3D software for 3D printer

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by mulo, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. mulo, Oct 24, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014

    mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
    Hi all.

    As a school project, my group and I have been given $4000 to buy a small experimental 3D printer.
    This printer will be used in various classes for a wide range of purposes, that to me are unknown at this stage.

    I have been delegated to find suitable design software.
    As this printer will be used by students of various skill levels, the design tool should be easy to grasp, but be advanced enough for more experienced students as well.
    The first thing that comes to mind is 3DS max and Blender, with Blender obviously having a major advantage in being free. However, both have a, by my judgement, rather steep learning curve.

    What are your propositions for this?

    BR Mulo
  2. Renzatic, Oct 24, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014

    Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    If you want something that's easy to grasp, and allows you to jump from file to 3D printed model with very little fuss or muss, you can't go wrong with Sketchup. It can export to .STL, which I believe is the standard format for 3D printing. On top of that, it's braindead easy to use. It only took half an hour of tutorials to come to terms with it.

    Blender is another excellent option. It's powerful, and has 3D printing capabilities baked right into the program itself. But like you said, it has a very, VERY steep learning curve. If you can learn it, you can make just about anything you want, from exacting archvis models, to high resolution 3D sculpts.

    If you intend on getting long term invested in 3D printing, I'd suggest Blender. If not, Sketchup is what you need.

    edit: I should add that if you want to go all out and get a pro 3D suite, I'd pick Modo over Maya. Maya has its perks, but Modo is far more elegant, and easier to come to terms with. Plus, it has a wallet friendly student license you can take advantage of. I think it's $150 for a year, $300 without a termination date.
  3. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    If you're a student 3Ds Max and Maya are free.

    Also since you're students I would suggest Modo. Its VERY easy to learn, is far more robust than sketch up (so you can make what you want) and is very cheap for students. I think $100 for a license or so.

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