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What is the best software to design 3D, other than Solidworks?

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Posted · What is the best software to design 3D, other than Solidworks?

I used to be a big fan of 123D but it has limitations, I have just converted to use Fussion360 its taken me a few days to understand the interface, with many Youtube visits for tutorials but its really a very functional product

But earlier this week they took the cloud off-line for maintenance and I wrongly thought I had lost my work, that dinted my enthusiasm for a moment but I found the files on my machine so all is well

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Posted (edited) · What is the best software to design 3D, other than Solidworks?

In the 3 years since investing in my UM2, I have exclusively used Tinkercad to create my 3D mechanical designs. I know that many will scoff at this, and dismiss it as a 'classroom toy', but the reality is that I have been able to create over 100 mechanisms with it over this time, many of them highly intricate designs demanding high precision, and well matched to the Cura slicer and my printer. Couple with this the absence of a noticeable learning curve, and the speed at which things can be created, and I really cannot fault it.

Whilst I concede that it is unlikely to satisfy the rigors of a professional work environment, or the aesthetic demands of an organic/artistic designer; for me, as an inventor who needs to turn ideas into reality quickly and accurately, and on a shoe-string, it is ideal.

Edited by Guest

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Posted · What is the best software to design 3D, other than Solidworks?

Well, I used TinkerCAD, Rhino3D and 123D, but there are many more. For begginers I can advise Tinker or CubeTeam, but someone may tell you different sofware, it's just a matter of preference.

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Posted (edited) · What is the best software to design 3D, other than Solidworks?

I agree with you, but I think it is necessary to make the distinction between applications that are 'intended for beginners' and those that are 'also suitable for beginners' - which I would class Tinkercad as.

Unfortunately, at a first glance at its user interface, it is easy to assume the former description. It is only after using it in anger on complex designs that its underlying functionality becomes evident.

Having said that, it does not have a 'surface modelling' capability that would be required for organic/artistic shapes. However, with a little patience, a degree of 'aesthetic smoothing' can be manually added to a design to make its appearance more visually appealing. In my case I rarely need to do this as my designs are mainly intended as functional mechanical mechanisms, which it handles very well.

Edited by Guest

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Posted · What is the best software to design 3D, other than Solidworks?

I think we are living in a pretty exciting time for design software -- more options and capability appearing in free and affordable options all of the time. And thanks to how social all of us desktop 3D Printing folks are with our attempts to use every 3D design package out there for what we really need - 3D modeling , sculpting, and surfacing - I think they are all getting a bit better for this. I don't think anyone can go wrong by spending time in Blender, SketchUp (much better these days for 3DP than before), rhino, fusion 360, onshape, solidworks, Modo, tinkercad, openscad, zbrush, meshmixer, or freecad. And watching time lapse sculpts and modeling sessions on YouTube can help you pickup the "metaphors" for how superusers are using each set of tools to get what they want. ;) But I have to say -- I've seen incredible, impressive 3D printed projects produced in every single package I listed. And as other responses have pointed out, there are huge fans in 3D Printing in dozens of more packages as well -- from design spark mechanical to wings3D to maya to 3DS max to grasshopper .....

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Posted · What is the best software to design 3D, other than Solidworks?

I would strongly argue that Solidworks is definitely not the best for design (I use it extensively). It is the best for manufacturing (if you do mass quantities), definitly more of an engineering tool that a designer tool.

Most industrial designers use Rhino 3d for design (product design) and then will do a final check in SW, although Rhino is strong enough to bypass SW altogether... Alias is very popular with automotive/transportation designers, pretty much and industry standard and Modo right now is the go to app for entertainment design.

The great advantage of SW is how history works and how you can link parts together. It's the only app, that's truly parametric, but is its drawback is the fact that it's isn't super intuitive for design. The advantage of Rhino 3d, is that it's really easy to export geometry back and forth with SW. Not other App I know of work as well together.

That said I use Rhino 3d more and more, and SW less and less...

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Posted · What is the best software to design 3D, other than Solidworks?

I should also add that Rhino 3d has an amazing, super friendly and patient customer support.

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Posted · What is the best software to design 3D, other than Solidworks?

I've looked around for free and/or open source web based CAD solution, easy to use.

I found TinkerCAD very easy and quite powerful. A newcomer very promising is WeDesign.live, still in beta but nice concept. They are introducing a new format file, MP5 and the algo are based on implicit modelling.

disclaimer: I'm a contributor to WeDesign.live, open source and live collaborative CAD app.

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