Need software for Engineering class

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by mikeyredk, May 7, 2006.

  1. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

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    Mar 13, 2003
    #1
    First off i'd like to start by saying I am a business major and taking this class my first ever college engineering class (I withdrew from physics btw) is an intro for a masters degree. This engineering class this coming fall requires solidworks (this taken from their syllabus) Is there any other software system that would be a good substitute? Or can I run this though say VPC? I have a Rev B iMac 2 gigs ram

    I got a suggestion vectorworks and I read an archintosh article talking about a company called parasound
     
  2. mikeyredk thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mar 13, 2003
  3. mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 16, 2003
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    Boston, MA
    #3
    I would imagine SolidWorks would struggle in VPC. I'm not well-versed on CAD stuff (I'm biomedical/electrical), so I don't know what the Mac CAD packages are like.
     
  4. Rend It macrumors 6502

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    Oct 27, 2003
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    United States
    #4
    The current version of Vectorworks is excellent. If you look at Academic Superstore or similar places you can order a student edition that is rather inexpensive (for what you get). Plus, it's cross-platform, so you could use it on other PCs, if necessary. Just bring the dongle.

    However, if the class really requires SolidWorks, you may have to get Virtual PC, and it will probably be pretty slow.

    Of course, the best solution would be to get an Intel Mac. :D

    -RendIt
     
  5. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816

    ddrueckhammer

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    Aug 8, 2004
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    America's Wang
    #5
    Hello-

    I'm a Civil Engineering Major and have found Vectorworks as an OK substitute for AutoCAD on the Mac. If you are used to command line systems it will take some getting used to but it works.

    I haven't had a class that requires Solidworks yet but you might want to look at a 3D design system such as Archicad or Ashlar Velum.

    There is tons of information at the Architosh forums so you should probably ask there but most of the apps out there have student versions and demos available.

    Finally, if you just need to do 3D drawings you might want to try a little app called Sketchup. My Sister is an Architecture major and she tells me it is very popular with students for quickly doing different views of designs.

    http://www.sketchup.com/

    Solidworks makes a nice little app called Edrawings that allows you to open and convert files to different image and CAD formats. Here is a link to it:

    http://www.solidworks.com/pages/products/edrawings/eDrawings.html


    Its a bummer not having the tool that your professor is using available on PowerPC Macs but it is just a tool and I know that there are many alternatives available if you look.

    Below are a couple of places to look for more information.

    http://www.architosh.com/DPG/software/index.phtml

    http://guide.apple.com/uscategories/science.lasso


    Goodluck!
     
  6. mikeyredk thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mar 13, 2003
    #6
    I will post more info about the class

    From an old syllabus and thx for the help

    Course Overview
    QMM492 is an introductory engineering design course, which uses a project-driven curriculum with emphasis placed on skills such as collaboration, technical communication skills, and computer-aided design/analysis tools. The course will introduce you to the engineering approach to problem solving with strong references to basic science and math skills, as well as testing and evaluation of design ideas by building working prototypes. Two major design projects will be assigned during the semester. Throughout the course strategies, methods, and means of the design process will be covered and practiced such as understanding client’s needs, generating design concepts, developing design specifications, evaluating and testing design ideas. Your course grade will reflect your ability to function effectively as a team player, and achieving efficient and effective designs as a team.

    Course Objectives
    • Understand and use the design process well in projects, be able to extend the design process to general problem solving, and recognize the value of creativity in the engineering design process.
    • Acquire 3D, 2D visualization skills to draw and communicate design concepts.
    • Practice operating in multi-disciplinary teams engaged in design generation and development.

    Skills Acquired by Students in QMM 492
    • Computing: Solid Modeling using computer aided design software (SolidWorks).
    • Graphics: Sketching, multiview, isometric, and oblique drawings, scales, dimensioning, section views, and working drawings.
    • Lab skills: Experimental methods, data acquisition and analysis, basic circuitry, prototype building and testing.
    • Design methods: Customer needs assessments, concept generation, design selection matrices, design for assembly - disassembly, safety, cost effectiveness, project management, design ethics.
     
  7. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816

    ddrueckhammer

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    Aug 8, 2004
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    #7
    One of the drawing programs I mentioned should help you be able to edit your work from class. Try using Sketchup as it is only $50 for the education version and it will be good for simple solid modeling. Also, it has an 8 hr demo that will help you decide if it is what you are looking for. The Edrawing program should allow you to convert your files back and forth or at least view them on your Mac and is free. Save your files in Sketchup/Ashlar Velum/Archicad etc. as .dwg or something and then convert them to whatever Solidworks format is using Edrawings.

    You can do the kind of drawing listed on your syllabus with almost any CAD package with just a little know how. Some of the packages just make it easier by filling in views for you. For my last Engineering project, I used Visio on a PC to draw multiple views of my design. The computer lab that was handy for me didn't have any CAD software available and I recently sold my Powerbook in order to upgrade. Visio is meant for business flow charts and diagrams, not isometric drawings but since it had an automatic dimensioning tool it worked for me. My point is that almost any vector line drawing package will work for your purposes. Just some will require more work. Even illustrator could be used but you would have to draw every view and dimension by hand...Remember, it wasn't that long ago that all drafting was done with a pencil and vellum..

    Goodluck again!
     
  8. uscmeche macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    #8
    My two cents

    Good luck with your first engineering class!

    I am not sure of a good substitute on a mac, but solidworks rocks! It is by far the best CAD program out there.

    As for using it, I would go use an XP box at the local computer lab. Solidworks would not be fun in VPC.
     
  9. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #9
    Have you tried other CAD programs or are you just stating an opinion. I personally like Pro/Engineer alot for all solid modeling and analyzing.
     
  10. uscmeche macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    #10
    I have tried a couple other CAD programs, but I like the interface much better in solidworks. Just my opinion, take it with a grain of salt.

    Pro/Engineer is awesome too, it is better than solidworks for analyzing. I still think Solidworks beats it for modeling though.
     
  11. wwooden macrumors 68000

    wwooden

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    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    #11
    As a mechanical engineering major, we use SolidWorks pretty much with every class and for all design projects. I have the same computer as you, except with only 1.5gigs of RAM. I installed Virtual PC and SolidWorks 2004 on it. Let me tell you, it runs soooo slow, almost unbearable. For the amount of time I would spend trying to draw something on my computer, I could have gone to campus, drawn it in the computer lab, and be back home in half the time.

    I have tried VectorWorks, it is not anywhere near as good as SolidWorks.

    I would recommend just going to your engineering computer labs and use their computers.
     
  12. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #12
    Yep definitly good advice, that's what I do. I tried VPC with CAD programs and just gave up and did everything in the labs. Soooo much more efficient with my time and faster.
     
  13. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816

    ddrueckhammer

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    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    America's Wang
    #13
    Probably is good advice. I just like to try to make other apps work for my needs. I'm actually glad I'm not studying ME so I don't have to worry about it. Its sad that I don't have AutoCAD but I'm starting to really like some of the alternatives better.
     

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