Is BricsCAD Mechanical worth if for aluminium framing

Hi I have to draw aluminium frames with custom extrusions. It would be good to be able to have Bricscad calculate the weight of the finished project and make a table of items.
I already have brics CAD pro. Is it worth getting bricscad Mechanical licence also ? (or can brics CAD pro handle this ?)

Comments

  • If you have a 3d solid then you can get a volume the weight is density * Volume. So where is the question ?

  • Escain
    edited April 14

    Hi @DFLY,

    I personally always had the Mechanical license, so it is hard for me to guess what I would be missing without it. Consequently, I can only see what I am using, and it's up to you to evaluate if those aspects are necessary for you, or if they are worth the price difference.

    Most probably, this evaluation will depends on how you are going to use the software: as a 9h/day mechanical design main tool, or as a hobby for little projects? or... you got the point.

    Following is a list of main Mechanical license additions, and how I use them personally:

    1. Assembly: developing complex mechanisms, I get very quickly to several tens to thousands of pieces. Being able to modelize and edit each of them separately, and see how they behave together is an absolute must.
    2. 3D parametrize and constraints: I design pieces once and use them many times. I guess I could live without, but having them make my design much easier to manage.
    3. Bill of materials: I still use calc-sheets, but with the improvements on version 21, I am willing to try using it.
    4. Kinematic analysis and animations: Useful, but IMHO a bit overkill to modelize.
    5. Metal sheet: I found it very convenient, but I do not use it often, mainly due to the type of project and fabrication processes that I use.
    6. Standards part: I never find the piece I need, so I never use them: the problem is that naming/grouping is not trivial to me, pieces are often Imperial-oriented, while I work in metric, etc. I usually search my-favourite-shop for the pieces I need, and modelize them with parametric&constraints.
    7. Material and mass: I never used it. The most I did is to check the volume to know how much material to buy for 3D printing some prototypes.
    8. Exploded view: I never managed to use it correctly (neither I tried much)
    9. Copy feature/ feature library: Nice to have, but I am personally not using it too much.

    Important note: If you are considering the perpetual license, consider that the difference in price also affects the yearly maintenance.

    I hope this can help you in this decision.

  • @ALANH said:
    If you have a 3d solid then you can get a volume the weight is density * Volume. So where is the question ?

    Cool. Please could you tell me how to do this ?

    I have multiple beams on an aluminium pontoon and multiple pontoons. I need to know the weights of each pontoon and determine the centre of gravity for each pontoon. Each beam is a separate item not part of one complex solid.

    Sorry for the very late reply. I'm in Western Australia and there's a boom over here and I've got constant work.> @Escain said:

    Hi @DFLY,

    I personally always had the Mechanical license, so it is hard for me to guess what I would be missing without it. Consequently, I can only see what I am using, and it's up to you to evaluate if those aspects are necessary for you, or if they are worth the price difference.

    Most probably, this evaluation will depends on how you are going to use the software: as a 9h/day mechanical design main tool, or as a hobby for little projects? or... you got the point.

    Following is a list of main Mechanical license additions, and how I use them personally:

    1. Assembly: developing complex mechanisms, I get very quickly to several tens to thousands of pieces. Being able to modelize and edit each of them separately, and see how they behave together is an absolute must.
    2. 3D parametrize and constraints: I design pieces once and use them many times. I guess I could live without, but having them make my design much easier to manage.
    3. Bill of materials: I still use calc-sheets, but with the improvements on version 21, I am willing to try using it.
    4. Kinematic analysis and animations: Useful, but IMHO a bit overkill to modelize.
    5. Metal sheet: I found it very convenient, but I do not use it often, mainly due to the type of project and fabrication processes that I use.
    6. Standards part: I never find the piece I need, so I never use them: the problem is that naming/grouping is not trivial to me, pieces are often Imperial-oriented, while I work in metric, etc. I usually search my-favourite-shop for the pieces I need, and modelize them with parametric&constraints.
    7. Material and mass: I never used it. The most I did is to check the volume to know how much material to buy for 3D printing some prototypes.
    8. Exploded view: I never managed to use it correctly (neither I tried much)
    9. Copy feature/ feature library: Nice to have, but I am personally not using it too much.

    Important note: If you are considering the perpetual license, consider that the difference in price also affects the yearly maintenance.

    I hope this can help you in this decision.

    Thanks for the info. The Bill of Materials and Material and mass might be just what I'm looking for. I'll see If I can trial it.

  • When you calculate the mass it will also calculate several other properties. An example screencapture is attached to give you an idea

    BricsCAD Mechanical does have a standard aluminium material defined, but if you are using a specific aluminium alloy then you can define your own custom material with densitiy and other properties. Screencapture attached for reference.

    This may give you some idea of what to expect. Calculations are correct if you assign the proper materials to the proper objects. But you have to account for weld materials etc. separately if you don't specifically model them (which has little use as it would be an approximation anyway)

  • @DFLY said:
    Thanks for the info. The Bill of Materials and Material and mass might be just what I'm looking for. I'll see If I can trial it.

    For Bill of Materials and sheet metal functionality you will need Mechanical. Mass properties I'm not sure if Pro can do that as well, if you can't then you would need Mechanical as well for that.

  • ALANH
    edited April 29

    Massprop can write to a file but not be read directly, if I am wrong let me know, a lisp runs massprop to file then reads the file and gets volume or mass and totals them. Did this for concrete tilt panels. like 20 years ago.

    This is a start

    (defun c:test ( )
    (if (= (findfile "d:\acadtemp\massprop.txt") nil ) (setq new "YES")(setq new "NO"))
    (setq ss (ssget '((0 . "3DSOLID"))))
    (if (/= ss nil)
    (progn
    (repeat (setq x (sslength ss))
    (cond
    ((= new "YES")(command "massprop" (ssname ss (setq x (- x 1))) "" "Y" "d:\acadtemp\massprop.txt")(setq new "NO"))
    ((= new "NO")(command "massprop" (ssname ss (setq x (- x 1))) "" "Y" "d:\acadtemp\massprop.txt" "Y"))
    )
    (setq fname (open "d:\acadtemp\massprop.txt" "R"))
    (repeat 3 (princ (read-line fname)))
    (alert (read-line fname))
    (close fname)
    )
    )
    (alert "No solid objects chosen")
    )
    (princ)
    )
    (c:test)

  • Is this of help

  • Well I bought mechanical. So fa it's been useful for mass calculation. I haven't used much else though.

  • I just use the basic solid modeling of v14. The "dumb" solids don't know their material or density. But, I can get their volume, and calculate their weight.
    However, since my assembly has a lot of stuff that were not solids in it, I had a process I went through. I made a copy, and deleted everything that was not a solid. In my case, it was all steel. But, if there were multiple materials that were substantial, I would have separated them into separate drawings. Once I had my solids collected, I unioned them all. Then, just by selecting the solid, I could see the center of gravity, and the total volume. And of course, knowing the volume, I could calculate the weight.

    I am sure that Mechanical makes this is a lot easier, especially more recent versions.

    -Joe

  • @DFLY

    I have a lisp that I got from somewhere. It's a bit hit and miss but it works most times. You window the assembly and it gives an overall mass and a circle at the COG.
    There are 2 lines at the top of the file which are for steel or aluminium. You just need to rem out the line at the top of the file that you dont need.

    Maybe some of the lisp wizards on this forum can get it to write to a file.

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