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Square 1 in 3D printing: Which CAD / CAM / Slicer are you using?

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gr8legs

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#1
I recently (a week ago) ordered a PRUSA 3D printer kit with the understanding that delivery was 6 or 7 weeks out.

I figured I'd use the time to research which design software to use to drive it.

Best laid plans gone awry, the printer kit arrived Friday and I am now way behind in my research.

I use Visual CADD for 2D but it does not have 3D capability. I have Dolphin CAD/CAM to drive the mill but no post-processor for a 3D printer, hence my arrival at Square One for 3D Printing.

What do you all use - and why?

Thanks in advance,

Stu
 

Hawkeye

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#2
I'm at about the same point in the 3D process. I downloaded SketchUp for the CAD. I got Repetier-Host with the printer. You can download a plug-in for SketchUp to allow exporting .stl files. Repetier will take in the .stl files and tell you if they are "manifold" or "non-manifold". When you sort out the things that make them non-manifold, you can run the slicer portion in Repetier and save the gcode file and save a version that will run directly from an SD card. This will mean you don't have to tie up your computer during the long printing times.
 

cs900

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#3
well are you looking to do 3d modeling of just make code for the printer? I wouldn't say there's a program out there that does both really well. Fusion360 for real CAD/CAM, and then I suggest simplify3D for a slicer. I know it's not free like Octoprint, cura, or repetier, but the functionality of it is fantastic. You can customize the print as much or as little as you like and I still thing the support features are the best. You can also set-up custom configured settings for each material that you can save and recall at any time, much like setting up a tool library in CAM. and of course it also acts as a machine controller so you can generate the g-code as well as drip it to the printer all in one piece of software.
 

ttabbal

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#4
For slicing, Cura works pretty well for me most of the time. I also have good luck with Simplify3D, though that one is commercial. It has a lot more settings and options, which is nice for some work.

For design work, I mostly use OnShape. It's an online, browser based tool that is free for personal use with the downside that everything is public. I also do a little with OpenSCAD, however, even as a programmer I find it somewhat difficult to work with at times.
 

magicniner

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#5
I already have BobCAD/CAM V25 for my CNC mill so I use BobCAD for building model solids, for anything complex I use Blender to handle the Booleans as it handles meshes better than most things.
I use a pre-Autodesk version of NetFabb (still legitimately available if you search for it) to tidy up solids and the current version of Cura for slicing.
 

brino

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#6
I am _trying_ to learn Fusion 360, but find it painful and very UN-intuitive.
Even after watching a pile of you-tube videos, I have projects that I can't figure out how to even start!

I like that's it's free for home use, I _HATE_ that it's web-based and such a learning hurdle.

-brino
 

Hozzie

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#7
Fusion 360 and Simplify3D for me.
 

jbolt

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#8
Solidworks and Simplify3D. I tried Cura first but I find Simplify3D easier to tune for different filaments.

Someone posted on the CAD forum that if you join the EAA for $40 a year you can get an educational licence for Solidworks.
 
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