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Which 3D Design application do you use?

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

I recently started learning Blender to create a custom phone case for my stepmother :-) .

It's unbelievable this software is FREE. I found a very good basic course on Lynda.com (you can subsribe for a few €€/$$'s). Till now my experience is Blender is very stabel. It HAS a learning curve, although it's easy to learn (and appreciate!). After only a little practice I feel very much in control with Blender. As a beginner in 3d software the things I can achieve in Blender are really spectacular.

 

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

Cubify Invent for most of the stuff

Inventor 2014 when it's getting more complicated

I really like Cubify Invent, just 40€ and it feels almost like using Solidworks. I do miss some features but I have Inventor as a backup.

 

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

FreeCAD all the way for me.

I started 3D design with no background at all. After 6months and a few (hundred) foreign youtube videos iv got it all the stuff I need mastered.

Its pretty good for parametric stuff if you take the extra design time. And can convert and export loads of different types of files unlike some free software.

And I've not managed to create a duff mesh yet unlike half the files people send me to print...

Did I mention it took me about 2 weeks to make my first model?!

Ah well if CAD was self explanatory, everyone would want a go!

 

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

Moment of Inspiration

It's cheap, extremely easy to use and I have never had an issue creating water tight models. It took about 2 days to learn with a few helpful videos.

Cura always slices the models perfect and ready for printing. I would love to use Solidworks, but the price is way over my price range.

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

+1 for Fusion360. Love it! Printed my first design today! Great learning experience! Plus working on a Mac so it's nice to be able to have the same User Interface as everyone else that uses it. :)

 

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

Nowadays I use Solid Edge (Student or how they call their free-of-charge version for non-commercial use). I'd rather use SolidWorks, which I found a lot (!) easier to use and much easier on the hardware in the past (when I had access to it), but it costs a little fortune. So, Solid Edge, for me, is a not-so-nice but still more-than-just-ok alternative.

As another alternative -- engineering CAD software, too -- T-Flex CAD is also available free for non-commerical use (if cost would be an issue).

 

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

Hmmm. There are many drafting software out there, each with their own benefit to whoever user. Going for budget CAD software that works, my vote goes to VariCad.

I work in a company that has so many cad users on all levels, that I can always ask to check out something.

Now, being used to use CAD/CAM since apprentice ( early 90is ) and with a solid understanding of physics and a hands on experience with the real capabilities of production machinery ( cut, bend, fold, mill, drill, turn, ...ect)

Cubify looks interesting. But go for the 200 $ design rather than the intro version.

Variacad is currently around 600 euro for a full version for the first year. Update turns out around 100-150 yearly pending on what you sign up for.

My company pays for my inventor and solidsworks. But I don't use them that much.

For the 3d printing purpose I am still in the testing. I can see that it certainly matters from which console you generate the STL file. Honestly I would rather do without STL. Its a format that isn't really suitable for the printing we want. It cuts corners, so to say. I grew up with SmartCam... Now there was a machine control system. But yes, it's not free! Delcam used to be a company I admired. The shapes the software was capable of and the direct translation to machine language. Stunning! Then someone bought them out.

I guess my finish line should be, don't worry about software if you haven't been trained in using it. Second, there's a STL translator in all, that's what we should worry about in the first place.

Regards, Daniel

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

Hmm. I rather suspect that a number of people contributing to this thread have not really grasped the distinction between 3D drafting (CAD) and 3D solid modelling packages. The latter will generally produce "good" (printable) models, but the process with the former is much more hit and miss. Unfortunately, good hobby-priced solid modelling packages are few and far between. In fact DSM and OpenSCAD are the only two I know of offhand.

 

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

We have ve been on the cnc side, having converted a benchtop mill about 3 years ago

We have been using the high end Alibre (now Geomagic Design) for 3d modeling, including solids, sheet metal, simple mechanism assemblies for our solid modeling, with the Mecsoft 4-axis Cam for Geomagic for this time (no 4th axis yet)

We are totally new to printing so will build in our Geomagic Design tool (it can build/output surface stl files)and find a good slicer...kiss, cura etc...unless anyone else has a better way - Rhino seems well liked...

3d systems has some other interesting products im going get a demo on soon:

1) printing and scanning hardware, just because

2) scanning software that can build either surfaces, or true hierarchical interpretable object build trees that a lot of higher end tools can use cool if real and functional...

3) they have some static/dynamic analysis tools that read 3d models/assemblies, integrated with assembly kinematic motion

With tools for finite analysis...heat transfer, fluid dynamics, stressstrain...

All higher end, but the first 2 items seem really awesome with 3d printing

Im such a geek

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

I use Blender and FreeCAD. Blender is very mature, and since everything that will be 3D printed is going to be composed of polygons anyway after export to STL and OBJ, you gain little in the end product if using a solid modeller like FreeCAD or SolidWorks. Blender also has a vast collection of tools, and using modifiers can be used to successfully create both organic and engineering models in a parametric fashion. Although it's not a solid modeller, it's absolutely fine for engineering projects if you like to work that way (which I do). For complex, high-poly projects you will need a powerful computer, a powerful card and lots of patience. Blender has a steep learning curve. It's well worth the effort, though, since it can create things you would tear out your hair trying to produce in SolidWorks.

FreeCAD is maturing. It has many useful tools, is much easier to learn than Blender, is a solid modeller and a great CAD tool. Under the surface, if you are handy with Python, you can do almost anything you want including assemblies and what have you.

When do I choose between one or the other? Well, if the project is purely technical or engineering then FreeCAD is my fist choice. If there is an element of design then I go to Blender first because I "think" in Blender better than I do in FreeCAD, and Blender can do things that FreeCAD can't.

The sort of projects I have used Blender for are things like a model submarine, jewellery (mainly rings), a smart watch case (very high precision), a couple of current projects one which is quite large and complex (all parts are printed in scale) and one which is really small but very precise (25 microns roughly).

With FreeCAD I have designed and printed a barreling machine, various simple bits and bobs, and a really small and very precise IP67 electronics housing.

So if you want free tools, they do exist, and they are perfectly usable for most if not every thing you will print on an Ultimaker.

What's important to bear in mind is that you choose the tool according to your skills and the job at hand, not the other way around.

 

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

That comment about STL and OBJ making proper software selection irrelevant - is incorrect for a number of reasons, however this is not the correct forum to discuss it.

 

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

I'm a ZBrush user.

Though if I am doing technical stuff which is rare and need exact measurements which is also rare I use Sketchup.

But primary I use ZBrush for everything though clay and modelling putty, plasticard, foamcard, but that's more hardware than modelling and CAD software isn't it.....

 

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

Geomagic design (got the medium license when it still was Alibre design).

There is a stripped down version of Alibre which is called "Cubify Invent". It sells for $39 and has a free trial version. If you are looking for a mechanical CAD in the style of Pro/E or solidworks, I'd try this. Not very good for organic shapes though.

EDIT: Just saw this has been recommended already. Cubify Invent does not support assemblies, which makes it more or less worthless for mechanical design. Cubify Design (€149) does.

 

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

As a STEM consultant and CADCAM trainer working with secondary schools, I concentrate on professional 3D parametric modellers that are free to schools.

These include; Autodesk Inventor, PTC Creo and Siemens Solid Edge which all work in a similar way providing pupils with a wide range of modeling tools. All of these programs will save/export an STL file and allow the user to control the number of polygons.

Teaching school pupils how to use 3D parametric modelling software provides pupils with an insight into how engineers and designers work and makes them more employable.

 

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

We're using Geomagic Design (nee Alibre Design).

 

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

For Alibre users: 3D systems will discontinue the smaller versions (Elements, Pro) 20 April 2015, only the top version survives. Might be a final chance to get a elements version (if this is still available somewhere).

If you live in Switzerland, http://www.alibre.ch/news/pro2expv17.php is an upgrade offer. For non-pros: Consider Cubify Design.

 

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Posted (edited) · Which 3D Design application do you use?

Hi let me add my 2cts to this discussion as I tried many programs in the last few weeks/months. I work on a MAC. My findings:

Autodesk 123D - Basic but OK. Very easy to learn, but missing some of the tools that are standard in other programs like projecting curves onto a mesh etc. Good for starters but if your design is more than combining/subtracting a couple of boxes and cylinders, add a fillet etc. than there are better options in my view. Good thing is you can work precisely (good measurement of distances etc.)

Fusion 360 - Looks state of the art but it just didn't work for me. Plus the 40E per month after trial was too much. I read personal use is still free somewhere but not sure. It is very powerful though.

MOI3D - really nice, easy to learn NURBS tool. not parametric so if you do something you need to undo and redo again with the right settings. more for organic stuff in my view than being a tool to precisely put a screw hole at a certain position. I like the user interface and the way things can be easily selected. Extendable via scripts. Has active community who made some very useful scripts you can add like subdividing and other stuff. Is worth my money.

ViaCAD 9 - Windows version has reputation to crash often, I had no trouble with that though but Mac version Windows behaved strange sometimes. Extensive tool set and options but user interface I found it not very intuitive but others may have different view.

Cheetah3D - Mac Only. More aimed at making a model and then rendering rather than for printing but still good. You can work on organic models but also work precisely.

Onshape.com. Online and free for up to 5 designs. Haven't tried much but apparently company with deep pockets behind this to improve this over time. You need to be online.

DesignSpark Mechanical - Windows only unfortunately. It works with Pull and Move tools that are very powerful and it is free. Lots of options. For mechanical designs. To my taste the best option there is. The way you can use the pull option and you can do things so easy that cost way more effect than any other tool I have tried. I run it in virtual machine on my Mac and it is a keeper.

Blender -  Very powerful tool. Goes much further with rendering, animations etc. But that user interface.. can't get used to it. Works pretty fast if you learn the keyboard shortcuts.

ZBrush - Creative with clay. You pull and push and add more material like you do with Clay. For organic models. There is nothing like this. Best for creating monsters and dragon in games I think. Latest version also you can also make some more flat surfaces like you have with metals etc.  Not very easy to learn, non standard user interface but can create STLs.

In the end I use MOI3d and Designspark Mechanical most.

Edited by Guest
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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

I use Fusion360. I'm a student and can get all of AutoDesk's products for free. I'm also pretty familiar with AutoCAD, and should be CAD certified with it by the end of next semester.

I love Fusion. I'm also a Mac user and with it being the same layout both on Mac and PC is really helpful. I find it really easy to use, and AutoDesk has some amazing tutorials on Youtube on how to use it. Something that I find unique about Fusion is that it have a standard CAD way to model, and then it also has a sculpt mode. So you have do a lot of the "ball and clay" type of modeling. You can't do everything that a program like ZBrush can do, but it's more then other programs like AutoCAD can do.

Another thing that I find that it is super helpful is in the Files menu there is a 3D Print button, with that you can have your selected model exported as an STL and then directly imported into your slicer of choice. Although the default is set to AutoDesk's Meshmixer, it's really easy to choose which application you want the model imported to. The only issue that I have with this, is you have to go into the files menu in Cura and select save .gcode unless you want to look for file, "019846273647617384.gcode" on your SD card. Other then that, I find the modeling process and exporting really easy.

I'd highly recommend it to anyone!

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

I copy that. In the meantime I also had a second look at Fusion 360 and switched to it now. It is quite good, free basically.

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

I use Inventor Pro and Fusion 360. I have been using Fusion more frequently though because of its more intuitive interface, free form sculpting feature, and the fact that it produces better renderings of your parts.

If you don't mind lying about your occupation (assuming you're done with school) and you don't use your models and projects for your job, you can get all of Autodesk's software for FREE (that's a whopping $0) through their student program here. You're welcome.

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Posted · Which 3D Design application do you use?

I've used a bunch. I settled on DesignSpark Mechanical for a while, which is free and very powerful. Within the past couple of weeks, I have started learning to use Fusion 360, now that I have a free license for it. It seems to be quite good, so far.

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