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Gina

CAD software for designing 3D printed astro parts?

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Posted (edited)

I know this has been covered elsewhere in the past but I just though I would ask again for 3D CAD software suggestions, preferably that will run natively under Linux.  I currently use SketchUp which needs Windows and which I run on a W7 laptop remotely controlled using TeamViewer.  However, recently TeamViewer has started saying it has detected professional use and shutting down.  I shall try reinstalling, which may work but really I would like to try different CAD software.  I can't afford to pay much as an OAP but would be prepared to pay maybe a hundred pounds or a bit more for something good.  I haven't found any open source software for Linux other than OpenSCAD which I found "opaque" - just couldn't seem to figure it out!

Any suggestions very welcome - thank you.

Edited by Gina

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Fusion360 is very good - I've used it for building models for 3D printing as well as CAM type work with a small milling machine. Unfortunately it's Windows or Mac only but it has a free hobbyist version.

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Hi Gina,

Not sure if this will help, It's called Blender
It's a neat little program. A friend gave me the heads-up a while back when I was looking to redesign the kitchen. 

Hope it helps.
Pete. 

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I'll have a look at Fusion360, Tinkercad and FreeCad.  Graphics should support it I think as it was sold as a gaming machine.  I'll look at Blender too.  Thanks all.

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No, not as yet.

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Fusion360 is out as it costs £294 pa.  No free version, only a free trial.  I'm not spending nearly 300 quid a year with a likely increase before long.

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After the free trial you can activate a free hobbyist / startup licence Gina:

All trials are for Fusion 360 Ultimate. To activate Start-Up or Educational licensing, you must download install Fusion 360 from the Autodesk website or the Autodesk Education Website. 

The free Start-Up/ Enthusiast licenses allow you to access Fusion 360 with a yearly subscription after the trial period has ended. You can use this license if you are a small business making less than $100,000 per year (or equivalent), or if you're a hobbyist using Fusion 360 for non-commercial purposes.

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Or give realvnc a go. Sure this works well on both win and linux. Been a while though and touch wood my teamviewer is still playing nicely.

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Thanks everyone.  Back soon.

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Tinkercad looks interesting.  Is it free?  Will it do involute gears?

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7 hours ago, Grant said:

Fusion360 is very good - I've used it for building models for 3D printing as well as CAM type work with a small milling machine. Unfortunately it's Windows or Mac only but it has a free hobbyist version.

I am interested in this do you have the link for the hobbyist version as I am unable to find it on the site

regards

Andy

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6 minutes ago, fozzybear said:

I am interested in this do you have the link for the hobbyist version as I am unable to find it on the site

regards

Andy

They only have one version I believe to download and after your free trial then you can opt for a hobbyist licence.

I have the monthly commercial license so haven’t done this myself so don’t know the exact steps I’m afraid.

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I use onshape. Online and you have to sell your soul but it works great. It's free if you do public designs.

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As posted in the other thread - onshape is really by far the best "free" cross platform engineering tool available, its free for hobbyist but your CAD is saved in the public domain, viewable to all.  It's trivial to make sure nobody every finds it mind you.

The support is absolutely first class too as are the video tutorials.

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Posted (edited)

I mainly use FreeCAD. I does take a couple of nights of youtubeing to get into but once you get into it, it's great. A good companion to it is LibreCAD which is an old school autocad style 2D only CAD. Sometimes it's easier to do your 2D drafts in it then take it into FreeCAD (via dxf) for further processing.

Blender is another free option but personally I don't like it much.

You can also get a free version of Side FX's Houdini called Houdini Apprentice. It is a very powerful package but not your typical CAD software though. It can however output STLs.

All of the above run natively under Linux.

Edited by kbrown
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Another vote for FreeCAD which is what I use for most of my design work.

I use OpenSCAD too though, it's more of a "CAD by programming" type tool but can be really handy if you want a custom timing belt pulley, for instance.  Just printed two of those for help in adding an Dec axis encoder to my old Meade LXD75.

image.thumb.png.69da2c0dcc22fe8cfc2b124aa958b413.png

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FreeCAD can also be programmed using python either by directly from the python panel or as a macro. You can even build your own UIs with Qt if you want. Haven't done much with it yet but I've seen some pretty clever examples.

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Tinkercad and 123cad from the makers of Autocad are alternatives.

Blender, as far as I know, is for making (3d) animated movies. Very cool piece of software, but not exactly what you're looking for.

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Correct Wim,

Blender is not intended to be used for mechanical parts/assemblies as Gina need.

Chris

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I used it a few years ago to make a few animations, but haven't used it since. I don't know if they added functionality, but going to 3D printing would be a total different direction. Otoh, there could be a plugin to convert to a 3D printer format.

Still, traditional CAD is better suited.

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Posted (edited)

Blender can design any type of gears as shown by these tutorials from Otvinta. Here are a couple for involute gears that Gina inquired about.

 

There are add-ons for blender, like '3D Print Toolbox' which you enable in its preferences to make modelling for 3D printing easier. Blender looks a little daunting at first glance but there are loads of tutorials available on getting started. You can export your designs in STL format for printing. I just happened to download it last week and am using the tutorials to get familiar with it. 🙂

Edited by symmetal
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