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What is the easiest software to make stl/modeling

Discussion in 'Software' started by Nemesiscoins, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Nemesiscoins

    Nemesiscoins New Member

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    I don't have much knowledge in making stl files/modeling.
    What is the easiest software to use/learn .
    I am mainly making parts for a coin photography lighting kit so many parts would be brackets ,
    worm gear and hinges.
     
  2. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    Mechanical design is somewhat easier with tools like SolidWorks.
    I have heard that artistic designs are better done with other things (like Blender and others).

    All I have needed is SolidWorks.
     
  3. Nemesiscoins

    Nemesiscoins New Member

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    Thanks , that's sounds like something for me. Any artistic objects I would want I could just download from Thingiverse
     
  4. Mike Kelly

    Mike Kelly Volunteer

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    Sketchup is probably the most beginner friendly software out there.

    Solidworks is the most full featured in designing mechanical components

    Blender is a good free polymetric modeling

    Then there's 3Ds Max and Maya

    OpenSCAD is also free but it's all equation driven modeling.
     
  5. Nemesiscoins

    Nemesiscoins New Member

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    Thanks mike ,
    I got sketchup but haven't had the time to try it out yet. I think I'll give it a shot today with some easy pieces
     
  6. Mike Kelly

    Mike Kelly Volunteer

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    Don't get too crazy right off the bat. Sketchup is "easy" but it's also easy to screw things up.
     
  7. Peter Krska

    Peter Krska Active Member

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    I use Cinema 4D. I noticed that when you create booleans, to create holes, sometimes those holes don't show up in the print. Not sure why still, but it's hit and miss.

    Mile Kelly help me out with a suggestion of putting the model through the free version of Netfabb. Highly recommended as part of your arsenal.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk in Canada
     
  8. Nemesiscoins

    Nemesiscoins New Member

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    I understand completely , I was overwhelmed when I was creating some databases with ms access and ended up with tons of errors because I didn't follow some simple rules in the beginning.
     
  9. Galaxius

    Galaxius Well-Known Member

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    I use Rhino3D. Heaps of vids on YouTube to learn from. It's my very first experience with 3D CAD so has a bit of a learning curve and I think Rhino3D is the main competitor to SolidWorks and is cheaper.
     
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Well-Known Member

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    OK, I'll add another suggestion for a free tool just to make sure you are overwhelmed. Autodesk 123D Design does not have a steep learning curve and has a lot of design tutorials behind it. It is free and integrates well with Meshmixer and their scanning software. 123D Design has been significantly improved in the last update, it used to crash a lot. It has a MAC/PC and browser based versions, but I have only used the PC version. I started with Sketchup Make but was annoyed with the lack of Boolean operations on the free version. They work quite well on 123D Design. Autodesk Meshmixer can be used for in conjunction with any of the suggested design programs for free form design and modifications, STL repair, and support generation. I still use Sketchup Make sometimes but it can generate non-manifold STLs that are difficult to repair if you are not careful.

    Useful links:
    http://www.123dapp.com/design
    http://www.123dapp.com/howto/design
    https://www.youtube.com/user/123d
    http://forum.123dapp.com/123d
    http://blog.123dapp.com/
     
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  11. Krish

    Krish Member

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    I started with Autodesk 123design and find it very easy to use and seems to fit pretty much most of my designing needs. I use the PC version as the browser version doesn't seem to always play nice.

    I do have other software thats mentioned in this thread, but learning curve vs. what I need to do, autodesk123d worked best.

    I will probably end up moving to other more complex software one day... when I have the time to learn them.
     
  12. Peter Krska

    Peter Krska Active Member

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    I just saw a tutorial video on Blender and 3d printing. It states that the software has a feature to fix non manifold issues and it looked pretty simple to fix. That's the number one issue anyone modelling will encounter. Blender is free. Like all software, the best advantage, is you can model in one, import the model into another, and fix the issues. You need different modelling software to help the creative process.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk in Canada
     
  13. Printed Solid

    Printed Solid Volunteer Admin
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    This is sort of like asking 'what's the best flavor ice cream?' There's not a right answer and you may find a need to switch between programs depending on what you're doing. It all depends on what your personal experience, talents, and preferences are.

    There are lots of choices out there. It's just a matter of what fits best with your background. I use a program called Geomagic, which is similar to solidworks, but cheaper and less richly featured. However, I'm a mechanical engineer and was trained on how to use that type of a modeling tool. It aligns well with how I think. Like solidworks, it's a parametric modeling tool. If you build your model properly, you can use the one model to create a whole family of parts. i.e. you can have a face where the hole pattern changes or a family of gears with different pitches just by changing a few parameters rather than building the whole model up from scratch again.

    Sketch up is a good starting tool and you should be fine doing brackets, just get the whole thing laid out on paper first. As others have mentioned, it is easy to produce junk models, but brackets should be easy enough.

    Blender is very powerful, but really more of an artistic tool than for precision. I'm sure it has precision features, but it's going to take a lot of learning.

    Tinkercad is one I'd add next to 123d. It's designed to be simple to use and I believe natively stores everything in stl so you should be able to put out good models relatively easily.
     
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  14. Peter Krska

    Peter Krska Active Member

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    Actually any of the 3d programs will produce models suitable for 3d printing. It's just a matter of expertise. If you learn sketch up really well, you can produce anything you want.

    One thing I saw was a video on youtube showing the power of Blender relative to 3d printing. It basically showed how to fix non manifold objects with a few clicks. Search youtube for blender and 3d printing. It's the first video in the search result.

    Just learn to use the software as best you can. That said, it's all a matter of artistic problem solving. Having any printer that does 3d printing, as long as you learn it's ins and outs, you're good to go. It should work. Lots of examples of people using every brand of printer out there with successful prints.

    The question here is why get a Robo3d printer?

    The answer I found was the size of the bed compared to the price. It was a major want of mine.

    Even a $20,000 Objet has a small build plate. So I got a Robo3D printer.






    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk in Canada
     
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  15. Ozzy

    Ozzy New Member

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    I'd vote for www.tinkercad.com to start with. It's free, it's simple, and it works well. It generates and downloads .stl that works well with the Robo3D R1 software. Then when you are more ambitious try the 1234D free version. Later, if you want a full featured shareware 3-D modeling package I found that www.blender.org will generate .stl for 3-D printing. Blender is really cool, and does a hell of a lot besides .stl, but very complex for making simple objects.

    On the research-side I recently found OpenSCAD a shareware code-scrpit 3-D model generator. Download it and look at the examples. It's pretty amazing what you can generate with a few lines of opensource code. http://www.openscad.org/ By the way when you are done with your model it exports .stl or dxf The only problem I see is that the 3D shapes can be complex with unprintable features. All 2D extrusions should easily print.
     
    #15 Ozzy, Feb 6, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2015
  16. Galaxius

    Galaxius Well-Known Member

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    Solidworks, not free. I bought the student edition and absolutely love it, add I was told I would by many other forum users. The built in tutorial is fantastic and I'm amazed at how easy it is to do things. If you want something free you could try Sketchup Make.
     
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  17. crazas

    crazas Member

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    Have been reading a lot lately, going to give a try to so e of those programs, Thanks everyone!!
     
  18. eric richmond

    eric richmond New Member

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    Mike how do I go from a .skb (skecthup) file to a >stl printable file on my Robo
     
  19. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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  20. cdsl810

    cdsl810 Member

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    Onshape is free, TinkerCAD is free... they both work well, but are cloud-based only. I think Onshape is a tad easier to learn and use.
     

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