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Drawing assembly instructions?
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* June 18, 2011, 06:53:32 AM
Has anyone ever did any assembly instructions for a product using TC. I have been using TC since version 8. Now have 18.1 Plat. I noticed an add from Solid works the other day that had software that would do such a thing specifically.
I have a new design now for my product that is more modular and has the ability to be taken apart and repaired or parts replaced. I have most of it designed now and want to do a step by step instructions. Exploded parts views for ordering parts, etc.
I'm pretty sure I can cobble something up. Just wondering if anyone can show how they handled something similar in the past.


June 18, 2011, 07:12:24 AM
I have done this with a client I work with on a regular basis. I did a case study about that here: http://www.textualcreations.ca/TextualCreations-NaturesSleep-TurboCAD-Collaboration.html

Here is a link to a packing and assembly sample from that study: http://www.textualcreations.ca/NightStand/Night%20Stand%20P&A%20%5BNS%5D%20Nov20_07.pdf

With regards to this client, we have done it differently too. I have attached a couple screen captures of a set I did with TurboCAD and Illustrator. Models created in TurboCAD, layout done in Illustrator. This is printed double side on 11 x17 from my supplied PDF.

We have done other styles as well, where I have worked with another artist who has done the overall layout and I have just supplied the models.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 07:29:48 AM by Don Cheke »


June 18, 2011, 08:10:16 AM
One other thought, in case you were wondering how I laid out the model in TurboCAD. I established a model and copies with the appropriate parts all in the same file. See attached image. If the sheets are done right in paper space I use viewports. If done in Illustrator, I still use viewports, but I print them to PDF at 300dpi. The PDF files can open right in Illustrator an vector format. Very sweet!

I actually prefer to do the layout in Illustrator as the text tools there are to die for, as well as the ability to set opacity easily when required. Lots of other perks, such as dropped shadows, all those little extras that a CAD specific program does not have to fancy things up.

June 18, 2011, 08:20:27 AM
You mentioned seeing an 'add' regarding SolidWorks. I actually use SW now for one client that wanted me to use it to avoid translation issues with their engineer and their suppliers. It is a pretty nice kit to be sure, but not something every CAD user can rationalize budget wise. They bought it for me so that is the only reason I have it. I have been coming along well with learning it, but have a long way to go. I'd be curious to see that 'add' to see what they are referring to. Did you mean add-on, or advertisement? Can you provide a link? You can always email it to me so it is not promoting something other than TurboCAD here. dcheke@sasktel.net

* June 18, 2011, 09:07:00 AM
Thanks a bunch, Don.
Those look great. Gives me some ideas.
I generally keep all the instructions and such on my website, so PDF format is really all that I need for these. I never ship instructions with the products. One reason is they are all pretty much custom made to fit different saws. Another is that the design has changed quite a bit from my first model over the years. Having the info available on the site insures that everyone has the latest information. Not to mention it reduces the cost to them and it's a little greener that way as well.

I use Photo Impact, Corel and Flash, so I should be able to come up with something. The simpler, the better though.
I did locate that email ad. It was SW Express newsletter that the offer was in. I will send you the link.
I cannot afford SW either. I am much two small a business with only two full time employees.
TurboCad has allowed me to do what I need to do rather inexpensively.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 09:08:52 AM by Leeway »


June 18, 2011, 09:26:36 AM
I did locate that email ad. It was SW Express newsletter that the offer was in. I will send you the link.

I got your email with the link. Thanks for sending it.

* June 19, 2011, 05:38:33 AM
Don, regarding your interest in organic modeling, have you trialled t-splines' tselements SW plug-in?  I've used the Rhino version, and I think it's a pretty good thing. 


June 19, 2011, 06:02:54 AM
Don, regarding your interest in organic modeling, have you trialled t-splines' tselements SW plug-in?  I've used the Rhino version, and I think it's a pretty good thing. 

I haven't Murray. It has been hard finding enough time to dig too far into all the possibilities in SW. I have mostly concentrated on straight forward solid modeling as that how I am mostly working with it at this point. I have ordered some more advanced training materials that will help me delve further into the program. After that, I may have a look at some of the available plug-ins.

June 24, 2011, 02:25:52 PM
It sounds to me like you're refering to to SW's ability to create "Exploded Views".  That's a feature of SW out of the box and not an Add-On.  It can be a useful tool for just such activities as creating assembly instructions.  However, Solidworks can do this  because of the way that it handles assemblies versus the way TurboCAD handles assemblies.  The SW equivalent to TC would be to always use constraints to build assemblies and always use x-refs for each and every part in the assembly. SW also creates a new configuration for the exploded view of the assembly while leaving the non-exploded view in the original configuration.  I can't think of an alternative in TC for this since it can't save different configurations for the same assembly or part model.  It would be a nice feature and perhaps something for the wish list for TC. The TC drafting pallette is a powerful tool that I'm learning more and more about. Perhaps it could be utilized to create an exploded view in a drawing.


* June 24, 2011, 03:16:54 PM
Exploded views are fairly simple in TC. Getting the different views is fairly simple as well. I just had to think some about how I wanted to handle it.
What I would be doing I think is to print the wanted views into PDF and then add text and arrange. TC prints a rendered or non rendered view to pdf easily.
That is the route I am playing with so far. My big issue is needing to buy a version of the PDF maker.
Can't do much with the express version.