The ABC’s of AutoCAD Mechanical

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The ABC’s of AutoCAD Mechanical
Mike Thomas – Prairie Machine & Parts Mfg.



Learning Objectives
At the end of this class, you will be able to:  Effectively use the AutoCAD Mechanical interface  Create BOM, use balloons, perform dimensioning, and use other mechanical detailing tools  Use Structure to define "smart" components within your 2D geometry  Use the Mechanical geometry creation tools and advanced layer management to more quickly and efficiently
create your manufacturing drawings

About the Speaker
Mike graduated as the Most Distinguished Graduate from CAD/CAM Engineering Technology at SIAST, Kelsey Campus. For over 12-years he worked as an Application Specialist for an Autodesk reseller where he delivered demos, trainings, and implementations. He is specialist in the manufacturing industry with strong knowledge on the Autodesk mechanical products supplemented with a solid understanding of document management, hardware, networking, and other Autodesk technologies.
He is now the Technical Services Manager for Prairie Machine & Parts and is responsible for overseeing the engineering department’s technical operations and the department’s strategic technical growth. Primary duties include the ongoing support of critical computer systems and programs, the interactions between the department and between other departments, providing the engineering department with effective systems and technology, and working with the VP and Engineering Managers on the development and implementation of a cohesive strategic plan for the technical growth of the department

MA2870 - The ABC’s of AutoCAD Mechanical
What is AutoCAD Mechanical?
AutoCAD Mechanical (ACM) was initially released as an addition to Mechanical Desktop 2.0 (AutoCAD 2014) with a toolbar of extra “mechanical” specific functionality. With the release of AutoCAD Mechanical 14.5 Autodesk expanded the feature set to include mechanical specific dimensioning tools, Mechanical Symbols (Welding, Surface Texture, etc), and Parts Lists and Balloon functionality Autodesk then acquired German based Genius (one of their biggest acquisitions at the time) and the fun began. A snippet of the press release: “Genius is a technology leader in mechanical applications for AutoCAD and Mechanical Desktop. For over 10 years, Genius has been developing software for Autodesk products, and since 1995 the company has been a vital member of Autodesk's Mechanical Applications Initiative” Initially AutoCAD Mechanical was available on its own and with Mechanical Desktop. It is now available on its own and as part of the various manufacturing specific suites. Getting Help This document is intended to provide a synapsis of what features and functionality AutoCAD Mechanical provides. It is by no means a user guide providing step-by-step procedures for using each feature. However the Help system within AutoCAD Mechanical is very extensive, describing each and every feature and providing examples in many cases. The quickest way to narrow the help to the command you want to learn about is hover over the icon and hit F1 which will start the help but take you directly to the command you were hovering over.

MA2870 - The ABC’s of AutoCAD Mechanical
A Is for AutoCAD
Category: General AutoCAD Mechanical (ACM) is based on AutoCAD meaning that everything you can do in vanilla AutoCAD you can do in AutoCAD Mechanical….
 You might have to look for it or it may not be in the same location but it’s in there, somewhere!
 ACM provides enhanced versions of standard AutoCAD commands and uses these as the defaults. Don’t be scared, try them, you’ll grow to love them
 You can also continue to use any custom LISP, VBA, or addins as you did with your vanilla AutoCAD

MA2870 - The ABC’s of AutoCAD Mechanical


Is for Bill of Materials & Ballooning

Category: Mechanical Engineering Documentation

The Bill of Materials (BOM) is a collection of Part References or Components and their meta data. The BOM is “live” in that as the drawing changes the BOM automatically updates with the changes. This includes the quantity of each component instanced in the drawing. The meta data can be any data you want to track on your components, including descriptions, material, and vendor.
Balloons can be created (manually or automatically) from any Part Reference in the drawing. Format is controlled by the active standard, the item numbers (or other information) shown in the balloon is controlled by the BOM


MA2870 - The ABC’s of AutoCAD Mechanical


Is for Centerline

Category: Mechanical drawing and detailing tools

ACM provides tools to quickly generate centerline objects that are automatically placed on the centerline layer you defined in the standards. The standards also define the settings for the center line including things like Overshoots and offsets from the geometry

The centerline toolset can also create circles at the time of the centerline creation. To specify multiple diameters use the |, as in 0.25|0.5|2, without spaces as spaces are enters in AutoCAD

MA2870 - The ABC’s of AutoCAD Mechanical


Is for Power Dimensioning

Category: Mechanical Engineering Documentation

An Autodesk Study showed that placing dimensions with AutoCAD required twice as much time as with ACM

AutoCAD Mechanical’s Power Dimensions are:
 smart and understand their spatial relationship with one another.  quick and easy to be modified
One “power” command is used to create most dimension types but additional commands for semi-automating the dimension creation process are available too. With ACM you can also merging and split dimensions opposed to recreating


MA2870 - The ABC’s of AutoCAD Mechanical


Is for Edge Symbols & other Mechanical Symbology

Category: Mechanical drafting standards

Use the built-in ACM symbol tools to quickly create standards-based surface texture symbols, datums, geometric dimensioning and tolerance symbols, targets, weld symbols, and notes.
 Quickly modified via a double-click  Treated as an annotation with the ACM scale drawing feature


MA2870 - The ABC’s of AutoCAD Mechanical


Is for Finite Element Analysis

Category: Mechanical Design Productivity

From the ACM Help…
“Performs a Finite Element Analysis on a two dimensional object that is subject to a static load.
Summary: You can calculate stress and deformation in a plane for plates of a given thickness or in a cross section with individual forces and stretching loads.”


MA2870 - The ABC’s of AutoCAD Mechanical


Is for Shaft Generators

Category: Mechanical Design Productivity

Quickly build-up shafts using different sections which ACM positions automatically one after the other

 Add cylindrical or conical sections, features (holes, chamfers / fillets, grooves, threads, profiles and wrench fittings) and standard parts (bearings, gears, retaining rings, seals, etc)
 Edit at any time via a double-click Use the Shaft Calculator to calculate deflection lines, bending moments, torsion moments, and safety factors. Also can be used to determine shaft strength at selected points

MA2870 - The ABC’s of AutoCAD Mechanical

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The ABC’s of AutoCAD Mechanical