Home 3D Printing in Education SelfCAD 2.0 Review: Easy, Powerful 3D Design

SelfCAD 2.0 Review: Easy, Powerful 3D Design

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Powerful Apps Like SelfCAD 2.0 can Help us Make so Much More of the 3D Printers in our Schools

Introduction

3D modeling software is being used for design and it has replaced manual drafting through an automated process.

In the past few years, there has been an advancement in software tools, and a good number of the programs have been developed.

There are lots of different kinds of people out there with all kinds of different goals that they want to achieve with 3D software. Some people want the most powerful software for making professional level animation, artwork and games. But that power comes with a price. To get really good with the software takes thousands of hours of practice. Sometimes, people just want to make something for their classroom or home 3D printer.

Comparing SelfCAD With More Complicated And Advanced Software

Being able to just jump into 3D without devoting months learning it first is valuable to a lot of people who aren’t ZBrush, Blender, Solidworks etc nerds like me. So that’s why I’m reviewing this new 3D package called SelfCAD. The idea is that it’s so easy to use, that you can make basic 3D models.

In addition to this program being easier to use, it has the following features too:-

– Amazing selection modes which allow you to select your model with ease.

– Very simple objects view with both light and dark modes.

– Sketching brushes which allows one to create various 3D profiles with a lot of ease.

– Both 3D, 2D Sketching and Free drawing tools available.

– Measurement option which makes it easier to design accurate Models.

In addition to that, the first thing I was impressed with the program was that the interface is pretty intuitive and clean. Now, experienced 3D pros might scoff at how simplified everything is. But that’s the point. A 3D pro already has something like Maya, ZBrush or Solidworks. SelfCAD does helpful things for beginners like visually explaining what the difference is between a vertex, polygon and edge is right here where you choose which selection type you want.

Myminifactory And 3D Slicer Availability

Something else interesting about this program is that one has access to more than 45,000 ready to print models through the Myminifactory account. You can download them to the editor and start modifying them to suit your needs and you can also upload your models for the whole world to be able to see them.

The best thing about SelfCAD is the availability of the slicer. This allows one to slice their models before 3D printing. Usually when using other programs one needs to install other software or extensions to prepare their models for 3D printing. But thanks to SelfCAD, the all in one program.

The ease of this program allows even novice users to make use of their creative talents.

Object creation

Like any 3D software, SelfCAD has a way to create primitives. I actually prefer SelfCAD’s way of making primitives over Zbrush and other professional programs out there. It just works fast and easy. One thing I really like is it’s screw and nut creator. It lets you customize a screw and automatically creates a nut that will fit it perfectly.

Image to 3D

Here’s a feature that either doesn’t exist in much more advanced software or SelfCAD’s implementation of it is much easier to use than other software. You can take a photo and turn it into a quick and dirty bas-relief 3D model. It even can detect the background and remove it! It’s not perfect, it can result in less than beautiful results…but if quick and dirty is all you need, then this does the trick!

Custom drawing

If you want to go beyond ready-made objects, you can make your own. Now, don’t expect pro-level tools here. SelfCAD is all about doing things in the simplest way possible so that anyone can start making basic 3D objects quickly. There are tools for making 2D shapes that can then be extruded or revolved into 3D shapes.

Sculpting

There’s also a sculpting component to SelfCAD and it has all the basic functions that you would expect from any other basic sculpting software. It uses a quick voxelization function to re-mesh which you can run manually as you work. So it’s a lot like using dynamesh in Zbrush. Now, I use a Wacom tablet for sculpting and at the moment, SelfCAD does not work well with tablets…it is made for use with a mouse. For this reason, sculpting in SelfCAD can feel clunky. If you want a beginner level sculpting software, I recommend Sculptris instead. However, Sculptris hasn’t been updated in over 10 years and SelfCAD is in active development, so it may catch up soon!

Deforming objects

Like any 3D software, you have tools and deformers for making modifications to your 3D models. The features are pretty standard and self-explanatory so I won’t go into them here. Just know that it has the basics covered and it’s all quite easy to use.

Adding and subtracting objects from each other

Moving on, SelfCAD has some boolean features, but it doesn’t call them boolean like all other software because your average joe doesn’t know what the word boolean means and it sounds funny…so selfCAD uses the term Stitch and Scoop. So just like any other software, you can fuse two objects together or subtract one from the other, or make a new object that is just the shape where two objects overlap, or just the shape where they don’t overlap.

3D print

While you could technically use the models you create in SelfCAD for basic games and animation, this software is more geared towards 3D printing output. So you’ve got a variety of options for sending models to all kinds of different printers.

Whether you will be working with innovative concepts, unique shapes, and basic 3D designs, SelfCAD will help you realize and unleash your imagination easily.

One can finalize their shapes with a click of a button and you can also work with polygons and issues effortlessly drawing functions. Facilitate and automate the designing phase with The set of macros facilitates and automate the design phase of the model and whatever one conceives they can bring it into a reality.

 

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