Customs: 3D Software to assist scratch builds?

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by protostar8, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. protostar8

    protostar8 Well-Known Member

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    I've been using autocad for awhile to do my customs. It only lets me do 2D. I was wondering if anyone uses a decent 3D modeling program to make their ideas come to life so things like "fit" can be checked before wasting supplies? It's just kind of hard to get things perfect in a 2D representation of something that's gonna be 3D sometimes...

    And just to make this thread an official scratch built, here is a shot of my old War Within Shockwave that I made using autocad a few years back.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2009
  2. Bigbot3030

    Bigbot3030 Well-Known Member

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    I've used RHINO to build my primus scratchbuild. It was all flat panels that i then printed out 1:1, than assembled. Only way to make everything fit in a perfect 12" sphere is in 3D. I've been to the week long training for Solidworks and plan on making my next one in that program, and then rapidprototype some of the pieces (buget willing).

    For someone beginning 3D work, hands down RHINO is easier to learn (and cheaper) than solidworks. the bonus about solidworks though, is that it has kinetic aspects to the programming, so you can fully trasnsform your design in the computer before making anything. i'm planning on adding some "auto-morph" and other types of geared mechanisms to my design. Just adding more tools to my toolbox for when i work for Hasbro. :) 

    Randy!
     
  3. kjeevahh

    kjeevahh n/a

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    why not just use google sketchup, it is both free and easy.
     
  4. Rodentus prime

    Rodentus prime Well-Known Member

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    I'll second that - much easier to learn than most. Also take a look at Bonzai 3d which was recently released - it looks fairly intuitive and has a months free trial.
     
  5. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'm a big fan of Solidworks, you can pick it up cheap as a student (or if you know a student), otherwise its expensive as hell and only good for 2 years. Its VERY user friendly.

    I've also used the Autodesk 3d modeler and I don't know if its because I used Solidworks so much, but I found it hard to use. I tend to draw everything in AutoCAD and then import it into Solidworks (I don't care for hte Solidworks CAD tool, go figure)

    Since creating the 3d model is my end goal, using the above process has made me a horrible CAD modeler because I only do enough to build the 3d model, I don't want anything else there that is going to mess with the 3d model.

    With solidworks, you can check for errors where parts would be overlapping, or see how parts can move. Here are some examples of stuff I've done:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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  6. Bigbot3030

    Bigbot3030 Well-Known Member

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    That looks like HOS shockwave. :) 

    I guess my problem with solidworks is i've tried to do everything in that program. just trying to learn. otherwise I have been making things in RHINO, then importing them into soidworks. and i don't think Solidwroks is THAT user friendly. i guess it is if you know the model and program well. ;)  it's great once you get things in there correctly, and is easy to manipulate afterwrods, but it's that whole "correct" thing that takes time.

    Thanks for the reminder about the google sketchup, i've been wanting to try that.

    Randy!
     
  7. Rodentus prime

    Rodentus prime Well-Known Member

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    If you like it there are also some very nice free plugins available for it to make it more versatile.
     
  8. protostar8

    protostar8 Well-Known Member

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    Solidworks sounds like what I'd like. I'm VERY good at learning programs (hell, I taught myself how to use autocad to the point where I can pretty much do what I want, even make stickers and stuff with it), so I'm sure I'll be able to pick solidworks up.

    Thanks for the info!
     
  9. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    It is, I had started a thread here and haven't updated it in a long time. I have about 85-90% of him modeled in Solidworks.

    I agree that getting things into solidworks correctly is a steep learning curve, but after that its smooth sailing.
     
  10. kjeevahh

    kjeevahh n/a

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    honestly, just use google sketch-up, it is the easiest and is also free. once you understand the basics, then you can do some trials of other things if you need to, and have a proper idea of what you are comparing against.
     
  11. Bigbot3030

    Bigbot3030 Well-Known Member

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    honestly, just use google sketch-up, it is the easiest and is also free. once you understand the basics, then you can do some trials of other things if you need to, and have a proper idea of what you are comparing against.

    I would agree wiht this, in that its' free and allows you to play around. Solidworks is expensive, and I would hate to give the impression that this is what would work best for you, that and the aforementioned steep learning curve. but in my mind, if you can do it in solidworks (or a very similiar parametric modeling system) you can do anything. :) 

    I really need to set some time aside to try Sketch-up out, I have a friend who swears by it. but when you do modeling work all day, it's hard to wind down with more of the same.

    Randy!
     
  12. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    Just checked out Google Sketch-Up and it seems that would probably be best for you.

    The one problem I see with the free version is that it does not export 3d files, only 2d. If you only intention is to see how things will look before you make them, then this will work for you, if you plan on designing something and sending it off to be rapid prototyped, you will have to get the pro-version, about $500.
     
  13. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    is this supposed to be a WIP thread, or a Discussion thread?
     
  14. valguerra

    valguerra Well-Known Member

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    You kow is kind of funny, but i think I got that solid works program and never use it.
     
  15. Geminii

    Geminii Toyetic multiformophile

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    If anyone's interested, I made the triplechanger below in Sketchup. I'm not much of an artist, though, so it's lacking in greeblie features and texturing. And articulated hands. Should function as an actual toy, though.

    I've found Sketchup to be OK, but it bugs me that there's no built-in animation option in the free version other than static flythrough.

    I figure the perfect Transformer-designing 3D app would not only have transformation animation abilities and interpenetration checks, but would also allow you to open a new realtime window on each mode when painting the design, so you could see the effect in both (or more) modes at the same time. It'd also be nice to be able to import vector drawings for paint apps.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. protostar8

    protostar8 Well-Known Member

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    Okay. I've been checking up on solidworks. It seems like it's the program I'd like to use, but right now, I'm using win7 beta. Does solidworks work with win7 beta? I've seen a few people say yes, but hundreds of posts saying they can't get it to work. The drawing I see above from Sketch up appears to be very simplified (can't see joints, etc) and I'm wanting something that I can pretty much make my toy in. I doubt I'd be able to fund a rapid prototype, but I can sure as heck cut my own plastic in the right lengths/sizes just like I've done for 4 customs now (5 if you count the one I've made twice).
     
  17. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    I have no idea on win7 beta, sorry.

    As for making your parts, I think you could still get a lot done with a regular cad program. What I was doing for a while was printing off my designs 1:1, using spray adhesive to glue it to styrene, and then I just cut my parts out following the lines.
     
  18. protostar8

    protostar8 Well-Known Member

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    That's how I had done it. The only issue was sometimes what looked good in 2D, translated horribly to 3D b/c of stupid things I forgot to check. If I do it all in 3D, then it will take no time at all to make the 2D version and I won't have to worry about "fit" testing really. That will mostly be done.
     

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