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Chris Higgs

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  1. Yes, 2-361. Bulit as DC2 -both brake levers at the same end which kept them out of the way of the muck when they tipped the china clay out. Chris
  2. If the software is free, but I have to purchase a new computer to run it, then it's not really free, is it? Gonna stick with TurboCAD, which is still as quick as a spring chicken on my machine. Chris
  3. I'm sure Fusion 360 can do 2D-CAD fine. And it can store parts and use parameters, both of which could be handy. My main issue with it is that on my aged (but high quality) personal laptop it runs as slow as sin. It takes an age to start. Chris
  4. I was looking (I don't know where or when) at a modern FB switch and it had a chamfer on the top edge. The don't have to be knife-edge at the bottom. Chris
  5. Perhaps another thing to mention is that the thinner the material you use, the finer the half-etch detail you can produce as it will be eaten away less by undercut. Chris
  6. I use 0.12mm as well. Smaller than that ad they tend not to come out reliably. Never tried to measure one, but I suspect they actually are not that thick when etched. Rivets is another area where you go as small as you dare. But if you want really thin plank gaps or rivets, then 3D-print them. Chris
  7. I agree, stainless is for special circumstances where nickel silver is too soft - thin material or thin detail items. 4 thou stainless is more robust than 10 thou nickel-silver is. I'd tend to glue rather than solder it. Chris
  8. TurboCAD doesn't. Instead if you click on an item you can edit its properties precisely in a set of edit boxes in an action bar. My day job for the last three years has been to design touch-screen UI software for machine tools, mills and lathes (large ones that typically fill a whole room). We have the same approach there. Action bars or indeed whole tabs with the parameters laid out. We even have a CAD module that is entirely touch operated, no keyboard or mouse. Chris
  9. Yes, that's pretty much it. Or at least, let's say I complete the various component designs that way, then fill them in, typically in a 'filling-in' session. Laying them out onto e.g. a complete wagon chassis and adding the tabs and surround gets done next. And then finally laying out a set of designs onto a sheet to be etched. As Jim observed, that can be an awful lot of them in 2mm. Of course, that's the theory. It becomes iterative once you notice some mistake you made, or are struck by a better idea. Chris
  10. OK, these are the layers I use, inspired by David. These three are used to draw the outline(edges) of the parts, they are never directly used on the etching artwork: Outline_Both Outline_Front Outline_Rear From these the filled parts are produced: Surface_Front Surface_Rear I draw the tabs, the framing and the text separately: Tabs Framing etch from front (the text) In addition, there is a layer where you can just doodle, draw things like distances, wheel sizes, motor positions etc: to
  11. That is a nice idea with the printer, but somehow I cannot imagine getting an A3 metal sheet in a printer and getting both sides printed in exact registration for the kind of etching that will produce anyway complicated. So I suspect the industry will be sticking with films for the forseeable future. Chris
  12. You can use OpenSCAD for 2D etching stuff too, I don't but I think Alan Cox has. Chris
  13. I tend to fear the latter view, having had similar experiences in another field with open-source software that stopped being so in a small way, but breaking a whole business model. We ended up implementing the whole feature ourselves. It only takes removal of one key feature from a free version to render it unusable for a certain set of customers. And given the paid price of Fusion360 is far from peanuts, that is a big issue. I use OpenSCAD for 3D work, which is another approach altogether, basicially a style of programming langauge. and as you can download all the C++ code that co
  14. 3D is a different matter, and probably should not be conflated with etching. I have not found the 3D functionality of classic CAD programs like AutoCAD and TurboCAD to be all that hot, and would definitely think about using programs that specialise in 3D, like Blender or Rhino (or others). As to the 3D printer/Proxxon mill/Watchmaker's lathe debate, I went for all three, albeit several years apart! None get anywhere near as much use as my 'full-sized' pillar drill and Chinese lathe though, as they are all way too small and puny to fix stuff around the house. Chris
  15. I will probably surprise no one (including Jim) that my experiences with PEC and PPD are quite different than his. Like him I use a 'proper' CAD program, in my case TurboCAD, which to me has a user interface more akin to a standard Microsoft windows program than AutoCAD, which was around long before Windows and still shows the evidence of its command line interface origins, having said that they have added a lot of Windows functionality. However, if you fancy turning your amateur efforts into a possible future career in CAD, AutoCAD is the one to go for because it is what the pros
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