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Old guy learns Free CAD - cargo drawer box

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alabamatoy View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 January 2020 at 10:52am
There are several free CAD tools available out there.  I have been using and learning Sketchup.  There are several reasons for this
1 - My Daughter uses it (the pro version) in her work as an architect, so I have a tutor, albeit somewhat reluctantly.
2 - Sketchup Web is totally through a web browser, so it can be used on any computer, which means I can leverage my wife's hand-me-down humongous laptop* that wont run Windows, or diddle on it from my work computer during lunch, etc.
3 - I have tried a few others and while they may offer more capability, I was largely befuddled by their complexity.  I was befuddled by Sketchup at first also, but Ashley enlightened me.

So I have been working on a cargo drawer box for the 4Runner.  It will replace the massive plastic box that seemed to accumulate junk and was becoming increasingly difficult for me to use due to its high liftover height.

Here's what the box looks like at this point:


Here is just the lower drawer, which I plan to use just for tools, probably with some foam cutouts to keep stuff from crashing around under way:


Here is the upper drawer, which will be for parts and other odds and ends.


The big thick bars that are horizontal in the first drawing are the 250lb drawer slides.

Sketchup Pro has tools to produce a component listing, which is essentially a Bill of Materials.  Ashley is going to pull that for me.  The design of the structure is 3/4" tube and the drawers are 1/2" tube.  The BoM should come out as a "cut list" so all I gotta do is wear out the horizontal bandsaw making the pieces, then weld everything together.

I plan to use Sketchup to design my various pieces of 16ga sheetmetal, which I hope Ashley can export to a CAD file format that John Griffin can import into his plasma and cut all the sheetmetal to size.  If not, I can cut them with my HF power shears (which actually works pretty darn well).

* Kari had a huge old Dell notebook on which the wireless network card died.  It was one of those wretched Windows 8 boxes that was intended to be upgraded to Windows 10 once it came out.  Windows 10 simply never worked right on it, and it was a constant source of problems for her.  After months of calling me all sorts of embarassing things since I couldn't fix the damned PC, she bought another PC for herself.  I loaded Ubuntu desktop 18.04 on big old one. It is amazingly fast and stable now, but I have to use a USB wifi dongle since the internal NIC failed.  Its got a massive display, which is great for this kind of CAD work.  Ubuntu works very well on old hardware that struggles to support modern Windows.


Edited by alabamatoy - 12 January 2020 at 10:58am
"If you didnt buy your 1st gen 4Runner new, then YOU are a newbie!!"

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cj8lvr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 January 2020 at 8:27am
That's pretty cool. 
I might need to find some time learning this Sketchup software.
In my last job before going out on my own with CartoTracks, the company supported sending me to a class to learn Solidworks.  It was pretty a pretty intensive class but very effective and I came out with a pretty good proficiency in that software.  I used it to re-create some older 2D CAD drawings the engineers had created in Microstation (an Intergraph software - see first job out of college using this software to make maps).  It's not a simple- push button, make drawing, that's for sure!

Anyway, useful tools.
I use CAD often in my garage these days fabricating things for the Jeep.  
You know, Cardboard Aided Design!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 83K10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 January 2020 at 6:10pm
Fusion 360 is a good cad software. It's free to hobby guys. It's fairly similar to solidworks. It's much better for part designs than sketchup if it's parts to be cnc plasma cut or machined. There's a huge following for it with days upon days of how to videos. It's what we use in our shop for all our machined parts. 

Doc,
If you want to skin the outside of that box, have Ashley put the bend lines on on the drawing and we can cut it out to bend in the sheet metal brake. It will cut down a lot on the welding or make it have smooth edges. We can even use the plasma table to mark the bend lines. I need a dxf file format of the part itself without anything extra in there with it. 


Edited by 83K10 - 15 January 2020 at 6:20pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alabamatoy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 2:11pm
Originally posted by 83K10 83K10 wrote:

Fusion 360 is a good cad software. It's free to hobby guys. It's fairly similar to solidworks. It's much better for part designs than sketchup if it's parts to be cnc plasma cut or machined. There's a huge following for it with days upon days of how to videos. It's what we use in our shop for all our machined parts.
No disagreement on any of that.  I actually have Fusion360 on my W7 notebook.  But I want to get away from Microsoft Windows.  They are slowly transitioning to a subscription pricing model, and I'll be damned if I am going rent their crappy software.  Microsoft is doing some things that I believe are just WRONG, like putting advertising and games (with ads built in as well) in their operating system, and you have to PAY to remove them....and in fact, individuals (as of right now) cannot buy the Enterprise version that lets you get out of the ads and games.  They also are forcing you to accept patches and updates whether you want them or not, so they can shove a patch up yer arse that will break other apps you have running and there's not a damned thing you can do about it.  This is how other apps will force you to buy updates.

Sketchup works fine in my Ubuntu.

Originally posted by 83K10 83K10 wrote:

If you want to skin the outside of that box, have Ashley put the bend lines on on the drawing and we can cut it out to bend in the sheet metal brake. It will cut down a lot on the welding or make it have smooth edges. We can even use the plasma table to mark the bend lines. I need a dxf file format of the part itself without anything extra in there with it. 


Actually, I had planned to "skin" the drawers, but not the outside.  I was going to use plywood for the outside.  Sketchup (like every other CAD tool) lets you store stuff in a drawing on different layers, so I was going to put the sheetmetal for the drawers on another level and get Ashley to export that to DXF for your plasma.  Its one click to turn on or off a layer, that's how I showed the structure without the drawers....each one is on a different layer.
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