Best way to design a full suspension frame (as in what software, or just paper)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best way to design a full suspension frame (as in what software, or just paper)

    Well, that title is pretty long, so I probably don't need to explain this thread much more, but here goes: I've built a about 11 bikes over the years, and after a little break, I'm building again, and one of the bikes I'm working on is full suspension. In the past I've used mostly paper after working out some design ideas in the free version of bikecad. I have got linkage x3, which has been really interesting in terms of designing the suspension, but it's a little crude in terms of designing the frame, so I'm just wondering if anyone has found something better.

    Any ideas or tips would be much appreciated! Thanks so much, and I look forward to learning something.

  2. #2
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    Work out your suspension in Linkage and the rest in CAD. Fusion360 is free for personal use.

  3. #3
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    Linkage, solid modeling, and a lot of time in the machine shop. Basically, if you can't draw it in 3D, you're just wasting time, money, and metal.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    Fusion360 is free for personal use.
    I feel like there is an emoji for a head exploding. Somehow that seems like the right thing here. I didn't know there was a way to get a decent cad program for free. Here I've been trying to get freecad to work...unsuccessfully, I might add. Wow. I've been watching how to videos all evening. Crazy. Thanks!

    And Peter, I dig it . That's pretty much why I asked. Thanks to you both for the help! I really appreciate it! Of course, none of this makes my frame come along very quickly , but hopefully the result will be a whole lot better!

  5. #5
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    You can look at Lars Chistensen chanel on Youtube there's a lot of great Fusion content.

    Also, Fusion have a CAM package which gives proper G-code for 3 axis and lathe. I've been using this for almost 2 years now and it's quite easy to get the basics, even for a hobbyist.

    I know that there's a 5 axis module but this is way beyond what a hobbyist would need.

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    They have a ton of tutorial stuff on the fusion 360 site too, so I've been checking that out. Thanks for the Lars C. tip though! I'll check that out.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bpotts View Post
    I feel like there is an emoji for a head exploding. Somehow that seems like the right thing here. I didn't know there was a way to get a decent cad program for free. Here I've been trying to get freecad to work...unsuccessfully, I might add. Wow. I've been watching how to videos all evening. Crazy. Thanks!
    I'm pretty sure I'm the only person here using FreeCAD productively. If you have any questions lemme know, I can maybe demystify a few things that have gone undocumented.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (officialy in 2016, functionally in 2020).

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    Keeping an eye on this thread. I'm possibly building a 24" wheeled full suss kids bike. I've got plenty thinking to do first tho!

    Keep us updated on your progress.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    I'm pretty sure I'm the only person here using FreeCAD productively. If you have any questions lemme know, I can maybe demystify a few things that have gone undocumented.
    I wish I could have gotten better results with FreeCad, but on every system, I run into dumb display issues that render it unusable, and I can't figure out a way around them. I'm really happy to have found Fusion360, though it seems that they're changing their free offerings, so we'll see if I got on that too late. In any case, I have a lot more tutorials to work through before I'll be able to do much there!

    I also just saw that there's a full suspension CAD on bikecad, but it's a blank link. Maybe something in the works? That could be cool, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bpotts View Post
    I wish I could have gotten better results with FreeCad, but on every system, I run into dumb display issues that render it unusable
    That sucks. If you were trying on Linux, you *cannot* run the open source video driver. Run the closed source display drivers, vastly less crashy crashy.

    ...Not that you need it now, just saying.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (officialy in 2016, functionally in 2020).

  11. #11
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    Drew,
    Good to know. Maybe I'll find my way back there at some point, but for now learning to do CAD, without technical issues seems like a big enough hurdle, so I'm going to keep that up as long as I can. T

    It's really great to know that there's someone in the community who is willing to help with FreeCad though, so thanks!

  12. #12
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    +1 for Fusion 360. The is the dummed down version of Autodesk inventor. But to be honest the modelling side of Fusion is not dumbed down much at all. Its grunty as ****!.

    I'm modelling about 15 hours a week in my day job using Solidworks. Fusion does not loose much out to the multi-thousand dollar Solidworks package for modelling. Where Fusion is dummed down compared to a full blow package like inventor or solidworks is the Reference drawing side of it. You dont have the feature to make detailed professional reference drawings with industry standard symbols like weld symbols.

    But for home use who cares if you dont have weld symbols or cant create a reference drawing package as professional as the fully blow cad package.

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    PS Allow yourself 6 months to a year of solid continious modelling to go from frustated pleb to competent 3D modeller. Even then you will only be scratchin the surface of 3d capability.

    But once learnt enough to be output usefull designs it will considerably help your design process and allow you to conceptualise what you are thinking about, refine it, stess test it before you spend any money and cut any steel.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    PS Allow yourself 6 months to a year of solid continious modelling to go from frustated pleb to competent 3D modeller. Even then you will only be scratchin the surface of 3d capability.

    But once learnt enough to be output usefull designs it will considerably help your design process and allow you to conceptualise what you are thinking about, refine it, stess test it before you spend any money and cut any steel.
    I'm studied it enough to totally appreciate that. I definitely have a long way to go before I'm even close to a competent 3d modeler, so I appreciate the reality check.

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    Start off small with some detail parts like some brackets e t. Something that doesn't take too much modeling power.

    Say a simple extrude for a rear drop out/brake mount. Headset tube. That sort of stuff.

    The interesting thing about 3d modeling is that there are multiple ways to do same thing. How you set your part up to begin with determines how you can refine it in the future. I've ditched hole designs before and started from scratch again because I initially set up the part badly

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    Start off small with some detail parts like some brackets e t. Something that doesn't take too much modeling power.

    Say a simple extrude for a rear drop out/brake mount. Headset tube. That sort of stuff.

    The interesting thing about 3d modeling is that there are multiple ways to do same thing. How you set your part up to begin with determines how you can refine it in the future. I've ditched hole designs before and started from scratch again because I initially set up the part badly
    Yeah I've seen the benefits of that. As soon as I started to get some clue of how to do things, I realized that I would be working up to a whole frame...and it looks like it might take a while for me to get there!

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