What 3D design software are people using?
 

What 3D design software are people using?  

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Rob99
(@rob99)
Active Member

As it says above.

 

I suspect the answer will be loads of different ones but I just wanted a view before I take the plunge. I'd prefer to start with a package that covers a wide range of features even if it means a steeper learning curve initially, rather than having to change packages later when I've become more proficient with 3D design and printing.

 

I assume as a minimum I should be using something which natively creates STL files.

 

Thanks

Posted : 15/05/2020 5:37 pm
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member

For functional parts, I use Fusion 360. Free for personal use and very powerful. For artistic/sculpture work, I intend to learn Blender.

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 15/05/2020 5:39 pm
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kevin.k49
(@kevin-k49)
Eminent Member

I second Fusion 360 for functional stuff.  Incredibly powerful (more than you'll ever need), free, well supported.  Wouldn't bother with anything else.  Pretty easy to learn simple cases with lots of online videos and tutorials if you want.  As you might expect, more advanced stuff has a bit more of a learning hurdle but quite manageable for a hobbyist.

Posted : 15/05/2020 7:22 pm
Karl Herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Famed Member
Posted by: @rob99

As it says above.

 

I suspect the answer will be loads of different ones but I just wanted a view before I take the plunge. I'd prefer to start with a package that covers a wide range of features even if it means a steeper learning curve initially, rather than having to change packages later when I've become more proficient with 3D design and printing.

 

I assume as a minimum I should be using something which natively creates STL files.

 

Thanks

I'm working with Inventor, Rhino, Solidworks and FreeCAD. FreeCAD is open source and free ( https://www.freecadweb.org/downloads.php ).

Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 15/05/2020 10:52 pm
Bubblehead
(@jerry-v2)
Trusted Member

Ditto for using FreeCad - free, open source and good software. I just keep discovering helpful tools for building models as there is a lot of tools in it. For engineering type models, a big thumbs up. For more organic, atistic models, it is probably not a good choice.

For the artistic side I am learning Lighwave but I have had some problems with the STL files it generates.

I tried Blender many years ago for reasons other than 3D printing and could never get over the hump to start getting good with it so I gave up.  I have heard that the user interface is much better these days.

Posted : 16/05/2020 4:11 am
nikolai.r
(@nikolai-r)
Noble Member

Fusion 360 most of the time.
Trying to dive into more organic shapes with forger (iOS). Maybe Blender will be the next step.

First step is to decide what you want to design. Organic and mechanical design are two different worlds. Once you made it clear, I can recommend to pick one software and stay with it. Try to learn the tricks and understand the processes. Most of the design software requires a lot of learning, trying and practice.  

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Going small with MMU2
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My prints on Instagram...
Posted : 16/05/2020 7:08 am
Neophyl
(@neophyl)
Noble Member

Blender user here. 

Posted : 16/05/2020 10:30 am
Yveske
(@yveske)
Eminent Member

Have a look at the beginner tutorials of Lars Christensen to get you started with Fusion 360

They are still very relevant although the software has evolved since then.

Having problems with bed adhesion every morning......
Posted : 16/05/2020 11:20 am
chocki
(@chocki)
Prominent Member

There is design spark mechanical, free on Windows, does the job but lacking a few useful features, but no need for an online connection.

Fusion 360, well worth using, but does require on online connection (But can be run offline for a limited period).

I was dead against it at first due to the online connection needed, but now won't use anything else.

Blender. Wow, what a piece of free software, it is primarily a 3 d graphics package and more, a lot more. For 3d printing, you will barely be scratching the surface of what this can do, but take note, it is more for 3d drawing so is better suited to free form organic design rather than CAD style drawings, it can do them, but your better off with fusion 360 for this or design spark.

If you've never heard of it, you really should check out what it is capable of www.blender.org

 

Freecad. Yes it works, but I found it has some idiosyncrasies and I just couldn't get on with it, it is also free.

Normal people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet....
Posted : 16/05/2020 3:33 pm
nicholas.m12
(@nicholas-m12)
Eminent Member

I have used Fusion 360 to design a number of functional prints. I went in having neither experience with nor knowledge of CAD software. I followed along with a number of these youtube tutorials to learn various aspects of design; https://www.youtube.com/user/TheKHaug .

Posted : 16/05/2020 11:48 pm
Marty
(@mrschultz02)
Eminent Member

I've been using FreeCAD for many years and this year started learning Blender.  The latest version of Blender is somewhat easier to learn than years ago, I never got very far until trying again this year.  Still have trouble getting an object started in Blender, so when I need an organic shape I'll create a base model in FreeCad and load the stl into Blender and use all the nice sculpting tools there to finish the look.

Posted : 17/05/2020 12:52 am
prus-38
(@prus-38)
Eminent Member

I'm using Fusion360 for most stuff.

Tinkercad for signs (text in F360 is horrible in my opinion)

 

Posted : 17/05/2020 7:57 pm
manelto
(@manelto)
Estimable Member
Posted by: @mrschultz02

I've been using FreeCAD for many years and this year started learning Blender.  The latest version of Blender is somewhat easier to learn than years ago, I never got very far until trying again this year.  Still have trouble getting an object started in Blender, so when I need an organic shape I'll create a base model in FreeCad and load the stl into Blender and use all the nice sculpting tools there to finish the look.

Me Freecad too. But, like @mrschultz02, i'm learning Blender.

Sorry for my poor English. I try to do my best....
Posted : 17/05/2020 8:04 pm
kenatno10
(@kenatno10)
Eminent Member

Iam very new to all this ,

I have started with Tinkercad

Posted : 17/05/2020 10:18 pm
james.h11
(@james-h11)
Active Member

I have been using Fusion360 - it was a steep learning curve and there are still lots of features I have not used.  I found I had to get a design process that worked for me which is usually a offline sketch idea, measurements and then planning how to build it before starting in Fusion360.  I also started with the Lars Christensen videos - well worth taking the time to learn.

I downloaded Blender last night hoping to try some digital sculpting tutorials - not sure how it will go has I tend to be more technical than artistic but thought it would be something fun to try!

...
Posted : 20/05/2020 9:46 pm
hamza.b
(@hamza-b)
Estimable Member

Fusion 360 is all arounder, that will cover most of your needs for functional stuffs. Great UI to deal with, free for hobby use. If you want to deal with organic stuffs, probably Blender is best free option (especially after new release, althought i havent tested).

By the time, you will use multiple softwares, since there is no single software that will cover all your needs.

 

Posted : 21/05/2020 12:04 pm
FransKrau
(@franskrau)
Trusted Member

For me number 1 is Fusion 360, and sometimes Tinkercad, because it's easy for alligning and grouping

Frans

Frans Krau
Europe, Holland, Apeldoorn...
Posted : 23/05/2020 12:58 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Reputable Member

Mostly Freecad here. Using either the Part or Part Design workbench, whichever better fits the job.

I've played with OpenSCAD, but too much like work for simple jobs.

Posted : 25/05/2020 4:45 pm
Philippe D.
 phd
(@phd)
Trusted Member

I notice you are not discussing OSes. I suppose everything mentioned here runs on Windows; I happen to be a Linux (Ubuntu) user myself (and not currently familiar with any 3D software - my first printer is still several weeks from being delivered anyway).

What, if any, would you recommend if limited to Linux?

Posted : 26/05/2020 2:53 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Reputable Member
Posted by: @phd

I notice you are not discussing OSes. I suppose everything mentioned here runs on Windows; I happen to be a Linux (Ubuntu) user myself (and not currently familiar with any 3D software - my first printer is still several weeks from being delivered anyway).

What, if any, would you recommend if limited to Linux?

Well, I certainly would never consider being 'limited' if running Linux!  🙂 🙂 🙂

I run FreeCad under Ubuntu and it works just fine.  OpenSCAD runs fine, but I seldom use it.  So does Meshlab.  Of course, Prusaslicer runs just fine, as does Cura.

The only thing I have not been able to get running under Linux is Meshmixer.  I was told that a native Linux build existed, but I have been unable to find it, and it does not install or run, at least for me, under Wine.

Posted : 26/05/2020 3:53 pm
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