Hello, I am just looking for some advice.

Hello, I am just looking for some advice.

I work at a makerspace, and we are currently planning on starting limited public 3D printing. I’d like to get some new software on the computers (macs), free-as-in-freedom software is ideal, but open-source is good too.

I was wondering what software you guys like to use for your actual modeling (not necessarily printing) and might recommend that others may want to use as well when making their models.

If this is for “Public 3D Printing” are these beginners? If so I’d suggest Tinkercad. It really is easy to teach someone to use. Start with a simple exercise like making a button. By the time the learner is introduced to the concept of holes it will blow their mind and modeling then printing a button is something that can be done in an hour - 90 minutes for a group of new users. Because it’s cloud based Tinkercad is platform independent. Its not going to be a modeling program people stick with but consider Tinkercad a gateway modeling solution.

I totally agree with Mark above… that DesignSpark Mechanical is an awesome program but since you have Macs it would be a lot of extra work and not play to everyone for future use. And I agree avoid Sketchup.

I just migrated from 123D Design to Fusion 360 and I love every bit of it.

A plus with Fusion 360 is that Adafruit does lots of tutorials on making lots of different projects so you already have an easy reference for teaching the types of projects makers are likely going to want.

@John_Baronian We love TinkerCad! Most of our visitors will be beginners, so we’re going to direct them mostly to TinkerCad. However, at the same time it can be pretty limiting when it comes to really creating certain shapes (particularly non-geometrics).

Thanks for the mentions for DesignSpark Mechanical and Fusion360, I will definitely look them up and likely give them a try!

Oh, and you can easily import McMaster-Carr objects into your workspace. Not to say you can’t in other software, they just make it easier.