3D CAD Question

My engineer uses Pro E, but it is very cumbersome and slow for designing complex shapes. He said Alias is not suitable because there is no way to enter dimensions, and the files must be translated into Pro E for tooling, but the files translate with significant surface errors.

Is there a program that allows entering dimensions, that can be used for desiging internal structures, and produces files that can be used for making molds?

The short answer is no.

You will have to do the design in either 2D (i.e. illustrator/pshop) or 3D and then pass it over to the engineer for them to translate the design into Pro/e.

It is possible to use the surface model you design in Rhino, Alias, etc. within Pro/e…but to utilize the parametrics (the entering numbers you refer to) you will have to remodel everything within Pro/e.

Pro/e isn’t very cumbersome IF you know what you want to design. It does have a steep learning curve. But it is a pretty awesome piece of software that you could really leverage to your advantage if you learn.

Not knowing what you’re designing, talk to you company about taking courses in Pro/E. Talk to your engineer about Top-down design implementation within your work-flow if you haven’t already. With top-down you can control the design by designing the “skeleton” model that the engineer will then work to bring to production.

It will require training and collaboration on both your and your engineer’s parts. But the workflow in the end would be very slick.

I’m not sure if you’re referring to parametrics or just the ability to create an accurately dimensioned model. Just because Alias is a freeform surfacer doesn’t mean it’s not dimensionally accurate. Alias + Pro E is VERY common in the industry. You build your surfaces in Alias (to the dimensions you need) and then import them into Pro E.

"but the files translate with significant surface errors. " is true to an extent. Any gaps, poor geometry, or dirty surfaces will show up like a mess in Pro E. Once you learn the tips and tricks to importing geometry it becomes extremely powerful and you can add all of your solid features in Pro E.

The best part is with the appropriate package you can CHANGE your surfaces, re-import them into Pro E and if done correctly all of the features you added in Pro E will automatically update, and thats an incredibly powerful feature when dealing with complex production geometry.

Theres a reason all of the automotive design studios use Alias and it’s not because it’s a mediocre product.