Hi All.. Looking to get started with 3d printing and evaluating the software modules

Hi All… Looking to get started with 3d printing and evaluating the software modules I will need for design work and follow up slicing.

Suggestions and pitfalls for beginners?

Planned Equip
Monoprice 11614 Dual Extrusion 1.75mm ABS/PLA/PVA 3D Printer
WINDOWS 10 (16G, solid video, Intel I7)

Preferring to start with Open Source Software such as 123D or FREECAD, but will consider commercial products… (PRO/CON - I obviously would expect best results from commercial SW based on price.

Comments extremely welcome.

AutoDesk Fusion 360 seems to be a pretty feature-filled piece of software, which is free for non commercial use. I’d love to suggest FreeCAD but last time I used it, it wasn’t “quite there”.

OnShape.com is also a very solidworks-esque web CAD - @Michael_Memeteau would certainly recommend it - check his page for all the cool stuff he’s designed with it just recently.

Ugh @ Windows 10. I certainly wouldn’t use it. Get a Windows 7 license key on the cheap; and if you have to upgrade to 10, upgrade to 10 that way. Lots of the toolchain for 3D printing works great on Linux and Mac, but there’s a lot of design software that’s still Windows only unfortunately.

If you are “locked” to Windows, DesignSpark Mechanical is a nice solid modeler. :slight_smile:

My tool chain was Sketchup (with STL plugin) -> Netfabb Basic -> Slic3r.

Now it is Fusion 360 -> Netfabb Basic -> Slic3r.

I switched to Fusion 360 because I am building a Shapeoko 3 CNC machine and I wanted to get used to parametric CAD.

I would not go back to Sketchup. I had all the problems in the world dealing with intersecting bodies or flat curves.

Couldn’t be happier with Fusion 360. I watched a couple of their training videos, and one you get the sketch principle, you’re up and running in no time!