Do you use other modeling software?

Even though I’m a noob here and don’t know how to do most things a lot of you think are easy, in some of the 3D printing groups people are repeatedly amazed with some of the stuff I’ve designed and quite often get asked “what do you use” and when I say “mostly sketchup” I get a lot of shock and disbelief, especially when I get into remixing existing STLs or some more detailed pieces.

It seems the consensus is “move to Fusion 360, I did it and never looked back.”

I’ve been tinkering with Fusion 360, and I’m finding a few things that I like (the timeline and how you can just move operations around in it), some things are easier (one that stands out is chamfers, and threads which are easy in F360 and I haven’t seen a good way to do them in SU), but most things only work well if you know all the build in features, making it sort of slow and crufty to learn.

So what other 3D modeling/CAD software do you use? Do you consider SU a jumping off point or did you come from somewhere else and settle at SU?

I’ve used Rhino a bit and it’s extremely powerful (supports NURBS and other cools stuff) but has a quite cumbersome UI with bad camera control. I pretty much only use it as a platform for Grasshopper.

I have used Revit a little for architectural projects and it is also really powerful but the UI is pure sh*t. It’s extremely messy with all thinkable unthinkable tools, controls and options exposed all at once. The UI also lacks internal consistency and doesn’t feel like it’s even finished. Not to mention how weakly conceptual hierarchies in the program are conveyed - I understand it better from the API documentation than from the UI.

Never tried Fusion 360 though.

I use Archicad and Revit for architectural work. Contrary to Christina, I like the latter better for its consistency and more logical UI, It also has a solid geometry core and a graphical UI for creating parametric objects. Archicad’s UI betrays its age, with a zillion modal and nonmodal windows and all interface elements invented in the last 25 years stacked on top of each other, and while Revit only has a hierarchy of architectural elements, Archicad has that PLUS layers!

I also dabble with Rhino, but have found it to be rather challenging to get in, while its modelling functions seem very powerful.

For 2D work I use Adobe illustrator and some plugins from a company with the name Astute Graphics. Barry Milliken, a plugin developer, is using Microsoft Visio to do his work in 2D. I also have a Rhino license that I use a little for 2d work, but for 3D I do my work in SketchUp.

I started CAD with Drafix … purely 2D. No one else used it. So I bit the bullet and bought AutoCAD Version 10. Upgraded every other version until #14. Then they went to the subscription model and my career changed to illustration and not drafting so much. At that time Google SketchUp was free. I used my last copy of AutoCAD until it was no longer supported…and haven’t looked back. I looked at Revit and shuddered. I also used FormZ for awhile (back when it came with RenderZone in the same box and the whole thing was about $500).

I have a love/hate relationship with SketchUp that’s similar to the love/hate relationship I had with AutoCAD. But I RELY on SketchUP. I use it (with Layout) for drafting, I use it to work out details in woodworking, I use it to explain situations to tradesmen that don’t “get it” from the 2D plans. And I use it for illustration. It’s my go-to 3D design software.

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I’ll put in a shout for Blender. I’ve just started tinkering with it so don’t have much personal experience but heard that it is very versatile and powerful. Plus it is totally free so you can jump right in and start learning it without any financial commitment. Steep learning curve though especially coming from SU.

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