Which Application to Use?

Discussion in 'Software and Applications' started by vmoore20, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. vmoore20
    vmoore20 New Member
    Hi all, I have just been introduced to the world of 3D printing. I have been looking through all your designs and I am super excited to get started. My questions is what is the best application for a novice to start on? I've seen Solidworks mentioned a lot and also seen the free app from Shapeways called blender. I'm pretty good using apps and have used Vectorworks in the past for interior design. (just offering a level of my competence - or lack off! )

    Your advice would be most welcome.
    Victoria - United Kingdom.
  2. Mswlik
    Mswlik Active Member
  3. vmoore20
    vmoore20 New Member
    Hi, Thank you, really appreciate you taking the time to help. Think I'm going to give Blender a try. Watch this space. :)
  4. Dragoman
    Dragoman New Member
    Blender is well supported with tutorials, manuals, forums etc.

    Still, be prepared to invest some time. It took me a few weeks of dabbling to get my first model right. If you have somebody to teach you, a day or two should be enough to get started.

    You will get much quicker with practice!

  5. eNonsense
    eNonsense New Member
    If you're going to be making precisely measured parts I would suggest Sketchup, and I'd then also suggest investigating some various add-ins which add more functionality. Sketchup is suited more towards architectural modeling by default, but there are various free add-ins/ruby scripts which give capabilities such as boolean operations and easy fillets, which make solid modeling easier.

    I actually use SolidWorks mostly, but have been interested in checking out this new program from Cubify which looks like it works very similarly and is intended to be used for 3D printing design.


    It's got a free 15 day trial and is only $50 past that.

    The main practical differences related to modeling for 3D printing that I've seen between free programs like Sketchup and expensive professional programs like SolidWorks is sometimes you have to go through more steps in the free program to get the same ends.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  6. Fredd
    Fredd New Member
    vmoore: for help with blender, #blender on the irc channel Freenode is loads of help.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  7. Modelsbymarsden
    Modelsbymarsden New Member
    Rhino3D hands down, easy to use and is incredibly versatile.
  8. beagley
    beagley New Member
    I have been trying out a bunch of different tools, too.

    Any comments on Sketchup vs. Tinkercad?

    I don't need Tinkercad's community/share features, but it sure was easy to learn, pretty and browser based.

  9. denali3ddesign
    denali3ddesign New Member
    Tinkercad will be easier to use, while Sketchup will give you far more options for advanced designing.

    If Tinkercad looks like it can do what you need, by all means use it as you'll be on your way to printing much faster. Look around their gallery to see what people have done with it, and get a feel for what it can do.
  10. psalmu
    psalmu New Member
    I'd dare recommend ViaCAD 2D/3D to anyone who wants to try "real CAD" real cheap (you can get them on eBay for around $50). It does actual solid modeling, so no surface logic problems or mesh messes and it's relatively easy to get started with.