Does anyone have any suggestions for beginning software for designing jewelry that will also render decent 3D images? Free or cheap and easy to learn would be best. Blender? Google Sketch??? Blender has all the bells and whistles but its ability to animate seems to make the environment more complicated than necessary.
Blender would be better for jewelry. Sketchup is more suited for architectural/mechanical models.If you're new to 3D printing, learn the secrets from a professional. Get my book "3D Printing with SketchUp"
If I had to do it all over again it would be Blender. However the steep learning curve keeps me away from it when I have software that will already do (for my needs) anything that Blender can do. As I recall you can "switch off" components you will not use, such as animation, but I could be wrong there.
Thank you, and good luck with Blender. It is an incredible piece of software and my hats off to everyone that has helped develop it over the years. If you haven't seen any I would suggest searching out animations made with Blender on their site and on YouTube... Glenn ------ My Website Third Dimension Jewellery