Hey guys, for custom 3D models I’ve been using tinkercad because all the other programs have so many options that I don’t know about. The only thing about Tinkercad I’d like to see different is the ability to click an object to select it and see the “wire frame” adjustment box with the current measurements and then click the measurement and input a custom value instead of dragging the “wire frame”… anyone know of simple software that can do that?
I haven’t used it much, but I think 123D Design will do what you want. It’s not web-based, like TinkerCad. It’s offered by the same company, download is free for non-commercial use.
Somewhere in my poking around, I stumbled across a web-based system that is a bit more advanced than TinkerCad, but I can’t find it now, and can’t remember the name.
Autodesk 123 D is a good choice, I found TinkerCad lacking features I needed. Fusion 360 is very much like the other two but much more advanced, so whatever you have learned on the first two transfers over.
Its free for hobby and startup use and it does use the “cloud”, but it can run offline for a week or two just fine. I think they want it to be the new Solidworks.
Thank you guys for the feedback. I’ve downloaded both programs you have suggested and I also learned that in Tinkercad, if I lay down the ruler helper I can manually adjust the dimensions of an object.
I only used tinkercad once but I seem to recall being able to punch in numbers for dimensions of primitive shapes. Anyway, I’d suggest giving freeCAD a try. It’s less mouse based and more number pad based, but it lets you do things accurately quickly and if you decide to change your dimensions, you can go back to any location in the design and make the change (with the caveat that if you chamfer or fillet along the way, those can get borked and invalidate the object – always chamfer or fillet at the end of the design phase to the extent possible).
The thing with CAD software is that it is all sort of confusing and hard to learn and once you’ve learned something, you will be loath to try something else. For me, I found tinkercad frustrating because I approached it with my freecad knowledge. Anyway, pick something that works for you and then dive in deeply because after a while, you won’t really want to try to learn something else. I chose freecad because it is open source and if I someday want to use it for something commercial, I don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a proprietary program. But in the end, choose something full featured that you like because you’ll probably end up using it for years and years.
I’ve been playing with freeCAD for a while. It’s buggy, and takes a while to get up to speed. There are excellent tutorials though, and I’d strongly suggest going through them if you have the time.
I have found it works pretty well with metric, but it isn’t so great for standard inch type stuff. If you don’t delete everything in the box and type in the inch number you want, it will fail.
I made a model of a bracket for my truck and it turned out quite nice. Like nearly everything I do, it became more complex than I imagined at first, and it was a bigger challenge with each step. I am very happy with my results though.
I use Tinkercad a lot for simple stuff. The ruler is your friend. Use Group and UnGroup often. It actually works pretty well.
I never have figured out an easy way to put a radius on a corner or fillet a joint in TinkerCad. It can be done, but not all that easily (though I might have missed something - I haven’t used it much). It’s easy in 123D Design, but removing them if you change your mind is a bit tougher (another area I need to explore further).
I’ll be poking around in FreeCad a bit as well.