Today i did my first model with OpenScad. It follows a completely different approach than most other 3D modeling enginges – instead of creating objects with the mouse and and a tools palette like it’s done in Sketchup or Blender, OpenScad let’s you actually program new objects with code.
This is a little tougher in the beginning, but it pays off extremely fast. I did most of my 3D objects in the past with Google Sketchup, a nice and handy tool. But like always – nice and handy comes at a price. If you are moving into more complex objects or have to create very specific shapes it can get a pain in the ass. Because stuff is suddenly flipping or behaves nice on the screen, but creates a mess in the printer. I can see myself shouting at the screen several times over the last few years using the follow-me tool…
Gave Blender and some of the Adobe tools a try as well, but nothing better. Blender is really a crazy tool, tons of functions presented in the most unusual style. You can be absolutely sure, that you forgot almost everything only one week later. And – like many of these tools – it is very much focussed on 3d modeling for the screen and not the printer. Which makes a lot of difference.
If you want to get a nice and smooth entry into 3D modeling use Sketchup. But always keep in mind that there is OpenScad – whenever the clicky guy falls on your nerves give the nerd tool a try.
And if you need one more argument to try it as a Maker – if you ever experienced having to change some details at a print later, e.g. remove some mounting holes and add a snap-in mechanism, you will definitely love OpenScad, because these kind of modifications are usually a pain in modeling programs like Sketchup, as it is hard to really remove anything or modify created stuff in a controled way. OpenScad objects are always created out of a couple of lines of code – which can easily be modified and run again whenever you want.