28 Replies Latest reply on Dec 16, 2012 10:16 PM by Mike Cole

    SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial

    Rio Benson
      Having just downloaded SW 2009, I've been going through the tutorials to become familiar with the new features. I was somewhat shocked to see the hinge design used in the Advanced Design Techniques tutorial. I've been a designer for more than just a few years, and I've never seen a forged or cast hinge design such as that SW has used. Hinges, at least the ones made in this country, have historically been made out of formed metal sheet or strip, with the pin hole being roll-formed. Don't believe me - go to any hardware store and look at their hinge selection, or go online and look at the hinge manufacturers offerings.

      To SW: I fully understand that your intent was to illustrate modeling techniques as opposed to designing a real-world product. However, not everyone going through your tutorials is going to be an experienced designer. They're going to assume you know what your talking about when you show them a configurable design. It would be better if you used tried and true design examples rather than grabbing something out of 'na-na land' to get your point across. A less experienced detailer might even put such a design in their library; heaven forbid!
        • SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
          Bill Rose
          Rio,

          I haven't seen the tutorial (I'm still on 2008) but it is not bad design practice to design a hinge that is not made from formed sheet metal. There's a limit to what a formed sheet metal design can handle in terms of load. Look at aircraft piano hinges, there are two basic styles -- an formed one as you describe and an extruded design that features a closed hole. This is for applications where a formed part would not be strong enough and a larger, thicker design would not fit.

          I have seen (and have built) hinges from tubing and sheet stock welded together and this has been done on production aircraft for many years. Plastic hinges are common and are almost always of a closed design type or a "live hinge" for applications not requiring a long service life. A look through McMaster-Carr's catalog will show you many hinge designs that fall outside of the formed variety. It's not unusual to design a hinge using something other than a formed part, it good design practice given the loads and materials being used. And it's a perfectly valid teaching example IMHO........Bill
            • SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
              Rio Benson
              Reading the posted replies, I must agree with those from Bill Rose and Mark Biasotti in some respects. There are indeed other ways that less common hinges are constructed and manufactured. However, one should really take my comment in the context it was intended; the tutorial does not mention that it was for a 'specialty' hinge but was presented with the implication that it was a 'common' hinge with extremely loose tolerances, particularly those of the "knuckles".

              To Marks' reply, I must add that there are approximately the same number of steps in constructing the formed sheet metal hinge I described, and it would have illustrated even more similar SW techniques using a more common product as an example.
            • SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
              Rio,

              Thank you for your feedback on the tutorial. I completely agree with you that in most cases, hinges are NOT designed and manufactured in the way that we have shown in the tutorial. With that said, the focus of the tutorial is not on model building but rather on using a layout sketch, configurations, In-context assembly design and dynamic movement in the assembly. Perhaps the title of the section is a bit misleading in that it might denote "Advanced modeling Techniques" but it is really more denoting the aforementioned.

              Building the hinge parts as rolled sheet metal certainly is doable in SW, but it would occupy a significant portion of this tutorial leaving little room for the other advanced concepts.

              I could just see us changing the tutorial to using one thin extrusion of the hinge shape (including the pin hole capture) and then having users wonder how do you flatten it? Well of course you would do it that way but as a true SM part.
              • SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
                Mahir Abrahim
                Rio, this reminds me of the "video games creates violent children" theory. Yes, some kid might play Halo and later on go postal at a school. However, common sense tells me that same kid was probably already unbalanced to begin with thanks to an abusive father, an inattentive mother, or some bad ingredients the old DNA soup. Likewise, I'm sure some inexperienced designer somewhere might see this tutorial and think it's standard hinge design. However, that same designer was probably already busy making unmanufacturable parts before s/he ever saw the tutorial. It's not SW's job to teach engineers their job, nor should it be. Next thing you know they'll be adding warning labels on FEA software because if used improperly it will yield incorrect results...
                • SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
                  Kelvin Lamport
                  As soon as you make something idiot proof, bigger and better idiots are created.
                  • SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
                    Alan Stoldt
                    Joe,

                    Welcome to the forum.

                    Yes, attaching images isn't the easiest thing to do.
                    • Re: SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
                      Chev Chelios

                      How about we address the issues that things in this tutorials are incorrect so far as the program goes.  You can follow it to a "T" and yet, when it asks you to do something (right-click then click "edit sketch" for example...) the options aren't there.  There IS no "edit sketch."  It is literally impossible to even follow their tutorial as they spell it out.  How much does this software cost, again?  And this is the simple learning tool that comes with it that they give you?

                       

                      This ought to be considered a deal breaker in and of itself.  If I were making the decision, it woudl be.  If they can't get this right, it makes me wonder what else is going to be wrong with the program, and just how hard it will for me and others like me at my company to learn to use it.  When the boss asks me what I think of it, I can't think of anything positive to say that won't be followed with "but, they can't even get a simple tutorial right, so who knows if we'll ever be able to lay out a design without a series of delays and problems and phone calls or internet forum posts to tech support half way around the world."

                       

                      Honestly, I would be embarrassed to put together something this bad for consumption.

                        • Re: SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
                          Lochlan Banff

                          Chev,

                           

                          I have used this software for a few years now and I think SW has some of the best tutorials. I have also used alot of other programs but always use SW as my preffered program because of its tutorials and knowledge base, dont get me wrong the support for Pro E (Creo) is also very good.

                           

                          From this I have to ask two questions:

                           

                          What are you trying to do when you right click to edit sketch? post some pictures or a detailied description.

                           

                          What background are you coming from? Autocad, proE?

                          • Re: SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
                            Mikael Martinsson

                            Thank you Chev for lifting this thread, from 2008 regarding the tremendously important design of a hinge, to state your problem.

                            Even though I understand your problem as described, in my opinion SW tutorial is really simple and easy to follow. And like in all programs designed according to Windows standard, you can always hover over a button and get a message that tells what it does.

                              • Re: SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
                                Alan Stoldt

                                Simple and Easy to Follow, still does not equate to good modeling practices.

                                 

                                SW2012 Lesson 1

                                 

                                Lesson 1 ~ SolidWorks Tutorials.jpg

                                 

                                Have a Machine Shop  start with a Square Base and add a Round Boss to it. Ask them what the cost would be vs. starting from a larger piece and turning down the area needed.

                                 

                                Unfortunately, many educators follow these same design steps when they teach. When we hire fresh face, newly out of school employees, we infrom them to forget 95% of what they think they know.

                                 

                                2008 until 2012, 4 releases, same poorly executed tutorials. Apparently DS is still holding off on updating the tutorials to reflect how things are done in the real world.

                                  • Re: SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
                                    Mark Kaiser

                                    That looks like a casting to me, not a machined part, so it doesn't matter how I get to the end product. 

                                     

                                    There's an argument for/against anything. 

                                     

                                    Modeling practice and design is up to Chev.  I figure he hasn't used SW long enough to see if it's a good tool in his toolbox for him.

                                    • Re: SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
                                      Kelvin Lamport

                                      While I usually create my models using machine shop 'processes', it is purely a users preference to do so. Providing the end result is a stable model which reflects good design intent during editing, who cares how it was created?

                                       

                                      Also, what if that part was made with an additive process such as Stereolithography?

                                       

                                      Using the machine shop ideology, the Fillet tool should not be used to add material to inside corners ... and of course, surfaces would never be used.

                                       

                                      Unless the CAM software actually adheres to the feature creation sequence, the method used really doesn't matter.

                                      • Re: SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
                                        Glenn Schroeder

                                        Alan,

                                         

                                        I have to agree with Kelvin and Mark. A stable model that won't blow up when editing should be the goal, and the path to get there should depend on user preference.  It seems to me that the tutorials do a fair job of getting a user started using the software, which in my opinion is all anyone should expect them to do.  After that I believe that experience is the best teacher.

                                         

                                        At the risk of sounding like a jerk (which I sometimes have a talent for), anyone who uses the tutorials to learn manufacturing or fabricating practices has bigger problems.


                                        Glenn

                                    • Re: SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
                                      Kelvin Lamport

                                      Chev,

                                       

                                      The Edit Sketch tool is now an icon at the top of the right-click menu, instead of a textual link within the body of the menu.

                                      If you deselect the Context toolbar settings options, the textual Edit Sketch option is returned.

                                    • Re: SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
                                      Bernie Daraz

                                      From the 'better late than never' camp.

                                       

                                      No one option or process is suitable to everyone, that's why we have cast, molded, extruded and formed hinges. I apologize to any hinges I left out of this discussion. Wilson Tool offers a tool that creates a hinge half in one hit in a turret press. It isn't suitable for every purpose but if you want to acoid, sourcing, attaching via weld or other processes and the associated variables, assembly time and costs this may be ideal for you. Maybe.

                                       

                                      Could anyone here show me how to model that tutorial in one step? I know and understand sheet metal, machining, casting and forging processes. I have sent STL files to produce prototypes and molded clay as a kid.

                                       

                                      If you work in a welding shop you could weld it out of two pieces, a molding shop could create tooling, expensive and less expensive options there too, a sheet metal shop would yield a different process.

                                       

                                      I did model that tutorial at my very first exposure to SW using version 99. What a struggle! I could have made it quicker! LOL!

                                        • Re: SW's Teaching Bad Design Practice With Tutorial
                                          Mike Cole

                                          SolidWorks Training materials are Bullshit in my opinion and possibly many others. No one ever fills out the class feedback materials that I know of. If they did Solidworks would probably make corrections to and improve the rtraining materials. As I've seen through all the training classes I've taught myself or to others there is a simple method followed. SolidWorks training materials always show you the longest hardest method for designing a part. They also introduce people to the interface and customizations in lesson 2 of Essentials before people even know what customizations will be beneficial to them. During the rest of the training classes users are shown better methods of doing the same things after being told the old extended methods which are no longer used. It's a great way to make the software look a lot better and efficient than it is and is a way to boast SolidWorks' own ego.

                                           

                                          I feel training should train people in how the software works and how to figure out how to do things better by understanding concepts. The SolidWorks training books make me think of the days I took Latin in High School the first few years we learned vocabulary and rules the later years were mainly looking up stuff in the book or dictionary. The training books are very search and try in approach especially the Drawings lessons where the book is approximately 50% lessons and 50% Appendices.

                                           

                                          Most of my references in this post are to the actual SolidWorks training classes the Free Tutorials are just that "Free" I would not expect to learn strict modeling methods from them.

                                           

                                          Michael