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    I think were all trapped by our past. Since we all learned Autocad with the command line we feel more comfortable talking to it through the command line. I work at a local community college and the current students grew up on a graphical user interface. To them the command line is just a screen hog. They are faster with the icons and the mouse than anyone could type the commands. Inventor 2011 is even better since most of the work can be done in the Drawing area with context sensitive menues and icons. Parametric modeling is the way to go, it's just hard not to keep looking over your shoulder at the the good old days.

    Dave
    "updates always change the feature you need most. "


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    Acad has an abbreviation file for commands called ACAD.PGP.
    This file, as provided, is a useless bloated monstrosity. Luckily it can be edited in a text editor (like a CNC file). If the most common commands used are given single letter abbreviations, using the command line would be much faster than a mouse.

    Last edited by JimBoyce; 11-24-2010 at 04:12 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by JimBoyce View Post
    Acad has an abbreviation file for commands called ACAD.PGP.
    This file, as provided, is a useless bloated monstrosity. Luckily it can be edited in a text editor (like a CNC file). If the most common commands used are given single letter abbreviations, using the command line would be much faster than a mouse.
    Absolutely.

    Ease of Use and Ease of Learning are quite different things, but most people don't stop to consider that. I've written about it before on my blog:

    Ease of Use and Ease of Learning are Quite Different Things « SmoothSpan Blog

    We've gotten pretty good over the years at creating software that's easy to learn. You have to crack open a manual less and less. I will say that CAD programs in general are not up to the standards of most of the rest of the software world, but it's gotten better.

    Ease of use is really about efficiency for power users. Casual users care about ease of learning because they may relearn a program every time they use it. But some apps, and CAD is a good example, require pretty deep mastery.

    In many ways, the GUI mouse world forgot all about ease of use, thinking that ease of learning was better. I blame Microsoft (who wouldn't?). When they shipped their windows office apps, nobody really thought through very well how keyboard commands should work. How would we make them easier to remember? How would be make them easy to type? Having to take eyes off the screen to track down all the crazy keys to be pressed was a mess.

    Ironically, most people know the Mac shortcuts (Ctrl-X/C/V for the clipboard, for example) moreso than Windows even if they don't own a Mac.

    Don't sell the keyboard short. The mouse is great for getting into the neighborhood, but the keyboard is better for precision. "Bumping" your object into precise alignment or entering a measurement instead of trying to line it up with the grid somehow.

    Cheers,

    BW

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    I just a hour long discussion with IMAGINiT Technologies. They came by to try and explain the GUI changes Adesk has made over the years and to get me to reconsider kicking them to the curb. He admitted that the gooey ribbon kludge was in fact less efficient and was only implemented to flatten the learning curve. Something I've been saying for years. I said that since I had to learn a new interface I might as well go with SW. He had no answer. I find it amazing that they would spend that much time over just one seat.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Species8472 View Post
    We started a new company from the ashes of the old one. We transferred the Autodesk software to the new company but could not afford the whole suit of Inventor/MDT. So we got AcadLT and InventorLT. I can't believe that they are giving away InventorLT for only 210.00 per seat. IMHO Inventor sucks bad almost as bad as SW2010. I'd love to get back to MDT.

    Does the whole world also think the same as me about Inventor vs. MDT and is that why they giving it away for almost nothing?
    Autodesk quit supporting MDT for about a decade, have you been under a rock? Just kidding, I used MDT before it was called Mechanical Desktop. It was called Mechanical Designer, or was it simply Designer? Anyway, many years ago I complained about the change from MDT to Inventor since Autodesk gave Inventor away for free because nobody wanted to convert to it.

    After that, I switched jobs and have been using Solidworks for many years and there were times that I missed MDT. Namely the superior equations that MDT is capable of. I have a copy of MDT around here somewhere, and even the awesome AutoPol, which runs circles around the sheetmetal functionality in SW today even though AutoPol is very old.

    That said, I wouldn't want to go back to MDT. Out of curiosity, how long did you use SW 2010? What didn't you like about it? Modeling is fast if you use mouse gestures and the "s" key, and if you don't want to use parametric modeling, you can turn on instant 3D and drag faces and features around.



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    I've used ACAD starting with r2. Used to develop lots of DCL and LISP routines, then VB and C routines up until ACAD2004. My PGP was sacred, and I could draft circles around folks that were tied to screen icons.
    Never needed/had a reason to use MDT. Dabbled with it now & then, but doing piping & steel design, MDT didn't seem to add much to my equation. Not bashing it, just never brought it into my workflow.

    I switched to Inventor with IV9, and haven't looked back. It was a painful first year, trying to figure out ways to get back up as fast as I was with ACAD. The bottom line for me was learning to work with a parametric workflow. It's more than just a buzzword, it's being able to visualize which parameters will be key design elements, and then building a model that leverages those. Once you cross that hurdle, productivity begins to increase exponentially. 5 years after switching, I can't imagine having to go back to AutoCAD. Inventor also has single-key alias commands, as well as customizable confirmation messages - if they get in your way, turn them off Also, a programmable 3D controller in left hand and the mouse in the right makes a world of difference.

    Re: Solidworks / Inventor / Alibre / WhateverCAD....
    None of them 'suck'. They're all very powerful programs - frankly a bargain considering how much you get. Good God.... sheet metal? Stress analysis? Dynamic Simulation? Piping? Content libraries? Rendering? Animations? Drawings? Oh yeah, and they're pretty good at modeling, too. They all have their quirks, but if you pick any one of them and invest the time to become proficient, they'll be worth it. Yes, the ribbon interface is there for folks who don't want to become power users. But it doesn't need to get in your way it you want to move fast.

    Lastly, with re: to rumors of Autodesk's terminal illness.... *shrug* I wouldn't say so, no. They continue to make phenomonal acquisitions, and incorporate new technologies and new products into their suites. So do other companies, but I'd say ADesk is pretty well positioned for the forseeable future. I'd like to see them simplify some of the product matrix a bit. MDT was a very capable product, but it was a chapter who's time has passed. I expect anything MDT could do, Inventor, SWX or Alibre could do better, given a chance.
    Good luck



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    Quote Originally Posted by dshowalt View Post
    I think were all trapped by our past. Since we all learned Autocad with the command line we feel more comfortable talking to it through the command line. I work at a local community college and the current students grew up on a graphical user interface. To them the command line is just a screen hog. They are faster with the icons and the mouse than anyone could type the commands. Inventor 2011 is even better since most of the work can be done in the Drawing area with context sensitive menues and icons. Parametric modeling is the way to go, it's just hard not to keep looking over your shoulder at the the good old days.
    I agree; to many who move to SW from ACAD, it is a difficult transition and they complain about how much faster the command line is. I've heard many complain about it, yet I also know some who never learned ACAD in college. They learned Solidedge or SW and if they had to do something in an ACAD clone, they complained how kludgy it was.

    I guess it may be what tool you are more familiar with. By the way, SW DOES have a command line, which it has to help new users wean from ACAD. Keeping it off is the best way to learn SW though.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is Autodesk dieing-solidworks-2d-emulator-jpg  


  8. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNC Lurker View Post
    I guess it may be what tool you are more familiar with.
    That's why I do all my modelling in AutoCAD. I only use a handful of aliases, and leave the command line off (although it's always on with Dynamic Input). I use a single custom toolbar, and an extensive right click menu.
    Familiarity = Speed.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is Autodesk dieing-new-z-carriage-6-jpg   Is Autodesk dieing-new-z-carriage-7-jpg   Is Autodesk dieing-new-z-carriage-8-jpg  
    Gerry

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  9. #21
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    "Out of curiosity, how long did you use SW 2010?"

    Almost 3 years.


    What didn't you like about it?"

    One thing SW has I like is the "Delete all Relations button". I hate how everything has to be linked to make it happy. It is truly a waste of time setting all these links when i almost never go back to use them. If I need to change something it's never on an existing link. Unless you are psychic there is no way to predict what future changes will require. So you have to delete one link and make another and hope to god don't you move something else or break the assm. completely. Even small assm. can have 100 mates/relations. That's an insane amount of overhead for something i don't use. So I'm better off just deleting them as soon as I can. The interfaces of current cad software are made to flatten the learning curve not to be efficient. So in the end everything takes longer.


    "I guess it may be what tool you are more familiar with. By the way, SW DOES have a command line, which it has to help new users wean from ACAD. Keeping it off is the best way to learn SW though."

    Not anymore the plugin has been discontinued for x64 versions.



    "Re: Solidworks / Inventor / Alibre / WhateverCAD....
    None of them 'suck'."

    They all suck just in different ways.


    "sheet metal? Stress analysis? Dynamic Simulation? Piping? Content libraries? Rendering? Animations?"

    Don't use any of that junk but I'm burdened with its overhead.

    Last edited by Species8472; 08-11-2011 at 09:06 AM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    That's why I do all my modelling in AutoCAD. I only use a handful of aliases, and leave the command line off (although it's always on with Dynamic Input). I use a single custom toolbar, and an extensive right click menu.
    Familiarity = Speed.
    Your models are very impressive! Have you built it yet or does it only exist in a virtual world at the moment?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Species8472 View Post
    "Out of curiosity, how long did you use SW 2010?"

    Almost 3 years.


    What didn't you like about it?"

    One thing SW has I like is the "Delete all Relations button". I hate how everything has to be linked to make it happy. It is truly a waste of time setting all these links when i almost never go back to use them. If I need to change something it's never on an existing link. Unless you are psychic there is no way to predict what future changes will require. So you have to delete one link and make another and hope to god don't you move something else or break the assm. completely. Even small assm. can have 100 mates/relations. That's an insane amount of overhead for something i don't use. So I'm better off just deleting them as soon as I can. The interfaces of current cad software are made to flatten the learning curve not to be efficient. So in the end everything takes longer.
    Did you ever get any training in SW? It's hard to believe anybody used SW for for that long and still found it cumbersome. What do you mean by "links"?

    One doesn't have to be psychic to understand design intent. If you build anything for awhile, you start to know or expect what will get changed. Even though I have a licensed version of Sketchup, Solidworks is still my number one go-to program at home also.

    A friend is considering building a CNC router like the one I posted above. After double-clicking some dimensions and maybe changing some patterns, I'll have a new set of drawings that updated automatically with corresponding BOMs. Re-using models and drawings will get the job done much faster than starting from scratch and using shortcut keys.



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    "Did you ever get any training in SW?"

    Oh yeah. I know how they want you to do it. I'm saying that relations/mates are for the most part a waste of time creating. The deeper you go into an assm. the greater the danger of unintended consequences. Building all the relations/mates will at some point bite you in the butt. Then you will have to spend time trying to figure out what's conflicting. Only engineers that develop product lines of families of parts that have specific parameters that change frequently benefit from parametrics. It sure is a cute dog and pony show to see your clamps opening and closing or have all the geo update when a change is made but creating/maintaining all those relations/mates takes time.



    "One doesn't have to be psychic to understand design intent. If you build anything for awhile, you start to know or expect what will get changed. "

    Yes you do. Try modifying someone else's design. You have no freaking idea of their mind set. Put Cicely Tyson Psychic Friends on speed dial.



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