Home Shop Machinists Podcast – Episode 19 – CAD

In this episode learn that Pretzel sticks are universal and one of the snacks that perhaps we home shop machinists can use to break down modern day barriers.  Or maybe join Max and have some good old fashion Americana Ritz crackers and join the 3 of us talk about CAD – a subject that we could did talk about for hours.

Some of the things we talk about include:

And much more!  You can listen to it here:

or you can download it directly.

Subscribe in iTunes (and please rate us!): https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/home-shop-machinists-podcast/id1180854521

Max’s website: The Joy of Precision and also his Youtube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdMt_havo3BxZJscvRCOGcw Max’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joyofprecision/.  Also be sure to check out Max’s Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/joyofprecision

Stefan Gotteswinter (our occasional host!) website: http://www.gtwr.de/  and also his Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/syyl  Stefan’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefan_gtwr/

Justin’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/thecogwheel  Justin’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thecogwheel/

17 thoughts on “Home Shop Machinists Podcast – Episode 19 – CAD

  1. Really enjoyed the podcast and I’m happy to hear you’re planning more.

    I’m no Fusion 360 expert, but I don’t understand why you can’t build each of your components in a file and then assemble them in another. I simply insert previously built components from other files into my assembly file and position them. I’ve never used any other CAD software, so maybe I’m missing something important about the process that you are looking for.


    1. Hi Ken. Glad you enjoyed the show. I think you can do exactly as you say but I think the “approved” Fusion workflow is to build everything in one model. I can’t source where I heard that from but I’m pretty sure it is buried in their video documentation somewhere.


  2. Thanks for the podcast. One dead cad horses indeed 😀. If robin is the persuasive force it won’t take a lot of guessing who your beeping out….and I am looking forward to hearing him on the podcast. At some point an episode with robin Stefan and the bleep person….let them free run and sit back and enjoy…..


  3. I really tried to like FreeCAD and I’m not going to give up on it yet but Stefan is right, it’s not usable in any productive setting. Even for the home gamer it causes way to many frustrations. I modeled a simple stepper motor adapter plate as my very first CAD project ever. I was really proud of myself having accomplished this. A few days later I wanted to open the file again to gaze upon my creation and FreeCAD just burped a nondescript error message, marked the part with an warning symbol and refused to render the thing.
    After removing one feature at a time until it worked again and having a good thought about it I came to the conclusion that I phracked up on one sketch, having produced a circular reference between bolt holes. Thats a mistake on my part, no doubt, but FreeCAD LET ME do that without saying anything, only producing an error when parsing the file again. And the error message did not help AT ALL with debugging.
    So I think FreeCAD could be awesome if the developers concentrated more on the core functionality, mechanincal CAD and usability instead of investing energy in niche applications (“ships building workbench”…nuff said).
    All things considered it is the most promising attempt at a professional grade parametric 3D CAD freeware. It’s a very ambitious undertaking given the complexity of those kinds of programs. I would very much like the FreeCAD team to succeed eventually.
    Meanwhile I’m still debating If I’m really ready to sell my soul (and data) to Autodesk for Fusion 360.


    1. It definitely is still in alpha stage. A properly done 3D CAD program is significantly more work than even an operating system. I noticed this the first time I installed Solidworks over 10 years ago when it shipped with 6 CDs or something like that. Windows XP was still on 1 CD.


  4. Assuming the personal use version of Solid Edge is the same as the professional version, it’s way ahead of Fusion (and I think superior to SolidWorks) in terms of modeling, drawings and assemblies. There is no CAM or FEA (in the standard version) but models can be imported to Fusion or another CAM package.


    1. Hi Jeff! Thanks for the comment. I used Solid Edge 10 years ago and I really liked it. It was more stable than Solidworks and Inventor. Doesn’t Solid Edge actually have the same Parasolid kernel as Solid Edge? Dassault for years has been trying to get a new kernel into Solidworks to avoid paying their competitor.


      1. Hi Justin. At one time, yes, SolidWorks used the parasolid kernal owned (developed?) by Solid Edge. I’m not certian but I don’t think that is still the case.


  5. Good to have you chaps back. It was a long drought. 1.) I am not seeing any free Solid Edge offering in any version. Can you provide a link? 2.) I understand that the EAA membership version of Solidworks is the same as the student version…. and it is *free* with membership. (EAA membership is $40) 3.) I miss the old intro song and the intro “highlight” at the beginning of the podcast. What is the advantage of streaming live on Google? No editing?



    1. Thanks Hans. We are using Zencastr – a web based podcast application that is hopefully going to streamline editing for me. I spent a significant amount of the time in the past (poorly) editing podcasts just to get them up. Hopefully going forward we can use Zencastr or something else to get episodes out more quickly. Yes the EAA version of Solidworks is the student version that watermarks your drawings but you get the full simulation package included (not sure on CAM). It is an exceptional deal if you don’t do any professional work.


  6. Also, I have used Draftsight for 2-D drafting at home in the past. It is free from Dassault Systemes (Solidworks) but requires an annual re-activation. It is very similar to Autocad. While I agree that there is an enormous design chasm between 2D drafting tools and 3D solid modellers (I use Solidworks in my vocation), I would respectfully disagree with Stefan and Max that 2D drafting is no better than using a pencil and paper. There are significant advantages to 2D drafting CAD over manual drafting if you are using it in the design process itself…..i.e. you are iterating geometry whilst you are drawing. Of course, if there are free or low-cost 3D modellers available with drawing capabilities, then it becomes a moot point.

    Here is my $.02 on the strategy of Autodesk with respect to Fusion 360. The writing is on the wall. The days of CAD companies charging thousands of dollars per year for their products with additional maintenance fees is coming to an end….probably within 10 years. Autodesk knows this and that is why they are experimenting with Fusion 360. (This was actually quite surprising to me since Autodesk is the most egregious offender when it comes to license fees and terms.) But they have yet to figure out the business model so we can expect some future changes.

    I am still holding out hope that a solid, full featured, open-source option becomes available. One obstacle to this is that most folks in that sphere tend to be in the “Maker” community. They have little use for tolerancing or drawings or FEA. They like to go direct from modeling to making….which usually means 3D printing. It may require a cadre of disciplined engineers to take an open-source 3D modeler and add the features that are needed by engineers.


    1. I used Autocad for a few years at the start of my professional career and it was very useful – I agree with you. It is even more useful to me because I can’t really draw all that well. When I look at old hand drawn drawings I just stand there in awe and realize how poor my manual drafting skills are. In fact I think a good 2D CAD package will handle 80% of what you do in the home machine shop. 3D design is great but most of the stuff I do could be tackled with a good 2D program (like Draftsight which I also use) Autodesk is notorious for changing the terms of their products – and they have already done so numerous times with Fusion. We Fusion users like to think we are important to Autodesk but the reality is if they get in a new CEO who wants to go in a different direction they could pull the plug and flush the entire Fusion user base down the toilet with little to no impact to their bottom line. AutoCAD is still their money maker and most professional shops utilize Inventor, Revit etc. I don’t think Autodesk will do that this time but history suggests otherwise.


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