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Which 3d modeling and engineering program

Hello all,

I am new to 3d modeling and printing. Before I go and buy or build a 3d printer I would like to start 3d modeling.

Out there is chaos. I mean there are over 15 programs that do 3d modeling. Each  friend I ask he uses a different one.

So I need some help. Here are the requirements:
1)Software must be good for 3d printing
2)I don't care if it is hard to learn (if the results are good and the possibilities are endless)
3)Must be  also engineering  compatible (e.g I would like to build a suspension, or apply heat to a model and see what happens,  or apply pressure at a specific  point and see what happens)
4)Cost is not a problem,because my boss is paying
5)I have windows 7 64bit 4GB ram

Thank you all

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DJman230 (author) 2 years ago

Thank you all. What about Solidworks. Has anyone used it?

I currently use SolidWorks 2011 and I love it. But it is on the pricey side.

DJman230 (author)  tomatoskins2 years ago

Can you please tell me if solidworks has thermal-heat test and stress test?

Thank you!

I've never needed it for anything that I've done in the past, but a quick google search says that it does.

I tried a few of the options out there and as long as you only do 3D models for printing, keep the modelling software simple too.
It all really depends on how much time you are willing to spend on learning the software and if (or how much) you want to pay for it.
Sketchup for example is widely used for this as it is quite easy and intuitive to use.
Autodesk has the 123D range of free products and they all work quite well together.
You can start with your medelling and basically print it right away when done.
Blender works too but is more for serious modellig and animating.
Sketchfab is there too and often used just to clean and repair STL before printing, while the atual modelling is done with other software.
For eneneering purposes you are best off with the dedicated Autodesk products as they are still the standard in the field.
Check the Autodesk sites for their products and what can be done with them directly and more with the right plugins.

Kiteman2 years ago

Autodesk are giving theirs away for free:

http://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/overvi...