What software to use for case design.

Bourne3D

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Oct 17, 2018
13
10
Hi guys, I'm working on a case design but I am not familiar with the high end CAD software such as SolidWorks or Autocad.

I would like to be able to make prototypes too so I ask what software do you recommend to make 3D prototypes and something that could be sent to a 3D printing service?
 
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outtatheblue

Chassis Packer
Mar 2, 2020
15
1
You can try tinkercad.com for a web CAD tool that's on the simple side. I've made some case & panel prototypes on there and then printed them at home afterward. The site offers output file formats that printing services can use.
 

Windfall

I'm a huge fan of SFF
Moderator
Nov 14, 2017
2,111
1,570
Hi guys, I'm working on a case design but I am not familiar with the high end CAD software such as SolidWorks or Autocad.

I would like to be able to make prototypes too so I ask what software do you recommend to make 3D prototypes and something that could be sent to a 3D printing service?

Personally, I would recommend Autodesk Fusion 360.
It's a good solid modeler with solid sheet metal tools, good direct and parametric modeling options, and a built-in render and animation workspace for sharing your ideas.
It can import most of the models in SFFn's Resources section, and is incredibly easy to learn.
Anyone who is semi- computer literate can learn the fundamentals in half an hour.
If you would like, I can send you some key tutorials that really helped me with case design,
and I'm online enough I can help should you have any questions.
(Autodesk did not pay for this plug, I'm just a VERY satisfied user.)
Also, please reference the STX.160 guide linked in my signature, as it's an epic resources that @Aibohphobia spent a lot of time on,
and can answer questions faster than you can ask! :)

You can try tinkercad.com for a web CAD tool that's on the simple side. I've made some case & panel prototypes on there and then printed them at home afterward. The site offers output file formats that printing services can use.

The issue with tinkercad is it's so limited. It's good for basic stuff, but it lacks sheet metal tools and good export functionality.
I keep hoping it gets updates, but if you want a modeler of that type, Sketchup is a far better option. Just my 2c. :)
 
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outtatheblue

Chassis Packer
Mar 2, 2020
15
1
The issue with tinkercad is it's so limited. It's good for basic stuff, but it lacks sheet metal tools and good export functionality.
I keep hoping it gets updates, but if you want a modeler of that type, Sketchup is a far better option. Just my 2c. :)
Agree w/ the opinion on tinkercad being limited. It really leaves much to be desired if you try to do more complex designs or just need more functionality. Will check out Sketchup and Fusion 360 based on your recommendation :)
 

Windfall

I'm a huge fan of SFF
Moderator
Nov 14, 2017
2,111
1,570
Agree w/ the opinion on tinkercad being limited. It really leaves much to be desired if you try to do more complex designs or just need more functionality. Will check out Sketchup and Fusion 360 based on your recommendation :)

I love Fusion 360 for it's ease of use. I would recommend Fusion over Sketchup though.
 

dc443

Chassis Packer
Jun 4, 2020
16
4
Where do you guys find decent 3D/CAD models for components? I'm having moderate luck on sketchfab and grabcad, but it seems like a real crapshoot.
 

Windfall

I'm a huge fan of SFF
Moderator
Nov 14, 2017
2,111
1,570
Where do you guys find decent 3D/CAD models for components? I'm having moderate luck on sketchfab and grabcad, but it seems like a real crapshoot.

Grabcad has a lot of decent models imo, but if that isn't working then you can check out SFFn's own resources section, has a lot of good models!
 

robbee

Master of Cramming
Silver Supporter
Sep 24, 2016
592
753
Sketchup's 3dwarehouse also has lots of models that can be imported to most CAD programs. Although they're generally not as high quality as the ones you'll find on Grabcad.
 

dc443

Chassis Packer
Jun 4, 2020
16
4
That’s awesome, thanks! I‘ve been using Shapr3D on my iPad and I completed a custom design for the side and front panels for my next build with it. the software let me import one model (and i wisely did it with a Vega Strix card). it got me through the job. What a nice piece of software.
 

dmznsdp

Caliper Novice
Jan 5, 2020
25
7
I want to switch to something more sophisticated than SketchUp as it is buggy and it's painful to work with complex geometries. I've tried Fusion 360 — again, a lagging piece of software that has a permanently established connection to Autodesk. I want something with good UX like Fusion 360 has and it should support parametric design. Could you please name something that suits my requirements?