Home Forum The Makers Workshop 3D Design What software do you use?

This topic contains 11 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of parkview parkview 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • #593
    Profile photo of andrewM
    andrewM
    Participant

    I have been using FreeCAD and Autodesk Inventor Fusion 2013. Given my limited CAD/drafting skills they meet my needs, although I find them frustrating to use at times. I am wondering what packages other people use and their thoughts on them?

    #595
    Profile photo of Paul Kelly
    Paul Kelly
    Participant

    We use the free Solid Edge 2D for just about everything (most of our work is 2 or 2.5D) it’s basically a 2D version of a $5K CAD package, so it’s pretty good.
    We use SheetCam for 2D toolpath generation (fantastic tool)
    We use MeshCam for 3D toolpath generation
    We use V-Carve Pro for decorative CNC work..
    PK

    #596
    Profile photo of Andrew Molnar
    Andrew Molnar
    Participant

    I use Sketchup 8, free and easy to use, also has many useful plugins.
    The other AndrewM

    #607
    Profile photo of Brad Webster
    Brad Webster
    Member

    I use Solidworks and Rhino. Solidworks is pretty good but too expensive for the average user. Works well with multiple parts in an assembly and parts can exert physics on other parts such as gears. The build history also allows you to go back to any stage in the design and edit features. Rhino is good value for money but has a fairly steep learning curve. It also lacks build history so if you make a major mistake you are limited to the undo button or have to start over. Both programs are good for modelling organic 3d forms and 3d rendering. Ultimately the software you need to use depends on the complexity and shape of the objects you want to design.
    Brad

    #629
    Profile photo of Trevor Harrington
    Trevor Harrington
    Participant

    Gday guys,
    Can you go from Sketchup to CNC ( Vectric Aspire )?
    I have Rhino but cannot drive it YET.

    cheers

    Trevor

    #633
    Dwayne
    Dwayne
    Participant

    So whats the consensus on starter software? The plan will be to run with it and do a few group “how to” sessions!

    #685
    Profile photo of pko
    pko
    Member

    Trevor Harrington, post: 484, member: 302 wrote: Gday guys,
    Can you go from Sketchup to CNC ( Vectric Aspire )?
    I have Rhino but cannot drive it YET.

    cheers

    Trevor

    I have no knowledge on both Sketchup and CNC, but did come across this link on how to get from Sketchup to CNC. Hope it is useful to you.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/From-SketchUp-to-CNC-Fabrication/

    #724
    Profile photo of Andrew-MOAMind
    Andrew-MOAMind
    Participant

    Brad Webster, post: 462, member: 276 wrote: I use Solidworks and Rhino. Solidworks is pretty good but too expensive for the average user. Works well with multiple parts in an assembly and parts can exert physics on other parts such as gears. The build history also allows you to go back to any stage in the design and edit features. Rhino is good value for money but has a fairly steep learning curve. It also lacks build history so if you make a major mistake you are limited to the undo button or have to start over. Both programs are good for modelling organic 3d forms and 3d rendering. Ultimately the software you need to use depends on the complexity and shape of the objects you want to design.
    Brad

    I also use SolidWorks. It is expensive to purchase outright although there are 30 day trial versions around if you just want to “give it a go”.
    Personally I find it great for building up complete assemblies, checking all of my part fits and generating 3D renders to show clients. Like anything it does have a learning curve however it comes included with some great tutorials that will have you making complex shapes and assemblies very quickly.

    #730
    Profile photo of Derryn
    Derryn
    Member

    Andrew-MOAMind, post: 579, member: 29 wrote: I also use SolidWorks. It is expensive to purchase outright although there are 30 day trial versions around if you just want to “give it a go”.
    Personally I find it great for building up complete assemblies, checking all of my part fits and generating 3D renders to show clients. Like anything it does have a learning curve however it comes included with some great tutorials that will have you making complex shapes and assemblies very quickly.

    One of the things I serious like about the higher end tools (from an electronics person perspective), is when working in a team the easy backward and forward migration of models between the mechanical EDA tools and PCB tools. With tools like Altium and Solidworks, ensuring the PCB design and the mechanical design all fits together when separate people are designing the two parts of the system and there’s multiple design changes along the way is awesome.

    #980

    I used to use Autodesk Inventor, though I’ve moved to 123D Design and 123D Make. I found Inventor to be not very well suited to designing 3D printable models, I’d probably use it for creating visualisations etc.

    #981
    Profile photo of Paul Kelly
    Paul Kelly
    Participant

    I did the plug design for a vac formed part in 123D. It’s quite easy to use..
    PK

    #4453
    Profile photo of parkview
    parkview
    Participant

    I started with FreeCAD, but had issues with stability, which other people didn’t have, so maybe it was clashing with something on my PC.

    Then switched to the free Design Spark Mechanical.  Have been using it for 2-3 years and loving it.  Having written that, since Fusion360 is now free for hobbiests, I thought I would have a go with it, as one day I might pick up a CNC machine and it can do CAM work as well.

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