What software for 3D printing

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I’m sure this question has been asked before, so I’m sorry if I’m repeating it.
I’m considering buying an Easythread E3D Nano 3D printer. It’s the right size for the model parts I’d like to make and it’s on sale for a good price.
My question is what software would I need to use to design/create the part that I want to print? For example, say I wanted to print cannons. Nothing intricate or ornate. Just a bunch of cannons that would all be the same shape and size. What simple and easy to use program would allow me to design a 3D cannon, that I could then print?
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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I agree with Moxis I also use fusion 3D
however it is a bit more of a learning curve than Sketchup which also offers a watered down free version.

I picked up sketchup within a few hours still working through Fusion 360

much depends on your knowledge of CAD and 3D programs. If you have experience it will be much easier picking up on these programs. If this is something your getting into as a cold start there is a learning curve
 
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Thanks guys. I’ve used Sketchup before and am pretty familiar with it. I’ve been researching Fusion 360 and it’s definitely more complicated, but seems to have a lot more features. I’d like to give it a try.
But, I’m brand new to 3D printing. Is every CAD program compatible with every 3D printer? If I get Fusion 360 how do I know it will be compatible with the cheap, simple 3D printer that I get?
 
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Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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you have to check what the program can save a file as, you need a STL file early versions of Sketchup did not export STL files I think the newer versions and fusion 360 will.

once you do have a STL file it may not be printable, wall thickness is an issue and if an object is hollow or solid etc. I create STL files and send them to a printer, many times corrections have to be made.
 
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Any of the previously mentioned programs will be good to use. I use Blender which is a free but much larger 3d program of which 3d modelling is only a small part.
I use it to 3d model and print 1:700 scale ships for wargaming. I'll attach an example of some hulls.
The main thing after creating your model is to make it watertight or a solid mesh. You can do this yourself but it can lead to frustration as you learn, constantly exporting a file checking, fixing and re-exporting
One way after completing your model is to run it through a program that will make it solid and therefore 3d printable.
If you have access to a Windows 10 machine then there is a free program on there called 3d builder. This (in my eyes) is by far the best program I've used to do the job. Export your file from your program, open and import it into 3d builder and if there are issues it will ask you to repair it. It might take a little while depending on the model complexity but once complete it is almost certain to have made your model solid. Save the new version as a new STL file and use that with your 3d printer.
A final tip that can get people is that when 3d modelling it uses what are called 'normals' to determine which way faces point. Sometimes these can get mixed up when joining pieces together so any option in your 3d program to recalculate these (such as inner or outer normals) can fix problems with a mesh before 3d printing.
If you have any more questions then please fire away.

Here's a 3d model with variant step layouts
77141AF6-005E-4764-BAEE-52DEFD3379AD.jpeg

Then resin printed hulls at 1:700 scale (roughly upto 10 or 11cm). Top to bottom: Santa Ana class x2, Barfleur class x2, Tonnant class x3 and Arrogant class x3
2CB2050D-D6C5-4485-B1A3-E5DD33687D6F.jpeg

and one of my Tonnant class hulls (British poop deck steps) recently painted and rigged by someone
BC29DC54-628B-4322-8213-3C579E3A46A9.jpeg
 
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Is Fusion an online program or does it download to your computer and work offline?
thanks
R
 
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Are there any recommendations for a free cad program that downloads and can be used off line? I've not done cad before so easier would be better.
thanks
R
 
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I checked it online and found that " Autodesk 123D Design has been discontinued as of March 31st 2017 "There was a reference to a site where it was available but the author said "use at your own risk." Not worth taking a chance.

The reason I am looking for downloadable is that with all the new traffic, my provider has slowed down a bit.

Autocad by Autodesk, has its regular program available free for educational use. Since I have gone back to school, I am eligible. (It has been 50 years since I got my existing degrees, but what the heck.)
I may try it.

Thanks,
R
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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just because Autodesk no longer supports a software does not mean anything I am still using autocad 2004 which autodeck stopped supporting years ago
you can still find Autodesk 123D on line as trusted downloads
 
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