunately, it won't run
> on
> any of my computers. Even trying it will require buying a new
> computer.

It works on my kid's 7 year old computer. Your computers must be
really old. Maybe its time for a new one??? :)

> But from their description, this is a picture-making program, to make
> pretty illustrations. It does not appear useful for drawings that tell
> how to make something.


Yes, you can make pictures if you want, but it is capable of doing
much more. Even at $500 for the pro version, its the best value in 3D
modeling software. I'll send you a sample drawing in PDF format
separately.




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Discussion Starter #14
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Hi,

I used SketchUp and DataCAD in combination to do the model and drawings for may CarBEN EV open source design. Having the 3D information in the hands of the builder makes a lot of sense.

Email me if you would like a copy of the SketchUp file, and/or the DataCAD file (or a DWG of it)!

Check my blog (linked in my signature) for a look at the CarBEN design, as example of what you can do in SketchUp. My only issue with a SU model, is that I want to do CFD analysis, so I can check the aerodynamics.

>> Maybe this is a good time to ask. What do people think would be the
>> "best" way to provide plans? Printed on paper like R.Q. Riley? In some
>> cheap toy CAD package that no one uses? In some popular commercial CAD
>> package that you have to buy? I don't want to just give everything
>> away; we have to somehow keep control of the design, or all I've done is
>> waste all our time and money.
>>
>
> Sketchup, please!

Sincerely, Neil
http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/


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Discussion Starter #15
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

They do aim it at that in the marketing, but you can do dimensioned drawings
with it as well, and export them in .dwg format (autocad) with the pro
version.

Lee Hart <[email protected]> wrote:

> On 11/5/2010 2:25 AM, Martin WINLOW wrote:
> > Sketchup, please!
>
> I was unaware of it, and so took a look. Unfortunately, it won't run on
> any of my computers. Even trying it will require buying a new computer.
>
> But from their description, this is a picture-making program, to make
> pretty illustrations. It does not appear useful for drawings that tell
> how to make something.
> --
> Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
> 814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
> Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
> leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
>
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Discussion Starter #16
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Hi Lee,

>> Have you considered trying to find a college student that would take
>> the project on to gain experience. Can you really afford the time to
>> do this all yourself?
>
> Yes, indeed I did try this. I worked with a team of students from MIT.
> We scanned our Sunrise body, and gave them the files. They were going to
> do wonderful things, but instead just played with the files to make
> pretty pictures of dream cars that they will never build. And gave free
> copies to their friends...

What kind of files are the scans? If I can, I'd be happy to try and make a model the Sunrise for you.

Sincerely, Neil
http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/


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Discussion Starter #17
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Been using Altium since 2004 and protel before that, it was great in the
beginning and went downhill from there as they "improved" it. We use altium
and have mech engineers using pro E for the case designs, Altium has so many
features I can't remember them all, I could never do justice to pro e as
well! I could do something with Acad but having mech eng to do the
mechanical produces a much better product. I don't think anyone can do
everything well anymore, there is just too much to know.

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf
Of Peter Gabrielsson
Sent: Friday, 5 November 2010 1:13 p.m.
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated
Conversions !

Rod Hower <[email protected]> wrote:
> Rush,
> Thanks for that link. I know of Lee's headaches. In the past 5 mont=
hs
I've had
> to learn Altium Designer for schematic and board layout, what a PITA.

I'm sorry! ;)

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Discussion Starter #18
Re: [EVDL] It is time to raise the bar, to more Sophisticated Conversions !

Cor van de Water wrote:
> I think what Roger meant was not some volunteer work
> which often results in "loose cannon" behaviour - it may
> fire or not and it may be in a useful direction or not...
> Instead, if this is recognised as some "practical experience"
> work for a College or University student then he/she has a
> clear incentive to complete that assignment and not just
> play and give out free copies.
>
> Another possibility (which happened in my engineering team)
> is to hire a fresh-out-of-school graduate who is more
> interested in building up a resume and getting experience
> than in large pay (there are some who get that confused)
> as they might otherwise just be unemployed for a longer time.

We did this at various companies where I worked. They would hire
"interns" or college students for the summer. (I sometimes marvelled
about the way such people were treated -- think Asok in Dilbert).

I've been trying to do this myself. I've tried hiring several people on
an experimental basis, to see if they are serious about learning, and
have a decent work ethic. My batting average is poor. It's been worse
than doing it myself; but at least it gets things done.

--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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