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  1. #1
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    What software should I use if Iím a beginner in 3D design?

    • Google provides a free, easy to use application called Google Sketchup. This tool allows you to design everything you want in 3D, through an intuitive interface, and offers free 3D models for download.
    • - Wings 3D is another free 3D application; the website has a forum, which is very useful to find answers to all your questions.
    • - Blender is available for free, but targets a more experienced audience.
    • - Newcomer Sculptris works like you are sculpting directly from clay.
    • - Make Human is a free specialized in human body 3D designs and lets you play with all body and face details. Amazing! (versions compatible with the site for 3D printing: "Nightly Build" or v. 0.9.1).


    • - GLC Player is a free application which allows you to easily view 3D models. Itís lighter than regular modelling software so comes in handy when you just need to quickly check a 3D model before uploading it to sculpteo.com (are the materials properly linked to the model ? Are the textures in the right place? Has the model changed before and after the export?). GLC Player also lets you categorize 3D models into albums (like you would with a photo album).

  2. #2
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    Sorry to disturb you but I have 2 quick questions as a complete noobie. Which software do you recommend For a brand new noobie. Also what tutorials would you recommend?

  3. #3
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    Doc, You say you're a noob, but what kind of noob?
    Do you know anything about drafting / modeling?
    Do you have 3d thought experience but none using dedicated rendering softwares?

    I come from a CAD background where programs like Blender are difficult to learn since they have a different style of thinking about a project, objects with additions / subtractions vs lines and curves to make the object you desire.
    Knowing what level of background (in design, in 3d, and in computing) you have will help us guide you closer to usable guidance regarding software and tutorials.

  4. #4
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    I've been professionally prototyping for several years now, and a professional 3d modeler for about 10 years.
    I learned modeling on Maya so when i started prototyping i learned to adapt maya's interface and toolsets to the job.
    I use a program called Magics for my cleanup and final works.

    Most 3d printing firms i have worked with, despise using meshes that came from Sketchup, for what its worth. Some will outright turn the job down based on that program.

    George

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paragon Spirit View Post
    Doc, You say you're a noob, but what kind of noob?
    Do you know anything about drafting / modeling?
    Do you have 3d thought experience but none using dedicated rendering softwares?

    I come from a CAD background where programs like Blender are difficult to learn since they have a different style of thinking about a project, objects with additions / subtractions vs lines and curves to make the object you desire.
    Knowing what level of background (in design, in 3d, and in computing) you have will help us guide you closer to usable guidance regarding software and tutorials.
    Same question. I have 12 years experience teaching Inventor, and Auto CAD, I just learned Solidworks less than a year ago. I have about 15 years experience with AutoCAD 2D the last 7 have been teaching it.

  6. #6
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    Verga,
    Do you have access to a later version of AutoCAD from autodesk that includes the 3d capabilities?
    I do not but I have to believe there is a method to take a 3d drawing from AutoCAD to a format like .stl which will be 3d Printer ready.

    With the level of experience you have described with a given platform, your shortest learning curve will be with 3d capable versions of AutoCAD.
    Solidworks I think is also .stl capable, so if you're comfortable there also, it should be an option.

    Para

  7. #7
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    If you want more capabilities than the free software provides but don't have a lot of money to spend, take a look at the Cubify software from 3D Systems:

    Cubify Design is an entry-level version of Geomagic Design (was Alibre) that's geared for 3d printing of mechanical-type parts. It allows you to make dimensioned 3D part models with parametric constraints, so for instance you can specify a wall thickness that won't change even if you scale up the whole model.

    Cubify Sculpt is for organic modeling, for making things like faces and animals. It uses a virtual-clay interface, so you can push and pull on surfaces until they look right from all angles. It has a small but powerful set of tools that are easy to learn, so you can get started very easily. It derives from the "Claytools" software developed for haptic (touch-feedback) interface devices, but it works pretty well with the mouse (although of course using the haptic arm gives a whole other level of control).

    Andrew Werby
    301 Moved Permanently

  8. #8
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    Have a look at Autodesk 123D Apps, its easy to grasp for starting out. All free and no install required.
    Start tonite!
    123dapp.com
    Sketchup will be good to know because of all the free stuff and large community.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctorimpossible View Post
    Sorry to disturb you but I have 2 quick questions as a complete noobie. Which software do you recommend For a brand new noobie. Also what tutorials would you recommend?
    Good afternoon doctorimpossible,

    The first thing I would do is ask myself this question "what do I want to accomplish with 3D software skills?".

    If I want to design houses then find out what 3D software is used in the architectural industry (probably AutoCAD), if I want to design creatures for the movie industry find out what 3D software is used in that industry (perhaps Maya, I'm not sure), if I want to design products most companies in the industry will use either Creo Parametric (Pro/E), SolidWorks or AutoCAD Inventor.

    Don't waste your time learning a software that won't apply to your end goals. It will only frustrate you when you discover it doesn't work the same way and you've developed habits that hinder learning the right software.

    If the software is more than your budget try to find a job at a company that uses the software so you can gather some experience there. Or take classes that teach the software at a community college or adult learning center. Search for online tutorials as well. Any experience you can get using the software will put you on a path whereby you can earn the funds to purchase your own copy of the software.

    Even the high end 3D CAD software like Creo Parametric, Unigraphics and SolidWorks offer student editions at a lower price. These versions usually don't have all the powerful features of the commercial versions but they are a generally useful regardless.

    First set a goal, the goal will determine the path.

    Good luck to you.

    Have a terrific weekend!
    Robert
    3D Accuracy
    3D ACCURACY Blog / Website | Direct Digital Manufacturing / Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing

  10. #10
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    Openscad didnt get a mention above. Seems to be well respected for its price, free!

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