I'm lookin to start designing my own prints can anybody tell me Wut a

I’m lookin to start designing my own prints can anybody tell me Wut a good user friendly beginner friendly drafting program is!!!.. Also I’m using sketch up right now and I’m not real happy w it but I did make a part and I can’t seam to figure out how to convert the file to an stl file so I can then make it into a gcode file … Does anybody kno how to do this?

I am partial to Tinkercad.com. Very easy and intuitive. One fellow I talked to in Saturday said it took him four hours to go thru the tutorials and a hour to create a few useful parts for his bicycle. Your mileage may vary.

Oh, for sketch up you need to get the STL plugin. I think there is more than one.

TinkerCad is easy to learn, but is very limited in what it can do. It’s a good start. Once you feel you need more, you can look at FreeCAD.

Yes - it is limited, however, it does most of the stuff I need to do for now. One can learn to overcome some of the weakest parts. I’m working on perfecting the following model:

The URL for other things folks are doing. Too many folks accept the default name for their models making it difficult to find specific things. Check out the Staff Favorites.


I made a freecad tutorial a short while ago, here’s the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tyuIIk0M3E

@Rojer_Wisner Cool chariot! :smiley: Tinkercad has very nice visualization and seems user friendly. But I don’t trust online apps, you always run the risk of it shutting down (like it almost did for Tinkercad).

Since I’m an experienced CAD user, and proponent of open source software, my software of choice is FreeCAD. The learning curve is much steeper, and it’s got quirks and bugs, but I think learning it is worth it if you want to create complex mechanical parts. There’s a quite active help forum.

Thank u all for ur responses I think I will install both and give em both a shot

And Wut exactly is the stl plugin and where can I find it?


@Normand_Chamberland . Thanks for the invite. I may give it a try. I also have Autodessys Bonzai3D. It’s not free but it is the little brother if the full fledged FormZ. So I have the power a stable CAD program. But I start my parts with tinkercad. Now that I know how to type in exact dimensions and can extrude on a plane from any surface, more solutions are available to me right there. But when I need the power of NERBS, as Bonzai3D calls them, then I use it. It’s all cool beans if you ask me.

I’ve heard good things about Bonzai3D. It looks very similar to Sketchup in ease of use but it’s a real CAD software, meaning you produce solids rather than meshes.

I’m guessing from this choice of software that you might be on OS X. If so, know that the Mac version of FreeCAD may be problematic, as none of the developers owns a Mac. Have a look in the Install/Compile forum for a recent Mac build provided by a forum member. Of course, FreeCAD is not as feature complete as Bonzai3d, it’s still in development.

Well, I do have Fusion/Windows7, and that gets me to other slicers and whatnot. But I think it’s okay to try to learn other software to see what might spark an interest. If it is more stable on Win7, so be it. But it might take me a while to get there. My project should be enough for now.

On freecad it says … Ur link to free cad, can and car programs and then lists several categories and links … ??? Wut do I chose

@Jeremiah_Ross1 I have no idea what you just wrote, can you activate spell check so your post actually makes sense???

Lol I’m sorry… When I went to http://freecad.com it says " your link to free CAD, CAM, and CAE programs : " and then lists 19 different categories such as analysis utilities, cad converters, cad services, cam programs, fea programs misc., cad program - Mac … Etc. I have no idea Wut Im lookin for or Wut I need

Didn’t test it but you could also have a look at this : http://www.3ders.org/articles/20130913-new-free-to-download-designspark-mechanical-to-bring-3d-design-to-everyone.html

@Nicolas_Georgemel As I said in another topic a couple weeks ago, Designspark Mechanical is not really a whole new CAD software: it is actually based on SpaceClaim (it’s not mentioned anywhere but I recognized the GUI), which is commercial CAD software in the $1500 range I believe. It’s been around for a few years so DesignSpark should be expected to be pretty mature from the start. I briefly tested SpaceClaim a few years ago, and it’s like Sketchup on steroids. Much more powerful, true CAD (solids), yet very easy to use. But it’s for Windows only, so that’s not for me.

@Jeremiah_Ross1 FreeCAD.com is the wrong website! It’s a directory of free CAD apps. Considering how dated that website layout is, it probably predates the creation of FreeCAD, the open source software I was talking about. Its website is http://www.freecadweb.org/ and there is a G+ community too: https://plus.google.com/communities/103183769032333474646