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Which software to chose ?

Posted by alexjones 
Which software to chose ?
March 24, 2016 11:57AM
Hello All,
I was wondering to know which 3D modeling software is user friendly and easy to learn ,so I can design 3D models(like a palm tree or anything not mechanical) to use for 3D printing (mostly)?
These are the softwares I am currently using : Illustrator- CorelDraw- Photoshop- and SolidWorks

Thank you very much for your help
Re: Which software to chose ?
March 24, 2016 08:23PM
Best software is one which suits your workflow. study them, try them and get some impression what irritates you most and what do you feel comfortable.

Blender is a beast. Not easy to learn but can do anything. Solid works is nice and I like onshape on some level. [reprap.org] has a long list.

I use Openscad, Librecad and sometimes Blender. My weirdest 3D object was designed with pcb -> postscript -> dxf -> openscad workflow.
I don't know how to design a palm tree, but it will be hard to print smiling smiley

One tool which was total disappointment for me was google sketchup. It just behaved "wrong."
Re: Which software to chose ?
April 28, 2016 06:36PM
You wont find anything that comes close to solidworks imo. You can even 3dprint straight from solidworks2016 now. direct to printer.
Re: Which software to chose ?
May 11, 2016 07:27AM
Blender, from my experience works well, and it's FREE. Many tutorials on youtube, and it's FREE Large user base, and it's FREE. Available under Window$ and Linux, and it's FREE. Versatile output, stl, x3d, image as well as video formats, and it's FREE.
Re: Which software to chose ?
May 11, 2016 07:52AM
Blender will give you the most satisfying results, though it may take some time. Definitely worth it if you intend to render anything since cycles is a BEAST. Don't even attempt to design engineering parts in it however. For tha go ahead and download Autodesk Inventor Student or Fusion 360.
Re: Which software to chose ?
May 12, 2016 09:54PM
I've tried a lot of them, nice thing with Fusion 360 is you can get it free, they have a signup as a Makers licence for 1 yr and its renewable.

Great software. only issue i have with it is the sculpt, patch and modeling environments, don't interact that well. its getting better with that the last few versions, but you are better off picking a environment and sticking with the one mode.it is better suited though for more technical modeling, but i have made more organic items in the sculpt mode, so its possible.

Blender is easier for that kind of thing though.

So really each one has its benefits and its detractors, i use fusion 360, MeshMixer, and Blender pretty regularly. Meshmixer is nice for fixing meshes and for creating supports before printing, it has a more robust sculpting but best used after the design is done to add style or if you need to thicken or lessen part of a shell. it has a lot of other features but those are the ones i use the most.
Re: Which software to chose ?
May 12, 2016 10:16PM
I would love to try Fusion 360 but I run Linux and I'm no installing Windows to do it.
Re: Which software to chose ?
May 13, 2016 12:26PM
Hi all,

First post so hello all from Australia!

I'm also in the same boat with the OP. I have used SketchUp Pro and Make quite a bit and find it really easy to use to design stuff (mainly use it for designing timber furniture, home reno designs and ideas, general stuff that doesn't get exported to print through a 3D printer or CNC Mill/router/lathe etc.

I have ordered a full Folger Tech Kossel 2020 3D Printer DIY kit which is on its way (will still have to put it together... Should be fun
Re: Which software to chose ?
May 13, 2016 12:30PM
I've been looking at them for ages and have decided it's time to give it a go. I know I'll probably need to do some upgrades to it (like a better hot end and extruder etc but they seem to be updating them all the time with better features etc) and probably make an enclosure for it for larger parts to keep them from warping but for now I'm looking at building 180mm disk like objects and 15x15x10mm parts amongst a few others.

I have a few designs on paper of stuff I am wanting to make/print and have started drawing them up in SketchUp Make without any real dramas, but to make a circle a actual circle in Sketchup, it's a polygon instead with a cluster of straight lines instead of a true circle... It's not going to work well for my project. So I'm looking at new 3D modelling software (for Mac OSX etc). I did download Blender and have been trying to wrap my head around its operations but just can't get it to make what I want at all (I've spent probably 20 hours trying to get a cylinder to have just a hole in the middle for a bearing and all I can get is the cylinder.. Lol... When 5 mins on SketchUp Make and I have the part I want to make drawn, scaled and ready to go? Except for the circle problem...). I'm just having no luck at all with Blender for some reason!? I am using it on a MacBook Pro laptop though without seperate keyboard and mouse etc so that may be why it's so difficult? I'm sure it is just me though ha ha!

I've started to download Fusion 360 to give that a go as that might be more like SketchUp (ie easy to draw and scale parts etc) but hopefully with better resolution (for lack of a better word) to make circles actual circles. What are people's thought on fusion 360 and will it do what I want with relative ease?

What to people recommend for mechanical engineering 3D design software? At this point in time I am just messing around with prototypes trying to get things working and am not in a production scale setup yet so don't want to fork out heaps of coin for Rhino or something similar just yet, I would like to wait till I have some working models before I start splurging on software and get a full workshop plant going. (In my dream world ha ha ha)

Sorry for the thread hijack too but it seems it is on topic so fingers crossed!

Thanks for any advice and info in advance!

Re: Which software to chose ?
May 17, 2016 07:31PM
its pretty easy in fusion 360 to make items with holes thru them you can even make them start out one size and narrow down below that, so for instance you wanted to make a mount for a bearing you could make a short wide hole for the bearing to sit and longer hole that goes all the way thru for a rod that goes thru the center of the bearing. it even has the option of threading holes to to different screw types if that's needed,

I've found its easier to make a cylinder then use Boolean operations to subtract the cylinder from your object. example i was making a wall mount for my shop vac, so i modeled the basic shape then made 4 cylinders as i wanted the screws to be counter sunk, made the first 2 cylinders a .25 mm larger than the diameter of the screw head and .25 mm taller than the screw head, then made the next 2 .25 mm wider than the shaft of the screw. as i was going to screw them into a stud i didn't need for it to be threaded, once i made these four i aligned them 2 x 2 and cut them with a Boolean operation, i think fusion 360 shows combine off the modify menu then select cut

hope this helps
Re: Which software to chose ?
February 11, 2017 03:41AM
Simplify3D is best for 3d printing because it is compatible with many hundreds of 3D printers and offers speed and reliability. (www.protofab.in)
Re: Which software to chose ?
August 03, 2017 08:30AM
look in this article i thing find what do you want grinning smiley
Re: Which software to chose ?
November 05, 2017 04:55PM
If you like the pull drawing of Sketchup, look at DesignSpark. It is free and works almost the same as Sketchup.
Don't use Sketchup it will works for simple thinks but if you go for more complex things you will get frustrated very quickly.
Sketchup can easily make objects that are not really solid, and the slicers don't like that.

P3steel DXL, with Due/RADDS/Raps128 dual Wade's extruder
Re: Which software to chose ?
December 25, 2017 09:39AM
After using 3d Max, FreeCAD and especially AutoCad for many years I now changed to Fusion 360.
There is absolutely nothing I couldn't make with Fusion.
The most important thing is, that it is parametric and you have a time line so it is very easy to change things. This is very comfortable if you are not quite sure yet how the parts shall be in the very end.

One year ago I started to give workshops in FreeCAD as it is parametric and easy to learn for beginners.
But I gave up because I got back corrupted files from users which cost me a lot of time to find out what the reason was. It seems it is still easy to make something wrong in FreeCAD.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/25/2017 10:12AM by wersy.

Konstruktionen: [www.thingiverse.com]
Videos: [www.youtube.com]
Mein Club: [hackerspace-ffm.de]
Wersybot - seit 2012 smiling smiley
JGAurora A5
Re: Which software to chose ?
May 08, 2018 07:10AM
Sketchup, photoshop, after effects, 3ds max, maya as many as you can use smiling smiley
Re: Which software to chose ?
August 29, 2018 12:56PM
There is absolutely nothing I couldn't make with Fusion.

I'm with Wersy. I use Solidworks at my day job, but Fusion 360 at home. For what I do (mechanical modeling), they are very comparable. Given that, based on cost alone, its a no brainer ($4000 + $1300/year for Solidworks vs. $310/year for Fusion!).

Cost aside, Fusion 360 benefits greatly from being a much newer product (2012 vs 1995), and as such is cleaner and has less bloat and bugs. It also has a great easy to use FEA tab that's built in (Solidworks has basic FEA as well). On the downside, the sketch interface isn't as developed as Solidworks, but it gets you by. And the assembly joint method is both a blessing and a curse. I'm still faster in Fusion than Solidworks after only half a year.

And, Fusion 360 can had for free if you're a hobbyist of small business:

Fusion 360 Free License

Though i seem to remember that was only good for one year for small business, but can't find that text now.
Re: Which software to chose ?
September 07, 2018 07:36PM
I like Design Spark Mechanical easy to use and FREE
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