Author Topic: CAD Software for 3D Printing  (Read 1707 times)

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Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 938
CAD Software for 3D Printing
« on: October 29, 2022, 02:43 PM »
Well I'm recently retired. I purchased an inexpensive 3D printer about 9 months ago. I used it to print several things where I found files online but now wanting to make my own parts.

I bought a Microsoft Surface Pro 8 to make it easy to move the computer around for design work (and because it was $450 at Costco with keyboard and pen2 with I believe a pricing error) but now trying to decide which software to use. I messed around with Fusion 360 but didn't seem intuitive to me but that was back when I was working and didn't have tons of time to learn it. I have seen a software called Shapr3D get great reviews. Does anyone have experience with both of these?

Thanks
Mike

Offline Richard/RMW

  • Posts: 2452
Re: CAD Software for 3D Printing
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2022, 03:08 PM »
Mike, congrats on retirement.

F360 is a great option albeit with a learning curve. It has built in exporter for stl files. One reason to consider it is the ability to use the skill for cnc, tools like the Shaper Origin, dxf exports for laser cutting, etc.

Once you figure out the nuances it is really powerful.

FWIW, I tried Shapr3D but I just can't operate in an touch or pen only design program, my brain cells are too rigid.

Have fun.

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline woodwise

  • Posts: 40
Re: CAD Software for 3D Printing
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2022, 07:41 PM »
I would add a vote for F360 it is very similar to SolidWorks or Onshape in workflow. I would suggest you start with a few tutorials and go from there.
If you need a head start, my company has cad designers on staff. If you can provide a sketch of what you want, I would be happy to have one of them model your design. Once complete, you could look at the file to see how it was done.

Good luck, it really does open up a world of possibilities.

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6655
  • No longer in Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: CAD Software for 3D Printing
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2022, 08:21 PM »
Fusion 360, if I can figure it out, anyone can.

Tom

Offline fritter63

  • Retailer
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  • Posts: 1457
Re: CAD Software for 3D Printing
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2022, 04:44 PM »
I use F360. Started with it for doing CNC (it can simulate and generate the CAM code for the machine as well).

I also use it for 3D, just export the model to an STL file and then send to my friend or to shapeways.com

Interface can be quirky and inconsistent (especially between the design and CAM sides), but once you get over that, it's pretty nice.

Be sure to watch the online training vids on YouTube to avoid frustration.

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 938
Re: CAD Software for 3D Printing
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2022, 09:22 AM »
Thanks for all the input. Guess I'll give F360 a better try. I did make a couple models but seemed like too much of a challenge to make something more complex.

I do have a 24" monitor to use for the modeling.

Thanks
Mike

Offline Richard/RMW

  • Posts: 2452
Re: CAD Software for 3D Printing
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2022, 09:56 AM »
Thanks for all the input. Guess I'll give F360 a better try. I did make a couple models but seemed like too much of a challenge to make something more complex.

I do have a 24" monitor to use for the modeling.

Thanks
Mike

Mike,

Same initial experience I had. Major frustration, couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong, etc. I finally learned how to cobble together good-enough designs to get the result I was aiming for, which morphed over time into a smooth workflow. YT is your friend.

Baseline, from my experience:

1. Focus first on understanding sketches and constraints.
2. The timeline is important, once you realize you can go back in time and change a parameter which will totally update the design.
3. I will make a base sketch, get it "fully constrained" (look that up, it prevents a lot of frustrating errors later) then extrude that shape into a body.
4. If the body needs additional features, start a new sketch on the relevant surface and add those features.
5. Lather, rinse, repeat to develop the overall part in a series of steps. This way if you need to change anything you can go back in the timeline and make the edit. If you lump too many operations into a single sketch (for example) it's more complicated to make alterations. 

An example of which is a simple flat plate with rounded corners, a few holes and a slot. My approach would be to sketch the profile of the plate then complete the sketch and extrude it to final thickness (this is now a body). Next create a new sketch on a face of that body for the holes, use dimensions to set their distance from the edges or each other, complete the sketch and extrude (cut) the holes through. Next, select the side of the body for the slot, sketch it (a simple rectangle), again use dimension to size/locate the new rectangle from the other edges and extrude (cut) it out. Finally, select the corners and apply a fillet to round them.

An alternative to this would be to include the holes into the first sketch, then when you extrude the first body don't select them and it'll accomplish the same thing.

The most basic constraints are simply dimensions and angles, start with them. I find that creating the original profile sketch with a randomly sized series of lines and then adding dimensions afterwards speeds things up. Summary:

* Sketches - basic features
* Constraints - starting with dimensions and angles
* Extruding - creates a body or cuts through one
* Bodies - 3 dimensional parts
* Timeline - use this to go back in time and, for example, change a hole size or location, then when you go forward again this change is reflected

I know this'll probably cause your head to ache, but once you get the basics down it'll hopefully make sense and you can then hone your skills. Feel free to PM if you want to discuss directly. Have fun.

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline tsmi243

  • Posts: 320
Re: CAD Software for 3D Printing
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2022, 10:17 AM »
I've just finished my first project, it's called "Bar with a hole in it v1".

I'll have to upload a pic, it's too complicated to describe.   [big grin]

I can feel the learning curve starting to flatten already. 

Offline Richard/RMW

  • Posts: 2452
Re: CAD Software for 3D Printing
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2022, 07:39 PM »
Stumbled across this video, and in <30 minutes I learned several new F360 tricks. It may be the most useful videos I've seen showing a start to finish workflow.



RMW
« Last Edit: November 07, 2022, 07:46 PM by Richard/RMW »
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline WillAdams

  • Posts: 123
Re: CAD Software for 3D Printing
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2022, 01:17 PM »
There are a number of alternatives to Autodesk Fusion 360 if it doesn't suit:

 - FreeCAD --- for hardcore opensource folks
 - Solvespace --- another opensource program, small and light and nimble, and well-suited to 2D mechanical designs extruded into 3D
 - Moment of Inspiration --- originally designed for use with tablet computers this is reputed to be very easy to learn, but also very powerful, esp. for free-form 3D shapes
 - Alibre Atom3D --- quite inexpensive and a useful subset of a more powerful program (which one can upgrade to if need be)

Or, if you like to program, there are all sorts of options.

Offline Grev

  • Posts: 204
Re: CAD Software for 3D Printing
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2022, 02:23 PM »
Hey Mike .. When I started 3d printing early last year I began learning F360, but found Tinkercad was free and easy to do basic parts.  You might try it until you decide (or learn) a better CAD program like F360.

Offline hdv

  • Posts: 471
Re: CAD Software for 3D Printing
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2022, 04:51 PM »
As a long-time user of Linux I prefer BricsCAD for my 3D modelling. There is a free online version called Shape for those who do not want to pay for a commercial license. I used to work with FreeCAD for years (I even posted a design for a drill table drawn with it on this forum years ago), but compared to BricsCAD it is clunky and not as powerful.