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FormZ Free
Alright, I can't seem to get any bites on my Moment of Inspiration post, so let's try something else.

I don't have a windows box set up at the moment, so I can't evaluate FormZ Free. Does anyone have any experience with that? The expensive FormZ flagship product looks pretty awesome - I just can't tell from the available information exactly how limited the free version is.

Anyone with any knowledge, please share Smile

Fusion360 is free for personal/hobby use.

There's also FreeCAD, OpenSCAD, and a number of other free/cheap products that may be better suited for a hobby/individual budget and that will run under *nix.  Unfortunately I haven't kept up with the Mac Market for quite a few years and don't know what's available there.

I mostly use OpenSCAD and occasionally SketchUp, Fusion360 is on my to-do list and I have it installed on this machine.  I need something that'll work with my Maslow CNC and want a step up from Inkscape.  I'll need to build a bunch of cabinets and storage, turning one end of a barn (about 20x24') into a woodshop, slowly...

Original Printrbot Plus, modified
Kickstarter Thingybot Delta
QU-BD One Up (parts, received with bad motor)
QU-BD RPM (incomplete box-o-parts, milling package never received)
Maslow CNC (4'x8' chain driven router, Arduino and custom controller)
Zenbot Mini (6"x8" router, LinuxCNC)
Hi Mooselake,

I'm picky Smile.

I've done a fairly thorough review of the available software out there. I'm just looking for one that works in a way that's easy to understand for me, and has certain features and capabilities.

I have played around with OpenSCAD, and I think the idea is awesome. Since I code for a living, it seems like a great fit - yet, when you get to the actual details of how you have to make what you want, it loses it's luster for me.

SketchUp is fine, but it's harder than it should be to do dimensionally accurate stuff.

Fusion360 is just one of those that doesn't appear to work in a way that I like.

If you want an alternative to Fusion360 that runs nearly anywhere (browser-based), is extremely capable, and has awesome versioning built in, then try OnShape. The catch is that if you use it for free, all of your designs are publicly available to anyone.

So, based on my own peculiar interests, right now I'm most interested in comparing MoI, FormZ, and DesignSpark Mechanical.

I'm heartbroken that OnShape is so expensive to buy - I have exactly one design to do that I don't want to make public. OnShape also provides motion animation, and I really need that for the project. But I can't afford it... ($125 per month or so!)
FormZ is not bad . i used it extensively for 4 years when i was into architecture illustrations. hot keys are your friend. yes i had to buy the thing.

i turned cad files into 3d ones . sketchup would be an alternative. max maya xsi also good .
I did finally get a window box set up (and highly isolated - no phoning home to MS on that box). I have the free version of FormZ now.

I'm a complete amateur at it of course, but so far, I'm not having much luck doing what I want. I think I understand a little about how you're supposed to do things, but I find myself getting hamstrung when trying to... let's say "change perspective to a different dimension".

I was trying to make an object that was basically a rectangle shape with not much depth, with a cylinder attached on one end, with the cylinder centered under the rectangle.

Side view:    |

Another view:     __
                            |    |

I drew the rectangle first, and gave it a little depth. Then.... I was pretty much stumped - I guess I needed to start drawing my cylinder working from a point on the very thin depth edge of the rectangle, but I couldn't really get that point selected, due to the size of the target face on the side of the rectangle. It's been a while now since I was working on that, so I may not recall the details exactly. In any case, I really thought things were going to go quickly with FormZ, but I couldn't easily get out of one dimension with it Smile. One day I'll get back to it and work out my issue with it, I hope.

Oh, it also may have been better to start with the cylinder somehow, but I didn't think of that at the time.
boolean . extrude . those are the main functions . been ten years since i had formz installed . think ill dl it and give it a go . like riding a bike . wear a helmet a cup and make sure your in a large empty field .

myself . i use MAX. great 3d app . extremely powerful . like formz on every drug imaginable and then turned into a cyborg . wait ... thats terminator ... yaaa
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