Here we will talk about some of the most popular 3D design programs and talk about how to use them to create or modify existing robot design parts.
Many people prefer starting out in 3d design with free programs like Google Sketchup and then getting into other programs like Fusion 360 or 123d by Autocad.
You can learn alot about working with 3D design programs on the Internet.
Will Huff has had his Reel Robots Youtube channel since around 2011 and here is a great video he put out in 2020 to show people how to design robot heads and other things using the Zbrush program. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwVtPlBdRfE
Here is another video on the Synthiam site where the user Animator28 shows his 3d design of robot legs and prints the 3d parts using his Creality Cr10 3d printer.
You can also read some interesting dialog about the Inmoov robot and the work done by the owner of the Synthiam commnity robot building channel. https://synthiam.com/Community/Robots/AVA-advanced-visual-android-19222
Personally I purchased a Zbrush 8 year old book at the thrift store with the Pixologic Zbrush program on DVD but it did not install so I couldn’t try it out yet. (one could download a trial version from the website I do believe) https://pixologic.com
Here are the names of some FREE 3d printing programs:
Cura (free used with Ultimaker)
TinkerCAD (free online)
Here are some other 3d printer software names:
Blender (free, not used by alot of 3d printer people)
Some like to use Inkscape (vector graphics) or illustrator to do 2D design.
Some old school makers used a program called Fritzing to design their PCB printed circuit boards. Eagle is also used in conjunction with PCB design work. Tina is used to simulate and analyze electronic circuits.
About 10 years ago before 3d printing became popular for the average person, only architects and computer animators and a few other professionals used 3d design software.
You had house designers using the expensive Autodesk program and you had Hollywood special effects animators using 3d design like programs like Maya, 3d Studio Max and more.
Now there are free limited use programs available for just about anything and Autodesk has a free version as well.
If you want to try 3d printing before you buy you can try these two places: most large city libraries now have 3d printers and advanced technology like this for the public to use and there are clubs you can join called “makerspaces” where for a small fee you can share a facility, learn with others and share the equipment inside.
(under construction Oct 30 2021)