Stick with Blender, OpenSCAD or migrate to Fusion360 ?

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Dan_the_Chemist
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Stick with Blender, OpenSCAD or migrate to Fusion360 ?

Post by Dan_the_Chemist » Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:13 am

Hi, noob here.

I've found Belder/Fusion 360 question on the forum a couple of times before, but there is a difference in my case. I've already learned Blender and OpenSCAD. Yeah, Blender is definitely not parametric. Trying to force it to do half-decent CAD was a real learning experience, and we never actually took the design to CNC. It was always used as a visualization technique to get a feel for the parts before handing the original measured drawing to the guys in the shop. OpenSCAD ain't that hard, especially for somebody who started using computers when entry was done on punch cards. The parametric menu driven method of using OpenSCAD feels comfortable to me.

However, I have a Shapeoko coming for my home use. One of the first real projects (after 'Hello world', etc) will be making a table loom for the Missus, and that will mean making parts of well defined size that fit together.

So, should I stick with Blender or OpenSCAD since I already more-or-less know how to use them, or should I bite the bullet and get/learn Fusion 360? Or should I get ready to use Blender for artsy-fartsy things and either OpenSCAD/Fusion360 for more machinist oriented things?

TIA
Dan

WillAdams
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Re: Stick with Blender, OpenSCAD or migrate to Fusion360 ?

Post by WillAdams » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:25 am

I use OpenSCAD for 3D things for the most part, and do traditional drawings as needed using Macromedia Freehand.

I've considered Autodesk Fusion 360, but mislike the idea of the year-to-year licensing --- it's bad enough having to jump through the hoops for the Solidworks license on my son's gaming rig which he uses for school work.

For Blender have you tried BlenderCAD?
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)

SmokyRick
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Re: Stick with Blender, OpenSCAD or migrate to Fusion360 ?

Post by SmokyRick » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:12 am

I like Fusion 360. However, I use Autodesk Inventor and Autocad every day at work. For me the work flow seems right. For you, I would think you might like to stay with what you know. Fusion 360 is free for hobbyists. I believe Blender is free as well, but I am not sure. Sticking with what you know can be a great help to getting you on your way to being productive. Learning something new is a good thing too. It all boils down to what you want out of the experience. New things learned or speedy productivity? I started drafting on the board. When cad became popular, (1980 - 85 or so) I started a job that used Autocad. Been with it since. You had a different path through life and it could help you now. When I got my ShapeOko, I tried several different freeware products before I totally decided on one. Pretty much stuck now with the Fusion, but you never know I just might decide one day to change again.

Good luck with your decision and let us know where you wind up,
Smoky Rick
Smoky Rick Crawford in the middle of Northern Illinois, USA.
ShapeOko2 s/n 5200 all stock. Arduino, gshield, Grbl Controller, Autodesk Fusion 360.
Mods: Quiet cut spindle, grbl v0.9g w/ spindle control enabled.

Dan_the_Chemist
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Re: Stick with Blender, OpenSCAD or migrate to Fusion360 ?

Post by Dan_the_Chemist » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:50 pm

SmokyRick wrote: I started drafting on the board.
I loved drafting class. I still have my favorite mechanical pencil from 1966, but I've lost the black rotating sharpener.

Why yes, I am an olde phart. :)

heathenx
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Re: Stick with Blender, OpenSCAD or migrate to Fusion360 ?

Post by heathenx » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:19 am

I'd recommend learning Fusion 360. It's free. Has very powerful CAM built right in. I'm also a Blender user. I wouldn't dream of using it for CNC anything.

Head over to youtube and search for nyc cnc. Lots of videos pertaining to Fusion and CAM.
Shapeoko 3, #405 / Dewalt 611 w/Super PIDv2, limit switches

CrazyBillybob
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Re: Stick with Blender, OpenSCAD or migrate to Fusion360 ?

Post by CrazyBillybob » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:09 pm

I would also recommend Fusion 360. I'm an old AutoDesk / 3DMax user so the interface is familiar to me. But I've also played in blender a little. It's much harder to get things dimensionaly accurate in blender (yes it can be done). The other great thing about Fusion is you can import DXF, STL, and OBJ files. That means if you are doing something artistic in blender you can import it into Fusion to use the CAM functions to machine it. I have used the DXF and STL import it works well , I haven't had a need to import an OBJ file yet. So there is a path to keep using the tools you know while you learn a new tool... and in some places the old tool is a better tool for the job (modeling) use it and use the new tool to make it physical !

CBB

SmokyRick
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Re: Stick with Blender, OpenSCAD or migrate to Fusion360 ?

Post by SmokyRick » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:08 am

Dan_the_Chemist wrote:
I loved drafting class. I still have my favorite mechanical pencil from 1966, but I've lost the black rotating sharpener.

Why yes, I am an olde phart. :)
I gave most of my drafting stuff to the local high school when I went to the computer. Wish I had it still. (I'm not a youngster any more either. Retiring next month!)
Smoky Rick Crawford in the middle of Northern Illinois, USA.
ShapeOko2 s/n 5200 all stock. Arduino, gshield, Grbl Controller, Autodesk Fusion 360.
Mods: Quiet cut spindle, grbl v0.9g w/ spindle control enabled.

Dan_the_Chemist
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Re: Stick with Blender, OpenSCAD or migrate to Fusion360 ?

Post by Dan_the_Chemist » Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:57 am

SmokyRick wrote: Good luck with your decision and let us know where you wind up,
Smoky Rick
I decided to learn Fusion 360. The learning curve isn't too bad, but I'd like to suggest something to the people who make tutorial videos...

TAKE IT SLOWER AND TELL US WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

Sometimes I have to download the videos and use VLC on a slower setting so I can follow their rapid fire mouse clicks, keyboard presses, etc. NY CNC for example - nice videos but even his beginner tutorials are awfully fast and he doesn't call out all his actions. I followed his 1-2-3 block example, but it took me 5 tries to get it.

I can already do simple parts and designs, but I can see that there is a wealth of features and power that I won't be able to use for weeks. There are also features that a single individual working on a single machine at home won't need.

Thanks for all the advice.

Dan

ricand
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Re: Stick with Blender, OpenSCAD or migrate to Fusion360 ?

Post by ricand » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:24 am

I'm a total noob and have found Lars Christensen's videos to be helpful on the CAM side of things. He goes through very basic explanations that even I can figure out. I designed a switch mount for my car and have generated some g code in Fusion360. Now if I could get my Shapeoko 2 working I'd give it a try, gonna post a separate thread.

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