Getting Started?

Discussion in 'Newcomers Lounge' started by JohnStraumann, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. JohnStraumann
    JohnStraumann New Member
    Hi all:

    I am new to 3D Design/Printing and have been kicking around the Shapeways site. The information is very interesting and I found my way to the tutorials section, but there does not seem to be any kind of a starter guide. I am a software developer by trade, and have always learned new topics with "Hello World" type tutorials, which take folks through a simple project from start to finish. Does anyone know if there is a step-by-step "Hello World" for 3D printing that starts with what 3D design software to use, designing a simple object, and then actually getting that object printed?

    Thanks in advance for any and all help.

  2. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    That part of 3D printing you need to get from your software of choice. If we had a hello world for every software that is compatible with shapeways, we'd have, well check out the list. If you let us know what software you're looking to start with, we do have a few experts to help you get started.
  3. JohnStraumann
    JohnStraumann New Member
    Thanks for your reply. I guess the first question would be, what is my software of choice? How would I make that decision?
  4. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    What are you looking to make? How deep down the rabbit hole do you want to go? What's your budget?

    The Free ones that are used a lot are Sketchup, 123D, Sculptris, and Blender. Sketchup and 123D are pretty basic, and pretty easy to get making in. They can do more advanced stuff, but they are best for getting started. Sculptris is a ball of clay, that you mold into organic shapes. You'll probably need another program to make the correct scale and all. NetFabb basic (also free) would be enough for that, and is a good program to check your models build. Blender can do all of everything from what I've seen. But also from what I've seen, it's not a download and go program. It takes time to learn and use.
  5. JohnStraumann
    JohnStraumann New Member
    Thanks for your note but unfortunately my answers to your 3 questions are
    Don't Know
    Don't Know
    Don't Know


    I am going to look for a getting started book, but who knows, I might end up writing one after all this.

  6. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Well step one of your book should be Know what you would like to do :laughing:
  7. JohnStraumann
    JohnStraumann New Member
    Well right now it's a green field! Exciting to learn something totally new.
  8. "If you don't know your destination, the direction you leave home is of no consequence."

    I'd say pick one of the free ones & dig in! :)
  9. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    I totally agree with "just grab one and get started". You do not (yet) know which one of the programs will work best for you.

    I prefer an 'engineer' editor to an 'organic' editor. You will have to find out which works best for your own personality.

    More than once in my career, I've done this:

    Give program AAA to User #111
    Give program BBB to User #222

    Then, about six months later, switch the two programs.
    Both users will thank you profusely... "This new program is SO MUCH BETTER than the old one!!!".