Found a helpful 3D Design Guideline recently. Has some great high-level design guidelines that will take you lots of trial and error if you don’t learn it some other way first.
With all the talk about 3D printing and creating STL files, I thought this was a fun link. Draw things in Minecraft and then print them into real objects!
Creating 3D Designs is getting easier! The topic seems to be getting much more attention now that we can use 3D printers to make objects a reality. Check this Design News link for a short video on tools to make design easier for everyone; not just CAD jockies.
MakeVR looks like a substantial evolutionary step to make things easier. The biggest progress may be in the development of new controls. While getting rid of menus may make the software _sound_ friendlier, the underlying concepts and operations one must learn to do effective 3D design look the same. Making a gesture with your hand may be quicker, but it doesn’t shorten the learning curve.
There are a lot of options out there for 3D CAD. Autodesk 123D is free, but feels pretty conventional, big, complicated, and a bit ugly to me. Sketchup “works”, but is limiting for rounded and organic design, is often time-consuming without the right aftermarket plug-ins, and seems buggy at times. You get what you pay for when you use it for free. I definitely don’t see myself paying $500 for the “Pro” version.
I really like MoI for designing 3D parts. It’s free to try for a month, and reasonably priced to purchase. It’s intuitive, powerful, and rock solid. The interface is a bit ugly in my opinion, but it’s very functional and a joy to work with. Best of all, it works on the Mac and PC.
What tools do you like?