Is anyone using Blender to do 3D modeling?
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    Default Is anyone using Blender to do 3D modeling?

    I was looking for some extensions to animate simple gears and levers and stumbled onto this- wow it looks powerful for creating models.
    Anyone use it?

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    For rendered designs it is the go to in the art/jewelry sector. I briefly tried it years ago and it was crashy- that has been fixed. I admit it renders better than fancy cad software, but lacks a little of the cad feel for doing the boring daily work of pipe rails, stairs and billboard parts.
    The people I know who use it wont even think of changing to something else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    I was looking for some extensions to animate simple gears and levers and stumbled onto this- wow it looks powerful for creating models.
    Anyone use it?
    Part of the reason I run 8 CPU cores, actually! Works well Xorg, OpenBSD.

    But I only play with it, and very rarely - partly to see what sort of toys the kids have these days.



    Impressive presentations for dreaming, scheming, and "what if."

    Above my current pay grade to assess how *useful* it might be vs the "major-market" CAD(s) to actually MAKE anything with.

    Doubt one would want to use it to"sell" a concept.. then have to do it all over in some other toolset to actually deliver if yah win the bid.

    "Others will know" how practical it is. Or is not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    I was looking for some extensions to animate simple gears and levers and stumbled onto this- wow it looks powerful for creating models.
    Anyone use it?
    Jeeze, TR ... not Blender, please Yes, it started on Silicon Graphics and was popular because, you know, free. But it's pretty awful. I could show you a screeny of some crap I did but actually removed the program from the computer. The interface SUCKS !

    And like all of the artsy-craftsy 3d modellers, they aren't set up for dimensions. Machine guys, or at least me, start with "this thing should be 12 x 19 x 7" and work from there. The artsy ones go from "here's a box, let's push and pull on it until it looks about right". Totally different mindset. If you insist, Ayam is also free and much better to use, it's a takeoff on Maya.

    If you were going to go with one of those nonfree artsy ones, at least Rhino has some history in the mechanical field. Blender is really intended for animation and again, the interface is weird. You'd be better off using Toonz.

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    World must have turned upside down?

    I actually agree with EG!

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    Quote Originally Posted by memphisjed View Post
    For rendered designs it is the go to in the art/jewelry sector. I briefly tried it years ago and it was crashy- that has been fixed. I admit it renders better than fancy cad software, but lacks a little of the cad feel for doing the boring daily work of pipe rails, stairs and billboard parts.
    The people I know who use it wont even think of changing to something else.
    Yeah- I fought with it for a couple of hours and that is what I came up with- loads of power and flexibility to render but well... not cad.
    I looked into it a bit and developers are making it more so and it can be tweaked but...

    EG: Hey- it's the new me lol...

    Edit- in the end lots of the CAD work I have to do is to "tell a story" for people who have no innate sense to understand prints.
    A 3D model is very useful and I have been using sketchup as a fast way to build a model for these folks.
    I don't have to sent out to get parts made or drive machines in any fashion- but a good story can help sell work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    Yeah- I fought with it for a couple of hours and that is what I came up with- loads of power and flexibility to render but well... not cad.
    I looked into it a bit and developers are making it more so and it can be tweaked but...

    ES: Hey- it's the new me lol...
    I don't actually NEED any of this s**t, but... Mebbe 20 years ago? I took some right fine drawings to a fab shop.

    Way of the world the first fee was $6,000 bucks to covert lovely India ink on vellum to code in a computer!

    The actual Stainless and fab thereafter, however, was only about a hundred bucks a unit, even at pilot quantity of six (symetrical) halves = but a single "IU" rack level of 3 by "1/3 U" server housings!

    Storal of the morey is .... that if you are going to doo this AT ALL?

    Not needing that conversion is important!

    Prioritize ready-to-use output over eye-candy! And Blender is mostly for making eye-candy. Virtual reality rather than hardware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    Yeah- I fought with it for a couple of hours and that is what I came up with- loads of power and flexibility to render but well... not cad.
    I looked into it a bit and developers are making it more so and it can be tweaked but...

    EG: Hey- it's the new me lol...

    Edit- in the end lots of the CAD work I have to do is to "tell a story" for people who have no innate sense to understand prints.
    A 3D model is very useful and I have been using sketchup as a fast way to build a model for these folks.
    I don't have to sent out to get parts made or drive machines in any fashion- but a good story can help sell work.
    purely for hobby purposes I was fiddling around with Sketchup (mostly because I still needed dimensions rather than proportions) -> Blender -> Unreal Engine to build some virtual stuff, mainly to learn "what it takes to make this", and learning and getting used to Blender was the most difficult and painful, if you're half serious about using it, you need to learn to use keyboard shortcuts to do 90% of the things you were doing in regular cad before that with mouse clicks, set up UI for your workflow and then, couple weeks later of working with it daily for few hours, you'll get somewhere, forget about - I tried it for couple hours etc, you haven't even scratched the surface yet

    as EG said - it is not a CAD software, it is a quite powerful 3d modeling environment however, and some stuff made in it is quite amazing, but expect to sink a lot of hours into it to be fluent enough in it to even begin to think of it as a money making aid (or a tool in your virtual toolbox)

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    Ok- that was my sense on both fronts.

    I couldn't get to square one- I always start a model with a series of dimensions for the structure or part I am building.
    I spent two hours looking around for the interface to build the basic footprints.
    I was able to upload some completed models into the platform and did note how much was offered to pull elements out of that model, work on them and replace which is a great feature set but again- I didn't get close to being able to build new elements.

    One developer for blender has an upgrade called Precision CAD which has a full feature set to make things like beam elements, gears, plate elements with holes and reliefs etc.
    I couldn't figure out how to upload...

    Two hours of my life... LOL
    I will stick with it for a bit- I have been dabbling with CAD for decades and should be able to use it- maybe someone has a cheat card for keyboard commands I can tape to my wall above the desk..

    For structures the stuff I am doing is very simple layout work but need a normal feature set to layout fast.

    This is a recent one- just a cabin floor plan which was lofted into a simple model.
    The CAD is used to proof dimensions for change and communicate with client what the new space will look like.
    More power for a walk through with better modeling would be nice if it could be drawn up fast.

    screen-shot-2020-12-28-5.46.57-am.jpg

    screen-shot-2020-12-09-12.34.19-pm.jpg

    The other type of work I will draw up is the typical fabricated gear I make up- lathe/mill/plate work in assemblies that has to be drawn to proof approach and get techs on board with plan etc.

    I am paying the $300/year for a version of SketchUP and could simply up my game to some other platform.
    As stated though I don't have to interface with machine language or any pro shops to build stuff for me- what I do is really just for brief face to face meetings with clients to help explain what the work is about.

    The only other thing done is the off job sent for waterjet or plasma cuts in plate- but that's it.

    But... a job in on the plate now which could use some force modeling for a equipment mount- force moments with rotation, loads on gears levers etc..
    Volumes and weights of model elements would be nice as well.

    Edit-

    This guys site is who I was looking at for add on's:
    Precision Drawing Tools | Clockmender's Blenders & More!

    Just Stop screwing around and up my game to what- SolidWorks or?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    Ok- that was my sense on both fronts.

    I couldn't get to square one- I always start a model with a series of dimensions for the structure or part I am building.
    I spent two hours looking around for the interface to build the basic footprints.
    I was able to upload some completed models into the platform and did note how much was offered to pull element out of that model, work on them and replace which is a great feature set but again- I didn't get close to being able to build new elements.

    One developer for blender has an upgrade called Precision CAD which has a full feature set to make things like beam elements, gears, plate elements with holes and reliefs etc.
    I couldn't figure out how to upload...

    Two hours of my life... LOL
    I will stick with it for a bit- I have been doing CAD for decades and should be able to use it- maybe someone has a cheat card for keyboard commands I can tape to my wall above the desk..

    For structures the stuff I am doing is very simple layout work but need a normal feature set to layout fast.

    This is a recent one- just a cabin floor plan which was lofted into a simple model:

    screen-shot-2020-12-28-5.46.57-am.jpg

    screen-shot-2020-12-09-12.34.19-pm.jpg

    Parts to be build have more features and detail of course.
    Clearly you need a decent toolset - not only to "sell" a concept or convey that you understand the CLIENT's wishes...

    But mindful that in YOUR line of work, you cannot move the HULL .. as a landlubber might move a kitchen / dining room wall...

    Your toolset has to be able to work its re-arrangements and alterations and option decisions within hard bounds of actual dimensions.

    Blender won't ever be "that" tool, even if you invest - heavily - in learning the interface to it.

    Start a new search for something that leaves you enough hours in the day to actually BUILD it and 'bill it' rather than eating all the time in the room f**king with "what if" and "if-only" ... that you cannot build and bill.

    The world is littered with the remains of "going concern" businesses that crawled into a computer system to die, crawled into a voice-mail system to die, crawled into an "Auto Attendant" phone answering system - now upgraded to "Artificial IDIOT" - to die, crawled into any of many "support infrastructure" systems that so dominated their fancy first, their other resources next, that nobody made and sold anything nor even delivered pass-through house-branded bought-in goods on-time any longer. And you couldn't even reach them!

    "The President can't take your call. He is working on his computer..."

    Soooo.. your numerous STAFF handle it all? Which of them is covering YOUR old job?

    The one that BUILT that "going concern" of a business?


    Slower demise, but just as fatal, as one lone guy in a snorkel-mask trying to steal more high-value aircraft-carrier anchor chain...

    ... than he can swim with!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    For structures the stuff I am doing is very simple layout work but need a normal feature set to layout fast.

    This is a recent one- just a cabin floor plan which was lofted into a simple model ...
    Your problem is, the outside shape of your living room is wacko Otherwise, one of those interior design things would be fast and easy ...

    You could start out with Freeship, just to get the outside shape. Then import that into something like Cadkey, which is wireframe and might be faster to work with than most solid modellers for the kind of thing you just showed. DOS Cadkey is slick, and it will do nice renderings as well.

    There are also 3d paint programs that will let you put any texture you want onto a surface in a 3d model. So even if the program you like doesn't render well, it's still possible to do that part elsewhere.

    I really love DOS Cadkey for this kind of thing. If you'd clean out your damn mailbox ....

    (I s'pose what you really want is CADDS5, which was a Computervision program (that's how old it is) for ship building. PTC owns it now and but still in use in that industry, cuz that's the one that works.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    If you'd clean out your damn mailbox ....
    Oops.
    If only all insults to polite society were so easily rectified....

    And basic math would be nice in modeling- How much load on this wheel and back feed from shaft rotation. I put a helm lock on this assembly as I was guessing the rotation load would spin the helm too readily- how readily... I didn't feel like doing the work on paper so just put in the lock..

    Or is this just making me more lazy than I already am- the math is not hard- it would just be sort of fun to run iterations fast to play with design before building.

    136eb716-8e4f-4646-912f-6ef8e390a331_1_201_a.jpg

    img_6366.jpg

    That is one project but is built and done.
    There is another on the plate- that is the problem with shade tree mechanics working outside of the safety net provided by engineers stamping drawings.
    We have to get close enough and have sense enough to know where we are out of our depth..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    And basic math would be nice in modeling- How much load on this wheel and back feed from shaft rotation.
    Easy with Wildfire. Probably any of the big names can do that no muss no fuss. Maybe you want that CADDS5 seat after all

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    I was heavily into 3D modelling before I ever even thought about getting into machining. Cinema 4D was my weapon of choice, and much of the blender workflow imitates it to a degree.

    As others have said, and I concur, these are not engineering tools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post

    As others have said, and I concur, these are not engineering tools.
    I would love to have a simple test bed software which has an intuitive interface to drag lever and gears to size and spit out force calculations.
    Or has someone made up a kids science kit with a index plate with holes for axles and sets of lever arms and gears to work out simple assemblies.
    I dragged myself though half an ME but didn't get far enough to get the course work under my belt to do this sort of design work.

    I an not talking current stuff- more 18th century mechanics...

    I did pick up an old apprenticeships book to get me sorted on some basic stuff.

    0bcf4a29-7f39-4b94-8b4a-00e4d45f9ac3_1_201_a.jpg

    078d3ef5-40d8-4ea0-a1ec-63498190ca23_1_201_a.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    I would love to have a simple test bed software which has an intuitive interface to drag lever and gears to size and spit out force calculations.
    Or has someone made up a kids science kit with a index plate with holes for axles and sets of lever arms and gears to work out simple assemblies.
    I dragged myself though half an ME but didn't get far enough to get the course work under my belt to do this sort of design work.

    I an not talking current stuff- more 18th century mechanics...

    I did pick up a old apprenticeship book to get me sorted on some basic stuff.

    0bcf4a29-7f39-4b94-8b4a-00e4d45f9ac3_1_201_a.jpg

    078d3ef5-40d8-4ea0-a1ec-63498190ca23_1_201_a.jpg
    Most midrange and higher 3d cad systems have motion simulation modules with some means to integrate and measure forces. I doubt any of them are as simple as you're hoping for, and of course there is the price...

    Here is a very basic example in Solidworks for example: Kinematic Motion Simulation Capabilities in SOLIDWORKS

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post
    I doubt any of them are as simple as you're hoping for, ...
    That is always the problem- "explain it to me like you are talking to a three year old"....

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    This sounds like a program I saw at a bottle (plastic) molding company I toured.
    They had coupled it with a very odd "Space pilot" that somehow had force sensors,
    and "feedback".
    Basically, you grabbed a tree looking thing, it held a pointer on an arm.
    As you pushed into space, you saw on the screen your "pointer" (different diameters avail)
    would "squish" and push/pull the "blob" on the screen, much like modelling clay.

    It was set up, such that as you contacted the "Blob", it would resist you advancing the pointer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post
    Cinema 4D was my weapon of choice, and much of the blender workflow imitates it to a degree.
    Does 4D have that weird-ass horizontally-split main window ? That thing drives me nuts. I don't think either one copied the other though, they are both from the early nineties ?

    Anyway, thinking about the situation .... if I understand correctly, I withdraw the Cadkey suggestion. It's too static.

    Seems like, from the tidbits of information TR has seen fit to dribble out, he does want something artistic, but constrained by the reality of the weird-shaped box he's putting the stuff in.

    How about make your hull in Freeship so it is an accurate size, import that into an artistic program as the solid limits of what is allowed, then stretch and drag the furniture to fit ? That'd give you the freedom to play with your cabinetry but ensure that it still fits the hull correctly.

    Blender would work that way if you liked it, or imo easier to use is Maya or Studio Tools or Rhino (all commercial), or Ayam (a free Maya knockoff that works surprisingly well and is much nicer to use than Blender) or something parametric like Wildfire, which would be more cumbersome in some ways, but you can still stretch and warp models in WF easily just by changing dimensions and regenerating. The only reason I mention Pro/E is that you'd get your mechanical linkage stuff that way, all in the same program. But if you're a cheapskate there's a few free linkage applications - you might look at SolveSpace, sounds like it's intended for exactly what you want to do.

    Or, possibly try Equinox 3D, the guy is pretty decent but I'm kinda pissed he dropped Irix, ahem, fairly artsy-craftsy, straightforward to learn and ...

    http://www.equinox3d.com/movies/EQUI...apod-small.mp4

    EQUINOX-3D - modeling, CAD, animation, photorealistic rendering, 3D printing

    I can testify that it's fast, easy to use, looks good, I think you'd like it better than Blender (anyone sane would) ... (plus the guy flies jets, not a cessna )

    (Another one that's much nicer to use than Blender is Lightwave, and it is fast but I've only messed with a very old version so can't say anything about the current one. The old one is similar to the others tho.)

    (This is not as photorealistic but the author is very cool, if you find something wrong with the software he will reply to you and even fix it, can you believe that ? Or if you have an idea like "Could you make the whatsis follow the weezamajig ?" he'll answer you. And maybe even do it. Unusual in the software world, responsive developers. Been around for a long time, good artsy 3d program)

    Ayam - Start

    (Imo, SolveSpace is not that capable artsy-wise, but for your linkages might be just the ticket ?)

    SolveSpace - parametric 3d CAD

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    Thanks for taking the time to write that out EG


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