Discussion 3D Design Software/Programs

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Matthew

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I'm almost finished up with my first portable, and I am really wanting to get into 3D design so that I can start creating my own unique cases and other things.

I was wondering if anyone could recommend the software they use, the price, and the learning curve of the software. It seems that Solidworks is an industry standard but it can't seem to find a price without talking to a salesperson, which implies that it's probably outside of my price range.

Thanks!
 

Doom

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Solidworks I think is actually the cheapest between all the Industry software I'm aware of; AutoCAD, CREO, and Solidworks, but it's still over $5,000 a chair.

For hobbyists and starting out I usually recommend tinkerCAD, which is free and pretty simple to use. You can edit existing 3d .stl models and they have both video and written tutorials on how to use everything. A good place to start imo.

You can get a 3 year key for AutoCAD if you have a student email, but for making cases and etc there are other easier programs that work better with parametrics and etc.

If you are well versed in coding there is also openSCAD, where you create models via a common (can't remember) coding language. I don't code so it made m brain melt but I can see how it could work well for someone that is more in depth with that over modeling.

Didn't care much for Sketchup; seemed wonky and better for bigger projects (houses, cars, land surveys etc. There was probably a setting to switch to a smaller area but I dumped it after finding TinkerCAD).
 

Matthew

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I use tinkercad a lot, but I am looking for something with a little more features and control. I will take a look into AutoCAD and openSCAD.

I used Sketchup a long while back and I agree, it seems to be more for bigger projects.

Have you ever tried Blender at all? Or Maya?
 
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Blender, while it has a rough learning curve, is one of the most powerful FREE 3d program that I have used.
 

Aurelio

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Blender is awesome, but it has so many functions that are useless for 3D printing.
I personally use sketchup that is quite easy to use, but it doesn't have some functions and may require external plugins.
My brother recently started using OnShape which is online and it's also free (with a limit on the number of projects that you can create). It's very powerful and the UI is similar to Solidworks one
 

Matthew

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OnShape looks pretty awesome. I'll check that out! Does anyone know if there are any discounts or free trials for solidworks per chance? I want to compare it to OnShape and Blender.
 
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Well there are always ways to get things for free. But getting ti for free and being a good citizen, if you're a college student your university might provide it (mine does :D)
 

Matthew

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Well, crap guys.... this was thread was suppose to make it really easy to find some 3D design software but now I have too many good ones to choose from. Thanks a lot.
 
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That should be a good thing! We have many options to choose from and can use whatever floats our boat.
 

Matthew

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Sorry to bump an old thread, but I figured I'd add my 2 cents. FreeCAD. It's a great parametric modeler. Learning curve is similar to that of solidworks.
Bumping old threads to add relevant information is totally fine.
I've never heard of that one but after looking into it, it looks really awesome.

tbh, I've been using Solidworks for all my CAD design. I used tinkercad for a bit for simple things, and I tried Autodesk Inventor, but honestly, I didn't find it intuitive at all. I found a free trial for Solidworks and it's (IMO) 10000000% better than any of those. It does have a learning curve but my work provides me with a subscription to Pluralsight (it's like an IT tutorial center) and they have some great videos that made a huge difference.

But I'm glad you posted this because once my trial runs out, I either have to buy a subscription or I need find something thats really similar.

FreeCAD looks to be a good contender.

Thanks!
 

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I recommend OpenSCAD. It's a little confusing at first, especially if you aren't a programmer, but it's really easy to use once you get used to it.
 
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