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3D Software

A place to ask general spud cannon related questions.
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3D Software

Unread postAuthor: MikeNice » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:57 pm

I'm looking for suggestions on some half-way decent free-ware 3D rendering software for putting together some models in. I'm not interested in any warez or any kind of copyright infringement. I am in the planning stages of my new cannon which will be an advanced combustion. I'm kinda broke at the moment (saving to take the fam to Disneyland) so all I can do right now is plan the next cannon on the computer and hope it takes the edge off the need to build. My Google searches have turned up rendering software that is way more than what I want. I don't need to render HD video game quality people, just need to make some tubes and add some color, ya'know? I'm using a Mac so it needs to be for OS 10.4 or higher. Any recommendations would be awesome. Thanks ya'll
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Unread postAuthor: Marffy » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:05 pm

I'd try Google sketch-up. Its very easy to use and its fast. But, obviously its very sketchy. like first draft material.


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Unread postAuthor: CS » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:20 pm

Useful Links & Infromation

Look under "designing."
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Unread postAuthor: rp181 » Sat May 01, 2010 10:55 am

Blender3D.

It rivals high end commercial products like autodesk Maya (many people have even switched to Blender from Maya). The render engine is VERY good.
Only downside is it takes a little longer to learn.
Still amazes me what people can do with Blender (check out blenerartists.org).
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Unread postAuthor: Marffy » Sat May 01, 2010 11:15 am

I have blender, its freaky hard to learn. I still can't make anything good in it. What i see people do is make a model in google sketchup and finish it up in blender. But i normally don't do that, i just make un-detailed models and i'm happy with them. :D
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Unread postAuthor: Insomniac » Sat May 01, 2010 8:24 pm

If you want somthing easy to learn, Sketchup is you're best bet. Anim8or is also fairly easy, but it's geared more towards creating models & animations, not so much for designing things.
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Unread postAuthor: chinnerz » Sat May 01, 2010 8:47 pm

are you a student?? if so, do you get an email with .EDU in it?? if so that is your free pass to 13 months (extend it any time) of 3DS max, and Maya. as well as autoCAD and a few others.

sketch up is still my fav to use... soo easy to pick up. and so what if they dont look as good as some of the other progs on the interwebs, they are still understandable and more important, accurate.
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Sun May 02, 2010 11:36 pm

One member here is maintaining a great library of 3D objects for spudding in Sketchup. If you model new parts you can submit them to the library. If you are building a launcher from standard plumbing parts, you can use objects in the library.

Even a design of mine is in there if you want to build it or modify it.
http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/sketchup-model-library-t17755.html
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Unread postAuthor: MikeNice » Mon May 03, 2010 12:54 am

chinnerz - No I am not a student so unfortunately that won't help but thanks for the great suggestion. I'm sure I'm not the oldest spudder here and I know for sure I'm not the youngest. I have started to model in Sketchup. It is a great little program which suits my needs perfectly. Now having a link to this library will certainly make things more interesting. Thanks for that Techy. If any of you have been thinking of starting a 3D model project at this point I would highly recommend Sketchup. It has been very easy to learn to use, it's a small program so it doesn't suck space or RAM, and like I said, for the kind of 3D modeling I wanted to do it is perfect. Thanks Marffy for the recommendation. I did download and try out Blender and even Daz, but between the two of them I blew like 4 hours and got almost nowhere. 4 hours into Sketchup and half of my gun is built. It's just a matter of how detailed I want to get with it. Thanks all for proving once again how great this community is!
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Unread postAuthor: The_Caveman » Sat May 08, 2010 11:11 am

I would suggest you give solidowrks a quick try, it is an amazing program and extremely easy to use. It is an actual 3D CAD/CAM modeling software and these kind of applications are specificaly what it is used for.

If you ever decide to make a gun with moving parts Solidowrks can simulate movements. Or for example if you were machining a valve housing out of some material you can use the simulation features to help in the design process.

It is very easy to use for something as simple as a pipe to a full engine with moving components. It allows for alot of growth in designs you may need in the future.
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Unread postAuthor: matti » Sat May 08, 2010 12:28 pm

The_Caveman wrote:I would suggest you give solidowrks a quick try, it is an amazing program and extremely easy to use. It is an actual 3D CAD/CAM modeling software and these kind of applications are specificaly what it is used for.

If you ever decide to make a gun with moving parts Solidowrks can simulate movements. Or for example if you were machining a valve housing out of some material you can use the simulation features to help in the design process.

It is very easy to use for something as simple as a pipe to a full engine with moving components. It allows for alot of growth in designs you may need in the future.


solidworks is not very cheap.. 5000euros + 1500 per year, or student version 120 euros per year. and its not easy to use :D
I have student version at my computer

edit: OOH dam you meant Solidowrks not solidworks :D
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Last edited by matti on Sat May 08, 2010 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: The_Caveman » Sat May 08, 2010 4:01 pm

haha, yes sorry for my moment of dyslexia.

You can easily find a "free version" if one were so inclined but if you are not ok with this then you would have to toss out the idea. (But you are missing out :P)

But I would defiantly have to disagree with how easy it is to use.

One or two quick tutorials and you can make the vast majority of potato cannon components out there. For example, if you wanted to make a reducer you would draw half of its cross section, dimension the lines, revolve it, and there done.
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Unread postAuthor: matti » Sat May 08, 2010 4:25 pm

The_Caveman wrote:haha, yes sorry for my moment of dyslexia.

You can easily find a "free version" if one were so inclined but if you are not ok with this then you would have to toss out the idea. (But you are missing out :P)

But I would defiantly have to disagree with how easy it is to use.

One or two quick tutorials and you can make the vast majority of potato cannon components out there. For example, if you wanted to make a reducer you would draw half of its cross section, dimension the lines, revolve it, and there done.


well basic things and drawing is easy.. but there is lot more in solidworks
but yeah its true that if you just draw cannon parts, then its easy.. but why not to do some simulations when you can with SW 8)
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Unread postAuthor: Mr.Sandman » Sat May 08, 2010 6:22 pm

Well if you want free then I use google sketchup, It's definitely nowhere near solid works but it's decent for being free.
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Unread postAuthor: USGF » Sat May 08, 2010 6:49 pm

IMHO, there are 2 basic categories of software packages.

The first makes nice images or drawings on the screen or on paper. Dimensions are not really important in these packages, the render quality and ease of use are. Many can make "accurate" parts but that is not what they were designed for.

The second is the CAD programs. Many can render, some cannot. These all can produce nice drawings on the screen or paper but the main goal here is to convey accurate 2d or 3d dimensions to other people or machines. The information in a CAD file can be fed into CAM sofware to allow a machine to produce the parts for you. If you have no CNC or rapid prototyping machines involved in your production of parts, then you really don't have to go through the extra effort of learning this class of software.

Solidworks, Rhino, Autocad, Alibre, Pro Engineer, come to mind, there are many others.

Figure out what your software will eventually do and pursue it that way. Maybe one of your kids or nephews/nieces is going to school. He/she can purchase a student version at a huge discount.

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