What software do you use to generate models?

hey y’all, what software do you use to generate models for the 3D printers?

and, as a follow up, any links to good free tutorials?

In FreeCAD we have a section in the manual that runs through the process of designing & 3D-printing a Lego brick, but I’ve never had a chance to run through the actual printing aspect of it myself. It doesn’t look like I can make links yet, but it’s at wiki dot freecadweb dot org slash Manual.

I’m a huge fan of OnShape. It works in your browser or on an iPad, and it’s free if you don’t mind your design being public. There’s a bit of a learning curve but it’s a delight to use. If you will be doing CAM I’m not sure it’s the best way to go, but for 3D printing I love it.

Here’s a simple drag pen I hope to install in the big CNC when hours expand: https://bit.ly/cnc-drag-pen-onshape (it will hold a spring-loaded sharpie so that you can draw on a work without it destroying the pen)

I also use it to make laser-cut items that will be assembled; if you saw the lantern project I did last year it was modeled in OnShape: https://bit.ly/vigilante-lanterns-onshape This one stretches the browser’s capabilities but works:

In the linked doc I slice the components, “lay them out” by repositioning them on a page, and then generate an exportable drawing that I can laser cut:

I also did an “exploded drawing” to show its assembly:

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I generally use solidworks because I have access to it via my job.

But for home projects I’ll use onshape. Its parametric design capabilities make adjusting designs easy. And its clowd based nature means I always have access to my files.

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I generally use the free edition of Fusion 360 for most of my “serious” 3D modeling needs.

If I need to make a “quick and dirty but accurate” model that can be made using it’s tools, I use Tinkercad.

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I like to use OpenSCAD (even though the exportable model rendering is a bit slow) because it’s super similar to programming a model. I also like to use Blender, but that’s for things that aren’t as mechanical, and may be a bit more artistic.

I was a SketchUp Pro user for years but moved over to Fusion 360 because of work. After a few years I love it more and more. They keep updating and improving it on a weekly basis. I have just started learning joints and rigid bodies. I have used the CAM (now called manufacturing) section with our CNCs. The integration with Eagle is so sick. I have to say I drank the kool aid.