Page 1 of 2

CAD Recommendation to use with S3D

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:24 am
by FrankLeisten
I'm looking for any recommendations on a CAD program for iMac that is fairly easy to use and learn. Free would be nice but I would be willing to pay for a program that's not to expensive. Of coarse something that works with S3D. I am just a hobbyist interested in N Scale Model Trains and Scenery that I would like to create. Thank you all in advance. Love S3D!!! Frank (still learning).

Re: CAD Recommendation to use with S3D

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:07 pm
by nsarzyns
I'm not sure if Fusion360 is available for mac, it should be. Anyway it's "free" as long as you sign up as a maker and have profits less than 100k, I think. That's what I use and haven't paid a cent yet. There is a slight learning curve but not much at all imo. I started out on Solidworks...stupidly overpriced and no maker version.

Some advise though, there isn't just one CAD program that will work with S3D. As long as you can export your CAD file as an STL, any CAD software that does this will work.

Re: CAD Recommendation to use with S3D

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:40 pm
by FrankLeisten
Thank You

Re: CAD Recommendation to use with S3D

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:26 pm
by greybeard
I used Solidworks (and Pro-E, Inventor, Cadkey) since 1996 and occasionally, still do. But, for the past 3 years, I've been using FreeCAD. It does everything.

While learning it can be confusing, it's pretty simple to learn if you stay away from folks on their forum that want to show you haw smart they are.

Many tut's of Youtube.

Here's the FreeCAD link: https://www.freecadweb.org/

Re: CAD Recommendation to use with S3D

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:27 pm
by FrankLeisten
Thank You I'll take a look at FREECAD.

Re: CAD Recommendation to use with S3D

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:48 am
by erniehatt
I use Sketchup, and have not found anything I can't build.

Re: CAD Recommendation to use with S3D

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:24 am
by arhi
any cad tool will work with s3d as long as it can export STL

out of free app's blender is the most stable & powerful one, but has a very steep learning curve .. it's best free thing to do modeling of organic stuff .. it's a mesh only modeler (don't understand solids)

freecad is organized as engineering modeling tool but is not very stable & fast, you can do lot of stuff quickly, you can generate professional designs, can work with IGES and STEP files, it understands both meshes and solids, development is active and it's getting faster and more stable every day, upgrade regularly

Art of Illusion is also very good modeling tool, not too fast (java) but decent and simple to use with powerful scripting possibilities (I use it for e.g. to create involute gear designs)

openscad - extremly fast and super powerful if you don't mind "coding your part" - not for "designers" :) ... you design your part in text editor :)

all of them work on macos

now, there are web based ones:

- fusion360 (very powerful, free, popular in 3d printing world)
- onshape - from the makers of solidworks, extremely powerful but free version makes all your designs public, if you want private projects you have to pay, it allows for multiple ppl to work on same design in the same time, my favorite free tool (I don't care that designs are public, I share them anyhow)
- tinkercad - very popular among noobs, allow super easy creation of basic stuff, allow super easy editing of stl files etc etc.. terrible for very complex stuff but for complex designs you outta go with fusion360 or onshape anyhow

there are more but these are the most popular ones .. there are also student / crippled versions of some professional packages that get available from time to time but I tend to avoid those as full versions cost arm and a leg

Re: CAD Recommendation to use with S3D

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:17 am
by FrankLeisten
Thanx

Re: CAD Recommendation to use with S3D

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:37 pm
by NitroXpress
http://moi3d.com/

You can download a 30 days trial Version.
Also runs from a USB stick...

Re: CAD Recommendation to use with S3D

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:22 pm
by Oncology Engineer
Hi Frank,

I use Fusion 360 on my Mac book Pro (2016) and it has no problems running it. Like a previous post it likes to be online and sometimes exporting an STL file out won't work unless you are online and I guess that's fine where most people will use it. Plenty of You Tube instructional videos as well. I've watched most of the Lars Christensen ones. I think that he works for them and goes right through from the simple stuff, great for beginners!
Cheers, Adam