Product Design 3d Software

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by jrichie, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. jrichie macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2003
    I am looking to get some products made, first with rapid prototyping then Injection Moulded [if all goes well].

    I would like to know what is the best software [on the mac] to do this.

    I am aware of Solidworks, Pro Engineer etc. I have good skills in Autocad and 3DS MAx and know Cinema 4D, however I have read that these aren't the best for solid 3D modelling. I want to avoid Maya simply because it is too complex.

    So the question is, what software shoud I go with, for parametric, solid modelling easily exported for manufacturers? And what is the most popular?

    I am keen to have all my software on the mac but will use bootcamp if I have to!

    I am sure there are loads of talented product designers not just limited to Solidworks on PC!

  2. fuzzwud macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2004
    You can try Ashlar Vellum's Cobalt or Solid Thinking.
  3. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005
    Not only is Maya complex but I don't think it was designed to do that type of thing. Rather than learning a new program have you considered running Autocad under bootcamp?

  4. jrichie thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2003
    I would prefer a solution in OSX rather than Bootcamp.

    Also, I read that autocad is not as precise in the modelling - is this correct.
    I do know how to model very acurately in Acad [architectural], but don't have the experience with manufacturers to know what they would prefer [.STL formats].

    Any ideas on this one?
  5. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005
    I don't use Autocad but I thought it was designed for that, I could be way way off base here. You are right about 3D Max and Cinema 4D being the wrong for the job. Maya is much the same as those 2. I'm sure there is a few experts here that have a good idea what would work.

  6. dongmin macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2002
    Unfortunately, for this kind of stuff, OS X is not the best option. But if you must go OS X, Form-Z is probably your best bet. The interface takes some getting used to but the modelling tools are pretty powerful. I'm not sure how well Form-Z models interface with CAM-CAM hardware, however. You may have to go through a PC and AutoCAD to make sure it jives.

    Personally, I prefer Rhino on the PC for modelling. IMO, it has the best interface, especially if you're familiar with AutoCAD. It's fast, precise, and had pretty good support for CAD-CAM.

    Solidworks is probably your best bet, though, for product design. Seems to be the most popular. But I don't have much first-hand experience to offer you.
  7. jrichie thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2003
    Thanks guys.

    You have basically answered what I thought!

    I have a friend using Rhino for architecture and has some good results with it, however I do know that the university here teaches Solidworks to the design students.

    I was hoping there would be an alternative in OSX but obviously not.

    It is really starting to annoy me that all the programs I use are PC only :

    3S MAX

    now solidworks............ also may look at Autodesk Inventer.

    I know someone who worked with Frank Gerhry and he said Inventer is better than Catia.

    anyway, Macpro for me early next year to run these apps and keep my mac book in OSX only for everything else.

    BTW anyone ever used / looked at Pro CONCEPT? It looks quite nice......

    For me, going intel on the mac was the best move ever by Apple [for the reasons above]
  8. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    A really good idea would be to contact shops you are likely to hire, and ask them what they are using. It may save you from some surprises when it comes time to have your parts built.
  9. etoiles macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2002
    Where the air is crisp

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