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What Softwares are you Using?

Posted by MarketingMike 
Re: What Softwares are you Using?
December 28, 2015 12:46PM
The problem I always had with FreeCAD was when I tried to edit a sketch that was created early on in the design - I often ended up with broken models. I liked the user interface, but I hated having to 'rewind' a design so that I could change just one part of the layout. In the end I decided that I was wasting too much time, and moved on.

I did try Blender, but the initial learning curve is too steep; it's a brilliant program, but life is too short.

Nowadays I use OpenSCAD almost exclusively, as I can amend any stage of the design with little risk of breaking the model. I can also parameterize a design very easily by the use of variables. I will concede that I used to be a programmer, I've also written web pages in raw HTML, and I've even used the documentation language LaTeX, so the structure of the OpenSCAD language was very easy to assimilate! The only aspect of OpenSCAD I dislike is the documentation, which I find to be complete but difficult to use.
Re: What Softwares are you Using?
December 28, 2015 05:47PM
OnShape.com has assemblies, including moving parts.
Re: What Softwares are you Using?
January 04, 2016 09:30AM
Any thoughts on 123D Design / Sketchup Make?


I am new to CAD & 3D printing. I am working on a startup business.

I just spent 1 week learning SketchUp but found it alternately very powerful and deeply irritating. I am now looking for an alternative. Something that "thinks" in terms of solids not surfaces might help. Someone in my local makerspace/hackspace has recommended 123D Design. It looks easy to learn with much more sensible defaults that Sketchup, however I am worried that it will run out of power given that Autodesk presumably really want us all to use something more grown up (e.g. Fusion360 - v expensive if you pay!)

I have a near zero budget (max say $100/year for something good) and I don't like being forced to store my files in the cloud. Nor do I like being forced to lie about my livelihood. I am a slow, rather dyslexic learner so this is a big decision for me. An active forum and lots of explainer videos would be important.

- Any thoughts?
Re: What Softwares are you Using?
January 04, 2016 10:02AM
Sketchup is great software for some things, but not for designing small printable size parts, and not for 3D printing.

Since you are familiar with Sketchup, I suggest you try DesignSpark Mechanical- it has a similar user interface but is much more powerful and produces good stl files that don't require repair before printing. It's free, too.

Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: What Softwares are you Using?
January 04, 2016 10:47AM
DesignSpark Mechanical sounds promising - thank you.

PS One thing I forgot to mention is that I am planning to 3D print an object that will have 3D curves that are slightly complex - albeit following fairly obvious geometry...

From reading around online, Autodesk's Fusion 360 also sound promising - although I don't know how I feel about my designs ONLY being stored on the cloud... (George Orwell would be appalled!)

Btw, can anyone tell me how to restrict my google searches to just show recent [2015 or 2016] reviews??

I just watched a video about OnShape. I am now in love with the *parametric* way of designing! Unfortunately it's browser software (i.e. slow to load) and they only allow 10 private documents. Can you recommend any other free parametric 3D design software for 3D printing?

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/04/2016 08:40PM by ship69.
Re: What Softwares are you Using?
June 15, 2016 08:59PM
Not sure if Blender is parametric like ship69 asked, but FreeCAD certainly is.

For anyone who doesn't trust companies to store their files in the cloud (I don't), or doesn't like the conditions of free commercial software (I don't), FreeCAD is really the only choice. As long as you're aware that you trade limitations arbitrarily imposed by the software publisher for software limitations (missing features, bugs, less polished GUI) due to the software being developed by volunteers in their spare time. Frankly I much prefer the latter.

Still FreeCAD is surprising and has killer features that the big names don't. For example, when in sketch edit mode, it has a degrees of freedom counter, and the solver can also identify conflicting constraints. I know that SolidWorks and Solid Edge don't have that.
Re: What Softwares are you Using?
September 24, 2016 07:12AM
Disclaimer: I work for Makers Empire.

For anyone wanting really easy to use 3D design software (really made for 5-13 year olds), please try our software: Makers Empire 3D design software.

It is touch optimized and really emphasizes fun/creativity over outright precision.

You can see some great student designs made in Makers Empire 3D software Hall of Fame gallery

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/2016 07:12AM by netpenthe.

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Re: What Softwares are you Using?
September 25, 2016 09:40AM
FreeCAD, and the #1 reason... It runs on Linux! (and I will not ever give even one rusty penny to micro$oft)

The other few solid molders that run on Linux have a UI that just flat out sucks rocks. For designing parts to be printed and all around work at home, I haven't found anything I cant do with FreeCAD. And you really can't beat the price.winking smiley
Yep is a good software for making 3D printing parts but when you need more complex designs and/or mechanical, thermal, fluid... simulation FreeCAD is lack of tools for that purposes also 3D rendering with FreeCAD is a hell. For these reasons I see FreeCAD like an alternative CAD software for simple models and using Solidworks as main CAD software when you need to do complex designs and simulations.
Re: What Softwares are you Using?
September 28, 2016 03:58PM
FreeCAD is having many improvements lately especially in FEM workbench so I think that is a good choice in short and mid term.
Re: What Softwares are you Using?
October 06, 2016 10:49PM
Shockley, what do you think of this mechanical design?


Is that complex enough for you?

How about this one: [forum.freecadweb.org]
Or this one: [forum.freecadweb.org]
Yet another: [forum.freecadweb.org]
Animation of a progressive die design: [www.youtube.com]
Another animation: NiCr Hot wire foam cutter [youtu.be]

As for thermal, fluid... Some people are doing advanced work, but ATM it does require python coding. Go look at microelly's posts on the FreeCAD G+ community.
Re: What Softwares are you Using?
September 11, 2017 06:29PM
ImplicitCAD! It's like OpenSCAD but with a Haskell interface and a really cool way of representing geometry (function with three arguments, surface is where it equals 0).

ooo niiice, i love the rounding parameter to unions and differences etc. the only reason i can't use implicitcad is because it's missing polygon, resize and a couple of other functions which are essential to the work i'm doing (using pyopenscad).
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