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Expert Advice: How to choose your 3D software?


Our “expert advice” series continues this week with 3D modeling software! After printers, filaments and scanners, it’s time to help you choose the right 3D software. It is not easy to find a shoe to his feet, especially when we know that there are a multitude of possibilities today: software for beginners, soft for architectures, applications of design, etc., the choice is wide! To help you make your choice, 3Dnatives met 3 experts in 3D modeling: an artist designer, an expert in training and the founder of a site for connecting 3D designers.
What are the different CAD software at your disposal? What are the important criteria to take care of when you want to start 3D modeling for 3D printing? What first software to use? Here are the answers of our experts!
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The choice of a 3D software can be complicated because “they specialize more and more for each application: bim, architecture, design, entertainment …”, although according to Pierre-Yves, 3D modeling has opened to the general public thanks to new, very easy-to-use software like SketchUp. The artist uses four in particular: Autodesk’s 3D Studio MAX “for polygonal modeling, complex scenes, product or architectural visualizations and the production of photo-realistic video renderings”; Pixologic Zbrush; Rhinoceros 3D for more technical productions and finally Netfabb Autodesk for “the preparation and validation of files for 3D printing. ”


3D software – One of the creations of the artist

When one wants to embark on 3D modeling for 3D printing, it is imperative to understand the various additive manufacturing methods that exist before embarking on the actual modeling. It recommends the use of a “simple and recent surface modeling software that will allow you to realize your volumes quickly and that will generate clean and optimized 3D manufacturing models for slicing steps. He also advises Autodesk’s Fusion 360 software, which is very easy to use and suitable for “digital fabrication, machining, physical simulations, and 3D printing through the 3D Print Studio tool.

There are two types of CAD software:
Those that allow parametric modeling: that is, a technical and functional design approach.
Those that allow direct 3D modeling: ie a more creative approach that offers more freedom in design. “We really focus on creation. ”

Each business sector has its 3D software finally! For example, if we look at the industry and engineering sector, we will mainly find parametric software like CATIA or Inventor AutoCAD. They will be used to manufacture prototypes of functional parts. Other examples on the design sector: 3DSMAX, Blender, SketchUp.

It is therefore essential to know what you want when you embark on 3D modeling: defining your needs is the key step. Then, one must think in terms of “level of complexity of the conceptions and the modes of production” because these are two points which will determine towards which software it is better to go. Finally, an important element to take into account is the budget because sometimes it is necessary to pay a license, equipment more powerful in terms of computers but also training.

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