Everything you need to know about Virtual Reality

Passive VR

Everything you need to know about Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality

Virtual RealityVirtual reality (VR) refers to a world that appears to be real and with many of the properties of an actual world. As a term, virtual reality describes a system that allows one or more people to move about and react in a computer-simulated environment. In this environment, virtual objects are manipulated using various types of devices as though they were real objects. This simulated world gives a feeling of being immersed in a real-world, such as the inside and outside of a product or building; the simulation includes sound and touch.

A walk-through can be characterized as a camera in a computer program that creates a first-person view of walking through a building, around a product or building, or through a landscape. A fly-through is similar to a walk-through, but the first-person camera view is like a helicopter flying through the area.

Fly-through is generally not used to describe a tour through a building. Walk-through or fly-through is the effect of a computer-generated movie in which the computer images represent the real architecture or the VR presentation in which the computer images turn or move as you turn your head in the desired direction. Realistic renderings, animations, and VR are excellent tools to show the client how the building will look inside and out or how a product will operate. Design ideas can be created and easily changed at this stage.

VR requires special interface devices that transmit the sights, sounds, and sensations of the simulated world. In return, these devices record speech and movement and transmit them back to the simulation software program. Virtual reality technology is a logical step in the design process.

A VR system provides the capability of interacting with a model of any size from molecular to astronomical. Surgeons can learn on virtual patients and practice real operations on a virtual body constructed from scanned images of the human patient. Home designers can walk around inside a house, stretching, moving, and copying shapes in order to create a finished product.

Buildings can be designed and placed on virtual building sites. Clients can take walk-through tours of a building before it is built and make changes as they walkthrough. Scientists can conduct experiments on a molecular level by placing themselves inside a model of chemical compounds. Using telerobotics, a person can see through the eyes of a robot while in a safe virtual environment in order to guide a robot into a hazardous situation.

Passive VR

Through-the-window VR also referred to as passive VR, is a common basic VR application. Passive VR is the manipulation of a 3-D model with input from a mouse, trackball, or 3-D motion control device. This allows more than one person to see and experience the 3-D world. A variation on this is a flat-panel display with handles for movement. The window VR unit in Figure is designed to allow natural interaction with the virtual environment. Museum and showroom visitors can walk up, grab the handles, and instantly begin interacting. Observers can follow the action by moving beside the primary user. A variety of handle-mounted buttons imitate keyboard keystrokes, joystick buttons, or 3-D motion control device buttons.

Another type of through-the-window VR consists of a special stereoscopic monitor and sensing devices. The viewer wears lightweight, passive, polarized eyewear. The monitor sends the images directly on the screen to generate 3-D images by users wearing the special glasses. This technology also allows several persons to view the same image on the screen.

Head Mounted Display (HMD)

HEAD MOUNT DISPLAYTo interact visually with the simulated world, you wear a head-mounted display (HMD), which directs computer images at each eye (see Figure). The HMD tracks your head movements, including the direction in which you are looking. Using this movement information, the HMD receives updated images from the computer system, which is continually recalculating the virtual world based on your head motions. The computer generates new views at a fast rate, which prevents the view from appearing halting and jerky and from lagging behind your movements. The HMD can also deliver sounds to your earphones. The tracking feature of the HMD also can be used to update the audio signal to simulate surround sound effects. The three most important HMD attributes are

  • field of view (FOV)
  • resolution
  • weight


  • Field of View (FOV)

Field of View (FOV) The human visual field is approximately 2008 wide for both eyes, about 1508 for each eye, and 908 vertically. The portion of the visual field that is visible to both eyes is called the binocular overlap and is about 1008. The greater binocular overlap allows a stronger sense of depth. The necessary vertical field of view depends on the application. For example, driving simulators typically require only a narrow vertical field of view because the out-of-window view in most cars is limited in the vertical direction. In addition, scientific research into motion and balance often requires taller vertical fields of view so that test subjects can see below and above them.

  • Resolution

Resolution Higher resolution throughout the visual field brings out fine detail in a scene (such as the ability to read text on a car’s dashboard), makes images look more realistic, and increases the amount of information that can be displayed. The characteristics of a computer monitor are often specified as a size measure (such as 21 in.) and as input resolution (such as 1920 3 1200 pixels). Input resolution is useful in determining compatibility with a particular image generator, and pixel density is at least as important in determining visual quality. A reasonable estimate of the visual sharpness for a person with 20/20 vision is 60  pixels/degree. This means that to match human visual quality, an HMD with a field of view of 408 3 308 (H 3 V) would need to present 2400 3 1800 pixels.

  • Weight

A lightweight and balanced HMD helps users feel comfortable. It also allows for greater freedom of movement. Professional HMDs can be as light as 350 g (12 oz) or as heavy as 2 kg (4.5 lbs). A way to assist HMD weight is to install a boom mechanism that suspends the HMD from the top, although this typically restricts movement and makes the system more cumbersome. There is a dramatic range in the weights of offered HMDs.

Binocular Omni-Orientation Monitor (BOOM)

Binocular Omni-Orientation MonitorThe Binocular Omni-Orientation Monitor (BOOM) developed by Fake space, Inc., is a head-coupled stereoscopic display device (see Figure). The display is attached to a multilink arm system that is counterbalanced. The person can guide the counterbalanced display while looking into it like binoculars. The system is guided with tracking that is attached to the counterbalanced arms.








Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE)

Cave Automatic Virtual EnvironmentThe Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) projects stereo images on the walls and floor of a room. CAVE was developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago to allow users to wear lightweight stereo glasses and to walk around freely inside the virtual environment. Several persons can participate within the CAVE environment as the tracking system follows the lead viewer’s position and movements as shown in Figure.








Haptic Interface

Phantom haptic deviceThe most challenging physical sensation to simulate in a virtual world is the sense of touch. A haptic interface is a device that relays the sense of touch and other physical sensations. In this environment, your hand and finger movements can be tracked, allowing you to reach into the virtual world and handle objects. Haptic interfaces of this type hold great potential for design engineers, allowing various team members to manipulate a product design in a virtual environment in a natural way. Although you can handle an object, it is difficult to generate sensations associated with the human touch—for example, the sensations that are felt when a person touches a soft surface picks up a heavy object or runs a finger across a bumpy surface. To simulate these sensations, very accurate and fast computer-controlled motors generate force by pushing against the user.

Haptic devices are synchronized with HMD sight and sound, and the motors must be small enough to be worn without interfering with natural movement. A simple haptic device is the desktop stylus shown in Figure. This device can apply a small force, through a mechanical linkage, to a stylus held in the user’s hand. When the stylus encounters a virtual object, the user is provided feedback that simulates the interaction. In addition, if the stylus is dragged across a textured surface, it responds with the proper vibration.

In the future, engineers may use VR to increase productivity in a variety of areas, including virtual mock-up, assembly, and design reviews. These applications may include the realistic simulation of human factors, such as snap-fits, key component function, and the experiencing of virtual forms. Virtual assemblies may include fit evaluation, maintenance path planning, manufacturability analysis, and assembly training.

Web-Enabled Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML)

An emerging area in the world of virtual reality is Web-enabled virtual reality modeling language (VRML). VRML is a formatting language that is used to publish virtual 3-D settings called worlds on the World Wide Web (www). Once the developer has placed the world on the Internet, the user can view it using a Web-browser plug-in. This plug-in contains controls that allow the user to move around in the virtual world as the user would like to experience it. Currently, VRML is a standard authoring language that provides authoring tools for the creation of 3-D worlds with integrated hyperlinks. The current version of VRML is viewed using a basic computer monitor and therefore is not fully immersive. However, the future of VRML should incorporate the use of HMDs and haptic devices, making for more truly immersive environments.

In the future, engineers may use VR to increase productivity in a variety of areas, including virtual mock-up, assembly, and design reviews. These applications may include the realistic simulation of human factors, such as snap-fits, key component function, and the experiencing of virtual forms. Virtual assemblies may include fit evaluation, maintenance path planning, manufacturability analysis, and assembly training.

VR Opportunities

A field of opportunity is available in the creation of virtual worlds. These worlds are detailed 3-D models of a wide variety of subjects. Virtual worlds need to be constructed for many different applications. Persons who can construct realistic 3-D models can be in great demand. The fields of VR geographic information systems (GIS) are combined to create intelligent worlds from which data can be obtained while occupying the virtual world. In the future, many cities will have virtual models on their Web sites.

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Everything you need to know about Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)

Computer-Aided Manufacturing

Everything you need to know about Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)

Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) uses computers to assist in the creation or modification of manufacturing control data, plans, or operations and to operate machine tools. Computers are

integral to the manufacturing process. Computerized tools such as welding machines, machining centres, punch press machines, and laser-cutting machines are commonplace. Many firms are engaged in computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM). In a CAD/CAM system, a part is designed on the computer and transmitted directly to computer-driven machine tools that manufacture the part. Within the CAD/CAM process, there are other computerized steps along the way, including the following:

STEP 1 The CAD program is used to create the product geometry. The geometry can be in the form of 2-D Multiview drawings or 3-D models.

STEP 2 The drawing geometry is used in the CAM program to generate instructions for the CNC machine tools. This step is commonly referred to as CAD/CAM integration.

STEP 3 The CAM program uses a series of commands to instruct CNC machine tools by setting up tool paths. The tool path includes the selection of specific tools to accomplish the desired operation.

STEP 4 The CAM programmer establishes the desired tool and tool path. Running the post-processor generates the final CNC program. A postprocessor is an integral piece of software that converts a generic, CAM system tool path into usable CNC machine code (G-code). The CNC program is a sequential list of machining operations in the form of a code that is used to machine the part as needed.

STEP 5 The CAM software simulator verifies the CNC program (see Figure).

STEP 6 The CNC code is created. Figure 3.26 illustrates the CADD 3-D model, the tool and tool holder, the tool path, and the G-code for machining a part.

STEP 7 The program is run on the CNC machine tool to manufacture the desired number of parts.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC)

Computer numerical control, also known as numerical control (NC), is the control of a process or machine by encoded commands that are commonly prepared by a computer. CNC is a critical aspect of CAM in which a computerized controller uses motors to drive each axis of a machine such as a mill to manufacture parts in a production environment. The motors of the machine rotate based on the direction, speed, and length of time that is specified in the CNC program file. This file is created by a programmer and contains programming language used to establish the operation performed on the machine tool. Examples of CNC programming language include G-codes, which are primary functions such as tool moves, and M-codes, which are miscellaneous functions such as tool changes and coolant settings. CNC is a major innovation in manufacturing. CNC has to lead to increased productivity because the consistency of the process has lowered manufacturing costs, increased product quality, and led to the development of new techniques. Persons possessing skills in CADD and CNC can find a variety of opportunities in manufacturing industries.

Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)

Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) brings together all the technologies in a management system, coordinating CADD, CAM, CNC, robotics, and material handling from the beginning of the design process through the packaging and shipment of the product. The computer system is used to control and monitor all the elements of the manufacturing system. The figure illustrates an example of CAD within a CIM process. The field of CIM incorporates the disciplines of CAD, CAM, robotics, electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics, computer programming, and process control. Computer-integrated manufacturing enables all persons within a company to access and use the same database that designers and engineers would normally use.

Within CIM, the computer and its software control most, if not all, portions of manufacturing. A basic CIM system can include transporting the stock material from a holding area to the machining centre that performs several machining functions. From there, the part can be moved automatically to another station where additional pieces are attached, then on to an inspection station, and from there to shipping or packaging.

Additional Applications

In addition to design and manufacturing, CADD provides usable data and supports many other areas of the engineering design process. Most sales and marketing materials, technical publications, and training documents reference some form of CADD data. Often existing drawings and models provide the majority of critical content required for items such as product brochures and installation and service manuals. Technical illustration involves the use of a variety of artistic and graphic arts skills and a wide range of media in addition to pictorial drawing techniques. The figure shows an example of a technical illustration partly created by directly reusing existing CADD data from the design process.

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Everything you need to know about Computer-Aided Engineering

Computer-aided engineering

Everything you need to know about Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE)

Computer-aided engineering (CAE)

Computer-aided engineering (CAE)Computer-aided engineering (CAE) is the method of using computers in design, analysis, and manufacturing of a product, process, or project. CAE relates to most elements of CADD in industry. CAE is often recognized as the umbrella discipline that involves several computer-aided technologies including but not limited to, CAD, computer-aided industrial design (CAID), CAD/CAM, CNC, CIM, and PDM, plus the Internet and other technologies to collaborate on projects. CAE often focuses on mechanical design and product development automation. Some of the most familiar elements of CAE are surface and solid modeling and the simulation, analysis, testing, and optimization of mechanical structures and systems using digital prototypes. FEA is a process often associated with CAE. The figure shows a 3-D solid model being subjected to simulated tests and stress analysis.




Animations(b)Animations(c)The animation is the process of making drawings or models move and change according to a sequence of predefined images. Computer animations are made by defining, or recording, a series of still images in various positions of incremental movement; when played back, the series no longer appears as static images but as an unbroken motion. Figure provides an example of three images taken from an animation of a solid model assembly process. Based on the still images shown, try to imagine what the complete animation looks like as the components come together to build the assembly. The animation is a broad topic with a variety of applications for different requirements, including engineering, education, and entertainment.

  • Engineering Animations

Engineering Animations(a)

Engineering Animations(b)

Engineering Animations (c)Animations are a basic element of product design and analysis, and they are often useful for other stages of the engineering design process. Animations help explain and show designs in ways that 2-D drawings and motionless 3-D models cannot. Companies often use animations to analyze product function, explore alternative designs and concepts, and effectively communicate design ideas to customers. For example, moving, dragging, or driving solid model parts and subassemblies is an effective way to explore the motion and relationship of assembly components. The figure shows still images from an animation of an engine crankshaft and pistons. The animation helps designers understand how components move and function, and it is used for analysis and simulation, such as to detect interference between components and evaluate stresses.

Inverse Kinematics (a)

Inverse Kinematics (b)

Inverse Kinematics (c)

Inverse kinematics (IK) is a method used to control how solid objects move in an assembly. IK joins solid objects together using natural links or joints such as that illustrated in the sequence of frames of the universal joint shown in Figure, For example, IK relationships can lock the rotation of an object around one particular axis. Adding this type of information allows the solid assembly to move as the finished product would move. IK is used extensively to animate human and mechanical joint movements. Building and simulating an IK model involves a number of steps, including:

  • Building a solid model of each jointed component.
  • Linking the solid model together by defining the joints.
  • Defining the joint behaviour at each point, such as the direction of rotation.
  • Animating the IK assembly using an animation sequence.
  • E-Learning Animations

Computer animations are a great tool for educators. Teachers and trainers create e-learning animations that can be used as an additional learning tool in the classroom or as an online or distance-learning presentation. Many companies and agencies use animations and simulations as an important part of their training routines. Examples of e-learning animations include corporate and military training activities, repair procedures, and complex simulations. For example, Figure shows still images taken from a full-length video of the assembly and disassembly of a product, which is an impressive tool for training assembly workers.

  • Entertainment

Entertainment is a well-known application for computer animations. The movie and television industries use computer animations heavily to add visual effects. In fact, some animated movies

and television programs are created entirely using computer animation technology. Animations also provide the foundation for developing computer and video games. The increasing complexity of computer animation is resulting in video games that are more realistic and more exciting than ever before.

  • Animation Techniques

Animations can range from the simple movement of solid model components in an assembly to large-scale videos or presentations with dialogue, music, and a variety of graphics. Many CADD programs, especially parametric solid modelling software, contain tools and options that allow you to generate basic animations. Other systems, such as

contain advanced animation tools that let you render solid models into very realistic 3-D motion simulations. Designated animation programs like Autodesk Maya and Maxon Cinema 4D are typically used for e-learning projects, films, and games. These programs are specifically designed for realistic animations, renders, character creation, and rigging. Animators commonly import CADD models into animation software, sometimes removing unnecessary engineering data to allow for practical and smooth animation. However, it is often more efficient to re-create models in the animation software for a better animation or render. It is always a good idea to do some pre-production work before you record an animation.

  • Storyboarding

Storyboarding is a process by which you sketch out the key events of the animation. These sketches help ensure that key scenes are included to complete the story or demonstration. Video producers use storyboarding to preplan their production to help reduce costly studio editing time. Advanced rendering can take days to complete even on a high-speed computer.

If scenes are left out of the animation, then the animation has to be redone, costing significant time and money. Renderings, like video productions, are different from live-action film productions where improvising takes place. Improvising does not occur during animation rendering, and therefore it must be precisely planned. When storyboarding an animation, keep the focus on your audience. This focus should include the overall length of the animation, key points that must be demonstrated, and how these key points are to be best illustrated. Storyboarding is a simple process that can be done on note cards or plain paper. Include sketches of the key scenes that show how these events should be illustrated and the time allotted for each.

Most rendering software allows you to preview the animation sequences before rendering is executed. This feature is a good way to verify that an animation meets your expectations. When finished, select a rendering output file format and instruct the software to render your animation to a file. Animation software renders to a number of different file formats that allow for convenient playback.

Common files formats are

  • AVI
  • MPEG
  • QuickTime
  • WAV

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If you are in the designing and drafting industry, you must know that CAD software is the backbone of this vast field. Computer-Aided Design and Drafting has changed the picture of the designing world for all architects and engineers. You can now design in an automated manner that earlier used to be manual. CAD software has made life easier with the options to maximize efficiency by drafting construction documentation, exploring new design ideas, visualizing various concepts through photorealistic rendering, and simulating the performance of products and projects in the real world. The features in CAD software allow you to create, design, and print 3D models but what holds back most of the designers is the cost of CAD programs. To make your life easy, we have listed down a number of CAD software here that are totally free for you to use, anywhere, anytime!




FreeCAD as the name says it all, is free CAD software which is not only open source but is also flexible. Having an open-source code allows you to use it without having to worry about the violation of the copyright. This parametric, 3D modeller can read files in numerous file formats and is best for Linux users. Mechanical engineers around the globe trust FreeCAD for creating 3D projects because of the comprehensive tools it offers. Tools like fine element analysis, product design and robot simulation module make it the go-to program for every designer. Although the interface of FreeCAD is complex, its growing community consists of experts who can help you design easily and keep the software up to date.


LibreCAD is another free, open-source CAD software which gives you the opportunity to draft and design 2D plus 3D models. It can be used for personal as well as commercial use, as the vast toolbox gives you the leverage to elaborate your drawing, use raytracing for rendering and analysis, practice layer measurements inside your drawing, etc. This software has a customizable interface which makes it flexible and user-friendly.


Moreover, QCAD which is a free 2D drawing software, is very similar to AutoCAD. It should suit you best for architecture projects; create and develop technical drawings, schematics, diagrams and blueprints with it efficiently. Like QCAD there’s a software called “DraftSight” which has comparable functions. This 2D CAD program is particularly used by engineers, architects and designers because you can easily create, edit, view and review any DWG file in it without compromising on your speed efficiency and ease in adjustment. It has a super easy to learn interface and users love its free as well as the paid version.


Other popular software includesSolve Space, “eMachine Shop” and “Heeks CAD”. “Solve Space” is a parametric 3D model program which makes the modification of dimensions and shapes stress-free. “eMachine Shop” is practised in professional settings as it analyzes the design critically and points the probability and possibility of impractical shapes in your design. Likewise, “HeeksCAD” is used by mechanical engineers for 3D solid modelling. All of these programs help bring your designs to life!


NanoCAD is also free software, valued by a number of designers far and wide. It suits well to experienced users who understand advanced 2D and 3D functionality and CAD tools. The interface is relatively easy to use and the software stays up to date as it is highly competitive. One of the benefits of this program is that it supports automation features which make it easy to transfer drafts and documentations from app to database. However, you would need a powerful machine for rendering designs afterwards.


In addition, OpenSCAD is intuitive software which uses textual description language to create 3D CAD objects. It works on the principles of Constructive Solid Geometry(CSG). This software is the best fit for designing simple shapes and is extremely developer-centric because of its easy user interface.


A few other software that you can use free of cost is “BlocksCAD”, “LeoCAD”, “K-3D”, and “3D-Crafter”. “BlocksCAD” was developed for educational purpose, and it has a block-based interface. This cloud-based software has computation thinking and the concept of coding at its foundation. Being cloud-based software helps retain the data without losing any progression. Similarly, “LeoCAD” was also formed for educational purposes. It helps build virtual designs using LEGO Bricks. LeoCAD is extremely resourceful for beginners because of its interface and its open-source coding.“K-3D” is also an ingenious, flexible, and open-source program, using which you can create 3D models and animations for free. The undo/redo system shortens the span of revisions and helps retain the data effectively. It is a greatly artist-oriented program and features like parametric workflow and visualization make it perfect for architectural designing.


Additionally, significant CAD software is On Shape! It is cloud-based with which one can pace up the business’s product development process. You can make 2D as well as 3D designs on this platform. Use it to create complex solid and surface models just from a browser since this software does not require powerful hardware for it to run. What’s the catch? Everything is auto-saved, so you literally don’t lose any data. Furthermore, its robust revision features to protect your business against any sort of data loss. That’s not all about the program; it has other useful and effective designing tools like parts, assemblies and drawings that make this software popular. Other features like release management, workflow management, and real-time collaboration tools make it a personal choice for a lot of designers.

“Sketchup” is also free CAD software that is used by architects for designing infrastructure. For advanced tools, one needs to use their paid version which is a premium version of Sketchup. “TinkerCAD” is free as well, it has a friendly interface and it is packed with abundant educational resources for beginners. With this software, you can design, program and simulate 3D models. For the ease of designers, it can also be connected directly to a 3D printer.


So, which free CAD software are you inclined towards for using in the future?

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Free CAD 3D Print design tools



FREE CAD 3D PRINT DESIGN TOOLS 1So, you get 3D Printer and now you want to design or editing 3D models, Here's the top list of free CAD 3D print design tools for beginners and advanced users.


3D Printing, technically known as additive manufacturing has been gaining interests of many in the last decade. The multifarious uses of 3D printing have led it to be a must-have tool for every architecture and engineering firm. 3D printing enables you to create and manufacture real objects from a digital file in no time.

It is not only a user-friendly process but is also an environment-friendly procedure as it requires much less material than the traditional manufacturing methods. The technical advancements in 3D printing have extended its uses in various industries like aerospace, aviation, construction, consumer products, food and medical industries. What’s the most interesting aspect of this procedure is the flexibility it offers to its users, but what are the tools to do so? Let us answer this question for you here as we tell you about free CAD 3D print tools.


3D modeling can be mainly categorized into three categories and understanding that will help users select our type of model and the tool that is the best fit for it. The major classification is such that there’s “object primitive modeling”, “parametric modeling” and “mesh modeling”. Object primitive modeling is used for creating simpler models and you start it by using pre-defined shapes, by adding and subtracting objects to and from each other you can create new objects which can then be 3D printed through 3D printers. On the other hand, in parametric modeling you initially use a 2D object and transform that into a 3D object by extruding. If you choose this sort of modeling, you can have all the steps saved to create your object, thus it is far easier to alter a model in the parametric model than in object primitive modeling. Mesh modeling and sculpting is more of an artistic approach to 3D modeling where you can manipulate an object like clay. You can sculpt the objects to give them defined features; this makes it a great option for animation and character creation.


Now that you know about the categories, let’s move on to the tools that you can use for 3D printing which are CAD programs and free of cost too!


Starting with “TINKERCAD”, it is the most popular software among the beginners and it provides one with immaculate opportunities to create 3D objects using primitive object modeling. This software is free, cloud-based and easy to use. It has a drag and drops features which make it easy to select various objects to create one. Other tools allow you to subtract one shape from the other to create holes. You can then resize and re-centre the object; however, it is difficult to make major modifications in TinkerCADas it works on the building block method. It also provides you with basic mesh editing options but it does not support image manipulation like taking a JPEG format picture as an example. You can import the STL file and use it to manipulate it to create your object. The downside of TinkerCAD is that you need to have a strong internet connection otherwise working on it and saving the details becomes an irritating process. TinkerCAD also had a number of educational resources and tutorials that you can use to learn the tools. It can be connected directly to the 3D printer to print your choice of models.


MATTERCONTROL is one of its kinds amongst software. This highly intuitive and advanced tool helps you bring your imaginations to life. It can easily compete with other paid software based on its functionality, but we would say it is even better because it is free! In addition to that, it is open-source. You can design, create, analyze and print your models in this parametric software which works on the principles of hybrid modelling. You start with a pseudo-parametric design and work it up to 3D model. What distinguishes this software is its capability to import JPEG format files and turn them directly into a 3D object. It is swift, easy and magical!MatterControl has amazing support for its users in terms of the tutorials that are present for its tool usages according to the level of the user’s expertise. You can download it without paying a single penny on your Mac, Windows and Linux!


The list of free CAD 3D print tools also includes FREECADwhich as the name suggest, is free. It is a highly flexible, open-source and parametric software. It supports meshes and right-hand coordinate system. In order to design a 3D model on FreeCAD, you start out by drawing a sketch which is two-dimensional. Then you pad and extrude the sketch to transform it into a 3D object. You can combine it with other object and sketches to create new ones on FreeCAD.


MESHMIXER is an artistic tool for 3D printing and designing. It is used widely in the health industry as well as for product designing and engineering devices. Meshmixer offers a great variety of tools like drag and drop mesh mixing, 3D sculpting and surface stamping, re-meshing and mesh simplification, and other printing tools like automatic print bed orientation optimization, layout and packing. This software is free for Mac and Windows users and it has got a lot to offer to you.


Moreover, Blender 2.8 is also the software that has won the hearts of many animators and designers. It is free, intuitive, and open source. Using this software you can make animated movies as it enables you to do rigging, texturing, rendering, and video editing. It covers your entire work-flow from the concept to the final output, thus it is easier to track your progress on Blender. Fortunately, it also comes with a built-in game engine which has given it much popularity among the game developers’ community.  It is kept up to date and is a highly efficient software.

Free CAD 3D Print Design Tools

Other software that you might look into includes Fusion360, Leopoly, Vectary, CATIA, AUTOCAD, OnShape, Sketchup, OpenSCAD, and Sculptris. You will find details of these tools in our other articles, so don’t forget to check them out too!

Keep designing and keep printing to bring your projects to life!

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TOP BEST FREE 3D DESIGN SOFTWAREDesign & Drafting Industry

Designing and drafting is a big industry which is subject to constant change and development. The ever increasing demand for creating realistic 3D models and images has created an opportunity for many 3D designing software to fill in. Unfortunately, most of the highly recommended and widely used software are paid ones. This makes it difficult for designers, especially the novice ones to cater to their client’s needs. With this article, we’ll be listing down MORE THAN SEVEN FREE 3D DESIGN SOFTWARE that you can use for personal as well as commercial purposes. Enhance your data management and standardize the details while designing assets and characters with these software programs today!


The star 3D software that every designer swears by is “Blender” which for good is totally “FREE”! This intuitive software has updated features which make it the best fit for creating 3D animated characters as well as asset designs. With this all-encompassing software, you can do modelling, rigging, simulation, animation, rendering, compositing, motion tracking, and video editing.

These specs give you a free hand to make a representation of your object while perfecting the texture, colours, thickness, lamination, and other physical apparent features of the object. This way you can easy materialize your idea virtually to see what the prototype will be like. Another advantage of these specs is the proactive approach that you engage in while using this software; you can foresee and predict the flaws in the model and save your time and cost in correcting the errors. Blender is loved by the designers’ community as it is great for beginners and serves as a great platform for experts.

The open sources code gives an edge to its users as it can be used by anyone without raising questions about the copyrights. Blender has a talented and beneficial community of game developers and it also has a built in-game engine. These added features make it a welcoming and comfortable to use software for users of all expertise levels.


One of the best software, used by many is Sketchup. It has a free as well as the paid version, but the free version is sufficiently detailed for any beginner to create amazing 3D designs. It is mostly used commercially for infrastructure and asset designing. Interior designers and architects all around the world practice and use it in their practical work. Moreover, game developers use it design video games. The users of this software may enjoy the leverage of a 3D warehouse which is an open library source for uploading and downloading various existing 3D models. The “push and pull” tool provides a number of possibilities for dragging the points and shaping the structure. All in all, Sketchup is one great tool that you can amp up your 3D designing skills with!


“Skulptris” is another 3D designing software which derives its name from the idea of “sculpting clay”. This free designing tool gives you the freedom to create life-like organic models using a wide range of brushes that allow you to sculpt the models. The features that allow you to manipulate the virtual clay are pulled, push, pinch, and twist buttons. The manipulated virtual clay gives you an exact picture of the execution of your ideal character.


Designers, specifically beginners frequently use “WINGS 3D”, which is free, open-source software that you can put on your list. The designers’ community believes in Wings 3D as it creates excellent and accurate hard surface models. You can operate this software for creating furniture, infrastructure, as well as characters. The standard and advance tools like sculpting, tweaking, virtual mirror, and magnet masking open the floor for you to try various designing techniques and generate numerous designs.


In addition to this, “GIMP” is trusted and popular software to design 3D models. This “GNU Image Manipulation Program” has got a lot to offer to you. Firstly, it is free, so it’s accessible for everyone interested in design. Secondly, the software includes a number of tutorials and plugins that help you move up the learning curve; that means a designer of any proficiency level can use it. The highlights of this free 3D software are the tools that allow one to retouch images, crop noise reduction, adjust colour, customize brushes as well as interface and customize gradients. The animation package and montage features are a cherry on top!


Getting on the bandwagon, DAZ has also created a free 3D designing software which is called “Hexagon”. It equips the designer with tools to create detailed 3D models; these tools allow you to do freehand designing and colouring with freehand modeling brushes and advance colours. It also offers sculpted primitives to the designers. However, there is a downside of this software, to do final rendering you might have to export it to the DAZ studio which is a paid program.


“Tinkercad” has also made to the list of best free 3d design software as it has a user-friendly interface and proves to be one of the most resourceful educational platforms for the beginners. With this software, one can design, program, and simulate. It also offers a direct connection to a 3D printer, which is a great feature.

Other free software includes“Vectary”, “3D Slash”, “Leopoly”, and “Meshmixer”.


“Vectary” is practised by beginners mostly for graphic designing, product designing and game designing. The software offers sharing and collaboration tools as well as direct 3D printing. Its extensive library holds many resources and primitive designs that can be worked upon. “3D Slash” differs from it in its practising manner as it works around the building-blocks workflow, whereby each block is individually modified. Tools like hammer and trowel give a real-world feel and experience to the user.


Since the field of designing is dynamic and evolving, new software or updated ones are introduced every now and then. With the help of this software, programs one can make the process of designing manageable and quick. Take charge of your 3D designing skills today with this software!

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7 rules for successful designers and draftersSuccess comes in many forms and at different times for everyone. One has to put in the effort and work relentlessly to get to their pinnacle of success. Some people believe in hard-work, whereas some belief in smart-work, but what drives you to your success is actually your attitude toward yourself and others around you. Nobody gets famous overnight for their work; it takes time, resilience, and patience to keep striving for achieving your ambitions and becoming successful. Being successful also depends on the kind of industry you are working in; in a competitive industry like engineering drafting and designing it gets difficult to move past the obstacles and make your name. However, we are here to solve the dilemma for you and to list down 7 rules that you can follow and abide by to become a successful designer and drafter!




    A lot of times drafters and designers who are a novice and have just stepped into the industry feel over-shadowed by their senior colleagues’ experiences. Let us tell you something, things that you haven’t even experimented yet in the practical world have mostly already been explored by your seniors. Listening actively to their suggestions and learning from their experience can save you hours of experimenting in the wrong direction. It is good to have a voice and opinion of your own but learning from others’ experiences (even colleagues of the same expertise level as you) is highly important. Always remember, there’s somebody out there who has spent many more hours than you in the same field and it won’t belittle you in any manner to learn from them.


    Now you might think that we are contradicting our own stance but here is why it’s not self-contradicting; you can always experiment, and you must experiment but as efficiently as possible. If you have learnt from others that a certain setting on an application or software doesn’t give you the required result, you ought not to experiment it a gazillion times to achieve a certain result. There are much more productive ways to go about it. However, it is essential to keep trying out new things; this not only broadens your knowledge but also awakens your creative side. Those who keep experimenting, keep moving forward!


    A lot of people neglect this factor in the drafting and designing industry, but it is what sets you apart and makes you shine in front of your higher officials. Everyone pushes people forward who have great communication skills, be it a meeting with a client or be it taking a lead. You need to learn to communicate effectively as your teamwork heavily relies on your communication, one poorly communicated message can bring down the energy of people working with you, and it can bring down your project too. People, who communicate better, are proved to have given more opportunities because they convey, convince and deliver in a promising manner. Therefore to move up the ladder of success, it is important to communicate effectively. Moreover, active communication is not all about speaking but also about listening actively. In fact, researchers claim that effective communication involves less speaking and more listening.


    You are given a task, and if you decide to turn up late to work every day and procrastinate the rest of the day, you lose half of the project right then and there. Drafting and designing require a lot of thought process and execution process as well. If you don’t manage your time efficiently in the beginning only, you end up piling up loads of work for the end of your deadline. As a professional, you might know, the deadline is the time where everything starts going down the hill, the most unexpected obstacles come up and it halts your projects’ pace and progress. Hence, it is vital to be pro-active and manage your tasks according to the timeline. Nowadays there are a lot of online portals and time-management apps where you can plan your daily and monthly tasks, don’t forget to use them!


    A lot of times when you’re working for an organization, you get done with work to get rid of the load. Once you begin to have this attitude for your work, you automatically put less effort into it. What will set you apart from your colleagues is going to be the owner that you take of your task; it might be perfect or it may require some revisions, but it ought to be owned by you. You should make every drawing like it’s you who is the primary stakeholder. This positive attitude will put you on the path of success for sure!


    Like every other industry, drafting and designing industry also keeps evolving. We can emphasize enough on the fact of how important it is for you to keep upgrading yourself with the evolution of your industry. If you don’t learn the upcoming technological advancements and software, you will suffer in the long run. Successful people keep up with the pace of their work’s evolution. One needs to communicate on a larger level with people in the same community as that on virtual groups to be updated what’s new in the market. With the introduction of a new skill increases its demand, and professionals who fill in the demand are deemed to be successful.


    It is the nature of work in this industry that burns you out and leaves you with exhilarating exhaustion. It is important to relax and take a break when you are over-worked. Nobody gets an award for working 24/7, but if your mind is relaxed and you feel healthy, you’ll consequently perform better at your job. A daily or weekly workout routine helps you feel rejuvenated and energetic and if the workload is getting a toll on your health then must retreat and take a vacation. A mind at ease is a creative mind indeed!


This is our take on how you can become a successful drafter and designer, it all depends on how willing are you to become one!

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beginners guide to 3d printingIn the Advanced world of 3D printing, one can be easily confused as to what options are the best for beginners to try their hands on. The variety in the kinds of 3D printers and the material that goes into it for creating exceptional 3D models and object is so vast and full of options that it gets a handful job for a beginner to pick the right thing. To make things convenient for you, we are here to present the breakdown of what 3D printing is like and how you can go about it efficiently. This article will serve as a stepping stone in your journey of 3D printing.

Beginners guide to 3d printing

Choice of Printer

First things first, you need to decide which printer is the right choice for you. Your needs and expectations from any 3D printer depend heavily on whether you are going to use it as a hobbyist or as a business benefactor. If you are getting into this art because of your passion for it, then we should suggest you printers that are not too hard on the pocket to buy and will give you a satisfactory result. Most of the hobbyists use FDM printers which are Fuel Deposition Model printers. They create a relatively thin layer of filament (material) to create the object and it is cheap as well. In case of using it for your business, you would need a powerful printer which has relatively more number of features and is assembled as well. These printers lie in the category of SLI printers which stands for Stereo Lithography printers. Although SLI printers are expensive, they produce high-quality prints. These printers use a laser or projector to harden the resin, and that’s how it prints your 3D model.  For hobbyists, best printers are the “Creality Series”, “FlashFirge”, “TierTime”, and “SeemeCNC Rostock series”. Whereas, for business beginners, “ Pulse”, “Ultimaker”, “LulzBot”, “CraftBot”, and “SeemeCNC” are the best options.

Choice of Filament

Next thing you need to learn about 3D printing is what are filaments and how are they used? So, the filament is the real material that is melted through the printer to create objects. Hence you can say that it is the most primary requisition for 3D printing. Filaments come in the form of a spool weighing 1Kg with a diameter of 1.75mm. It is attached to the nozzle of the printer where it is heated on high temperatures to melt it and form objects. One can use many types of filaments but the most frequently used are PLA and ABS. PLA comes in a variety of colours and is relatively affordable. As it is less stringy and sticky than ABS, it is easier to use as well. PLA is also less toxic than other types of filaments; however, it is comparatively less durable than ABS as it is malleable. Other filaments you can find in the market include nylon, carbon fibre, TPU, wood, metal, and glow-in-the-dark. You can customize your objects by using any of these filaments to give a realistic look to your object.

First Model Print

Now, the most vital question is, “what do you want to print?” Experts suggest it is best to print the mainstream 3D models on your printer if you’re not used to the setting yet. Multiple websites like “Thingiverse.com” and “myminifactory.com” present you with ample of options to print. These websites feature the “ready-to-print” models that you can print and get the hang of your printer settings. This practice will not only help you fix your printer settings but will also help you compare your printed object with others through the abundant tutorials present on the web. This way you can comprehend what went wrong with your print. But there’s one thing you must not forget! The first few models you print will not turn out perfect. You will have to take your time to get used to this magical machine.

Slicing Software

Next on our list is the “Slicing Software”. This software is where you set all the settings for your printer. It commands your printer to print your object in a certain manner. You can set the dimensions, colours, temperatures, etc. for your printer. Some popular slicing software includes “MakerWare”, “Cura”, and “Simplify 3D”.

3D Printing Model

Coming to the process of how 3D printing works! So you either create 3D Computer-Aided Model or you can get free ones from online forums as we have mentioned earlier. You then export that model as a “.STL” file into the slicing software where you set all the settings for your print. Consequently, slicer generates a “.G-code” file which is sent to the printer. The filament attached to the extruder is then extruded according to the command and your 3D object comes to life!


Now let’s focus our attention on “extruders”. There are two types of extruders, one is single and the other one is dual. Most of the printers come with a single extruder and they only extrude one type of filament. This means you can only have one colour and material coming out of the extruder at a type of using a single extruder. On the other hand, dual extruders can print two different types of materials or filaments at one time. This enhances productivity as well as creativity for printing 3D objects.

Heated Bed

Once the printer starts extruding the filament, it sets on your printer's heated bed. Here it is important to note that your adhesion settings in the slicer software must be set appropriately to keep your object adhered to the bed. These beds are categorized as glass beds and printer’s tape beds. Glass beds are less durable and sturdy than printer’s tape beds because once you scratch the bed for removing your object, the entire glass bed becomes useless and you have to change it which incurs an additional cost. On the contrary, painter’s tape beds are not as vulnerable to scratches and are definitely durable.

Conclusively, these factors must be kept in mind when getting into 3D printing as it will save you the trouble of wasting your material as well as your time.

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