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Noob help with hopefully simple 123D design issues... Please!

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Hi Folks,

I hope this group is still active. I am a CAD noob. I am working on what I thought would be a first project in 123D design. It is a hoop to hold two soup cans together end to end. The piece is a circular clamp that would go around two soup cans with a rectangular piece that is split that has a screw to draw the two sides of the hoop together. The hoop would have a shallow track out of the middle to hold the protruding lips of the soup cans captive.

I have a couple major issues with trying to make this.

The first issue is centering things. I started with a cylinder, and I tried to center a circle in the cylinder to cut the cylinder into a hoop. I found no way to exactly position the circle in the center of the cylinder. I wound up doing it by looking at the x and y and I am off by a bit. I could not get it perfectly centered.

The second issue is cutting the little track out of the middle hoop the lips of the soup cans will rest in. That again, needs to be centered and the centering in this one is more critical because the track will not be very deep (the lips on the cans don't project out a lot). I am also not sure how to cut out just a track. I can cut out an entire slice like going from the cylinder to a hoop but I am not sure how to cut just a 1mm or less out of the center of the hoop.

If anybody could lend me a hand I would be ever so grateful.

Thank you!

You can center things in the grid by selecting them and pressing Shift+D :)

Also, designing screws is not easy. Especially in 123d... (It is possible though! If there is help needed with that then I can give you some intel)

Thank all of you! I should move on to a supported product. I got started with 123d design because someone on youtube made a model with some of the same features so I was able to follow along on and off the path so to speak. Even doing the new slow replay on you tube I could not see how he was dealing with the centering though. I don't anticipate trying to make anything too complicated with the 3D printer. Right now mostly things to hold tin cans together and after I get that part, something to fit in one and hold some parts. I may start over and look for the ALIGN tool. Thank you all again!

The first issue is centering things. I started with a cylinder, and I tried to center a circle in the cylinder to cut the cylinder into a hoop. I found no way to exactly position the circle in the center of the cylinder. I wound up doing it by looking at the x and y and I am off by a bit. I could not get it perfectly centered.

For starters, when you make one shape and then another, while your'e dragging the second shape around, it will snap to edges and centers of faces. Of course, this mode is more than a tad fidgety and seems to require surgical levels of steadiness. This is why we have the almighty ALIGN tool. TinkerCAD has this too. Mastering this is kind of hard to walk someone through, it's easier to pick up if you just mess about with it for a few minutes.

As for the second bit, aligning that center track is going to boil down to your mastery of the alignment tool. If you need to be a little more exacting, whenever you move objects around, you can just click on the little window with the measurement displayed and manually enter the distiance.

I know everyone and their uncle is going to tell you to abandon 123D just like Autodesk did, but believe me when I say not only has it been matched on many levels by the likes of TinkerCAD, but it's been surpassed by the likes of Fusion360, SelfCAD, Vectary, Clara.io, and even OpenSCAD/BlocksCAD.

In fact, however long it's going to take you to get used to the align tool in 123D, TinkerCAD takes not even half the time. Trust me, as much as I loved 123D, you're going to fight with it more than you will your projects. This group is a memorial.

To make the hoop, instead of a circle, just make another smaller diameter cylinder that is taller than the larger one. Then use the snap tool (the one that looks like a magnet). Just select the top of the smaller cylinder, then the top of the larger one. The tool will place the small cylinder in the center of the top of the larger one. then, drag the small cylinder down through the larger cylinder until it protrudes out of both ends of the big one. Then select the combine tool > subtract. click on the large cylinder first, then the smaller one. Then click anywhere else on the grid and you will have a hollow cylinder.

The simplest way to cut the groove is very similar. Just make another cylinder with a diameter slightly larger than the small one you created earlier. How much larger will depend on how deep you want the groove. Make the height of the cylinder be the size of the groove you want, probably slightly more than the measured distance of the two soup can lips. Then use the magnet tool again to place it on top of the hollow cylinder you just made. Then drag it down halfway into the cylinder. When you start dragging it, there will be a box that pops up showing how far you have dragged it. Just click in the box and change the number to half the height of your cylinder. Remember, you are dragging down, so the number will be negative. Then do the same subtract function with the combine tool. This will give you your groove in the exact center of the inside of your cylinder.

It's not nearly as complicated as this post makes it seem. Once you do it, it will make sense.

As you are starting with 123D Design, you might want to install Fusion 360 from the same developer as this 123D Design tool has been phased out. This will prevent you to learn 2 tools.

The easiest way to do this would be to make three cylinders. Newly made objects should (by default at least) snap to the center, edge and vertices of any other object. To be clear, they'll snap like this when they're first created and put into the environment. There's also an align button (default hotkey A) that'll sort this out if you've already made the objects. Select the things you want to align, hit A and hit the tab in the center. It'll make sense when you see it.

That said, here's how I'd do this with made-up numbers.

  1. Spawn a 25mm radius x 10mm high cylinder.
  2. Spawn a 20mm radius x 20mm high cylinder so that it's centered on top of the first.
  3. Spawn a 21mm radius x 1mm high cylinder so that it's centered under the first.

Drag cylinder 2 down and through cylinder 1 and use the subtract function to create a donut. This will eliminate cylinder 2.
Drag cylinder 3 up (in this case) 5.5mm, or use the align option as before, use the subtract function and you'll make your hoop with a groove cut out.

That should do it for you.