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Author Topic: Design/drawing program - Guidance/help needed  (Read 245 times)

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Offline Vigo

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Design/drawing program - Guidance/help needed
« on: September 27, 2019, 03:28:08 AM »
I'm considering buying a 3d printer as soon as I can convince the exchequer that I really NEED one.

Maybe this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/ANYCUBIC-Printer-Pre-assembled-Ultrabase-hotbed/dp/B07R4SSBSP

I'm not too bad on traditional CAD, I've spent maybe 20 years or so dabbling with it with fairly good results but recently I've been looking at the various ways to draw things for 3d printing, ie sketchup, etc and as far as I can see they don't really seem to make the grade. What I mean is, if I want to 'print' an acceptable rendition of a class 76 loco body for example, I can't really do that with a set of pre-determined polygon shapes like you seem to get with what I've seen of 3d design stuff so far in my search. I need to be able to draw detail. I want something that I can do a proper drawing on, like a traditional CAD program but to be able to transfer that design to a 3d printer. I tried one recently to attempt to draw out a ship and let's just say that after about 6 hours of mucking about and hair pulling (that I can barely afford these days) my dog could have got better results and he hasn't got opposable thumbs.



Not best impressed. Obviously such a beast exists somewhere, otherwise people wouldn't be able to create such things as the likes of Shapeways sell (for eye watering prices).


Please share.... Please please please.... I want to be part of the hi-tech 'make your own' club :helpneededsign:
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Offline njee20

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Re: Design/drawing program - Guidance/help needed
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2019, 06:38:04 AM »
Having been in an identical position 6 months ago I’d say you’ve made a decent start. What you have is recognisable as a ship, you now need to add all the details. You have a stack of geometric shapes, it just needs refining. Should corners be rounded? Do you need railings? Should the funnels be tubular, not solid cylinders, what about windows etc etc?

Having tried all the different packages (off the top of my head Sketchup, Blender, ShapeR 3D, TinkerCAD and Fusion 360) I personally found Fusion by far the most intuitive and easy to use, but everyone’s different.

As for printer the Mega is decent, but it’s a PLA printer - a heated nozzle extrudes a string of melted plastic, tracing each layer and building up the model. This means quite a coarse print, which will need a lot of sanding to get a good quality finish. Good for larger items, like scenery, but less suited to things like loco shells in N gauge with lots of detail.

If you want to do high detail items then something like the Anycubic Photon is a better choice IMO, it uses a vat of resin and UV light to cure each layer in turn. The detail is far higher, at the expense of volume, the maximum print size is something like 120x55x155 (I forget what exactly), they’re also messier and require more post processing (cleaning and curing).


Offline maridunian

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Re: Design/drawing program - Guidance/help needed
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2019, 10:21:30 AM »
I tried one recently to attempt to draw out a ship and let's just say that after about 6 hours of mucking about and hair pulling (that I can barely afford these days) my dog could have got better results and he hasn't got opposable thumbs.



Please share.... Please please please.... I want to be part of the hi-tech 'make your own' club :helpneededsign:

Hi - Personally, I use TinkerCAD for design, and am happy so far.

I decided not to invest in a printer myself - after a career in IT I felt it would take lots of TLC, its performance would get worse with wear and tear, it would be superseded by something better/cheaper within months, etc, etc. I do recognise however that some printers can produce better results than (say) Shapeways, so if that's important, you should buy one.

Anyway, back to design. There are some 3D design tricks that (say) TinkerCAD will teach you in online tutorials. The most important one is hollowing/chopping the geometrical shapes you start with to get the complex shapes you want. Basically, you make a 'shaped hole' and merge it with the solid shape.

Say you wanted a hollow boat.

1. Make a boat shape.
2. Copy that shape (Usually Crtl C) and Paste the copy (usually Ctrl V).
3. Make the copy smaller - if you want a 1mm-thick hull then the copy should be 2mm shorter, 2mm narrower and 1mm less high.
4. Here's the magic - turn your copy into a 'hole' instead of a shape.
5. Place your copy centrally in the boat and click "Group". The result should be a hollow boat.

I'd recommend starting with something simple (a buffer, a grille) then work up to more complex objects.

Mike

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Offline Bealman

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Re: Design/drawing program - Guidance/help needed
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2019, 10:32:05 AM »
I was hoping you'd chime in on this, Mike.

I know nothing about 3D printing, except for your (and others) models.

However, Vigo can use your information!  :thumbsup: :beers:
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Offline njee20

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Re: Design/drawing program - Guidance/help needed
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2019, 10:44:32 AM »
As for buying your own printer I think a lot depends on the volume of prints you intent to do. I can a bogie wagon and bogies for less than £1 of resin. Therefore I can print an entire train for the cost of a single print from Shapeways. It certainly doesn't take long to recoup your costs. Points about the pace of technology are certainly valid though, and I'm sure we'll see things be superseded increasingly quickly. This is only an issue if what you have is rendered obsolete of course.

Offline NScaleNotes

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Re: Design/drawing program - Guidance/help needed
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2019, 11:11:33 AM »
Hi Vigo

If you are looking to do a bit of experimentation at no cost then I'd recommend FreeCAD. It's open source, is under constant development and works on any platform.
You'll probably need to learn the way the package works (you create constrained 2D 'sketches' that are made into 3D objects; hard to explain but easy to do in practice) but once you've got the basics down it will be able to do everything you need it to do. I use it to create my 3D models and I'm barely scratching the surface of it capabilities.



It can also generate and validate the mesh files (.stl) that you need to send to Shapeways or a slicing program for a home 3D printing too.
There is also a piece of software called ChituBox for slicing mesh files ready for printing on a Photon if that's the route you go down.

If you have any questions I'll do my best to answer.

Simon


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My blog about real-World locations that might make interesting layouts, modules or dioramas.

Find out more about my N scale 3D printed tanktainer models:
http://nscalenotes.com/category/modelideas/scratchbuilding/3dprinting/

Offline njee20

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Re: Design/drawing program - Guidance/help needed
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2019, 11:26:31 AM »
So that's 3 posts recommending 3 different software packages!

FWIW, I used these videos to finally get my head around it. Fusion 360 is also free for home users (if you're making less than $100k a year from your products).

Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Design/drawing program - Guidance/help needed
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2019, 12:22:48 PM »
what the NGF 3D designers need is a Printshop - able to print a model for a fixed fee - more income for the printer owner and less esxpenditure for those who want to let the machines stabioise in price/features!

Perhaps the Printer owners here could consider this??
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Offline maridunian

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Re: Design/drawing program - Guidance/help needed
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2019, 12:40:52 PM »
Fusion 360 is also free for home users (if you're making less than $100k a year from your products).

Drat! ;)
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Online jpendle

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Re: Design/drawing program - Guidance/help needed
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2019, 02:17:31 PM »
I gave up on 3D when I couldn't even get Sketchup to scale a box, or house, as I prefer to think of them, down to 1:148 scale.

But then again I'm the type of mechanical numpty who was blown away on seeing , and using, their first worm gear :laugh3:

It was in a Lego Technic JCB that I was putting together with my son.

Now electronics is trivial, honest, but it is all 2D, and the degree helps!.

Regards,

John P
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Online themadhippy

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Re: Design/drawing program - Guidance/help needed
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2019, 04:29:43 PM »
Ive tried several packages and keep returning to sketchup, freecad either fails to open,or crashes as soon as i click something ,tinkercad  dosnt want to work the way i do   and fusion360 wont play with linux. Recently been trying solvespace, seems to be  very powerful,but a very steep learning curve.
Quote
I gave up on 3D when I couldn't even get Sketchup to scale a box, or house, as I prefer to think of them, down to 1:148 scale.
Took me a while to suss that out as it wont let you enter a scale as small as 0.0067,i found if you put a dimension in on 1 face ,select the whole model,then use the scale tool to push  a corner,the dimension you added will change,keep pushing until you reach the size you want.


Offline woodbury22uk

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Re: Design/drawing program - Guidance/help needed
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2019, 10:58:55 PM »
I am another Sketchup user and my SNCF coach bodies on Shapeways originate from Sketchup. One thing I learned was matching the software output to the printer/material to be used. As well as having smooth bodysides, and a roof with corrugations, the bodies reuse a chassis and several other parts from a donor vehicle so there are as many as 37 interfaces which need to match in all planes.

I draw everything at 1:1 scale and reduce to 1:160 (for the coaches) which means that curves can be drawn fullsize with as many segments as I need, and the smooth curves are still maintained when reduced in scale.

Most of the detail in this image 0.1mm.



Mike

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