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3D Software for designing sign frames

Discussion in 'General Software' started by Rob1972, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. Rob1972

    Rob1972 New Member

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    Sep 14, 2015
    Looking to see what others are using to design frames / cabinets for their signs. We are getting more and more into fabricating our own cabinets, frames for mounting sign faces to, etc. I a currently roughing frames in Corel but it's very time consuming. I something pretty accurate so that our fabrication guy knows exactly what he needs and how to build it. I am thinking of some sort of CAD program?
     
  2. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    Can you give us an example?

    How are you fabricating these? CNC or Hand Built?
     
  3. Rob1972

    Rob1972 New Member

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    Sep 14, 2015
    Hand built. For example we are building a 4' (h) X 10' (w) X 12" (d) sign for customer. We building the frame by welding 15 angle iron together and riveting aluminum faces to the frame. I want to provide my fabricator with a detailed drawing of the frame along with the lengths of angle iron he needs to cut.
     

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  4. DravidDavid

    DravidDavid Member

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  5. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    This is most likely overkill but will do what you need:
    https://www.rhino3d.com/

    If you are not afraid of the cloud this parametric modeler is interesting (and free):
    https://www.onshape.com/
    You can do sign frames with it or all the components for a new space shuttle system if you need to.
    I've been using it for just a little while but it slick.

    wayne k
    guam usa
     
  6. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    Problem with CAD programs is...

    You have to learn CAD... not a walk in the park.
    You still have to make adjustments for panel sizes and thickness, angle thickness, especially when working with cope joints. It still have to be finessed by the fabricator. When I had to do this, I did it in Auto-Cad, I made a template, but still had to make up for all that, and go talk to the fabricator on complicated jobs.

    You can design these accurately with Corel or Illustrator with Cadtools but they would be flat drawings, not the cool 3D drawing. You can also add the attachment details for accurate alignments of baseplates/post attachments.
    To get a basic 3D drawing, I have done it in CadTools using CADaxonometric in scale, or using Illustrator, work in points (72 points = 1") and extrude angle profiles.

    You mentioned riveting... why rivet?
    I understand maybe one panel so you could have access to the internal attachment, but all of them?
     
  7. Rob1972

    Rob1972 New Member

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    Sep 14, 2015
    Rick - First of all thanks for helping me out with this. As far as riveting goes that is what my fabricator said his plan was. I have been out of the biz for a few years but am back in it now so am trying to get used to how they do things around here. Back when I was here before we didn't build our own stuff. Mainly did 4X8's and stuff using MDO and 2X4 frames. It's been put on me as the designer to have everything ready from step one to the end so there are no questions. I have lots of learning and research to do as I plug away at projects.
     
  8. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Active Member

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    Why build a cabinet out of angles and sheet metal when there are so many nice extrusions available to you ?
     
  9. Rob1972

    Rob1972 New Member

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    Sep 14, 2015
    I think because this may be the only way they have done it. I thought of extrusions as well. I will have to research that. Thanks!
     
  10. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    Sowwy "Z" I accidentally pressed the dislike button on my phone...

    Most basic cabinets around here are fabricated. Nearly all non-illuminated are.

    I occasionally use extrusions on system signs but most of my clients, and myself prefer hidden attachments.

    On the use of rivets, I think if my clients saw them, they would freak. I call out adhesives (Lords specifically) or combinations of plug welds and adhesives and always try to find ways of hiding access to the internal attachment.

    I think 3D is overkill but, after looking it up, I would use Sketch-up Pro... the other advantage is, having Sketch-Up skills would help on your next job, many higher end sign shops and EGD firms look for Sketch-up skills...

    http://jobbank.segdservices.com/jobs/
     
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