Design software

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by 57townsman, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. 57townsman

    57townsman Member

    Hi All,

    I have been thinking about getting into design and have been looking at CAD/ modeling software. I am mainly looking at low to mid range software for modeling and pattern development. Can anyone point me to competent reviews of various packages? On a side note, several programs offer unfold/unroll functions. Does anyone have any experience with or recommendations for these?

    Nobi, you use Metasequoia for your designs. How do you like the program? Are there any good tutorials out there for it? The price is certainly right 8) .

    Has anyone any experience with Amapi 3D? I can pick up a copy cheap, but not if it won't work :wink: .

    Anyway, sorry for rambling,
  2. I've got Amapi and I hate it. Maybe it's me but the interface is just not intuitive to me. Maybe I'm too used to autocad. I've looked at the trial version of Rhino and it seems similiar in its command structure. But there a lot of free trial version out there. Try a few out and experiment before you layout the sheckels.
  3. 57townsman

    57townsman Member

    Thanks Mark,

    That's the kind of feedback I am looking for :) If the interface isn't intuitive the learning curve will probably be pretty steep. Cheap or not that might not be for me, I need a pretty shallow curve if you know what I mean :wink:

    Are you saying Rhino's command structure is similar to Autocad's? Have you played with it much? How about that unroll command?

    Sorry for playing 100 questions, just trying to become an informed buyer :?

  4. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    Rhino is just the bees knees! BUT, it is pricey, just for a hobby tool. You might get an educational discount if you are at college. The unrollsrf command has been greatly improved from Rhino v2 to Rhino v3, and although it works the same way, has more options and is much more accurate and consistant.slice a cone with an extruded wiggly line, unroll the two pieces and they fit together exactly. Not so in v2.

    Dr Zarkhov, the man behind the ModelArt series, has released a plug-in for AutoCAD (or another cheaper draughting package I can't remember!) which does some very sophisticated unrolling, but it is $200 or thereabouts, and you need the design prog too. And AutoCAD ain't cheap.... Rhino and this plug-in work geometrically, ie the shapes are calculated from the model geometry, something modelled with NURBS, splines, curves, surfaces etc.

    Alternatively, if you can generate a mesh model, and export it in a standard format like dxf, lwo, 3do, metasquoia, odj, then Pepakura will unfold it, and in some circunstances unfold an applied texture bitmap at the same time. Check out for a free trial, the full version is only $39 and well worth it in my view. Not only will Pepakura unfold a mesh for you, it will add tabs, lay the parts out, scale the model, and other neat stuff.

    There are several 3D modelling progs about for free or very little, Amapi you mention, Anim8or is another, Metasequoia, etc from their respective websites. Computer magazines, especially those involved with games and 3D design often have last years software on their cover CDs, with upgrade offers to later software. I've seen 3D Canvas, Milkshape, Cinema 4D, and others in the last few months.

    If you are into flight sims, the latest Microsoft FS2004 (and FS2002 pro) comes with GMax, a cut-down version of 3D Studio Max, and Abacus Publications Flight Sim Design Studio bot will generate meshes you can unfold in Pepakura.

    To work well and unfold sensibly, mesh models have to be fairly simple, not the mega-polygon monsters beloved of our rendering and animation cousins.

    Whatever route you take, 3D modelling takes practise. Starting ANY of these programs from cold can be a very frustrating and mystifying time, but stick at it, work through the tutorial, find advice on the web (there is a HUGE amount for all these programs) and ask here too. Then we can all learn a bit more!

    I'll sort out some urls.


    PS Rhino is just the bees knees!
  5. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    Oh, there are a couple of cone developing programs on the net too. I'll try and locate their websites as well.

  6. NOBI

    NOBI Active Member

    Hi Townman,

    Yes I'm use Metaseq for design 3dmodel before unfold in pepakura. Metaseq is a program to create 3dmesh for gaming but this program have more capacities to do a papermodel too. When i create 3dmodel from metaseq, i alway use Pepakura to create unfold job. thank pepakura's developer that they create pepakura to similar with metaseq mean u can use .mqo (metaseq's format) to unfold in pepakura with no problem...also import texture too. all of model i create is come from 2 program except S-3 Viking (I use Tenkai to unfold that S-3)

    Also with Rhino 3.0, Rhino have a function name "UnRollSrf" what can unroll 3d to 2d, very useful for create papermodel. Tim is expert of Rhino, he can create unbeleiveable model what is cool looking like his Sea Fury. He nearly got Rhino 3.0 and when he got Rhino 3.0, i think we will see incredible model from Tim :wink:

    I have plan to create tutorial about create 3dmodel from metaseq and pepakura too. but my problem is im Thai and im not good at english so i can not explain my tutorial in english :( so only i can do now is answer every question about metaseq and pepakura :?:

    design papermodel is not hard but u MUST love to design. almost modeler want to design own papermodel but some can design, thinking about yourself that u love to build or love to design.

    Oh i forgot to tell that Laurren A.K.A. Ashrunner can give u many cool idea or technics in design papermodel too also with my first teacher Darwin :D
  7. Peter H

    Peter H Member

    I'll preface this post with writing that I may be crossing the line and so on writing to myself(can only ask....)

    When any of you cluey guys do a bit of designing/unrolling/whatever, is it possible to do a few Alt-PrintScreen's and store with a description in a readme.txt in a zip of your progress.

    Frankly I think.....I'm not the only one that finds these programs daunting and to have a "set-piece" sequence to copy and learn from might be a great help. I use it, then change a little bit and try again and change some's a great help.

    One of the league of extroadinary gentlemen did a sequece in Rhino and I loved following the footsteps while I used it for a trial period.

    Many thanks in advance,

  8. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

  9. NOBI

    NOBI Active Member

    Tim, i got


  10. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    Oh, thanks NOBI, like I'm not riddled with guilt already!!

  11. NOBI

    NOBI Active Member

    powerful of Metaseq + Pepakura
  12. NOBI

    NOBI Active Member

  13. NOBI

    NOBI Active Member

  14. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    Neat, NOBI! And I haven't finished the Russian Flying Wing yet! I must give up sleeping or something....

  15. Ziga

    Ziga Member

    NOBI, YES! - Fokker XXI!!!! Man you don't even know how long I've been waiting for a paper model of this plane. When is this one going to be available and how?

    Best regards,
  16. NOBI

    NOBI Active Member

    Thank you very much Tim, Forgot the russian flying wing, it is not a perfect kit. i just use coffee time to design it nad it is very ugly hehe.

    Yes, Ziga this is Fokker D.XXI dutch version. now is in coloring stage and then is instruction diagram and then release. interest in ski's version? :wink:
  17. 57townsman

    57townsman Member

    Hi All,

    Thanks for the all your suggestions! That's what I like here, everyone is so willing to help out and share their experiences :D

    Tim, I get the distinct impression you like Rhino :wink: I have downloaded the trial version and plan on giving it a go. I certainly can't justify the full price right now but maybe in the future. I also have a copy of Metasequoia I have begun to mess around with. It seems pretty easy to use so far.

    Nobi, do you use the free or pay version of Metasequoia? Can you import three view drawings for modeling reference?

    Thanks again everyone for all your help!
  18. NOBI

    NOBI Active Member

    Hi Steve A.K.A 57Townman,

    Yes, MetaSeq can import 3 views drawing to reference, that is only way to make your model accurate. i use metaseq v.2.2.4 what is a shareware version...shareware version can do everything like pay version...only 2 things that shareware version can not do is export 3dmodel to other format such as .dxf, .3ds (can save as .mqo file) but .mqo can unfold in pepakura second is can not use plug-ins. if u not live in way to purchase metaseq :( i think MetaSeq is easy for every modeler who want to be designer...if i can do, u can do too :wink:

    ARMORMAN Guest

    another one

    there is another modeller/decompiler: Touch 3D...which I am wading through for an online review. This program works on all platforms, however it does have some drawbacks. It builds patch models like LightWave (which is not necessarily bad), and the current version does not allow all views (no bottom or back) and it only allows one guide graphic at a time (better to import from a nother prog). It does take most standard modelling formats (.dxf, 3ds, etc.).
  20. AdamN

    AdamN Member

    Software Suggestions for Mac Users

    I was just wondering if there were any suggestions for us Mac users. I know that sounds silly, what with their forte supposed to be graphics, but with that said, Pepakura is a PC only format.

    Thanks in advance.


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