Best 3D Modeling Software? Suggestions?

Greetings!

I've ordered my first 3D printer which should be arriving any day now (a simple monoprice printer).

I decided to get a head start on my first project and try 3D printing up a logo for a friend. The software download was for Cura 15.04.02 which didn't have any way to create a mesh in it for a truly 3D object.

(It could read such a file but I could only import grayscale images which it'd interpret as 3D--this denies me the ability to have anything by a flat back surface.)

So I was wondering what software some of you pros would use to make a true 3D image for a printer to print?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Sign--
Wacky

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Hi @Wacky there are lots of good packages out there, many of them free or very inexpensive.  I use Autodesk 123D Design a lot, despite being fairly limited on features, it's usually enough to do pretty much anything that'll work well on a 3D FDM printer, especially if you're just starting out.  On a little from that is Autodesk's Fusion 360 which is "sort of" free; it's free for a year then a sub, but it's not expensive.  If you really want to get into 3D modelling in a serious way, there's Blender, which is an awesome 3D package that's open source, if you're more into the technical side of things there's OpenSCAD.  If you like sculpting and/or creating characters, there's Sculptris.

 

Everyone has their favourite, I'd recommend just going mad with Google, trying a few and seeing what you like the best.

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Fusion 360 for me for home use.  It's actually free as long as you're not making more than $100K a year from it's use.  I think it's really nice software, especially for free.  I come from a SolidWorks background and what that software can do compared to the much more expensive programs like SolidWorks, Pro-E, Catia, etc. is really pretty impressive.  It also does rendering which looks very nice if you were trying to do a presentation of a potential product or project.  I'd highly recommend it. 

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Hi Wacky, VECTARY was created for 3D modeling beginners like you who'd like to start 3D printing their creations. It's online free and easy to use. But I agree with cobnut, you should try more software and find out what suits you the best.

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Thanks for all the advice and for being so quick in the response!

I'll take a look at what's been suggested and go from there. :)

Sign--Wacky

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TInkercad.  Learn in a few hours, does a great job for a beginner.

From there, move straight to autodesk123d.  

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I will start off with the fact that I'm a Blender fanatic. But I do know that Blender has a steep learning curve. I have been using it since it's early days, so I know it and mostly stick with it.

 

When looking for a more CAD type of program, I use OnShape. This is from the people who created SolidWorks. It's free for non-commercial purposes and you can only keep 10 projects online (but you can import and export). It is cloud-based so you can access it from multiple locations and there is no software to download and install.

 

Fusion 360 is good as well. OpenSCAD has a steep learning curve. 123D Design is good, but limited - I was beyond its capability in my second project.

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A friend of mine loves OnShape, which does look like it's pretty good even if I haven't tried it myself.  Because it's cloud based, I can't really use it at home due to the fact I live in an area with very poor internet access, even for cellular service.  If that wasn't the case, I had a strong argument to try it out.

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Hey Wacky!

 

We are a 3D printing service bureau and use SpaceClaim to create our 3D models and subsequent STL files for printing.  SpaceClaim is a very easy to use software that allows you to create designs, modify designs created in any other 3D software, import scan data, etc.   It has an add on module for STL file creation as well.  It's one of the least expensive software's out there with the most capability.  It will be a great asset in the future if you want to create 3D models or modify others.  You really should check it out before purchasing anything else.  As a service bureau, we know about all the software's out there and use the best that is time efficient.  We are a reseller for SpaceClaim as well so we would be happy to help you with a trial version if you want. Hit me up if you're interested.  You can check out SpaceClaim here:  www.spaceclaim.com.  Good luck!  

 

Mandy Howard, Account Manager

NeoMetrix Technologies, Inc.

Cell:  (407) 432-8453

Email:  mandy@neometrixtech.com

Website:  www.neometrixtech.com

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