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Software used to design printers?

Posted by Caanon 
Software used to design printers?
June 14, 2012 11:04PM
There's a ton of software out there that helps you create the objects you want to print out (Sketchup, 123D, Tinkercad), but I can't find much information on the software used to design a 3D printer itself. I've heard of SolidEdge, but that seems like it may be overkill for something like this. What software would you use if you wanted to design a RepRap (or any other 3d printer)?
Re: Software used to design printers?
June 15, 2012 06:58AM
Many of us prefer OpenSCAD due to its programming nature and simple version control.

Others use commercial packages, various cad software or Blender, but you can use whatever program you like.

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Re: Software used to design printers?
June 15, 2012 12:07PM
I'm using SketchUp to design my machine... probably a lot more easier options, but I'm a visual artist so it sorta makes more sense + is more synchronous with the way I work than something like OpenSCAD's programming interface.

so really, there might be a bajizzillion ways to design your printer - it might be a matter of finding something that works well with your fluencies and the way you think.
good luck!
Re: Software used to design printers?
June 15, 2012 04:34PM
I recently stumbled upon a Kickstarter project for a 3D printer that used Alibre (www.alibre.com) - [www.b9creations.com]
Re: Software used to design printers?
June 15, 2012 05:29PM
I tried Alibre a couple years back and although it has good capabilities for the price, I found it to be riddled with very frustrating bugs. I vowed never to use it again.

My favorite CAD (for doing actual engineering) is SolidWorks. It's amazingly versatile, and not much harder to use than SketchUp (which, in my opinion, is great software but not suitable for engineering work). The problem is it's horrendously expensive. There's a chance that for hobbyist stuff you might be able to convince them to sell you the student edition for $150, even if you're not a student.

I've also tried SolidEdge and found it to be good. Quite evenly matched with SolidWorks. I played around with Pro/E once but that one was over my head.

Re: Software used to design printers?
June 15, 2012 05:39PM
I also used Alibre to design my printer.

The software is fine now, but the company Alibre is very sketchy. I own the expert version, but I can only recommend their most basic offering due to features mysteriously vanishing. In my particular situation I lost the finite element analyst feature because of Autodesk revoking their 3rd party license or something. Alibre's answer? Well, I should just go download the trial version of Algor. WTF? 6 months later they sent an email asking me if I wanted to buy their new 3rd party FEM. WTF2?

Last year 3D systems bought Alibre, but it's still up in the air if the company is now trustworthy.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2012 06:19PM by billyzelsnack.
Re: Software used to design printers?
June 15, 2012 05:43PM
I used Blender to design Tantillus, but I know that it's out of most peoples comfort range. If you want a true CAD program and are looking for free or opensource you could try FreeCAD. Use the developers version not the release as the release is really old now and lacks features the Dev level one has.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2012 07:23PM by Sublime.

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Re: Software used to design printers?
June 15, 2012 05:52PM
I use solidworks mostly but just started learning freecad which is quite good so far

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