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Pro/Engineer + Pro/Mechanica Student version work for me?


New member

I'm new to this forum. I'm looking for a solid modeling tool that will allow me to start with simple geometric shapes to form a mechanism, perform motion simulation with the basic geometric shapes, then refine the basic geometric shapes into a more accurate representation of the finished mechanism. I found a freebie called FreeCAD on www.winfiles.com that lets you sort of do this, but it doesn't appear to support strict dimensions (you free-hand draw everything), and it was quite difficult to figure out (since it's a freebie, there's very little documentation, and certainly no tutorials or anything of that nature).

For instance, a project I just completed was building a mechanically actuated grapple jaw for my small hydraulic tractor/loader. I designed it so that uncurling the bucket opens the grapple, and curling the bucket closes the grapple (like a clam shell type deal). Anyway, I introduced a design flaw in that (given it's a self-levelling bucket), when you raise the lift arms it opens the grapple/lower the lift arms it closes the grapple. This was an unintended effect, and I would have spotted it if I had a simple modelling and motion simulation tool.

Anyway, it sounds like my needs would be satisfied by the student version Pro/Engineer + Pro/Mechanic package. (Does anyone agree or disagree?) How difficult are these packages to learn? I used to use AutoCAD quite proficiently, and still remember most of it, even though I used it infrequently for the past 10 years. My degree is in engineering (even though I work with software now days), so the concepts aren't totally foreign to me. Any advice on whether Pro/E + Pro/M would probably meet my home-use needs?

Thanks and regards,