Beginner needs software suggestion - good intro training

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wb0gaz
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Beginner needs software suggestion - good intro training

Post by wb0gaz » August 20th, 2019, 1:26 pm

I need to develop a small 3D CAD description of a plastic object used in a piece of electronic equipment. I have access to 3D printers at local university but they had no recommendation for authoring/CAD software. I have no experience in this area. I can sketch the object I want (it's a simple extrusion with a cross section that looks like a "T"). I tried freecad but I found it was not friendly for beginner (the problem is likely mine, but that's why I am making this posting as a beginner!).

For a user that can reasonably sketch with powerpoint a 2D cross section but had no success with freecad, could someone recommend software (prefer something that is available as free download, even if it is feature-restricted) that would help me progress from my beginner status to the point that I can create a "STL" file of the object I wish to design? If freecad is the recommended software, then where could I find some a training resource (I'm OK to continue with freecad, but I can't make suitable progress without some help.)

Thanks in advance for any advice or guidance.

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Roberts_Clif
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Re: Beginner needs software suggestion - good intro training

Post by Roberts_Clif » August 20th, 2019, 7:45 pm

There are many too choose from here are my two favorites.
The first is a simple online Cad software that works like building blocks, add blocks and merge into a solid single object.

The second is more complex though it has a multitude of YouTube Videos on how to learn to use.

I started with TinkerCad
Then graduated to Fusion 360 Free for Hobbyist

I had never used a cad software before and build this using Fusion 360 Free.

From watching a few You-tube Videos.
New Case Layout.jpg
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wb0gaz
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Re: Beginner needs software suggestion - good intro training

Post by wb0gaz » August 22nd, 2019, 4:34 pm

Thank you, Roberts_Clif!

I started with tinkercad, and I believe I can create the design I want (which is basically a set of "boxes" of different dimensions, arranged side-by-side and then cloned from front to back to make the extrusion.)

The only thing I can't find in tinkercad is how to identify and change the (x,y,z) coordinates of an object or group of objects in the workspace. I can easily determine and adjust h/w/d dimensions, but being able to place objects in 3-space (given x,y,z coordinates in mm) would be really helpful. So far the only workaround I've found is to nudge an object's position using arrow keys (which appears to move the object in the desired direction by whatever the grid spacing is.)

Is there a user forum for tinkercad, or a place on 3dprintingforum.us where I could get a bit of beginning assistance with the system?

Thanks again,

Dave

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Roberts_Clif
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Re: Beginner needs software suggestion - good intro training

Post by Roberts_Clif » August 23rd, 2019, 8:04 am

ThinkerCad is a simple online program that has a few simple shortcuts.

Here is a simple set of Keyboard shortcuts that could make using ThinkerCad easier.
You can use a ruler to make it easier to set distance as seen on the Web link below.

https://blog.tinkercad.com/keyboard-shortcuts/

Making precision models is more suited for larger Cad software like Fusion 360 Free for hobbyists.
Last edited by Roberts_Clif on August 23rd, 2019, 8:45 am, edited 3 times in total.
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wb0gaz
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Re: Beginner needs software suggestion - good intro training

Post by wb0gaz » August 23rd, 2019, 8:37 am

Thanks - I suspected that (limitation) but wanted to confirm.

I'll head down the Fusion 360 path for next steps,

Dave

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Roberts_Clif
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Re: Beginner needs software suggestion - good intro training

Post by Roberts_Clif » August 23rd, 2019, 8:53 am

I learned the basics of Fusion 360 in less than a day and then started building my Hictop controller case.

As I got stuck I simply went to YouTube and learned how to do the next step until I had the case modeled.
I know that this is not normally the way this should be done but for a sweet program like Fusion 360 Free for hobbyists, it was worth all the trouble. Now that I have the basics down, thought I would go thru all the tutorials and hone in my skills.
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