Looking for easy to use virtual prototyping pc software

Discussion in 'Computer Software and Operating Systems' started by pasc, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. pasc
    OP

    pasc GBATemps official GBA Freak

    Member
    2,612
    150
    Sep 9, 2006
    Gambia, The
    Germany
    So my problem is this:

    I want to build some "contraption" that will require wood, motors and other parts.

    Problem is:
    I do have a rough idea of how what I want to do will look like, but I
    DON'T want to waste material to see if it works or not.

    I know, inventions usually require a lot trial and error, but as I have my PC and am a fan of the "Tim" and "Crazy Machine" Games I thought:
    - Why isn't there some pc software where I can try my idea out, BEFORE I built it ?


    I have so far stumbled across: Autodesk Inventor 2014 (Trial) and Algodoo.
    Those programs are fine for what they are, yet they are far too complicated.

    I need something simple, with a physics engine and a 3D Environment where I can whip up some ideas and "test" them.

    For example set properties for different parts (rigid, moving, wood, metal, pasteboard etc.) and then click a "run" button to see how it would behave.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,747
    9,617
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Though I could probably do this for electronics (it has the crazy complex stuff in SPICE but you also get stuff like crocodile clips and Fritzing) I am not sure what I have for object style CAD, or indeed if there is any that goes beyond game stuff and into something that is reasonably usable. 3d modelling is usually hideously overcomplicated as you tend to run into roadblocks if you try to simplify it too much, even 2d stuff needs its complexity.

    You might do slightly better with autodesk inventor fusion, they usually hide it well but it is free and does a lot.
    Have a youtube video that covers it

    The trick is getting to think in 2d sketches.

    You might also find something in the following list you can get along with
    http://opensourceecology.org/wiki/CAD_tools

    Alternatively there is nothing wrong with paper and cardboard, it is usually free and with a few rubber bands and http://www.amazon.de/Hansa-Werke-Musterklammern-Flachkopf-19mm/dp/B000KJMIHO/ you can prototype many engineering type items.
     
  3. pasc
    OP

    pasc GBATemps official GBA Freak

    Member
    2,612
    150
    Sep 9, 2006
    Gambia, The
    Germany
    Heh, thats nice enough.

    Too bad though that these tools are so full blown.

    They should make a "Crazy Machines" in 3D or something...
     
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,747
    9,617
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Consider it another way then and we will consider gears, sure I could make a bunch of premade ones and nothing more. That locks out most professional uses though we can not really do that, it might be possible to have a premade set as there are only a dozen or so big classes of gear and spoked or not matters little in the low end world.

    Gears are not just a circle with a few cuts in (such a thing being known as a gear shaped object), think that and you will have made a very nice brake system (and probably a broken system as well) unless you have something as pliable as cardboard. So we get to make the gears mesh then, this is easier said than done but well within the possibility of doing on a computer.

    By the way if you are after gears then http://woodgears.ca/gear_cutting/template.html is well worth a look. He has an amazing youtube channel as well.

    Forget gears then, well will go all pulleys, all the time. They even do high end motorbikes with pulleys rather than gets and chains these days so they must be good. So do we go flat, toothed, V belt, a crowned pulled, a grooved pulley, if I am going to have a tight radius then I need to consider my belt material...
    gah no pulleys then.

    You have now eliminated the two big classes of power transmission.

    That is still OK as you can do things like that assembly video above. However you are going to need bearings for that... though probably not quite as bad (bearings do have classes and designator numbers within that http://gizmology.net/bearings.htm ). Not to mention you will tend to need to check you have two bearings for most systems.

    All this said the whole 2d sketches and upwards thing is how most engineering worked probably until about 30 years ago and to this day it is still very popular. If you can make your machine in something like the incredible machine you can probably have it work in real life.
     
  5. Tom

    Tom Gbatemp's Unofficial Modder

    Member
    987
    115
    Feb 9, 2009
    United States
    New jersey
    There are alot of mods for minecraft, you'd be surprised.
     
  6. pasc
    OP

    pasc GBATemps official GBA Freak

    Member
    2,612
    150
    Sep 9, 2006
    Gambia, The
    Germany

    The question however is: if the physics engine in that game behaves realistic enough...