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43 votes
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How did mechanical engineers work before SolidWorks?

At the beginning of my career (1979) as a design engineer at HP, the mechanical engineer created the part design and then rendered it in pencil on paper, and then transferred it onto sheets of vellum ...
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17 votes

How did mechanical engineers work before SolidWorks?

In the offices I worked in, drafters were also expected to have a grasp of the trades required to build the thing they were drawing. They'd have some background in welding, fitting, and fabrication. ...
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13 votes
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SOLIDWORKS - 3D Sketch of Trombone

See the .gif below! EDIT: You may need to enable visibility of these handles if they're not on by default - it depends on your default profile/settings.
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12 votes
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How to work on big CAD project in team?

It's a massively important question. Short response: apply the concept of encapsulation. Divide into subsystems During development, assign design-ownership (distinct from project manager role, ...
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  • 1,367
7 votes

How do I read this engineering drawing for this screw?

Let's break it down: 5x - There are 5 of these holes, with the same dimension. You should be able to spot these fairly easily, as any similar holes with no dimensions on them. M4x0.7 - These holes ...
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6 votes

Is "pitch diameter" the same as the distance between the centers?

Pitch diameter is the diameter of the pitch circle described by the mid point of the length of the teeth around the gear, as shown in this diagram: The pitch circle defines the point where the teeth ...
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6 votes

What is "reversal" in mechanical engineering drawing?

It approximately means it is allowed or forbidden to have scratches at the place of round. When you are making cylinder surface you can to do it many different ways: milling, welding, soldering. In ...
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5 votes

Is "pitch diameter" the same as the distance between the centers?

As indeed answered by Greenonline, the centre distance is the average of the pitch diameters of the two meshing gears, but this is only strictly true when the gears are operating at standard centre ...
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  • 1,297
5 votes

How did mechanical engineers work before SolidWorks?

I think the duties that engineers have to perform are independent of the tools they use. Nowadays there seems to be a trend that everybody involved in a working process, regardless of if we are ...
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5 votes

How did mechanical engineers work before SolidWorks?

But I am left with a question I don't have the answer to, nor the resources to answer it. These days it seems most mechanical engineers (at least the ones I know) are really performing the role of ...
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  • 22.7k
5 votes

In which file format are technical drawings saved/stored? How can the data be exchanged between other software?

As your tags indicate AutoCAD, the answer is going to be directed in that direction. Data eXchange Format (.DXF) files are created by the source software. The receiving software has to permit import ...
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  • 6,312
4 votes
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Propane rocket nozzle material

The answer is that in order to survive and function, the rocket nozzles need to be cooled. How that's done varies with the application, but includes: Liquid Cooling Jacket: The liquid propergols and/...
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  • 2,135
4 votes
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How to add radial protrusions to a disc in Autodesk Inventor

The way I would model the component shown on the LHS of your image is like this: Sketch the outer diameter of the circle on one of the home planes, say XZ, with the centre of the circle at the origin....
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4 votes

What is "reversal" in mechanical engineering drawing?

Imagine you were driving a car along the path shown in a cross section view of the radius - you need to make a 90 degree bend, and you need to stay inside the cones that denote the tolerance band. In ...
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4 votes
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How do I interpret a fillet indication on a technical drawing

Measure 12.7 from both edges and the intersection gives the radius centre.
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  • 14.1k
4 votes

How to work on big CAD project in team?

First, a big (100 or 1000 engineers) project is very unlikely to start from a blank piece of paper. A company like Boeing has designed many planes in the past, and therefore has a pretty good idea how ...
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  • 12.5k
3 votes

Simple and easy Open Source CAD tools for basic 2D and 3D designs

It isn't open source, but for students Onshape is free. Onshape runs in the browser so it will work on pretty much any current computer regardless of operating system. It is real 3D solid modeling ...
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  • 840
3 votes

Is it Possible to Automatically Transform an Image of an Object into a Line Drawing in AutoCAD?

One option is to import the jpeg directly into AutoCad and simply trace the lines you want over the top in a new layer. While this isn't automatic as such I suspect that it may end up being less ...
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3 votes

Is it Possible to Automatically Transform an Image of an Object into a Line Drawing in AutoCAD?

TL;DR; Possible but not nesseserily worth it. Introduction Its possible, but it is a bit questionable whether its actually practical or saves you any time. See when you photograph a section you get ...
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  • 3,425
3 votes

Is there an equivalent to the 'equal' constraint from solidworks in fusion 360?

I'm not familiar with the Solidworks equal constraint but it sounds like this should be done parametrically in Fusion. Dimension the first line to a value. Then, dimension the second one, but instead ...
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3 votes

Please Help me Read this Engineering Drawing

Bottom or left based on what datum? It matters not, really. The end of the shaft visible in the photo is your mounting area. The drawing shows two sets of mounting bolt options. The inner circle ...
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  • 6,312
3 votes

How to calculate properties of a thread?

Well I would suggest that you don’t thread one of the items - just have a clearance hole then a locking nut. Then, to get a precise position have a hole with a locating pin - this will ensure the ...
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3 votes

Tool Clearance at Bottom of Milled Thread

You need clearance at the bottom of the threaded hole or shorten the depth of the thread. This is to allow for the machining process and clearance for the cutting tool. Otherwise your thread will not ...
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  • 1,578
3 votes
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What CAD software is this?

I think the hint comes from the tab that says SOLIDWORKS in the left column, near the top of the block of actions. It's not visible in this screen shot, but is clearly visible in the video linked in ...
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  • 6,312
3 votes

Banking progression in NASCAR tracks

In highway design, this is called a superelevation and spiral transition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Track_transition_curve The length of the spiral is based upon the design speed. For USA highway ...
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  • 134
3 votes

Help understanding this dimension sheet

h11 is the tolerance range. There's a standard shaft/hole chart based on dimension/tolerance. (sorry about the images, I've searched on google but cannot find everything on the same image). h11 is ...
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  • 345
3 votes

Trying to find proper Open source CAD Software For the Automatic Tooth Comparing

This question may be better suited for the software recommendation SE and perhaps could be migrated. Consider that Meshlab meets a couple of your requirements. It's open source and has a comparison ...
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  • 6,312
3 votes
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Is there a way to fix 'bad' surfaces in Solidworks?

Ok, looking at the "Filleted" file, it looks like you are trying to achieve the following: Yellow = 1mm Orange = 2.3mm Red = 5mm Your issue is primarily with order of operations. You need ...
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3 votes
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How to design stiff plastic sheet

"... while minimizing the thickness of the end plate. I don't care about how much material I use." Those statements are in conflict with each other. If the end plate must be flat on the ...
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  • 6,312
3 votes

How to work on big CAD project in team?

Your question is a fundamental problem and does not have a single way to be handled. IMHO it boils down to the management of engineers and designers and is fundamental to the success of a company. ...
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