3D design - Software

Hello All -
I am brand new to GF (ordered mine yesterday) and brand new to the potential of 3D catering / printing.
I have been doing graphic design as a hobby forever in PS and Ai but never anything 3D.

I have a desire to great some cardboard / wood / acrylic 3D models what is the best software to look for for an extreme beginner like me?



Welcome to the community.

I’m currently using and learning about Fusion 360.
I found it pretty easy to learn for all the basic functionality.

Here are a few links to get you started.

A quick search for 3d software will give you lots more to go over.

Have fun with your GF


THANK YOU!!! I saw F360 somewhere else as well i think it might be the way to go - I’m excited to make some stuff and get going

There is also Blender. It is primarily 3D and as it is Open Source different folk have run with it in a hundred different directions and made amazing innovations, This gives it great power but is much less a mountain to climb than a whole range of mountains, each for a different end goal and that range of possibilities can be very intimidating. However to learn what is needed for what you wand to do is not so difficult.

As I was building 3D stuff for virtual worlds I taught myself and taught others for that goal. Much was and mostly still is “Dark Matter” that I know is there but have not managed to know how it works. the first Idea I tried to get across was that this was a “Back to the Future” DeLorean that we used to go to the market for groceries, and we needed to stick to the commands we understood and explore others cautiously.

however the full power all there ever will be is only the cost of learning it and nobody stays a beginner for long, There are amazing videos out there to teach as well.

F360 is amazing. Incredibly powerful and the learning curve, is steep but not insurmountable. In my experience, it works far more consistently than any of the Open Source solutions. I also generally like it better than ViaCAD or AutoCad, both of which I have novice levels of experience with (frankly, I’m a novice with F360, too, but not quite as novice).

Best part?

Their fully functioning, commercial, professional, you-can-design-a-jet-engine-with-it, product package is free for hobbyist use. Actually, I believe it is free until you make $10k/year using it.

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Good support for small hobbyists & little businesses. Their new release next month they said they’re retaining this license model even as they change out the pricing for commercial paid licenses.


Got a link to get the free one??

Autodesk finally realized that they captured the cad industry by unofficially doing what they are now doing officially. Autocad dominated the Cad Design business because folk could make themselves a copy and learn to use the program while all their competitors made doing that very difficult. Other software out there was a lot "better"in that it did more (autocad was not even real 3d at the time) but they won the competition because there was such a large user base.


John Walker, the founder of Autodesk, is a bit of a nerd’s nerd, and among other things has written a book about his experience. There’s an interesting chapter where (after he’d stepped down from a management role) the company tried to reintroduce a copy protection dongle and he stopped it. https://www.fourmilab.ch/autofile/e5/chapter2_80.html

He also wrote a most excellent diet book, available on the same web site.