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3D CAD software

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by dingfelder, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. dingfelder


    Feb 27, 2008
    Can anyone reccomend a good (free) 3d modelling tool preferably that works on linux?

    I found one --> k3d but it does not import dxf (autocad) files. Still might be the best option though but it means I can not open other people's drawings as a starting point.

  2. BobXboB

    BobXboB Banned

    Sep 25, 2007
  3. I use Soildworks or ProE. But if your looking for free google's sketch up isnt too bad. very user friendly.

  4. Howe


    Feb 9, 2008
    the best on the Market rate now is "inventor" made by autocad but it's far more advance and it's much more user friendly..

    nab a free trial of it!
  5. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Omigosh, would I argue against this!!
  6. Arx


    Jan 22, 2008

    I'm using it to plan my bass right now. It's got its quirks, but seems pretty nice to work with overall.
  7. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    what's 3D?

  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Someone's feeling a bit playful...
  9. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses

    That's what Autodesk wants to make you believe :D Best sold doesn't mean best software. I use Inventor at school and at home and hate the POS. I'd so much rather use Solidworks but can't seem to find a free working *cough,cough* student*cough,cough* version of it.
  10. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    I have *cough,cough* student*cough,cough* copy of AutoCAD if you are around Cincy you can have...
  11. Arx


    Jan 22, 2008
    None of that stuff runs on linux though :(

    Blender's okay, but I was thinking it would be nice to have a modeling program based on the actual tools used for construction. routing, cutting, etc. It's really easy for me to make shapes in blender using various booleans operations and curves and stuff, but sometimes it's easier to do in the computer than real life. If the modeling followed the same constraints as the construction you couldn't accidentally model shapes that you can't build.
  12. BobXboB

    BobXboB Banned

    Sep 25, 2007
    When 3DS Max came out they gave away 20,000 promotional copies and then advertised they have more than 20,000 copies currently in use. They've always been clever Marketeers™.
  13. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001

    And they sell it on the basis of "best 3D program for those moving up from 2D AutoCAD." But SolidWorks does a far better job for mover-uppers.
  14. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    My biggest beef with AutoCAD and Inventor is the lack of a Bezier tool or any tool that let's you do curves. It's VERY hard to design a full body in it since you only have circles, fillets and three point fillets. At this point, I design everything in CorelDraw and import the files to AutoCAD to make touch ups. I still can't figure out how to import DWG's to inventor to make part files with them :meh:
  15. "the best on the Market rate now is "inventor" made by autocad but it's far more advance and it's much more user friendly.."

    Really? You're saying it's better than my $18,000 seat of Siemens NX5 [formerly Unigraphics] that I use at work every day? The same product that GM uses to design cars?

    Maybe the "market" is a little bigger than you realize. Color me, uh, skeptical.
  16. asad137


    Jan 18, 2007
    Well, I dunno if I agree. I learned AutoCAD first, and the transition to SolidWorks was a total pain -- it's a completely different (and better!) way of thinking about design. Then again, I've never used Inventor, so I don't know if it's an easier transition.


  17. Inventor.......eh:meh:
    Maybe for small companies or the like, but yeah, IGES, UG, CATIA, Solidworks, ProE kinda crush it like a little bug.

    I worked with AutoCAD 2D for a long time, OK for what it does/is I guess.
    Also used NX5 for a bit- very nice.
    Company wide we now use Solidworks.
  18. radii


    Feb 16, 2007
    If you were to buy an app, try Rhino. It's still somewhat affordable and adequate for most modeling tasks.
  19. Arx


    Jan 22, 2008
    Or blender, if you just want modeling. It's free.
  20. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    ACAD and Inventor (and SWX) have spline tools to do the curves. In ACAD and Inventor the spline button is on a flyout behind the line button. They're not as nice as the bezier tool in Illustrator (based on my very brief use of Illustrator), but they are there. I think Budman might be using ACAD for his fantastic (and spline-based) body shapes.
    I fortunately haven't had to do that in Inventor, but I do think it's possible. If nothing else, you can open Inv + ACAD side by side, open a sketch in Inv, go to ACAD and windows-copy a group of lines, and then paste them into the Inv sketch. Then - IIRC - you're best off using the (something like) "translate/rotate sketch" function to move the sketch w/o distorting it.

    SWX offers a way to directly import an ACAD .dwg or.dxf into a SWX part sketch, with well-laid out dialogs to help you adjust scaling, layers, not-quite-touching lines, etc., as you do it.

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