2.24.2009 (Monday) – Day 34 –
Alibre CAD accommodates the best of both worlds when working in 2D or 3D sketch mode. So much of the way it works just feels natural. That doesn’t mean I’m not struggling to find some features but when I learn the procedure is makes sense. For instance, I’m used to specifying accurate positions for drawing elements as I place them in other CAD systems. With Alibre I sketch out the general shape first then through the use of dimensions the drawing starts transforming into the precise figure I’m wanting. To top it off, these dimensions can be entered in the form of equations that allow the entire part to be resized by changing a few constraining dimension values.
Designing in the Sheet Metal Workspace is almost magical by creating folded parts from out of thin air. When you identify a surface then an edge where the bend takes place the folded part just appears. When you create a new sheet metal part you should review the properties settings to specify the material type and thickness you’re working with. You can adjust the K-Factor value associated with the material so it accurately includes any additional material needed to represent an acutal bend properly. Once everything is folded up as in the Labyrinth Game Platform’s Corner Closeout shown above you can unfold everything to get the sheet size and pattern to construct the part from.
My first attempt at modeling the corner closeout piece is close to the part I’m wanting to build but still needs some work. I have a couple of end pieces with chamfered corners that aren’t wanted. I still have some things to learn about controlling the chamfer tool or learning a different way to remove material from the part.