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    3DxBlog

    Why Engineers Should Not Be Using the Mouse They’re Using Now (Unless it’s a CadMouse)

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Jan 12, 2017 11:30:00 AM


    Millions of engineers, designers and CAD professionals are unnecessarily limiting their potential and don’t even know it.

    We all know the sinking feeling that hits us when we realize there’s not enough time left in the day to accomplish what you set out to do. And who hasn’t felt a little frustrated when struggling to make CAD software do what you want? Worse still, is when you need to complete the task but your hands, arms and shoulders are telling you it’s time for a rest.

    These are facts of life for many CAD professionals. But they don’t have to be. In fact, a lack of general efficiency and discomfort when working are issues caused or greatly exacerbated by a single problem:

    The mouse you’re using.

    We’re not talking about a 3D mouse either.

    We mean the ordinary mouse you use to click and select. You know, the mouse you use to do pretty much everything on your computer. 

    But what could possibly be wrong with your ordinary mouse? After all, you may have even chosen yours specifically.

    Well, that’s precisely it: an ordinary mouse is alright at a lot of things. It may even excel at a few. But it definitely doesn’t excel at prolonged CAD work. Read on to learn why—and the simplest of solutions (which didn’t even exist until just over 12 months ago).

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    Tags: Why I Use a 3D Mouse, 3D CAD, CadMouse

    6 SketchUp Secrets to Design Better and Faster

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Dec 13, 2016 10:38:00 PM

    SketchUp is one of the most popular 3D modeling software packages on the market. And there are always new tools and tips to learn. By installing helpful plugins or extensions, new apps or tools, SketchUp users can reduce production time and create more accurate, realistic designs.

    To help simplify your workflow in SketchUp, we’ve rounded up six secrets that will help you use the software better.

    1. Go Mobile 

    Download SketchUp’s latest Mobile Viewer, V3.0. V3.0 is a downloadable app for iPhone and Android that displays 3D models and performs a handful of commands right from a smartphone or tablet. Users view designs by clicking on files in 3D Warehouse, Dropbox, Trimble Connect or email attachments. In V3.0, users are then able to:

    • Play scene-based animations.
    • Use Section Planes, Edge Styles and Watermarks.
    • Pull measurements with the Tape Measure tool.

    Having mobile access to all SketchUp designs helps you make minor adjustments on the go and keeps your portfolio of work on-hand, no matter where you are.

    Check it out here: SketchUp Mobile Viewer V3.0

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    Tags: 3D CAD, Productivity, SketchUp

    7 Unbeatable Holiday Gifts for Your Favorite Engineer

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Dec 5, 2016 9:13:00 AM

    With the holiday season right around the corner, finding the perfect gift for an engineer may not seem like an easy task. Luckily, we’ve gathered seven of this season’s must-have gadgets and tools that are perfect for the engineer in your life.

    1. 3Doodler Create Pen 

    With the 3Doodler Create Pen, CAD professionals and engineers can watch their own drawings and designs instantly come to life. Known as the world’s first 3D printing pen, the 3Doodler allows its users to draw physical 3D structures with the press of a button.

    The 3Doodler Create Pen heats plastic rods internally, melting them down to stick to paper and other surfaces. Once released from the pen, the plastic hardens into a shape and users can draw vertically or horizontally in the air. The pen can be used for any and all 3D design concepts, like art and decoration, maker projects, doodling product models and more.

    Price: $99.99 / €90.66 / £81.74

    Get it here: 3Doodler Create Pen

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    Tags: Creativity, 3D CAD

    6 More SketchUp Extensions You’ll Kick Yourself for Not Having

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Nov 30, 2016 10:30:00 AM

    1. Mirror

    Mirror is a must-have for designers who aren’t looking to recreate objects from scratch but need to mirror groups of them within the same design. Users simply choose which object or objects they want to mirror, then select points within their design to reflect it upon.

    This extension takes the headache out of having to recreate shapes or objects, allowing for a faster workflow.

    Who should use this extension: CAD professionals of all industries.

    Get it here: Mirror

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    Tags: 3D CAD, Productivity, SketchUp

    4 SOLIDWORKS Tools You Should Be Using

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Nov 16, 2016 10:55:00 AM

    In order to get the most out of your SOLIDWORKS software and improve your efficiency, there are a number of add-ins to give you a boost.

    Add-ins often include helpful shortcuts and processes to eliminate extra steps in your workflow. Many add-ins are already fully integrated with the software platform, though some tools require a simple download or one-time purchase.

    Below, we’ve highlighted four helpful add-ins that can improve your designs in SOLIDWORKS.

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    Tags: 3D CAD, Productivity, SOLIDWORKS

    6 (More) Productivity Tools Engineers Should Be Using

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Nov 8, 2016 9:55:00 AM

    By implementing more efficient design and collaboration tools to boost engineer productivity, companies can save up to $50,000 per month in labor costs. And with the help of such tools, CAD users can improve their designs faster and easier than ever before. Below, we’ve highlighted six of the best productivity tools to save time when working in CAD.

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    Tags: 3D CAD, Productivity, Communication

    6 CAD Videos You Can’t Miss

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Nov 2, 2016 8:19:00 AM

    CAD software has evolved rapidly over time to accelerate the design process, improve efficiency and help engineers innovate. 

    Fortunately, engineers have access to an abundance of online resources that provide CAD techniques and information on changes in technology. Videos serve as engaging and effective resources for those who want to understand CAD software and current trends in engineering as they provide far more than words on paper. 

    Here are six CAD videos providing quick tips, tutorials and testimonials that all engineers should watch.

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    Tags: 3D CAD, CAD Tips and Tricks, Productivity

    CAD Links Worth Your Time: 3D-Printed Case Improves Pokémon Aim, CAD in Virtual Reality and More

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Oct 6, 2016 12:45:00 PM

    CAD News

    Nike’s 3D-Printed Shoe Improves Olympian’s Speed

    Nike’s new 3D-designed spike plates made their debut in the Rio Olympic games as Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran in the women’s 100- and 4 x 100-meter relay. The shoe’s spikes are printed using 3D technology and custom-made to fit the sole of the sprinter’s foot.

    Prior to the Rio Olympic games, researchers spent years testing how the firmness and build of the spikes affected the overall pace of the athlete, as different levels can affect how each step recoils from the track during a race. 3D printing allowed researchers to quickly test more than 20 prototypes of the plates, ultimately leading them to a new innovative design to cut down on sprinters’ times.

    Fraser-Pryce went on to win medals in two of this summer’s Olympic games. She received silver in the women’s 4 x 100 meter relay and bronze in the women’s 100 meter.

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    Tags: Design, 3D mouse, 3D CAD, 3D

    How to Get the Most Out of SketchUp

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Oct 4, 2016 11:03:00 AM

    SketchUp is a 3D modeling computer program commonly used by engineers to draw and design with ease. As it plays an essential role in the design process, there are an abundance of online resources to help educate engineers on SketchUp’s new features and functions. 

    Below, we’ve rounded up nine resources to help you get the most out of SketchUp.

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    Tags: Design, 3D design efficiency, 3D CAD

    8 (More) CAD Influencers You Need to Follow

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Sep 13, 2016 11:30:00 AM

    Paul Munford (@CadSetterOut)

    Paul Munford authors the blog cadsetterout.com and updates it with weekly CAD tips and tricks, particularly with AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor. Once you’ve followed him on Twitter, be sure to subscribe to his blog to get new tips every Friday.

    Jon Hirschtick (@jhirschtick)

    Software entrepreneur Jon Hirschtick offers tips to help your design process run smoother. As a founder of Onshape and SOLIDWORKS, he also provides updates on the latest developments in CAD software.

    Pat Sweet (@engileader)

    Pat Sweet is a blogger, entrepreneur and engineer for Engineering & Leadership, which aims to help engineers also take on the role of leaders and project managers in their workplace.

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    Tags: 3D CAD, CAD Tips and Tricks, Productivity