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  1. #1

    Microsoft 3D Builder

    Absolute beginner just discovering 3D modeling. My first project involves the merging of three shapes: a ring... not a torus dissected vertically to render a horseshoe and horizontally so as not to render a tapered edge, a cylinder with a center void so as to connect with the ring base. Have looked through much documentation but none match the needs of this project. Hoping for some guidance.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    If that's the software that comes with windows 10 - don't bother with it.
    Very limited and well, it's a free microsoft app so is unlikely to work well or do what you want.

    You'd be much better off downloading a free cad package.
    Openscad will do what you want very easily, as will most of the free drawing based cad packages.
    Have a look round the forum - lots of different packages out there.

  3. #3
    Technologist Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
    Washington State, USA
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    I Prefer Fusion 360 Download Enthusiast (Free), (Every Year Free licensing here)

    This Is one of the Best Free programs I have downloaded since They released Toonz for Free.

  4. #4
    Would this be the type of construction you seek?

    $fn = 90;
    ring_diameter = 20;
    ring_wall = 4;
    ring_height = 5;
    clearance = 0.2;
    pin_diameter = ring_diameter;
    pin_height = 40;
    ring_placement = 20; // offset from origin for center of gap
    addabit = 0.1; // floating point error prevention
    module ring(){
            cylinder(d = ring_diameter, h = ring_height);
            translate([0, 0, - addabit / 2])
            cylinder(d = ring_diameter - ring_wall / 2, h = ring_height + addabit);
            translate([ring_diameter / 2, 0, ring_height / 2])
            cube([ring_diameter + addabit, ring_diameter + addabit, ring_height + addabit], center = true);
    module pin(){
            cylinder(d = pin_diameter, h = pin_height);
            translate([0, 0, ring_placement])
                    cylinder(d = ring_diameter + addabit, h = ring_height);
                    translate([0, 0, - addabit / 2])
                    cylinder(d = ring_diameter - ring_wall / 2 - clearance * 2, h = ring_height + addabit);
    translate([-ring_diameter, 0, ring_placement])
    The lines above are a quick and dirty bit of code for OpenSCAD, previously referenced and quite easy to learn, in my opinion, of course. I used very little in the way of sophisticated code and the result took about five minutes or so. I also use Fusion 360 on occasion but find the learning curve to be quite steep. Fusion is very powerful, but my brain cells have trouble retaining all the features and menus and sequences, while OpenSCAD really does the trick for me. Great documentation and forum online as well.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 08-18-2017 at 02:32 PM.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    The things about openscad that most users will not tell you are:
    1) you don't need to be a computer programmer - most of the hi-end users tend to be and I almost never understand any of their answers to my questions.
    2) if you think of your models in terms of shapes and can visualise what you want to make in your head - you'll love openscad.
    3) being able to draw things is totally not necessary.
    4) the openscad manual was not written by people who think in 'human'. Do not be put off if you look at it and find your brains are leaking out of your ears. The cheat sheet provides around 95% of everything you need.

    I've come to the conclusion that I actually only think in 3 dimensions. I have never been able to draw things free hand, translating the image in my head onto a 2 dimensional piece of paper just has never worked for me.
    So most cad packages also don't work for me, as they require at least some 2 dimensional drawing skills.

    But openscad has a completely different approach. You simply tell it what you want to draw and where you want it.
    I've yet to find anything I can't model with it, So I work out what i want in my head and then use openscad to 'draw' it for me.

    Give it a go.

  6. #6
    no programming skill here either beyond the basic "if I do this, I want that" sort of thing. I'm not sure about the "most users" part, although the only other person I know who uses OpenSCAD is a Python programmer and he loves the stuff. He also creates answers that befuddle me, but we don't really have to understand everything, just enough to use it.

    A lot of the libraries and user code are like that.

  7. #7
    I've been doing 3D CAD for a pretty long time, but just that code snippit for that item above gives me the heebie jeebies. I'm a big advocate of using whatever tool you're most comfortable with though, so I'm glad it works for you. I can't draw by hand to save my soul either, but parametric drawing systems like Solidworks, Onshape, Fusion 360, or FreeCAD let me be able to make nearly anything I can think of. A direct modeling software package could be another option as well. I think that Meshmixer would fall into that category, but I don't have much experience with it. If you're new to 3D modeling, I'd recommend giving OpenSCAD, parametric, and direct systems a try each and see what works best for you.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    lol yeah the 'code' snippet is pretty intimidating.
    Programmer code, and no comments.

    Plus - personally - I find, indenting lines and using very long variables always makes it look much more complicated than it actually is.

    You can do exactly the same thing with three stacked cylinders for the column.
    3 lines
    And a difference operation for the horseshoe thing which would also be three lines.
    Brackets aside.
    Also you don't need to use variables for it to be parametric a simple 'scale' or 'resize' command will do the the same thing.
    Lots of ways to get to the same result in openscad :-)

    You can get the same results a lot of different ways.
    Though that's completely different to what i was visualising from the description.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 08-20-2017 at 07:47 AM.

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