any suggestions regarding 3D softwares for a mac, producing file formats compatible with 3D printers?
Any of them as long as they support exporting to STL format. Seriously. Everyone here will give you a different suggestion, as everyone has their preference and all of them are completely capable softwares. Google is your friend. Pick one that you like, and learn it.
one example is inventor Fusion, exports to .STL.
Also keep in mind that some slicers can import .DAE, the google sketchup format.
An alternative way (to your original intention) would be to compare the file-formats of your favorite program (not clear, if you need sculpting or construction) with converter-tools like http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/
If it’s an “constructed” object be aware that for 3d-print the object has to be “manifold”. So better read something about this before you begin.
- Trimble Sketchup (the newest version) already contains former STL-Export plugin.
- In the early days Sketchup was the only to recommend easy + free tool. Today it’s disadvantages - especially for beginners - keep me from recommend it: It was developed for google earth, not for manifold solid 3d print constructions. It has no real snapping. If you import a former sketchup object (only a bit more object parts constructed together) in a
precise programm, you will blown away by the mess you have to clear by hand.
- I do think, a group named 3d printing should prevent beginners for using the exhausting tools and should make good recommendations. So I think the title of the group is misleading.
- Perhaps for his particular use he needs more of a sculpting tool
I use Blender most of the time. Some other friends use Solidworks, Google Sketchup, and even ArchiCAD. Otherwise, you can try http://tinkercad.com.
thanks a lot, everyone. much appreciated
Sketchup is really great for 3D Printing. As mentioned above, it has the capability of exporting to STL, but you have to install the plugin. http://www.mastersketchup.com/installing-the-sketchup-stl-exporter-plugin/