Posts with tag: ‘drawings’

The evolution of design intent (drawings are dead, drafting is not)

It's been about a year since we boldly declared drawings dead, and despite citing some major caveats about the accessibility of enabling tools, the conversation nonetheless sparked a wee bit of controversy. A strong theme in that conversation focused on how classically drafted information critical to the design (tolerances, material specifications, surface treatments, finishes, etc.) can possibly remain readily accessible in an all-digital future. Especially difficult to imagine was how someone on the shop floor trying to run an inspection could possibly be hassled with all this new-fangled PMI garbage by fumbling a tablet from “those $%@# engineers.”

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Engineering Drawings are Dead. Now What?

So that last article was rather frightening for some, you know, with the zombies and the whole thing with engineering drawings not being alive and all that. For some, it was downright traumatic. Many have rightly pointed out that cost constraints and the limitations of today's tools make Model Based Engineering (MBE) seem like an impossibly far off dream. Yet the value of evolving engineering documentation to its logical next step seems clear. So the question remains: how can we possibly get there from here? Read the rest of this entry »

Engineering Drawings are Dead

CAD has largely replaced the engineering drawing – embrace the change.

The era of hand-drawn engineering illustrations has come and gone. Yet so much of the engineering community both far and wide seem to hopelessly cling to the past. Of course, we're talking about engineering drawings. And yes, it's time for the drawing to die. But just like those pesky zombies on AMC’s hit TV show about failed team dynamics, it seems engineering drawings keep coming back to life. If we're not careful they'll eat our brains. Someone get me a shotgun. Read the rest of this entry »

At a loss for words? Not a problem with sketches in the 3D Viewer!

When we announced our 3D Viewer a few months ago, we were excited to introduce a new way to collaborate with other engineers. Now we bring you the next evolution of our 3D Viewing Experience - sketches.

The Power of Pins, Comments, and Sketches

You already use pins in our 3D viewer to communicate right on the geometry. While comments are great, there are some things words cannot fully express especially when dealing with 3D models.

Ever have problems describing your suggestions for a CAD project? Instead of sending written descriptions to your collaborators, sketches allow you to show your collaborators exactly what you mean. The great thing about pins is you can can point to exactly where in the geometry you are talking about. Comments and sketches in pins put the conversation in one place, making it easier to collaborate than ever before.

Have an idea for making a model look better? Draw it right on the model.

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One patent drawing says more than a thousand claims

There is a lot of inventing going on in the world. The U.S Patent and Trademark Office granted 219 614 patents in 2010 alone. This is 602 patents a day, 25 patents and hour, one patent almost every other minute. Americans are the champions, but there are thousands of inventors from Japan, Germany, South-Korea, France, Canada, Taiwan, UK that go through the usually long and painful process of filing a patent every year.

While it probably isn't surprising that big corporations such as Sony, Samsung, Nike, Canon, the computer giants or automobile monsters have teams of experts specifying and writing hundreds of patents every day, almost third of all granted patents go to individual inventors. If I were living in San Jose, Rochester, San Francisco, New York, or Orange County, inventing something at the moment? would be my staple question while networking at conferences or helping a neighbour to move in. These are the places many inventions are coming from, according to the numbers at least. The same goes for studying either in UCLA, MIT, CIT, Stanford or Texas (the top patenting universities in the U.S).

Then again, if you are reading this and work in semiconductor, transistor, internal-combustion engines, optical systems, metal working or land vehicles industries, you likely have a patent or two on your name already and are familiar with the process.

For those concepting the new wheel, the long, often painful (and expensive!) sequence of activities looks something like this: you describe your invention, do a patent analysis to make sure no one else has already come up with the same idea, draw a picture of your product, apparatus, device, system, article, process or method, write up the list of claims about your invention, let the patent attorney formalize the application and file it. Then hold your breath for a year or two and if all goes as planned, eventually have a patent infringement-free sleep.

The good news (or where GrabCAD is making the inventors and patent lawyers' lives easier, if just a little bit) - we do proper patent drawings based on any sketches or ones that might have already been included in the provisional patent applications. Simply go to the ordering page and get the technical drawings needed in 48 hours.

Naturally, we care about the quality and confidentiality and how to best guarantee them. To have the most frequent questions answered, read more on our FAQ page.

Hobby series vol 6 – showing off drawing skills

After we updated our service forms a while ago, we’ve received some interesting queries for turning users' sketches into technical drawings, 3D magic, photorealistic images or all of the above. Sometimes working with drawn sketches can be rather time consuming, but other times the pencil drawings can be so well made that there's nothing else to do but be in awe and jealous of the talent. All this got us inspired this time to take a weekend look at sketching, with pencil, old school style.

Bicycle pedal detail by Andrew Paquette

Bicycle pedal detail by Andrew Paquette

The example above was posted in the Requests' list by Camilo Parra Palacio a while ago that got the discussion going of how useful it is even for an engineer to have an excellent drawing skill. Benjamin Garson, the latest engineer under spotlight admitted, too, in the interview that 'nothing will replace papersheets and pencil if you want to design fast and efficiently'. How much do your Koh-i-Noor Hardtmuth 2H or HB get used? Prefer ink? Colour or black and white? Any strong favourites among brands? Plain white or squared paper? iPad taking over?

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3D Printing Challenge – the sprint is on

The countdown has started. Only five more days to go until Friday evening when we'll ring the bell and start picking the three winner drawings that will get printed out by some of the leading 3D printing service providers. So upload your drawings if you haven't already, support your favourites by leaving comments and  encourage all the other engineers you know to sign up and participate. You really have only five days left to win the first GrabCAD competition!

To give you some inspiration and boost to compete, here are some more CAD files that have caught our attention and have a fair chance of being selected to test out some 3D printers:

A PC fan by Florin:

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3D Printing Challenge still in full swing

All the first 1000 grabcadders - one big cheer for the company, comments, content and coolness you all provide here. We've had a good run but so many exciting things and developments to come that it is so worth to stick around and spread the word to get even more engineers joining GrabCAD.

3d printing challenge

To keep up the fire here's a quick update on the 3D print challenge:

  • There are more than 400 files in the Library that absolutely insist on being chosen for testing the advanced and more advanced 3D printers out there. Leave your vote and opinion in the comments of the files you like.
  • To increase your chances of getting your drawing printed, upload something smaller, ideally within 100x100x100 mm range (as much as we'd like to do it now, printing out living room furniture or cranes will have to wait for GrabCAD's king-size space-scale office :)).
  • Also, to make the life more interesting for all of us, tag your file with '3DPrinting' and we guarantee that the comments and votes will follow.
  • There's still 11 DAYS TO GO!

Here are some very different examples that have caught our eyes:

Some bike parts for the cycling fanatics.

MTB front hub by Alexey Yukish

The legendary Brain Gear from the first engineer in the spotlight.

Brain Gear by Scott Bruins

Brain Gear by Scott Bruins

And something completely winterish.

Koshflake by Paul Smith

Koshflake by Paul Smith

Upload your drawing that you want to see in 3D and your model could be in our next blog post getting all the attention.