Looking at CAD Options for 3D Printing

Watching some training sessions for Fusion 360. I’m probably going to finally try to commission a RepRap this winter at some point. A co-worker has a prusa i3 and recommended Fusion 360 in start-up mode (free to use as long as you’re not making significant money) as a good tool so I’m going to see what I can learn about putting things together with the tool.

FreeCad has also been recommended and I’ve grabbed a copy. Fusion seems more capable and so I’m inclined to start there. Blender is also something I’ve played with…more for artistic than engineering work though. It is also on the list, but likely behind a practical cad tool at this point.

As a software engineer, the open source tools appeal quite a bit as they’re a possible place to make enhancements to the tooling over time and a way to look at the internals as well as the UI side. They’re on my list and I’ve grabbed the git repos for both tools but at the moment I’m looking more for an overview of the state of the art rather than internal details and I need to understand what current practice looks like before thinking about new features.

I would love to enable use of my HTC Vive with these tools at some point. Being able to walk around a shape or assembly in three-space and manipulate it would be pretty interesting. I suspect it could make some of the manipulations that are of interest much easier for less experienced users.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.