What's your choice of CAD?
November 13, 2012 01:56PM
Now that I'm getting close to finishing the printer build it's time to look at how I draw/create stuff. I've got OpenSCAD on the PC and I watched an intro video for Google Sketchup last night and that looked pretty simple to get started with, but I just wondered what everyone's favorite weapon of creation was? I prefer point and click environments but I've done a certain amount of programming so OpenSCAD is quite interesting too.

Also if anyone has suggestions for "utility" programs to help with testing and setup of the printer that would be much appreciated. I've seen a gui based app somewhere in my travels that appears to allow manual motor control ??? I could be totally off base of course!

Many thanks
Re: What's your choice of CAD?
November 13, 2012 02:31PM
I use solidworks but of course its far from free, I have used a little bit of Freecad too and Alibre

Experimenting in 3D in New Zealand
Re: What's your choice of CAD?
November 14, 2012 03:47AM
I downloaded heekscad yesterday ..looks very user friendly . .even for a novice like me. . .
Re: What's your choice of CAD?
November 14, 2012 04:41AM
Heeks Cad looks a really nice program. 123D is good and the price is right. It's related to Autodeask Inventor and uses similar structure. Sketchup has been round a while and is easy to learn. It has become more accurate and less of a sketching tool. There is a 3rd party plugin to produce stl files. There is always autocad but it is in the same class price wise as Solidworks. Solidworks is better at 3d mechanical. So there is plenty of choice. I personally think that all software has a certain relationship to the original gui creator and how their mind worked. I've used Autocad for years but I wouldn't call it the most friendly program around. All have plenty of ability, it is more how your own ability fits with the program. Try a few and something like Sketchup is a good start as there are plenty of online tutorials.
Re: What's your choice of CAD?
November 14, 2012 01:39PM
Thanks folks,

I've just downloaded both Autodesk 123D and Heeks. I've also fished an "old" pc out of the garage with a much more capable graphics card than the one I'm using right now - I remember OpenSCAD complaining about something not rendering as well as it should (old open GL version maybe?). I also looked up the educational qualification side of getting Autodesk Inventor for free, it turns out I can get that too. It's a 6GB download package so it might take a while. I'll head to the library this morning and grab some books on Autodesk and maybe Sketchup.

The other part of the puzzle appears to be the slicing utility for sending jobs to the printer. For that Repetier-Host looks to do the job nicely and I think that this is the utility I have seen with the manual controls for setup/testing.

So much to learn ...... so little time cool smiley
Re: What's your choice of CAD?
November 15, 2012 04:39AM
Repertier is good for uploading and generating gcode for you to print . .i comes with stock slicing capability . .but if you want the latest version of g code generation. Use slicer . .or cura . .you have a lot of options to play with there . .and upload it with either repertier or proterface . .depending on what firmware you want to use . .

I tried a quick test sketch on heeks today and printed the object. .which printed okay . .netfab also helped me heaps on stl files i had
Trouble slicing.
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