I have a TAD screw chart and use it all the time it replace an old Unbreako I had that wore out years ago. That said virtually any of the information on it is in Inventor in the Content Center and the Bolted Connection generator is great! The sheet metal styles are a bit weak out of the box but you can complete it for your applications very easily and on the fly as you go. You should learn these tools if you are using Inventor. IMHO, Inventor is better tool than SWX but often sorely underated; I own and use both but do prefer Inv.
One simply cannot have too much reference material within arms reach. I still regularly use my H.O.T. Book that Zonk & Associates (Richardson, TX) used to publish. Combining the inch and metric is a great idea and one of these will have to be added to my collection post haste! :-)
Two huge benefits of a physical slide chart are: First the thing does not need IP manager approval to be added to ones computer, and Second, it will not be rendered unusable by those pesky OS revisions that pop up whenever micro------ needs to boost income again. Besides that, they probably hold data that would consume several hours of web searching, and are much more convenient to use.
The Slide-Chart may be called archaic or “old-school” but I’d consider it valid and a basic everyday reference to just keep handy in my work area.No different than the Machinery’s Handbook also referenced in the article and a quicker reference to use, considering MH’s 1500+ pages. (Side note on the value of the Machinery Handbook:I’ve had 3 disappear during my career - - - does repetitive theft indicate value-?)
But here’s a much deeper thought about the point that all this information is "included" in CAD systems today.I have often struggled with specialized routines offered in CAD applications, finding them lacking.I account for this fact as the app intended for advanced mechanical design work is designed by SW engineers.
Accordingly, I submit this point: often, advanced ME solutions found in design software (i.e., sheet metal bending radii, or calculating thread torques) are provided as a SW algorithm quite probably created by a SW engineer, who is a professional with a different expertise trying his very best to interpret the detailed needs of a discipline for which they have no background.(Ever use ProSheetMetal, for example? Journeyman sheet-metal guys turned CAD jockey struggle with the interpretations of that SW-app).
( . . . OK:I’m bracing myself for the onslaught of counterpoints to this blasphemy . . . )
So easy slide-charts for mechanical apps designed for ME’s, and created by ME’s, just makes sense.Just as I wouldn’t expect a SW developer to happily perform their daily duties using a mechanically designed abacus to keep track of 1’s & 0’s in coding . . . .
My boss had one of these and with 20 engineers around it was constantly being borrowed. So he got one for everyone. I use mine at least weekly, if not more. It is certainly the most handy resource and the way it slides it makes it much smaller than a chart that would list all the information that is contained in a 8-1/2 x 11 tool! If you don't have one and you ever need to use fasteners in your design it is money well spent!
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