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What CAD software do you guys use?

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Hey guys, I am Eric Adams, the programmer and a driver for team #8417, the 'Lectric Legends. We just ordered a Robo 3D R1 and I am wondering what CAD software would be good to start out with. I have lots of free time and will be keeping the printer at my house(sweet, right?) to monitor it while it prints, so access to the printer and time are not problems. We got a sponsorship from PTC for using CREO this past year, but I am looking for an option so I can quickly come up with parts to 3D print. I would like any and all recommendations and specifically the pros and cons.

And, if any teams need a 3D printer, check out this link on facebook, https://www.facebook.com/groups/491979440815095/1229317193747979/?comment_id=1236357466377285&notif_t=like&notif_id=1462581194434760
This is why we are getting this one.

Update: For functional parts I can CAD in sketchup, and I have a 3D printer in my house, so it works out pretty nice. Then our robot as a whole is cadded in PTC Creo.

Comments deleted.

We recently started using Ansys SpaceClaim. It's very intuitive but is just as capable/powerful as SolidWorks, the other CAD program we use. We reached out to Ansys and they gave us several free licenses. My response is a bit late but I hope this helps!

--Brian (FTC Team 5485)

AutoDesk Inventor All the way! Free for students!

We use Fusion 360 and highly recommend it.

Team 8956 Pyrogen: Autodesk Inventor 2014

Thank you all for the advice. I downloaded 123D Design and it works pretty well, and might be what I will use. I have used Tinkercad before, and while it is great, it doesn't give me the freedom I want with my designs. I have not tried Blender yet, but I will soon. Creo, in my opinion is a good software to learn.....but I don't feel like it was designed to 3D print things, and is meant to CAD the mechanical(drive train, attachments) side of things, rather than just one specific part.

Also, has anyone had trouble with MatterControl? I couldn't find out why our printer wasn't extruding until I switched to CURA.

Thanks again,
Eric-Team 8417

Team 5484 the Enderbots uses several different modeling programs. To make quick, down and dirty prototypes (or to just check that your printer is working fine, I suggest TinkerCad. It's free, easy to use and includes online storage. PTC creo is great if you want to see how the part fits with the KOP for the season, but it takes time to learn.

You are wise to keep the printer at home. Most robot parts take hours to print, and until you learn all the tricks, often fail. (i'm speaking from experience here....lots of experience) We have a Makerbot replicator 2X (great) and a cube ecocycle(not so great). Both took a while to get used to.

Team 3558 is using autodesk inventor. we also are printing on a uprint printer for all our parts. I also agree with team 6695 Kmcglothen

Team 9856 uses PTC.

AutoDesk has Inventor & AutoCAD available for students as a free download (http://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/all). This can have a steep learning curve, but there are some great tutorials online if you have time to play. AutoDesk also has an easy 3D modeling online program called TinkerCAD (https://www.tinkercad.com/) that will get you printing pretty quickly. Both platforms use the same login and you need a school associated email to get the free programs.

One of the nice things about Inventor is that you can convert files to .dwg and then edit them in AutoCAD. Our team has done this to edit both Tetrix & Actobotics parts to create custom solutions that bolt right onto our robot's frame. You can also import files into TinkerCAD to add them to the working model or use as a template (again, used for bolt patterns).

Another option is Blender, which is also free but more of a cartoon/animation program that creates 3D models. MeshMixer is also a fun program. Both of these are less functional for robots and more creative for art.

Have fun,

FrostBots #6695 (Alaska)

I think AutoCad is the best software, I used it and still untill now you can modelling 3D easly