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Unread 01-05-2013, 03:27 AM   #1
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Question Blender vs Google Sketchup vs CorelCAD vs DoubleCAD vs Daz Studio Hexagon vs ???

I just need some help choosing a good 3d modeling program to design armor and weapons. If you guys have other suggestions, I need something that is either free or under $100 (no student edition software please lol) and also accurate (like how Google Sketchup can do measurements up to something like 12 decimal places (.xxxxxxxxxxxx). I already have Google Sketchup and know how to use it very well. I feel like I can make things with it and send it to pepeakura designer with some time and effort. I was just wondering if there was some other program that can do the job a little better/easier.

Also, just a random thought, can CAD programs be used for this type of application? I asked a similar question a long long time ago and I think someone said it's for "weight bearing mechanical pieces" like machines, not a Master Chief/Kamen Rider helmet.

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Unread 01-05-2013, 02:33 PM   #2
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Absolutely CAD programs can be used for this type of work. Originally, the main reason against using them was cost. Professional CAD software easily costs thousands of dollars. And generally has all sorts of features that you won't be needing.

I have a bit of experience with AutoCAD3D, Google Sketchup, and Blender. I like AutoCAD3D best, but it is very expensive. Google Sketchup is probably the friendliest to use, but that it partly because it has the fewest features. Blender is good, and it keeps getting better. But it is a little more awkward to learn. Luckily, there is lots of free instructional videos out there.

Another downside to blender is that it was really designed to make CG, like the software Pixar uses. CAD type abilities were sorta added on latter. It's a great thing to learn if you want to take the time. Much of the knowledge transfers over if you decide to switch to some other design software later.
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Unread 01-06-2013, 01:55 PM   #3
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I'm under the impression you needed sketchup pro if you wanted to export to other formats- I don't imagine pepakura can read google's proprietary format. It costs $495...

I use AutoCAD for work and Blender on my own, and Blender is WAY faster for modeling objects, so long as precise measurements aren't important. There's ways to put measurements in there, but I don't think I would want to get into that judging by the tutorials. In any case, it's free, and after a couple tutorial vids (I like this guy) you'll be up and running. Draw your concept on paper, model it in blender, then if you need to scale it you can figure out how to do it in Blender or you can export it to another program.

And if you need 12 decimal places of accuracy I'm really curious what you're modeling. Armor for bacteria?
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