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StinkyStinker

Which program for modeling?

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Well as the topic title suggests.. I'm still in the process of figuring out how to make decent models for what I want to build. I have tried a few but the ones I have tried all seem to be messy and not so easy to get anything of high quality.

I want a program where I can make cone with a flat top and am able to specify the size of both ends as well as the height of the cone(without pulling out a tool to cut up a cylinder, which doesn't even result in an actual cone half the time). It should let me define all dimensions of a cube to the point where i make the bottom square be 3x4x3x3 making the bottom left/right corner of the front be pushed out by 1 increment. I also want to be able to type in coordinates/use keyboard keys to move an object instead of messily trying to slide it around with the mouse only to have it snap to another object and slant at an awkward angle. It should allow me to hollow out an entire object a certain amount (leaving anywhere between 1mm to 10mm walls and without cloning the object, scaling down a tiny bit, then subtracting it after centering it inside which can be a pain). Also using the keyboard to move camera instead of the mouse would be a bonus.

If anyone can point me in the right direction I would be very grateful. If not then suggest it to your current programs creator and let me know if they ever make changes.

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Hi @StinkyStinker, welcome to the forums!

Nice nickname by the way. Makes me appreciate we are on a forums again ;)

It really depends on what you want to make and what level of experience you are bringing to the table.

There is a difference between a sculpting tool like Zbrush, and a CAD tool like Solidworks. Those are both pretty high level.

On a lower level, dropping way down, you have intuitive tools like tinkercad which are free and very easy to use. It won't allow you to model a new David or Da Vinci device, but for some basic models which require some measurements it works pretty well.

I have used it many times when I need a simple model.

I am currently trying to learn Zbrush, mostly coming from a personal interest to the sculpting (I guess that is the best motivation). And have used Blender (also free) in the past. It has a lot of tutorials which should help you get on your way.

Good luck!

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It sounds like what you need is a CAD tool, rather than a sculpting tool. I currently use SolidWorks, which will pretty much do what you are asking in that you can enter exact dimension values, shell out solids with a single operation, rotate the view using the keyboard, and edit dimensions after the fact. It is, however, expensive.

Although I haven't tried it yet, you might want to give Fusion360 from Autodesk a go. It's free for students and makers and has a lot of tutorials available. It seems to be on par with SolidWorks for modeling tools, and may be more oriented for 3D printing.

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Ah sorry for the late response haha.. Funny how much time you lose once the holidays get closer..

So by the sounds of it any of the higher end cad programs should do? I will go ahead and take everyones advice and look into both solidworks and fusion 360.

SandervG it is definitely a good thing it is a forum hehe, always a better chance someone will help out. Also learning the program is no problem at all, however I find that when most programs try to be more user friendly they add too much clutter and ruin an otherwise good idea. Same goes for trying to be too advanced but hey, then you get to mess with more settings and make it perfect.

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I'm also new to the 3D printing world, but I found the following list of modeling software, as well as the categorization into artistic and engineering applications, to be quite helpful < https://www.matterhackers.com/articles/finding-the-right-3d-modeling-software-for-you>.

I'm currently using OpenSCAD for my designs. I am working on building custom accessories for forensic photography, so need a fair amount of precision. So far OpenSCAD is working well for me, but I'm new enough to realize that I may end up with something completely different.

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Just for consideration, be sure to understand the differences in "Parametric modeling" and "Non-Parametric modeling" When thinking about an engineerign CAD software purchase. I use Kubotek's Keycreator which is essentially the reincarnation of Cadkey. (Cadkey was THE CAD software for the longest time when CAD was born) I have been using Cadkey and Keycreator since 1992 and can't tell you enough, the importance of "free form" modeling. Something Solidworks can not do. (or any parametric modeling software)

With parametric software you need a definite "plan of attack" in order to build your CAD recipe (i.e. history tree) so that when changes arrive (and they WILL arrive) you might be able to make the necessary changes. More often than not, you will be resorting to a complete re-design.

With non-parametric software, free-form modeling allows you to do anything at anytime to your model. As a product designer for the last 11 years, I can tell you that this capability is very important.

I'm not bashing Solidworks. Just pointing out some important information some may overlook.

Edited by Guest

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Hi @CCA1, I am also a few steps away from learning how to model, so even though I know what I want to learn this topic is still interesting.

Following your reply I had some questions. You mention free form modeling as being super important, as a contradiction to what Solidworks support. I understand that Solidworks requires a pre-planned script on how you are going to model it, before you start. And along the way, a history tree will rise, which allows you to go back in steps and make alterations.

Later, with non parametric software you say you can do anything at anytime, but to me it sounded like that is also what that history tree would allow you to do.

I was wondering what part I misunderstood :p

fyi, partially due to my personal interest, I am going to learn Zbrush. I am very interested to learn character modeling.

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Autodesk's Fusion 360 should do all of that! Screenshots below:

 

I want a program where I can make cone with a flat top and am able to specify the size of both ends as well as the height of the cone(without pulling out a tool to cut up a cylinder, which doesn't even result in an actual cone half the time).

 

5a33246daf2ba_Screenshot(509).thumb.png.7d363840aa9f905979f9c46a9d5f855a.png

I just used the loft command here, with two circles above each other.

 

It should let me define all dimensions of a cube to the point where i make the bottom square be 3x4x3x3 making the bottom left/right corner of the front be pushed out by 1 increment.

 

5a33246f6f02b_Screenshot(510).thumb.png.54a93ba46356b339fc12c1217ade8044.png

Line command in sketch mode.

5a33246dd13d1_Screenshot(511).thumb.png.ef887efbbbb787e3cbaee3be4f4cbb2e.png

Extruded the sketch.

 

I also want to be able to type in coordinates/use keyboard keys to move an object instead of messily trying to slide it around with the mouse only to have it snap to another object and slant at an awkward angle.

 

5a33246df2a91_Screenshot(512).thumb.png.162fbd0b12968e8e5eb3d6aa2c734816.png

Move command. It's more of a relative coord system, though.

 

It should allow me to hollow out an entire object a certain amount (leaving anywhere between 1mm to 10mm walls and without cloning the object, scaling down a tiny bit, then subtracting it after centering it inside which can be a pain).

 

5a33246e2754a_Screenshot(513).thumb.png.1928986ce44340d4bb0ed1b06f0cabd2.png

Shell command... although, this always deletes 1 or more faces. So you'll have a cone with an open top.

5a33246e4bc32_Screenshot(514).thumb.png.9436a9beadf0311cfce29503beee0951.png

5a33246e83cb0_Screenshot(516).thumb.png.09f00b14f3a98b83504a3abd251d6e5c.png

This is making it entirely closed off and hollow: I used a second loft inside of the cone.

 

Also using the keyboard to move camera instead of the mouse would be a bonus.

 

I wish it had that. But hey, Fusion's free. I hope this helps! :)

Make On!

RayvenMaker

5a33246daf2ba_Screenshot(509).thumb.png.7d363840aa9f905979f9c46a9d5f855a.png

5a33246f6f02b_Screenshot(510).thumb.png.54a93ba46356b339fc12c1217ade8044.png

5a33246dd13d1_Screenshot(511).thumb.png.ef887efbbbb787e3cbaee3be4f4cbb2e.png

5a33246df2a91_Screenshot(512).thumb.png.162fbd0b12968e8e5eb3d6aa2c734816.png

5a33246e2754a_Screenshot(513).thumb.png.1928986ce44340d4bb0ed1b06f0cabd2.png

5a33246e4bc32_Screenshot(514).thumb.png.9436a9beadf0311cfce29503beee0951.png

5a33246e83cb0_Screenshot(516).thumb.png.09f00b14f3a98b83504a3abd251d6e5c.png

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Hi @CCA1, I am also a few steps away from learning how to model, so even though I know what I want to learn this topic is still interesting.

Following your reply I had some questions. You mention free form modeling as being super important, as a contradiction to what Solidworks support. I understand that Solidworks requires a pre-planned script on how you are going to model it, before you start. And along the way, a history tree will rise, which allows you to go back in steps and make alterations.

Later, with non parametric software you say you can do anything at anytime, but to me it sounded like that is also what that history tree would allow you to do.

I was wondering what part I misunderstood :p

fyi, partially due to my personal interest, I am going to learn Zbrush. I am very interested to learn character modeling.

 

Sander,

Your understanding of the history tree is correct. The problem, so often, is that it just doesn't always work. For just a few operations, and simple geometry, it isn't really a problem. But so often you need to go way back in the geometry and make a change, or the geometry has gotten so complex, that it just wont let you do it, and you end up starting over.

The old running joke with us non-parametric designers (which isn't very nice) is that if you ask a Solidworks designer to make revisions to a complex finished part, tears would well up in his\her eyes.

Hopefully the Solidworks users don't climb all over me for this. :p

I would be happy to help with your modeling questions as you get into them whenever I can. I'm not always on here so you may have to wait a while or just message me in email.

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I'll go ahead and fill you in much like Ravenmaker did. (nice job on that by the way)

With Keycreator all your requests are very simple. It has what's called "create primitives" which will give you options for block, cylinder, torus, pyramid, sphere, and CONE.

<a href=cone_zpscsayrnmt.jpg" />

The 2D design capabilities are second to none in the industry. (After all, that's how Cadkey made history) you simply design what ever shape you want that odd looking block to look like and extrude to whatever distance you want it to be. (or to another face, or to a point, or dynamic, etc.) Much like RavenMakers images show.

There are many ways to move an object, including the way you are asking about. You can give it a direct valued distance from where it is, from the coordinate system, (X0Y0Z0) or from a given position. You can also move it Dynamically from where it is and watch it move as you go and change it as you go.

<a href=move%20dynamic_zpsfempwgif.jpg" />

The shell command is very easy to use. You simply give it a direction to shell (inward or outward or both) an amount to shell, and which faces you want to leave open. (if any. It will do no face open if you want a hollow Easter bunny ;) ;)

 <a href=shell_zps2ikxfbt5.jpg" />

Modifying the keyboard commands (and the mouse commands for that matter) is very easy and versatile as well. They have made it so that the user can basically set up the "platform" how ever they want. I myself have several different "workplaces" for the different design iterations I am working on. I have one for my normal 3D modeling, one for my tooling layout designing, and the default. (which I do not use) I have even heard of people creating the workplace to resemble Solidworks as that was the platform they just came off off at a different place.

I hope this gives you some more arsenal to put into your thinking cap for making this decision. It is not one that should be taken lightly if your going to be trying anything other than the free ones.

A lot (if not all) of the more expensive CAD programs out there have free trial versions for you to download and try. I would highly recommend you take advantage of these if you are seriously thinking of buying one.

My 2 cents. ;)

Edited by Guest

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I'll go ahead and fill you in much like Ravenmaker did. (nice job on that by the way)

The 2D design capabilities are second to none in the industry. (After all, that's how Cadkey made history) you simply design what ever shape you want that odd looking block to look like and extrude to whatever distance you want it to be. (or to another face, or to a point, or dynamic, etc.) Much like RavenMakers images show.

Modifying the keyboard commands (and the mouse commands for that matter) is very easy and versatile as well. They have made it so that the user can basically set up the "platform" how ever they want. I myself have several different "workplaces" for the different design iterations I am working on. I have one for my normal 3D modeling, one for my tooling layout designing, and the default. (which I do not use) I have even heard of people creating the workplace to resemble Solidworks as that was the platform they just came off off at a different place.

I hope this gives you some more arsenal to put into your thinking cap for making this decision. It is not one that should be taken lightly if your going to be trying anything other than the free ones.

A lot (if not all) of the more expensive CAD programs out there have free trial versions for you to download and try. I would highly recommend you take advantage of these if you are seriously thinking of buying one.

My 2 cents. ;)

 

Thanks for the mention! Direct modeling looks really cool! Yeah, I do cringe when I have to change complex geometries... But guess what? I found direct modeling in Fusion! https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/fusion-360/learn-explore/caas/video/youtube/watch-v-zbEZlny7OH8.html It's definitely not as established as Keycreator's direct modeling (Fusion is parametric by nature) but hey, it's there.

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Is Google Sketchup a good option for 3D printing? I think it's an awesome tool for planning/designing some stuff but I don't know how easy it is to hand stuff over to a 3D printer. Also it doesn't do circles properly; they're polygons with 12 sides by default!

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Is Google Sketchup a good option for 3D printing? I think it's an awesome tool for planning/designing some stuff but I don't know how easy it is to hand stuff over to a 3D printer. Also it doesn't do circles properly; they're polygons with 12 sides by default!

 

Sketchup is not recommended for 3D printing, which is too bad, because I learned how to use it for woodworking and home remodeling projects and it can do a lot of things in that realm pretty well. Unfortunately the models it creates typically have messed up faces and vertices that make them non-manifold and no good for printing. You can try to manually fix the issues with some difficulty and there is a plugin available to try to fix the issues, but it doesn't always work.

If you are a beginner in the modeling for 3D printing world, I would stay away from Sketchup and use one of the other free CAD tools recommended in this thread. I personally use SolidWorks because I have it for work. Otherwise I would probably go with Fusion360. If you want to do organic shapes and editing of existing models and 3D scans, I recommend Meshmixer. Once you get comfortable with that, you could move up to ZBrush or one of the other professional modeling tools.

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I also recommend Fusion 360. It's one of my go to programs for designing and modeling. With all the content that AutoDesk is pushing out on it, just check out Fusion's youtube channel for previous webinars and awesome tutorial videos, it's easy to get started with it. Fusion is awesome for collaborating, files are stored in the cloud (can be a + or -), but you can download certain files to your machine, the software is the same for Windows and Mac (no Fusion for Mac) and the UI is the exact same (big plus for me), and the user community is fantastic to work with! Should you want to get into more organic design and whatnot in the future, Fusion also has a sculpting mode built in. It's nothing like Zbrush, but it's just nice having almost everything in one place as well.

I've used Solidworks for school and it's an awesome program, and people who know how to use it well do AMAZING things that just blow me away. I am not one of those people. lol

Another piece of software I'd recommend is Rhino. It's more surface modeling, whereas Fusion and Solidworks are solid modeling. So it is different, but there are similarities. You do have to pay for it, and if you're a Mac user the price will be going up at the new year because they're getting closer to the product that they're wanting (a closer version to their windows based software)

So there's my two cents. :D

Edited by Guest
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Thanks for the mention! Direct modeling looks really cool! Yeah, I do cringe when I have to change complex geometries... But guess what? I found direct modeling in Fusion! https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/fusion-360/learn-explore/caas/video/youtube/watch-v-zbEZlny7OH8.html It's definitely not as established as Keycreator's direct modeling (Fusion is parametric by nature) but hey, it's there.

 

Thanks for the link. Nice video. It is interesting to see direct modeling coming into what's normally a parametric modeling software. I think Solidworks even tried, or is trying, their hand at direct modeling kernels inside there existing design structure? I imagine most, if not all, design software is going to be transferring over to direct modeling at some point. (just my own opinion) Keycreator has been doing it since day 1, but with Solidworks flooding the educational market very early on in there existence, by giving there software away to every school that would take it, they managed to position themselves as the "go-to" design software because all of the younger users were familiar with it. (great marketing strategy. have to hand it to them)

But now people are realizing the benefits of non-parametric design capabilities, as well as the ability to take on anybody else's design and continue on from anywhere they left off. (huge in my world) ;)

Edited by Guest

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Another piece of software I'd recommend is Rhino. It's more surface modeling, whereas Fusion and Solidworks are solid modeling. So it is different, but there are similarities. You do have to pay for it, and if you're a Mac user the price will be going up at the new year because they're getting closer to the product that they're wanting (a closer version to their windows based software)

 

I would also recommend Rhino. Steap learning curve, but a very capable piece of CAD software. You can model "everything" and it is also a usefull tool for modifying meshes if you want to change something in for example dowloads from Thingiverse. A lot of plugins, mostly for the Windows version, but the Mac version is catching up.

If you like surface modeling and Rhino, you could also go for the even lower priced MOI (Moment of Inspiration). Mac only. Easy to learn, and a fun and capable modeler.

Edited by Guest
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