How to create digital designs of 3D Objects?
As 3D printing has been around for a while now and becoming more popular there are many online sources for obtaining ready made 3D models such as those that can be found on:
To name but a few.
However if your a true creative, product designer or hobbyist then you maybe looking for free, easy to use software that will enable you to design and make your own 3D printed designs & objects.
There are a number of free open source solutions or commercially licensed software products such as CAD software AutoCAD and Pro Engineer, software packages Rhino, Maya, and SolidWorks are all pretty good for designing 3D models. A full list of software can be found here
Open Source FREE 3D Modelling Software
OpenSCAD This software enables the creation of flat 2D or solid 3D CAD objects and is available for Linux/UNIX, MS Windows and Mac OS X. It primarily focuses on the CAD aspects and comes complete with full documentation (manual), tutorial & cheat files and is an ideal option for those who are reasonably good with mathematics or have a bit of programming knowledge. It also supports the import and export of STL objects and once you get used to the OpenSCAD language it becomes very easy to generate 3D model designs.
Blender – Blender is the free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License and is a powerful program that contains features that are characteristic of high-end 3D modelling software with a fully featured graphical interface. Ideal for the graphic designer type person!
Some tips on finding the best 3D Modelling software
- Must generate an STL file
- Be easy to learn and use and comes with good documentation and tutorials
- Be compatible with your operating system e.g. run on Windows, Linux or MAC
- Not too large to run on your computer or laptop i.e. some 3D packages are memory hungry or too large to run on conventional PC’s or laptops
- Software comes with good support just in case problems arise (check user reviews and feedback on forums)
We hope you have found this article useful and informative.