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3-D Software and Hardware Options

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Some of the more popular 3-D design packages, for both Mac and Windows operating systems.

AutoCAD

www.autodesk.com/autocad

Initially released in 1982, AutoCAD is one of the most well-known CAD programs available. It offers:

  • Efficient user interface
  • Annotation scaling
  • Dynamic blocks
  • Parametric drawing
  • PDF integration

Autodesk ImageModeler

This image-based modeling and photogrammetry software enables architects, designers and entertainment content creators to generate 3-D models from 2-D digital images. The software’s easy-to-learn, three-step workflow—calibration, modeling and texturing—enables users to achieve stunning, photorealistic 3-D models with real-world accuracy and export them in different formats to other Autodesk products.

Autodesk Inventor

www.autodesk.com/inventor

The AutoCAD Inventor Suite product line combines Autodesk Inventor 3-D mechanical design software and AutoCAD Mechanical software to help you cost-effectively take advantage of a Digital Prototyping workflow. Its benefits:

  • Create a single digital model that gives you the ability to design, visualize and simulate your products
  • Cost-effective and easy to learn
  • Provides a flexible set of software for 3-D mechanical design, product simulation, design communication, routed systems and mold design.

Proliner by Prodim USA

www.prodim.nl

Prodim International is the maker of the acclaimed Proliner 3-D/2-D measuring device. The mechanical wire measuring mechanism, which is attached to a pen, allows the user to capture both 2-D and 3-D polylines in a matter of seconds. The onboard touch screen allows the user to instantly view and edit the drawing file. You are then able to transfer the DXF/CCD via a USB flash drive directly into your CAD/CAM system.

Autodesk ImageModeler

This image-based modeling and photogrammetry software enables architects, designers and entertainment content creators to generate 3-D models from 2-D digital images. The software’s easy-to-learn, three-step workflow—calibration, modeling and texturing—enables users to achieve stunning, photorealistic 3-D models with real-world accuracy and export them in different formats to other Autodesk products.

ProSail

CAD and CNC plotting and cutting machines are designed to receive the pattern information from a computer and with a very high degree of precision automatically plot (draw) it out directly on to the textile or sheet of material that has been laid out on the cutting table.

Currently, ProSail has two CNC machine configurations, the ProSail Mkll Plotter and the ProSail Mklll Plotter/Cutter. Each is custom built for the client to suit their application and requirements.

ProSail Machines are sold as a package that includes the nesting software and either PanelMaker, a powerful pattern design program, or ProSail Head/Main, a 3-D sail design program.

Rhinoceros (Rhino)

www.rhino3D.com

As one of the most popular 3-D modeling software packages available, Rhino is an affordable program that offers:

  • Uninhibited free-form 3-D modeling
  • Extreme precision
  • Unrestricted editing
  • 2-D drafting, annotation and illustration
  • Large project organization
  • Customization
  • Short learning curve

SolidWorks

www.solidworks.com

For many, SolidWorks has proven to be an excellent tool to model product components. This software offers:

  • Range of simulation products for design validation
  • Mechanical CAD
  • Workgroup product data management

SketchUp Pro 7

www.google.com/sketchup

While many people are familiar with Google’s free SketchUp, the Pro version is a suite of applications comprising SketchUp Pro for modeling, rendering and animation, and putting together presentations. Its benefits include:

  • Designed to be easier to use than other 3-D CAD programs
  • 3-D warehouse to let users search for models made by others
  • Import and export files in a number of 2-D and 3-D formats
  • Fast and reliable
  • Custom templates

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