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  1. #1

    New Guy looking for 3D design software recommendations

    Hi, new to 3D printing. My wife bought me a flash forge creator pro printer for our anniversary since I have been saying I'd like to get one for the past year or so. And well with that I'm looking to find a good 3D design software program to design some projects. I have been working some with tinker cad and it's ok, but I'm looking for something more. I downloaded the trial of Sketchup but the I couldn't even figure out how to lay a mm grid down or input dimensions for non associated shapes. And I searched the topics for a couple hours before giving up on it. I would like something like Fusion 360, but with maybe a one time cost.

    I would also be interested in slicer recommendations as well. However from what I have read the Simplify 3D seems to be the top dog and I'm fairly certain that's probably the way I'll go.

    But thanks for any help you can give me and I hope to not be to annoying as a newb to 3D printing.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    openscad

    Different approach and - for me - a much easier to use one.

  3. #3
    Engineer-in-Training Hugues's Avatar
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    If you're going to use it for 3d printing then AUtodesk Fusion 360 is really great as it contains a traditional volumetric CAD and also a modeler in which you can design organic shapes, all that integrated into one nice package.

    You can also import stl files and design around them. Of course you can export to stl.

    Free for students, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and startups

    I've been using it for 3 years now, really a great tool, easy to learn, very intuitive.

    http://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/try-buy

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    bear in mind that fusion 360 is for 64 bit versions of windows only.

    I prefer 32 bit - so wouldn't let me download it.
    Figured I might give it ago before throwing my hands up and screaming and going back to openscad :-)

    But won't let me anyway.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Hugues View Post
    If you're going to use it for 3d printing then AUtodesk Fusion 360 is really great as it contains a traditional volumetric CAD and also a modeler in which you can design organic shapes, all that integrated into one nice package.

    You can also import stl files and design around them. Of course you can export to stl.

    Free for students, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and startups

    I've been using it for 3 years now, really a great tool, easy to learn, very intuitive.

    http://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/try-buy
    I've used it before and I really like fusion 360, however I assumed it wasn't free for anything other than students & educators as that's all I've found on their site. I've been looking around their site and still can't find anything that says different. But I emailed them to see if I can get it free for enthusiasts/Hobbyists. I have heard that before from some utube people I follow, but never checked into it until a couple days ago. I will try openscad for sure just to check it out, never rule anything out until I try it.

    And there's other OS's than 64 bit?!?!

  6. #6
    Engineer-in-Training Hugues's Avatar
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    The link I gave above says:

    Free for students, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and startups

    You don't see the same page as I do?
    Screenshot_20160515-221836.jpg

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Hugues View Post
    The link I gave above says:

    Free for students, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and startups

    You don't see the same page as I do?
    Screenshot_20160515-221836.jpg

    I don't know why I never noticed it, on the main page it says students & educators. And I've been on that page before and just didn't see it or it just didn't click. Well got egg on my face for that.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    basically it's free if you tell them who you are :-)

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Use Blender if you want a good mix of everything. Openscad is great if you're a math's nerd, I'm not so I prefer the visual approach. Blender is awesome and does everything from raw mesh editing down to literal vertex points, all the way up to sculpting your finished model.

    It also has a 3D printing plugin that fixes meshes and detects overhang angles etc. It's pretty much all in one now.
    Hex3D - 3D Printing and Design http://www.hex3d.com

  10. #10
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    lol I actually also prefer the visual approach. But lacking artistic ability, I struggle with drawing programs.

    Openscad lets you see exactly what you want. I do a fair bit of lining up and moving stuff around by eye.

    As for the maths side. if you can do basic arithmetic, you're covered.

    The openscad manual really doesn't help. makes it sound infinitely more complicated than it actually is.

    It's probably not very well suited to producing artistic models. But for practical things, it's pretty hard to beat.

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