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2. Computer aided Design (CAD)


  • Model (raster, vector, 2D, 3D, render, animate, simulate, etc.) a possible final project


I have only ever used Fusion360 in my previous engineering courses. In this course, we watched a video from Kevin Kennedy’s YouTube playlist “Learn Autodesk Fusion360 in 30 Days” on how to make a Lego brick (link). This was a very simple design, so I though it would be appropriate as a bit of a reference point to compare the different softwares

Fusion360 (3D + Render)

I am very comfortable with Fusion360, so this Lego brick was very easy to make. I have also included a rendering

xDesign by SolidWorks (3D)

I thought this program was relatively similar to Fusion360. The only big difference is the organization of the software. There were clear subsections of actions such as “Sketch” or “Features”, but when you were in that subsection it was difficult to identify each tool. In Fusion, each tool has the small icon and the name so it can never get confused, but with xDesign, I had to hover my house over each icon if I did not recognize it or its purpose. I’m sure I will get used to this the more I use the software, but there was definitely a learning curve.

FreeCAD (3D)

I did not like this software very much. I understand that I obviously did not spend much time exploring it, although I just did not find the interface as user-friendly as the others. I didn’t find the subsections very intuitive since there were more than 20 subsections.

Tinkercad (3D)

Here are the photos of me the Lego brick I built in Tinkercad. Tinkercad is obviously a very rudimentary program and is good for very simple 3D-prints like boxes, but really isn’t equipped with the tools to make something even a little bit more complex like a Lego.

Inkscape (Vector)

This is a photo of an acrylic sign I made last year. The idea was to engrave the logo of NASA (with all the extra details lke the stars) and then cut that part of the acrylic completely out. The final product is displayed underneath

ImageMagick (Raster)

I used ImageMagick to resize all of my images for this week and I will continue to use this software in the future. It was very easy to use and it take less than a minute of each image which is great considering the amount of photos we will end up having. When resizing images, there is an option to do either the dimensions in terms of pixels (eg. 500 x 200) or you can also do percentages of the original image (length = 50% of original length). I prefer using the percentages to resize images since I can easily estimate the new file size based on the original file


This is the link for all the files for this week


For fear that we would not return to attending school in person, Mr. Dubick ordered us each a 3D-printer and a CNC machine to have at home. We had testing one day and were done at about 1:30 so we decided to assemble both of the two machines in one afternoon. These are the photos I took while building them and also some things I made using them


CNC machine