# Blog

Computer-Aided Design as known as CAD is the use of computer technology to assist in engineering design. Engineers or designers use computers to generate and compute a design and study.

CAD technology is widely used in a variety of industry such as such as manufacturing, architecture, engineering, aerospace, automotive, fashion,…etc. Many CAD applications also are able to do an advanced engineering in numerical simulation such as finite element analysis, motion study, computer fluid dynamics, thermal analysis, …etc.

CAD software is a part of engineering tools. So, here is a shortlist of 30 CAD applications with the basic use and particularity of the software, which are:

AutoCAD is part of Autodesk products. In the beginning, AutoCAD is a 2D CAD-based software that allows engineers to create technical drawings, drafts, floorplan, and blueprints. Nowadays, it is still popular with its powerful tools for 2D drafting with the standard extension files dwg files which stand as drawing, mostly used in CAD. Moreover, we can create a 3D model in AutoCAD.

AutoCAD is available as a desktop application on Windows and Mac, and as a mobile application on Android and iOs.

Similar to AutoCADTurboCAD, especially TurboCAD Designer is a 2D CAD-Based software. Really powerful with its variety of tools of drafting. It is marketed by IMSI/Design. There are any other TurboCAD product for 3D design.

TurboCAD is available as a desktop application on Windows and Mac.

LibreCAD is available as a desktop application on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

OpensCAD is a 3D modelling software totally different from AutoCAD or TurboCAD or LibreCAD. Instead of an interactive graphic interface, you will create a design by programming. One of the key advantages of OpensCAD is the ability of creating a very complex design using parametric design, a method that allows user to play with mathematical expression rather than manually adjusting geometry.

OpensCAD is available as a desktop application on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

### Inventor

Inventor is part of Autodesk products. It is one of the most popular, versatile, and powerful 3D CAD applications for creating mechanical designs, simulation, and prototyping. It can provide a very details technical drawing.

Inventor is available as a desktop application on Windows and Mac with a variety of versions including basic level, ultimate, and professional options.

### Fusion360

Like Inventor, fusion360 is part of Autodesk products. It is a 3D CAD, CAM, and CAE software. One of its particularities is the existence of data management capabilities for team. Furthermore, Fusion360 is one of the best software for reverse engineering.

Inventor is a cloud-based application on Windows and Mac available in Free and Paid versions.

### Solidworks

Like Inventor and fusion360, Solidworks is a powerful 3D CAD software. It is marketed by the Dassault system. Knowledge of Solidworks is one of the most demanded skills, especially for Junior Designer. One particularity of Solidworks is the wide range of add-ins that covers almost all industries such as Solidworks Electrical, Solidworks Plastic, Solidworks PCB, Solidworks Composer, Solidworks simulation, …etc. There are a lot of Solidworks contributors also who provide Add-ins to simplify work using the application. For example,  Power Surfacing for reverse engineering, SolidSteel for structural design, …etc.

Solidworks is a desktop application on Windows. There are a lot of version you can choose including premium, professional, an standard version. You can test it for free. You can see a guide here

### Catia

Like Inventorfusion360, and Solidworks, Catia is a powerful 3D CAD software. CATIA stands for Computer-Aided Three Interactive Application by the Dassault system. Catia is commonly used in automotive with its powerful Class A surface tool. Besides, it is a very good application for Reverse Engineering.

Catia is a desktop application on Windows. But you can use Both Solidworks, and Catia in 3D experience with other Dassault system products. It can be accessible on-Cloud once you have internet and a browser.

### NX

Like Inventor and SolidworksNX is one of the best versatile 3D CAD. NX, formerly known as Unigraphics NX or Next Generation Design is part of Siemens Product. It is often used in Aerospace and automotive because of its powerful surface tools. NX also has very good features for 3D design and transformation that rarely does it exist in other 3D software.

You can only use NX on windows

### Solid Edge

Like NX, Solid Edge is a very good 3D CAD Software. It is part of Siemens Product. It has advanced tools for 3D modeling and user friendly. As a Siemens Product, Solid Edge is widely used in mechanical engineering and machine design.

You can install Solid Edge on Windows.

### Parasolid

Like NX and Solid Edge , Parasolid is a 3D CAD Application. Nowadays, it is also part of Siemens Products. It is a kernel-based application. Parasolid is integrated by more than 130 software vendors with its extension files x_t and x_b data format. Parasolid can handle complex and large models with high precision.

Parasolid is a windows desktop application.

### TopSolid

TopSolid is one of a famous CAD, CAM and CAE product. Personally, it is the first 3D CAD I have used 15 years ago. It is very good for mechanical design and machine design with the advanced tools of motion study.

Top Solid is available as a desktop application on Windows.

### SpaceClaim

Ansys Spaceclaim is a 3D modelling software by ANSYS. It is a 3D CAD software with a direct modeling style. You can design something simple to a complex range, ready for numerical study.

SpaceClaim is only available on Windows.

### CREO

Similar to Inventor and Solidworks, PTC Creo is a powerful CAD software. It is commonly used in 3D modeling with its 3D features for machine design, furniture, and mechanical parts. Designers and engineers often use Creo for mold design.

PTC Creo is available on Windows.

### Onshape

Onshape is a Cloud-native based application for CAD and PDM. It is part of PTC program. As long as you have internet connection and browser, you will have access to Onshape for free.

Moreover, you can use Onshape with its mobile app for Android and iOS. And it is user-friendly.

FreeCAD is one of the most use parametric modeling software. The main reason why many people use FreeCAD is that it is a free Application. You can use FreeCAD for industrial as well as Architectural design, BIM, and even Basic FEA and CFD.

It is a free open-source application available on windows, linux and Mac.

### Salome

Like FreeCAD, Salome is free 3D CAD software and free. Salome goes deeper in engineering especially in FEA, structural mechanic, and CFD.

It is a free open-source application available on windows, Linux

### Design X

Geomagic Design X is one of the special applications for reverse engineering like CATIA and fusion360. It is a very powerful and optimized application for reverse engineering by turning mesh files into used CAD files.

It is a desktop based application available on windows.

### Revit

Revit is part of Autodesk products. It is Building Information Modeling stands for BIM. And it is part of CAD application for building, Architecture, HVAC, …etc

Revit is available as a desktop application on Windows

### BIM 360

Like Revit, BIM360 is part of Autodesk products. It is a BIM application mostly used in building

BIM360 is a cloud-based application.

This application is available on windows.

### Tekla

Like Revit and Archicad, Tekla is one of the most popular BIM applications. It is a 3D CAD application. You can use it to model buildings and structures.

Tekla is available as desktop application on windows.

### Vectorworks Architect

Vectorworks is one of CAD application that has powerful features. Vectorworks Architect is the ultimate software from sketch to BIM. There are other Vectorworks applications very useful that you can use and try to improve your works quality.

This application is available on windows.

### Allplan

Like Revit, Archicad and Vectorworks Architect, Allplan is one of the most used application for BIM. There are a lot of features including Architecture, Structural engineering and MEP.

This application is available on windows.

Like Revit, Archicad and Vectorworks Architect, you can try also DataCAD for your BIM project. Compared to professional BIM software, dataCAD is cheaper.

This application is available on windows.

For industrial engineer especially those who work and do electronic design, KiCAD is one of the best tools for PCB design. It is similar to Solidworks PCB.

This application is available on windows, Linux and Mac.

### Upverter

Like KiCAD, Upverter is a CAD application to help with electronics design and IoT. It is user-friendly with a lot of existing templates and a modular workspace. Furthermore, the drag-and-drop design method makes the work easy and quick.

This application is available on windows.

### Circuit Maker

Like KiCAD and Upverter, Circuit Maker is a CAD application for PCB design.

If you need to draw an electrical circuit for your project, Proficad is one of the best tools for that. Like Solidworks Electric, it is an Electrical CAD software. It is designed for drawing electrical and electronic diagrams, schematics, and circuit.

This application is available on windows.

### Etap

Like Proficad, Etap is a software tool for electrical design circuits. There is an advanced engineering feature with the application really useful for analysis.

This application is available on windows.

If you want to discover any other application, I have a list of 50 Computer-Aided Design Software.

If you want to know also a CAD application for industrial and mechanical engineering that you can use for free, you can see 5 software from here.

## Top 5 best freelance platform websites

Starting from 2020, because of Covid-19, remote work has become more popular. Freelancing grows up and many people, fresh graduate people and even students start their career as a Freelancer. In this article, I will give 5 websites that you can get a job as a Freelance.

Everyone needs a job. People should work and need money for life. The goal of each person who does freelancing is to do the work they love, earn money, and have more time for their own need such as family activities, personal businesses, …etc.

Freelance website, or freelance platform, is a place that people can search for a project. It is also a place where business people or individual people seek for a Freelancer to help them with their projects. So the 5 Websites for Freelancing are:

### Fiverr

I put Fiverr at the top of the list because it is the best platform for those who want to start in the freelance world. Besides, this is my preferred platform because I got almost all the projects I work on Fiverr.

On Fiverr, you show up your skills and sell your services as gigs. For example, I am a mechanical engineer, specializing in CAD design. Therefore, I sell a service of CAD design and mechanical engineering. So I am a seller. After that, people who need my services see your gigs and ask you if you can work on their projects. These are buyers.

On Fiverr, buyers find service sellers.

So, Fiverr is for selling services. Before, sellers could search for projects and apply on a “buyer request”. But Fiverr remove this feature recently and replace it with “best match”.

On Fiverr, you can use one account to sell your services and seek sellers. You can toggle between it easily.

To get started with Fiverr, it is better to follow some tips from experts. You can check the video below as an example.

### Upwork

Upwork is one of the most popular freelance websites. Personally, I got my first freelance project on Upwork. there are a lot of projects posted on Upwork every day.

Unlike Fiverr, you search for a project on Upwork and apply by sending a proposal. If the project owner finds that you are suitable for their project, you get hired and start working.

So, Upwork is for finding projects. One advantage of Upwork is that you can create a project catalog. Something similar to “Gigs” on Fiverr. Therefore, the Client also can hire you through this feature.

On Upwork, you sign up as Freelancer or as a Client in 2 separate accounts.

You can check the video to guide you with Upwork.

### Freelancer

Freelancer is the first freelance platform I discovered 10 years ago. It is still a popular freelance platform.

Freelance is almost similar to Upwork. You will find a project there and you will bid for it. And if clients find you are suitable for their project, you will get hired.

You can also take part in a contest there and you can earn money if you win.

Look at the video below to get inspired and take part of freelancer at freelancer.com

LinkedIn is more likely a social media. But, it is also one of the best places to find a project and get hired.

As a social media, make a social connection. Show your skills by posting something and being active.

Many fresh freelancer start their freelance journey on LinkedIn and they are success.

### Guru

Like freelancer and Upwork, you can find also projects at guru. There are people who post projects on guru. If it matches your skills, you can apply.

Compared with Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer; Guru is less popular than the 3 other platforms. Hence, it is the best option for those who start freelancing. You have a high chance to get your first freelancing project on guru.

Check out the video below to discover more about Guru.

All in all, if you are still hesitate or don’t know where to start, you can visit the 5 freelance platforms below and explore more.

The most important thing is that, if you want to work as a Freelance, start and be patient. Always learn new thing. For example, you can learn CAD to increase your skills. You can see a post I have written about Free CAD you can use. You can contact me or email me if you want to learn it deeply.

Solidworks is one of the most useful CAD in the industry. Thus, many schools and universities use Solidworks to train students. Besides, there are many people trying to learn this application because it is a required skills, fun and mainly a most powerful. However, Solidworks license is quite expensive for personal use and many people cannot afford it. Fortunately, we can test and use Solidworks for free. In this article, I will show you how to use Solidworks for free step by step. If you want to know other existed free CAD software, I have a list of the top 5 free powerful CAD software you can use.

So, let’s get started.

To have the access of free Solidworks, what you need are an Internet, a device with an Internet browser. Recommended Internet browser are Google chrome or Safari.

First, open your browser and search on Google mysolidworks and go to this site

After that, signup. You can find the signup link on the top right of the website.

Then, follow these 6 steps carefully.

1. Provide your e-mail address and check I am not Solidworks customer or I do not have Solidworks license. In case you have Solidworks license or Solidworks customer, you will check the second one and put your license in the filling box bellow. Then, click Next

2. Go to your e-mail address and copy the validation code you receive. You will get this validation code instantly. In case you encounter any error during the process of signup, go back to this step to request a new validation code.

3. Paste it to the validation code area and click next.

5. After that select the account you have created in the previous form and click on pick this account

Then click next.

After that, you will receive a welcome email to confirm that you register to Solidworks online account.

Then scroll down to the next section after the header, check the agreement, choose language you want and Launch Solidworks.

Wait until Solidworks launch. While launching, there is a license agreement that will pop up. Click accept and Solidworks will open

Congratulations.

Bonus.

You may ask if you can import external Solidworks files to online Solidworks. And, you may also ask if you can save the project you made to your local device.

The answer is YES. And I will show you how to do it

First, let us start with process of saving the project you worked on Solidworks trial to your local device.

1. Save your project. Go to file/Save. Save it in “home folder” or “template folder”.

2. Then, click on the “My files” (As shown in the pictures below) menu of the launcher. Go to the folder you saved the file previously by double-clicking on it. After that, click on the “arrow down” on the right of the file you want to save locally and click download.

Second, if you want to import your file from your device to be used on the Solidworks trial, follow this step.

1. Go to “my files”/ Upload files. You can see the upload files button on the top right of my files dialog box.

2. After that, browse to the file you want to import from your device, then open

Then you can just go to your working area. Go to file/open. And open the file you have just uploaded.

There is a video available here to show this step by step.

Enjoy it and hope you discover something when you try Solidworks online.

To start with you can design a spring by following this step-by-step tutorial.

## Cycloid actuator basic calculation

Nowadays, in the robotic field, cycloid gear actuator is one of the most commonly used. According to Nabtesco company

“transmission via cycloidal drive ensures high efficiency, a long life, and an extremely low backlash in gear”. These conditions are the main key of gear options.”

So, in this article, I will show you a basic knowledge of cycloid with its equation and calculation using Excel. We will deal with the Epicycloid and Hypocycloid. We will focus more on the main parameters needed to design the cycloid gears.

While creating and designing a cycloid gear, we mainly need:

• Gear ratio
• Eccentricity distance

So let’s get started

### 1. Epicycloid

According to Wikipedia, “In geometry, an epicycloid is a plane curve produced by tracing the path of a chosen point on the circumference of a circle—called an epicycle—which rolls without slipping around a fixed circle. It is a particular roulette.”

The main equation of Epicycloid is

$$x(θ)=(R+r)\cos(θ)−r\cos((R+r)θ/r)$$

$$y(θ)=(R+r)\sin(θ)−r\sin((R+r)θ/r)$$

Which are

R : the main rolling radius which is

$$R=kr$$

r : Eccentricity

angle θ: in t

### 2. Hypocycloid

According to Wikipedia, “In geometry, a hypocycloid is a specific plane curve generated by the trace of a fixed point on a small circle that rolls within a larger circle.”

The main equation of Epicycloid is

$$x(θ)=(R-r)\cos(θ)+r\cos((R-r)θ/r)$$

$$y(θ)=(R-r)\sin(θ)−r\sin((R-r)θ/r)$$

Which are

R : the main rolling radius which is

$$R=kr$$

r : Eccentricity

angle θ: in t

These are the basic equation to show the cycloid path. We will start these equations in the upcoming article to generate the epicycloid and hypocycloid path using Microsoft excel. It is very important to know about the 2 cycloids because, in case of creating a cycloid ball reducer, both epicycloid and hypocycloid should be used. However, in case of creating of standard cycloid reducer with fixed pin, you will use only one of this path to reduce speed.

@mikaiaval

Epicycloid and Hypocycloid #Geogebra #Maths #Geometry #designtheory

# Industrial vs Mechanical designer

It is a common subject to get the difference between Industrial and Mechanical designers regarding their tasks. Therefore, many people are confused about it. Although this struggle, there are a few differences between these two jobs. And I will state to you in this article my point of view about it according to my personal experiences.

## The similitude of the two designers

Firstly, both disciplines are very important in the industry. And it is common knowledge that a person who is good at Industrial design will not force to be good at Mechanical design. And vice versa. However, an Industrial designer should have knowledge of Mechanical design. And vice versa. Hence, the two skills are complementary.

Secondly, the tools and software that both skills need are almost the same. Designers need Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software such as Solidworks, Catia, Autodesk Inventor, Fusion360, Onshape, PTC Creo, Siemenx Nx, …etc. to do their tasks with computers and to deliver a very good design. There is some free CAD software that fresh designers and students can use. Even though designers have computers to do design nowadays, it is very important to remember to design by hand using all hand tools like pencils, pens, ink pens, squares, protractors, circle drawing compass, …etc. Hand drawing is one of the basic knowledge, and it might help in solving some issues.

Moreover, both designers can use Other 3D software to develop a product, and for motion study. Software like Sketchup, Blender3D, 3ds max, Cinema 4D, Zbrush …etc.

## The contrast between Industrial and Mechanical designers

These are specific tasks between Industrial and Mechanical designers. The main thing between both skills are:

Mechanical designers focus more on the mechanism whereas Industrial designers focus more on the industry.

What does it mean?

When mechanical engineers do a design job, they will think mainly about the mechanism. So design reflects more on the mechanical aspect. They always think about how it really works mechanically. Designs are based more on calculation, and some analysis. Mechanical designers provide high details drawing. Besides, they should be able to explain the mechanism of the system. Therefore, mechanical designer design and develop something moveable such as machine design, engine, and automotive…etc.

On the other hand, Industrial engineers think already about the industry when they have or receive some design project. they already think about how can they produce it and how efficiently are design they do. They think more about the aesthetic of the product and the use of the product. Hence design they do tends to thes matter. Industrial designer design and develop something non-moveable like furniture, appliances, …etc.

## Rectangle spring in Solidworks | 2 methods.

Solidworks is one the most powerful CAD software that most people and companies use. Beginners and even experts sometimes have a hard time finding some functionality or features to design something. For example, creating non-circle coils. So how to create a rectangle spring in Solidworks? I will give 2 step-by-step methods for it.

I have made this guide because I needed to create a rectangle spring in Solidworks on my project. However, we can get a helical sketch in Solidworks only from only a circle. Hence, I try to find one on YouTube and I found a lot of tutorial about it. Unfortunately, my computer is always stuck when doing it. Therefore, I try to find another method of creating it.

So let’s get started.

## 1st method: Extract the rectangle helical sketch from a circle helical surface to generate the rectangle spring in Solidworks

The first method is almost used and taught by many designers. Here is some of the best guide to it. But here is how I will proceed on it.

1. Create a rectangle sketch in one plane and extrude it for the length you need (and add fillet),
2. Create a circle in the center/bottom plane of your rectangle (not bigger than the main surface) and use Helix/Spiral command to create the coil sketch. Choose the right setting for your spiral which includes height, pitch, revolution, …etc.
3. Create a line at the end of the coil sketch and normal to it. This line should cover the volume of the rectangle,
4. Go to Surface/sweep to create a surface coil. Use the line as profile and spiral as the path.
5. To extract the rectangle Sketch, go to the menu Tools/Sketch tools/ Intersection curve. Then Select all surfaces and OK.
6. Finally, you have your Rectangle 3D sketches. Go to Features/sweep. Choose a circular profile and use the 3D sketch as a path and define a diameter.

• Quicker with high specs workstation
• It can generate many other types of shapes such as cone, sphere spring, …etc.

• It is not efficient for low specs laptop or desktop

Depending on your need, you can choose this first method for your purpose.

## 2nd Method: Generate 3D non-circle sketch from 2D sketches to generate the rectangle coils in Solidworks

These are the main steps for the 2nd method

1. Create 4 planes that limit your rectangle. Tips: always create it from the center.
2. Start sketching in the first plane and do the sketch as shown in the pictures below. Before doing the sketch, choose all of your helix parameters in advance regarding mainly the pitch and revolution. Then pattern it from the revolution you have chosen.
3. Then choose the next plane perpendicular to it and sketch the other line. Proceed like the 2nd step.
4. After finishing sketching the 4 planes, verify it. All lines should coincide with each other apart from the start and end.
5. Next, create a new 3D sketch, and choose all lines you have created by using the Convert entities command. Add fillet in the 3D sketch.
6. Finally, you have your Rectangle 3D sketches. Go to Features/sweep. Choose a circular profile and use the 3D sketch as a path and define a diameter.