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A First Attempt at 3D..
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* June 04, 2018, 03:12:25 PM
Assuming I've attached it correctly!

Don't get too excited...

It's not exactly a "rendering", just a drawing with the hidden lines hidden, of my preliminary design for the crankshaft for a miniature steam-wagon's engine. Finer details omitted, apart from the key-ways. The colouring was only so I could see what was what in the wire-frame view's tangle.

There are no drawings available, just contemporary advertising photographs and trade-magazine reviews with a few useful dimensions, for the prototype, a Hindley steam-wagon introduced 100 years ago this year and in production for only a few years. The engine, whose original cylinder sizes are given in the Edwardian trade-reviews for it, is unusual for such vehicles by being vertical, enclosed and mounted in the chassis between the crew seats.

The two pairs of large discs outside the cranks represent the eccentrics that drive the valve distributing the live steam in, and exhaust steam out, of the cylinders. They do so via a "link motion", set by a driver's control,  that makes one eccentric's motion relative to the piston travel dominate over the other such that the engine can be reversed, obviating using a reverse-gear in the transmission (a heady 2-speed arrangement).  Setting the pictorial ones to their nominal angles of advance round from the crank-pins, was tricky! I drew pairs of temporary radial lines on one end-view at the requisite angles from the crank centre-lines, centred the eccentrics as cylinders on the lines' intersections with a circle concentric to the shaft, deleted these lines and the circle, then chivvied the cylinders into their right places along the shaft.

Not quite first attempt at 3D either, because I'd been faffing around with assorted shapes for a long time, trying to make sense of a bewildering system. It's only recently that with a lot of Forum help I've began to grasp Snapping objects together at a simple level, and that in 2D only. The help was information the Manual does not contain, which is how to select the requisite drawing tools, the preliminary conditions necessary for them to work - and when they won't by design - or when they don't but ought, where to look for the problem!.

Unable to fathom out how to make 3D Snaps, Work-planes and Co-ordinate systems work, let alone co-operate, this is really just a line of similar, symmetrical shapes distributed by arithmetic along a common (0, Y, 0) axis on the default World work-plane. I found out, sort of, how to Subtract "boxes" from the cylinders that became the crank-webs, and similarly to draw the key-ways, but otherwise kept it simple, with all lengths (thicknesses) except the outer ends, set to a regular 0.60". That value both simplified the sums and produced something very close to intended size for assembly-fit and function, for what I'm trying to build.

 Since the engine doesn't need to be true to scale to something shown only in old photos anyway, as long as its external appearance is a fair representation, it also makes sense to design it around nice round decimals of inches to start with, to suit the machining, rather than model-engineering's more usual binary-fractions with all their secondary conversions to decimals. Superimposing circles to represent the cylinders I've already made showed happily, needing only minor dimension changes to match - but I could not find out how to do that here, which TC tells me is a mixture of "TC Surfaces" and cylinders.

I'd hoped to go on to add the connecting-rods, crossheads, pistons and cylinders, and the valves, at least, then the basics of its surroundings in the wagon, to help me work out how to fit the assembly into a rather cramped space - but will have to use a purely diagrammatic approach, and stick to orthographic projection for the parts drawings.

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* June 04, 2018, 03:27:33 PM
#1
It looks like you've gotten the hang of this program, Nigel. I took the liberty of assigning a material and rendering your drawing...

Henry H

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* June 05, 2018, 03:11:52 AM
#2
Thank you Henry!

It does look better rendered. I'm a long way from getting the hang of TurboCAD though. I bought it primarily to be able to make isometric or similar views of parts and assemblies viewable in different planes, something I knew already is a fundamental feature of CAD, but have found it very hard to learn. I am not so worried about renderings as I'm after design & workshop drawings, rather than brochure-quality representations, but either way I'm far from being able to assemble collections of entities into cohesive wholes.

Where I wrote about "how to select a tool" I didn't mean how to open it from its symbol, but how to decide which tool to use to achieve what outcome; and very importantly, the pre-requisites for that tool to work. Many of the tools rely on your already knowing their concepts.

For example, I learnt with a lot of help that you can't hatch a cross-section unless within a polyline - a CAD concept new to me, not found in manual drawing. That polyline won't work if certain other subtle conditions fail, and these too, are not found on the draughting-machine. (I turn the auto-join option off, so though making more work for me, I can verify it's working or see any stop-points by the highlighting.)

And that's in 2D! 3D adds considerably to the complexity.

That crankshaft represents my present limit - like the assorted exercises I had concocted, it relies on very basic geometry of its own and its co-ordinate planes; and none of it was snapped together. Thinking about it, to add the primary parts of the rest of the engine to that drawing I don't need to try to design those parts in detail on it, since the drawings's purpose is largely to help me ensure the machine will fit where it should, and guide the detail draughting, which can be in 2D.  For example, I can represent the connecting-rods and the parts above them by simple 3D-primitve "cylinders" and "boxes", as long as they are in the right places and alignments. 

What I couldn't find is how to modify the sizes of some of the various entities so far, or stop odd effects like them drifting off-centre, but I can't spot any patterns in the causes and effects I'm getting. I don't know if object nature matters, as a Cylinder by Extrusion or Primitive, and TC Surface, all seem to me to have different Properties, judging by the menus. I suspect work-planes somewhere, but my attempts with those usually collapse into Escher-esque optical illusions! 

Incidentally I have had a little previous, very introductory, experience of rendering, via a pictorial programme called POV-RAY. This is not an engineering or architectural CAD application at all, and doesn't pretend to be, but exists purely to let you create pretty 3D-effect pictures by command-line data entries.

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


July 14, 2018, 09:55:26 PM
#3

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CREO 3 and 5
SolidWorks 2017
TC2018 Pro Platinum.
TurboCad V21 Pro Platinum 64 bit. TurboCad V21 Pro Platinum 32 bit CADCAM.
TurboCAD 2015 ProPlat.
TurboCAD LTE/DoubleCAD Pro V7.
TurboCAD Deluxe V21 64 bit.
VISI 21 CADCAM
Christchurch, Middle Earth.


* November 09, 2018, 03:13:10 PM
#4
Ooh, Sorry about the 4-month delay! I left worrying about trying to learn TurboCAD for most of that time.

Thank-you Steve: I have just watched it. An impressive piece of work. I wonder what material he was using there? It looked like aluminium-alloy, but that's not very likely except as purely to demonstrate the technique. For a larger crankshaft such as that in my drawing, with a stroke of 2", I'd have to think of a different dividing and work-holding method because it would be a hefty lump of steel and need holding between centres or with a steady.

I'm afraid I've not added much to my original drawing, which spawned my image here, before Henry Hubich kindly coloured it. He also remarked I was getting the hang of TurboCAD. For which thank you for the compliment, but I'd reached my limit.

Since then, the shaft on my original drawing has sprouted two rather diagrammatic connecting-rods, one vertical, the other at its mid-stroke angle, and the basic cylinder block outline floating above them; but then the drawing went beyond my ability.

This is for a 2-cylinder steam engine with Stephenson's Link Motion (driving its cylinder valves and via that function, determining forwards or reverse running), so lots more bits yet, and I realised I could never draw it digitally rather than manually.  Individual components, in 2D, perhaps; maybe the whole engine in 2D, but certainly not in 3D. That's for the experts!

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


November 15, 2018, 10:05:13 AM
#5
Nigel, you are doing well! So keep up the good work! I spent time with a chap about 3 km from me sometime back who was brand new to TurboCad and he has picked it up very quickly and him being retired he has plenty of time! He creates/builds his own railway stock from brass using photo etching with images taken from TurboCad.

My project has taken a back seat but more of that on my post of Triple expansion Engine.

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CREO 3 and 5
SolidWorks 2017
TC2018 Pro Platinum.
TurboCad V21 Pro Platinum 64 bit. TurboCad V21 Pro Platinum 32 bit CADCAM.
TurboCAD 2015 ProPlat.
TurboCAD LTE/DoubleCAD Pro V7.
TurboCAD Deluxe V21 64 bit.
VISI 21 CADCAM
Christchurch, Middle Earth.


* November 16, 2018, 09:52:00 AM
#6
Thankyou Steve,

For your encouraging words, but I fear I have reached my natural limit for learning TurboCAD (or any CAD).

Unfortunately, I am not getting the hang of TurboCAD at all. Especially in 3D. I offered that crankshaft, similar to the one needed, in only wire-frame format. Henry Hubbich coloured it, not me. It for a much simpler engine than the one you depict: compound not triple-expansion, no condenser, feed-pump or air-pump; for a miniature replica of a particular, Edwardian, steam-wagon.

I am not worried about pictures though I admire those on this Gallery, far above anything I could achieve. I wanted to learn TurboCAD well enough to make isometric engineering-assembly drawings, but I am afraid that my limit can only be fairly low-grade 2D, or orthographic, elevations adequate for my own workshop use.

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* January 12, 2019, 02:52:09 PM
#7
Since posting that original image, and Henry Hubich colouring it for me, I have discovered very basic rendering.

After giving up on 3D or a while I tried to draw a very simple isometric quarter-section (I'm not sure if that's the right term, but very common for cut-away illustrations of assemblies). It was just a solid cylinder inside a hollow one - e.g. a small hydraulic ram. Once I'd found I had to generate the cut-away cylinder by extruding the C-shaped outline of its end view, I could add the "ram" at about half-stroke, with the two parts in different colours.

I did this by setting both concentric with the X-axis and sliding the ram along by "Delta X". I found it necessary to shrink the ram's diameter very, very slightly to stop its outline co-inciding with the cylinder's in a way that deleted their joint and made the two items look as if a single lump of metal.

 I'd used a "primitive" cylinder for the ram, only to find I could not refine its rather noticeable polygon section; whereas the extrusion let me adjust its properties as a "TC Surface".  (I didn't know it was one of them - but "Properties" said it was!). The default was 14 sides - increasing it to 56 gave a far smoother outline.

The rendering tool raised some mysterious warning about a lack of something graphical somewhere. Having no idea what it meant, I Saved the drawing so far just in case,  ignored the warning, and let TC choose the illumination direction. I was quite pleased with myself - the result looked half-decent for a first attempt. No good for making the thing - I don't know if you can produce the necessary orthographic drawing from an isometric model - but a passable "how it works" picture..

Then it all went to pot....
I tried to add an end-cap to the cylinder, just a disc ( a circle extruded into a short cylinder); but failed completely, bogged down by the complexities of work-planes and axes directions, and the optical illusions. I gave up and deleted the file!

 

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* January 12, 2019, 04:32:42 PM
#8
Dang, Nigel. You were that close ;-)

Henry H

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* January 13, 2019, 03:34:33 PM
#9
Thank-you, but I don't feel I was very close at all. Two steps forwards and three back.

The image was viewed from the end showing the protruding ram, so the disc representing the end-cap was on the far end, and not affected by the sectioning. When I viewed it from other angles, the disc was anywhere but where I'd intended. The more I tried to set it in the right place, the worse it became.

I also tried to view the image in 2D, with just the 2 parts, to see if I could produce an orthographic drawing from the 3D model. I could not.

When I returned to designing the miniature engine that contains a version of the crankshaft in the picture here, I kept strictly to 2D.

Incidentally I am not entirely new to 3D-effect artwork. A few years ago I acquired a copy of POV-Ray - a purely-artistic programme that uses command-lines written in something like BASIC, rather than tool-bars and data boxes. It's not a engineering or architectural CAD tool, though.

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


January 14, 2019, 04:34:42 AM
#10
Thank-you, but I don't feel I was very close at all. Two steps forwards and three back.

I've been using TurboCAD for more than 10 years (some of it off and on because I'm an electronic engineer, but I do freelance for other people).

I can tell you that "two steps forwards and three back" is not uncommon in CAD when you are learning.  This last week, I completely re-did a sunglass frame from the original STL scan to make it 1mm thicker and convert it to an ACIS Solid model that can be used in a CNC machine.  The second method resulted in a CAD file that is nearly 80% smaller and much easier to work with (the first file was so large, it approached the limits of the CNC software that drove their 3-axis machine).  The second method probably wouldn't have occurred to me without encountering the problems I had with my first method; it's a continual learning process.

But it does get easier the more you do because things just start seeming obvious.  If I were doing the same sort of work all the time, it wouldn't take much time at all with the experience I have.  The main reason I am constantly developing new ways to do things is because I am always doing *new* things (which is why I started freelancing).

So... the takeaway is that, if you continue learning, you will continue to make it simpler and faster to create what you need.


Jeff

« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 09:19:31 AM by Jeffin90620 »

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* January 14, 2019, 09:03:57 AM
#11
Thankyou Jeffin.

Ten years and still learning TurboCAD... Your Gallery renderings and now producing CNC machining files, show you use TC to a very advanced level.

I've been trying for maybe three years, though often with breaks from sheer frustration. I don't believe I can progress beyond fairly simple, rather rough 2D drawings that may or may not give prints I can use in my own workshop with conventional machine-tools.

I managed to redraw that cylinder, though not render it - it just becomes a black blob.


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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* January 15, 2019, 03:26:20 PM
#12
That last attachment collapsed when I tried to modify its  original, the whole lot crashed, deleting the file and inviting me to send an error message!
I did, to see if I could understand what I did wrong.

Anyway, I recovered it enough to re-save it under a new name, and this time made slightly more progress....

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* January 15, 2019, 05:13:20 PM
#13
That last attachment collapsed when I tried to modify its  original, the whole lot crashed, deleting the file and inviting me to send an error message!
I did, to see if I could understand what I did wrong.

Anyway, I recovered it enough to re-save it under a new name, and this time made slightly more progress....

I see that you got the cap in place.

Henry H

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* January 17, 2019, 01:54:10 PM
#14
Eventually, Henry, thank-you!

That's not the first attempt at that cylinder. This time I used all-extrusions to be consistent, and this seemed to be easier and more reliable.
I still manipulated its four entities by co-ordinates, though, all living along the X-axis.   

I produced the sectioned wall from two circles and two radial lines, trimming to each other and persuading them into a polyline. My first attempt, by subtracting a rectangular block from a complete cylinder, didn't work.

I was baffled by the cap's axes indicators. This, with a central hole, was the third part I drew, and its axes pointed in different directions from the rest, sort of swapped around. I had to turn it around several times before it aligned correctly and I could slide it into place.

Now, why does opening the drawing from the link above, shows it in wire-frame view among a swarm of symbols I discovered are light-sources?

Lot of lights as I tried to turn a black splodge into a basic, fairly reasonable rendering. I'd not realised TC has such a comprehensive illumination set! I thought I'd deleted all but 2 or 3 of the sources, for best effect, but still could not make the hole through the cap, look like that. Nor realistic illumination... but really, for now rendering and lighting are the least of my problems. My computer announces what I think is a compatibility problem though, so they might not work as they ought, even if I knew what I was doing with them.

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* January 17, 2019, 02:59:51 PM
#15
"I produced the sectioned wall from two circles and two radial lines, trimming to each other and persuading them into a polyline. My first attempt, by subtracting a rectangular block from a complete cylinder, didn't work."

It should have worked, Nigel, if you had made the rectangular block a little longer than the cylinder, and its other two dimensions a little greater than the radius of the cylinder.

Henry H

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* January 18, 2019, 11:23:01 AM
#16
Thankyou Henry.

I think I did make the cuboid a bit larger as you say, but for some reason the end result carried bits of the block I could not remove.

I'd also produced the two main elements in different ways, and that didn't help matters either. It only struck me much later that I could try using extrusions to make that "G" section and the smaller cylinder both from flat figures.

I had already done something similar on another exercise, this time cutting channels along a block's sides, and that one had worked. I'll attach that if I can find it - the drawings are not very easy to find from here, on my computer!

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* January 18, 2019, 11:37:59 AM
#17
Ah - if I save the drawing as a bitmap, does it then produce something sensible here? I'm doing this on the fly -  I had saved that crosshead drawing in TCW format, but made a copy as a BMP, to what happens if I attach it here.....

(I had to save it twice, because I'd not noticed originally that TC saved the first bitmap, not among the other drawings, but in some really strange new folder I could not find anywhere!)

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* January 18, 2019, 11:39:25 AM
#18
No - it still appears in wireframe mode, although in the grey colour I'd tried to give it.

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


January 20, 2019, 05:35:34 AM
#19
Here's the BMP file you referenced.  Adding "BMP" to the file name won't do it.  Replacing the suffix will do it, but it won't let you go into BMP's Setup to specify the resolution (you'll just get TurboCAD's file options). 

Better to hit File / Save As then the <Tab> key to activate the Save as Type (or use your mouse, but I prefer speedier techniques) and select BMP.


Jeff

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* January 24, 2019, 12:26:24 PM
#20
Thankyou Jeffin!

Oh this site's logging-in process. It keeps rejecting my password, and I've just had to re-set it yet again! Same pw, though.

I am pretty sure I'd saved it as a .bmp file, but perhaps I'd missed doing so. I found if I don't watch where I save a TC drawing, it is very awkward to track down on my computer, so I might have been watching that more closely than the file type.

What's odd is that the object was nicely coloured-in on the original, so I can't understand why it didn't file the rendering information as well. Is the wire-frame mode a default of some sort, that the drawing reverts to? 

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


January 25, 2019, 04:08:43 AM
#21
What's odd is that the object was nicely coloured-in on the original, so I can't understand why it didn't file the rendering information as well. Is the wire-frame mode a default of some sort, that the drawing reverts to?

Wireframe is the default when opening all files, regardless of what was displayed when you save one.


Jeff

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TC Pro Platinum 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 & 2015 (all with LightWorks & RedSDK) & V21
System: i7-5820K @ 3.30GHz, ASRock X99 Extreme4, 16GB DDR4-2133 RAM, Gigabyte GTX 970, Samsung NVMe SSD 950 (256GB), Windows 7 Pro (64-bit) SP1


* January 26, 2019, 01:00:54 PM
#22
Ah. Thank you! I've re-visited the drawing to see this happen.

When I try to render anything though, this warning appears:

"   Aero theme is not supported by TurboCAD while working in OpenGL mode with Hardware Acceleration. If this theme is currently used, it will be turned off.
Do you want to continue?   "

 I do not know what any of that means, apart from 'Aero theme' being switched off. I don't seem to have any choice but to select "Continue" if I want to try rendering the image.

The warning is not particularly well-worded, irrespective of the technical terms, but implies to me that "aero theme" will not run on my combination of TC, OS and computer. Anyway, that "Continue" makes the screen goes black for a few moments then produce the image.

The PC also briefly shows another message that I think is something about the OS and colours it can develop, rather than anything in TC, but I couldn't find it again.


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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.