Contribute to FarmBot with free 3D software

I’m looking for ways to contribute to the project with 3D software. FarmBot recommends SolidWorks, but never having worked with any 3D software, paying for modeling software seems a bit much from a personal non-commercial point of view.

I’ve searched for 3D software and found that Autodesk has a couple of free software too. Available for desktop and even iOS, Android or web-based.

I’m going to try out Autodesk 123D Design.

What are you guys using?

I use fusion360. From Autodesk. I also use blender for mesh modeling. I switch to Fusion360 from solidworks, there is a learning curve. The models are all built from sketches. The constraints are on joints or plans and axial joints. Not faces like in solidworks. I have been using it for two weeks and just now getting the hang of it. I have use 123d design. It works good until you move to working with assemblys and moving parts to test contact or interference of parts.

Hi Josh. That is pretty interesting. I’m oblivious when it comes to 3D software. Autodesk also has a ‘Mesh’ software, you can find it in the first link I posted. But you’d recommend Fusion360 over Design for working on FarmBot UTM tools?

It basically comes down to personal preferences. From my experience as a hobby 3d modeler, solidworks is more intuitive/easyer to use. It also comes with a cost. Fusion360 is free for hobbyist and startups. Because it offers some of the same benefits as Solidworks I use it. For example it has CAM software built in. So if you decide to use it for a router or mill you can export g code. It’s also a cloud based so all your files are backed up. If your going to model beyond basic shapes and parts Yes I recommend Fusion360. I think it has some physics engine capability as well.

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I am a professional 3D designer and although Autodesk 123D looks impressive, I suggest you look at a freebie based on solidworks, there is a huge parts library and most of the parts in this project are within that site.
Have a look at Trace Parts or 3d Content Central
I cannot use the online software due to copyright, my customer needs to be sure it is protected and not in a open source environment.
I use three packages, Siemens NX, Cleo or Pro/E and Solidworks all are parametric modellers.

Thank you for the links Gordon. I also us FreeCAD. I have not work with it for sometime but last time I did it did not support assemblys. I have not tried it other the converting step files to meshes. McMaster Carr is another great site. Most of the products have CAD models for download.

Can anyone give me a quick run-down of what meshes are and why we use them here as opposed to other geometry data? I’ve found that meshes have an incredible amount of vertices / faces which make it hard to understand the downloadable models or to apply alterations.

The only form of modeling I know if map-creation for physics games (mostly for the Source engine, Half-Life 2 mods etc). But even there, you create simple geometry, then let the engine do clever stuff with it to beef it up with more vertices.

I assume that meshes are needed for 3D printing?

Meshes are what the slicer software uses to create the toolpath layers in opensource 3d printers. Other then that they’re mostly used in graphic design, CGI work, and video games. It is almost impossible to move from stl files back to solid models. If someone knows of a way to do this let me know. I thought I was able to convert stl to step files using FreeCAD. I tryed the other day and could not. But I have a new pc with the latest version. It may have been available in an older version. I will need to do more checking this evening.

I use MeshToNURB in Rhino. There are probably other software applications that can convert to a NURB.

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Thank you I will check that out.

Hi Josh

Sorry for the time delay, have been abroad visiting suppliers sites.

Anyway have a butchers at