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Old 07-22-2012, 01:05 AM
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REVCAD & MESH Unfolder Software

Anyone ever use this software?
Autocad sheet metal design software

Sheet Lightning v6 is only $100 for full version. Sheet Lightning Pro v6 is $150. Says it will export to AutoCAD or can be used as a stand alone for printing.

Mesh Unfolder imports 3D mesh/surface models from a DXF/STL/OBJ/WAV file to process into 2D unfolded patterns. Price is $75.

I just downloaded both demo programs-says full version except that output is disabled. Going to give them a try, but curious if anyone has used them and if so what do you think about them.

Wondering how they compare to blender and sketchup?

Full blown versions are way cheaper than even Rhino, AutoCAD etc..
Emailed them with questions about exporting to vector paint programs and autocad for paint purposes.

Mike
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:12 AM
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Ok, downloaded the demo files. Received a reply to my questions already (On a weekend?). The reply was very detailed. It included some links to the site to compare Sheet Ligthning v6 to Pro v6, as well as sample output file for pasting into a paint program. Sounds like any vector paint program that can open DXF files will work!

My testing last night was incredibly easy. At first it was hard to do anything, hardly any tools that I'm used to seeing. Then I checked out the libraries.

Selected a cone from the library, typed in some new values, top diameter, bottom dia., and length. You need to hit the enter key after each input change, the shape changes imediately to the new value. Unfolding was even easier..Output looks like it is to the default printer sheet size setting you have preset in windows.

The Mesh manual is 23 pages, haven't tried it yet, but plan to import some 3D drawings and see what happens. Reading about the Mesh unfolder says it was designed to unfold complex ship designs. I have never tried any unfolding programs, so as a complete novice my testing will be from that perspective.

Here is a link to some tutorials that was provided by Trevor in his reply to my questions. Tutorials

These programs look very interesting. Way cheaper than any of the other programs I viewed yesterday in my search for an unfolding program for AutoCAD 3d renders.

Size of the demo programs is 8mb for the Sheet Lightning Pro v6, and under 5mb for the Mesh unfolder. The Sheet Lightning Pro v6 unfolds without the use of Mesh.

The best part of his reply? He said, "Feedback is really welcome so we can make it meet your needs.".

Mike
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:22 PM
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Getting back to a project that would be great if it is finished today. Reread my posts on this program.

I make it sound like you need to use AutoCAd with the Sheet Lighning v6. You don't! It is a stand alone program for $100 that will let you design in 3d, unfold and print the output to paper, or a DXF file.

The Sheet Lightning v6 and SL Pro v6 are designed for doing complex 3d shapes in sheet metal! Paper and sheet metal start out the same - a flat sheet.

All replies to my emails have been quick. Trevor shows a willingness to help out with our design projects. He mentions that he is willing to expand in new directions to help make model designing easier.

Mike
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:44 AM
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Looks interesting. Is it possible to do something like panel lines projection and unfold with those lines ??
This is the functionality that I am the most interested in.
Matt
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:40 AM
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Hi Matt,
Not sure what you mean by panel lines, but fold lines show up. The demo downloads are small enough to try even on my slow connection.

Basically download, and install on your computer. Once installed, the first time you start it, you have type in your email, they send you a "key" code to that email.

Start it again, type in the key code and your up and running. Go to the file icon and click new, a window opens with a some folders, select one of the top default libraries, click the New button down at the bottom, next window has two folders - inches or metric.

Choose one of these, the next window shows several options, try the adapters, a new window has several objects, select one - doesn't matter which - now the object shows up in the work area.

Tools on the upper right show an arrow (selection), cross (pan button) and rotation options. Default is the selection tool (arrow).

Slect the object with a single click anywhere on it. On the left some dimensions show up, along the top is where you type in new values to change object selected if you want. Too easy!

With the object selected go to the "action" pulldown menu, select unfold. Next window shows the object unfolded on your default printer sheet sizes. Red lines are the fold lines/outline of part, white lines are the default printer paper size sheets. You will see how it "tiles" the object onto the sheets.

The demo version will not export or print.

Adding objects for a model fuselage? Just choose, or design your own objects, "match" and then "Weld" together. You will need to know before hand the dimensions of the fuselage, diameter, length etc. Objects available are cylinders, cones, and ovals for different fuselage shapes.

Unfold and your ready for wings.

Easiest 3D I've ever tried!

On the website you will find Tutorial videos that are easy to understand. If you want to try a print job, there is a sample file that can be downloaded and printed to either a CAD program, graphics program or your inkjet printer.

My plan was to try it in the evenings this week to design an airplane, but my weekend project has run into difficulties-if I start on the design, my build will probably get set on the sidelines, it is taking up too much room in the house all spread out (1:32 scale Saturn 1B).

If panel lines, you mean graphic details, you will need to export into a different software, this program does fold lines and outlines. Basically just a design of a project!

Graphic details, paint, etc., will need to be done in another program.

I have not bought the program yet, want to try a simple airplane design first. I have not tried Mesh, the stand alone unfolder program, as of yet.

Mike
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Last edited by mbauer; 07-24-2012 at 06:58 AM. Reason: Edits....
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:47 AM
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I ment lines that would simulatereal parts (eg. of a airplane skin).
but Your last sentence :
Quote:
If panel lines mean graphic details, you will need to export into a different software, this program does fold lines and outlines.
explaines it pretty much.
Matt
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:18 PM
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Mike-

Any updates/progress on this?
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgoti View Post
Mike-

Any updates/progress on this?
Yes and no! Tried to use the unfolder on several 3D drawings I created in AutoCAD. The 3d drawings, different mechanical fittings, bearings, parts. They are complicated and the unfolder would not do anything with them. One of the emails I recieved in back and forth replies mentioned having to "relieve" the stress (not exact wording). By this I think it meant to use less faces for the drawing.

I do see where it is possible to draw airfoild shapes and almost any fuselage/flying surfaces for airplanes and rockets using the REVCAD. I haven't had time to try any yet. Right now I don't have the money to purchase and any time spent designing/learning takes time away from currrent projects (can't print output). Currently working on redrawing several rockets, and just don't have the time to spend on something that I can't use.

My project list:
-Get started testing a deployment parachute system for large Air Powered rockets.
-Finalize 1:32 scale Saturn V (10.43 ft tall) -stage at now = small 1:111 scale (3ft tall) has been printed and last night started to build for part fit. Ran into problem with lower cones that protect the F1 engines-redrew and think rest of model should be easy to complete.
-Redraw Mercury Atlas (Friendship 7) to 1:12 scale (been testing shiny cardstock for fuselage-check out metalic cardstock thread)
-Redraw Gemini Titan to 1:12 scale
-Create flying Dyna Soar that releases at Apogee (1:12 scale)
-Rebuild 1:32 Saturn 1B for flight tests (redrawn-just need to build new version)
-Downsize all 1:12 scale to 1:32 for a complete set. (Mercury Redstone through Saturn V-all at 1:32 scale).

Take break-learn new ways of doing things= Draw Shuttle using RevCad. Figure it would be the perfect project to learn with. By then I should have saved enough to buy the full version which will allow printing of completed projects.

Sorry, for the ramble-thought it best to kind of explain my schedule-don't know how long all of this will take.....Lots of testing, redrawing is needed.

BTW-When Ken gets done with his Apollo capsule, will change this project lists fast!!!! Plan on being very flexible once he releases it! Longer he takes, hopefully the more I'll get done before dropping everything....

Mike
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