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Program Choices

Posted by ecleary 
Program Choices
May 18, 2014 11:46AM
I'm starting to get into 3d printing, just ordered the pursa i3 kit from 3dprinterczar.com, and whilst im waiting on that to arrive I want to start getting familiar with a 3d modeling software. I was starting use sketchup but however after looking through the forum it would seem that there are some issue with it.
Any advice on where to start? Is auto CAD the be all and end all? Im a student so i can probably get that on the freesies.

Also Ive seen a lot of documentation about slicing software and think it might be prudent to ask for opinions on that also. What about firmware? Any advice?

I know this is all a bit vague and for that i do apologize but i would like to get some info before i invest time into learning on or the other programme, if theres any other forums with relevant info that you know of please send the link
Re: Program Choices
May 18, 2014 04:54PM
Personally, I use SolidWorks to model with. It's used in industry and is very easy to use once you know the basics, loads of tutorials on YouTube etc to learn how to use the software. It's also very easy to upload to slicing software by saving the model as an .stl straight away. Only problem is that it's not free, not even a trial. I'm studying product design at uni and so got the software for free, although I know it can be downloaded from places online...

Currently I'm using Slic3r to slice my models and convert to G-code as this is what is recommended for my printer (Ormerod). No problems so far, although it does seem to take a long while to slice fairly complex models :/ The settings are easy to change though which is a bonus if you want to increase printing speed etc. but I am thinking about using another piece of software.

Hope I helped thumbs up

Anyone else got any suggestions for slicing?
Re: Program Choices
May 18, 2014 05:02PM
The thing about the slicers is that none of them is perfect. I use slic3r about 90% of the time, but there are occasional objects that is has trouble slicing. For this reason, I have integrated slic3r, skeinforge, and cura into my host program. If I have an issue with slicing an object, it's very easy to try another.

I use openscad for most of my modeling. Being a software developer, I find it very natural to describe my models using the openscad "language". I keep trying to learn a CAD program, but nothing is intuitive to me. I have tried autocad (being a mentor for a FIRST robotics team entitles me to a free license) but it's too daunting. Right now, I'm trying with freecad.

I use Marlin firmware
Re: Program Choices
May 18, 2014 05:45PM
I use sketchup and havent run into any big issues. Slic3r doesn't always like the model, but cura works for them. Sketchup is nice because it is graphical, and i don't need a whole lot of math to build something.I am learning open scad, easy enough to learn simple models in a few hours, but i I do wish I had more math kung fu.
Re: Program Choices
May 18, 2014 09:40PM
i use sketchup and designspark mechanical mainly, though i am leaning much towards designspark lately, the biggest thing for me seems to be what i am trying to make.

there ain't no way in hell i will ever model a person or animal, i can do bricks really really well...lol

oh ya if you use sketchup, look into the plugins for it, it has some amazing plugins.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/18/2014 09:42PM by dissidence.

Re: Program Choices
May 23, 2014 05:27AM
autodesk inventor (free for students!), solidworks is for children

tongue sticking out smiley
Re: Program Choices
May 28, 2014 06:01PM
only getting back

thanks for all the info guys, ive ended up going the solidworks direction (a copy of it fell into my lap you might say), it seems like a good middle ground between auto cad and sketchup, auto cad is way to complex and multi faceted to even want to try

as for slicer software and firmware, i think ill go with jbernardis advice seems like a good plan of action
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