SelfCAD Tutorial: Getting Started in SelfCAD

About: SelfCAD is an online CAD Software as a Service that allows users to model, sculpt and slice for 3D design and 3D printing all under one program. It requires no downloads since it is browser-based. Work can b...

Intro: SelfCAD Tutorial: Getting Started in SelfCAD

  • In this quick tutorial, I am going to show you how to get started in SelfCAD and how you can create your first model.
  • This tutorial is meant for those who are beginners in SelfCAD but those with experience can get a glimpse of one or two things.
  • In this instructable, we are going to create a 3D-Printable house.

Step 1: Create an Account

  • In summary, SelfCAD is a browser-based program that allows you to model, sculpt and print all under one program and the Slicer is also part of the program.
  • The first thing you need to do is to create a user account. This will allow you to access the Editor and be able to start designing and also be able to store your models in the cloud (Which I will explain to you in the next step).
  • To create an account, visit SelfCAD Website, and select start your free trial. But if you are a student or teacher, contact them at info@selfcad.com to be able to access a one free year free trial. When signing up ensure that you use details that you can remember easily.
  • After creating an account, launch the Editor and you will be all set.

Step 2: Creating a Myminifactory Account

  • After Signing up, it's time now to create a Myminifactory Account to be able to get access to more than 30,000 ready to print models and to be able also to upload your models to the cloud so that other people may see them and also you can access them wherever are.
  • To Sign up, click Myminifactory on Top and select Sign up if you haven't done so already but if you have signed up, click connect.
  • After you have connected Myminifactory account, this will allow you to upload directly through SelfCAD and be able to browse models in all categories and be able to download them too.

Step 3: Work Pace

  • This is where you will be creating your work, that is, it's the main design space.
  • The gridded area represents the build plate which is normally being used in the 3D printers and it's the place you will be working on most of the time.

Step 4: Tools

  • On the top right-hand-side, you will be able to see the tools section which lists the tools available to you on SelfCAD and they are seven in number, that is, Extrusion, Add Thickness, Stitch, and Scoop, Round Object, Bevel, Magic Fix, and Sculpting. We shall cover each of them in the next tutorial, but in this instructable, we shall cover only a few of them.
  • Also, in the Create section, there are also other tools that helps you design advanced models.

Step 5: Create a Shape

  • Select and drag a cube to the workspace.
  • To increase or decrease the size of the shape, select the Scale tool found on the Transformations section. When you select the Scale tool, you will be able to see an option to increase the shape on either side by dragging the markings that appear on the shape.

Step 6: Adding Multiple Shapes and Modifying Them

  • Now that you have figured out how to work with one shape, let's now add another object and modifying it.
  • Like you did earlier, select and drag your shape from the basic shapes section and add it to the workspace.
  • After adding the model, select the Scale tool from the transformations section and scale the model to be as shown above.
  • To create a roof of the house, select the taper tool from the Advanced Transformation section. Ensure the origin is set to Bottom and stretch it towards right-hand-side to be able to create a pyramid-like model.

Step 7: Moving Objects Off Works Pace

  • To put the roof on top of the rectangle, we can either use the Move tool or Align tool.
  • To use the Move tool, select it and drag the model towards the rectangle using the arrows provided. But it's a tedious process to align it on top of the rectangle. So that's why Align tool comes in, it's one of my favorite tools in SelfCAD.
  • So select the Align tool from the Advanced Transformation section, or just click letter G.
  • In the reference section, select Obj_2 and in the Align section select Top-Center.

Step 8: Finalize Your Model

  • Select the Scale tool and use it to scale the model to fit the rectangle well and you can also change the color of the shape too.
  • Change the viewing perspective to be able to see the interior section of your house well. To create the section for placing the door, select a new shape from the basic shape section, scale it and drag it towards the section you need to place door. After that, select the Stitch and scoop tool and select Difference and extract the model you created last and you will be able to obtain model shown above.
  • After transforming the model, group the two shapes by clicking CRL+G.

Step 9: Saving and Printing

  • After modeling in SelfCAD, you can either save the model in the cloud, browser or upload it directly to Myminifactory.
  • To save your model on the cloud or browser, select File then saves it. You can also save the Scene to the cloud or browser too.
  • To upload it to Myminifactory, follow the procedure in step two.
  • To print the model, select 3D Print in the File section and select Generate the G-Code that you are going to send it to the printer.

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