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  1. #1

    Best software to start

    hello, quick question. I have a Markerbot 2x replicator and I am starting to use it. I was wondering what design software do you recommend me to start?
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Engineer-in-Training ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    In general: Rhinoceros for modeling and Meshmixer for file repair.
    Specific purposes will require specific tools.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    lots of free cad packages around (rhino is super expensive)
    I use openscad: http://www.openscad.org/

    Freecad seems quite popular. https://www.freecadweb.org/

    here's a few more: https://www.thoughtco.com/top-free-cad-packages-485330

    used to be a whole bunch of autodesk free software but that just points to tinkercad now - also free: https://www.tinkercad.com/

    A lot of it depends on how your brain works. If you are a person who sketches designs before making and can draw stuff in 2d - then all of the above should suit you.
    On the other hand if you're like me, and your brain ONLY works in 3d and you can't draw stuff on a flat piece of 2d paper to save your life - then openscad was made for you :-)
    No drawing involved. You just tell it what you want and it does all the drawing for you. And only in solid models that can be exported and printe without any hassle.

  4. #4
    Technologist LuckyImperial's Avatar
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    I highly recommend OnShape. It's free, intuitive, browser based (don't need a fancy computer or install), and provides tons of tutorials for new users. The only con is that your designs are public. It also provides a great foundating should you choose to move to SolidWorks or AutoDesk Inventor.

  5. #5
    Engineer Marm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuckyImperial View Post
    I highly recommend OnShape. It's free, intuitive, browser based (don't need a fancy computer or install), and provides tons of tutorials for new users. The only con is that your designs are public. It also provides a great foundating should you choose to move to SolidWorks or AutoDesk Inventor.
    Those are two major cons for me, online and public. I have a metered connection, so I try to limit my bandwidth pretty well. If I make a design, I at least want credit for the design, if I choose to release it to the public at all. If you are thinking of making an item for profit at all in the future, having even rough prototypes in the public domain before you file for a patent can qualify as prior art, and negate a patent. Haven't tried the system, but I would hesitate to get good with it and then be forced over to another design suite just to work on for profit stuff.

    And if you don't like what the other posters have suggested, there's always Sketchup.

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