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Thread: Illustrate your tool using free online 3d modeling tools

  1. #1

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    Sep 2014
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    Post Illustrate your tool using free online 3d modeling tools

    Hello all,

    I am new to the Home Made Tools forum and thoroughly enjoy the great ideas and contributions of members. I have made a few things over the years and generally like to work things out on paper before spending money. However, because I have zero artistic ability I must rely on computer software to draw what I need.

    I do have Turbocad a drafting tool, but it is very detailed and too complicated for quickly getting ideas on paper. A few years back I discovered two free 3D modelling tools which anyone can use to illustrate an idea.

    The first and I think easiest to use is Sketchup by Google. I don't want to go into detail about how to use it, but it comes with a myriad of tutorials to teach you everything you will need to know. The best way to get started is to download and install Sketchup, then use the tool while watching the tutorials. It's a good approach for us visual learners.

    The second tool is 123D (design) by Autodesk. The same approach as above is true for this product.

    I would start with Sketchup. I think 123d if more robust, but Sketchup is easier to learn and use.

    Here are links to the two product websites:


    Autodesk 123D Design

    I included a sample from a Sketchup contributor as example of what can be done. the product can rotate your model 360 degrees for viewing and adding details... Enjoy
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Illustrate your tool using free online 3d modeling tools-bot_lt.jpg  

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    Last edited by ohioeightytwo; Oct 24, 2014 at 09:36 AM. Reason: Add picture

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to ohioeightytwo For This Useful Post:

    Jon (Oct 24, 2014), kbalch (Oct 24, 2014), Paul Jones (Oct 24, 2014)

  3. #2
    Jon is online now Jon has agreed the Seller's Terms of Service
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    Jan 2012
    Colorado, USA
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    Great post. I'm familiar with Sketchup, but not 123D Design. One of the biggest requests we get from people is for plans/diagrams/illustrations of homemade tools.

  4. #3
    kbalch's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Clermont, FL
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    Hi ohioeightytwo,

    Great information. I've also used Sketchup (it's become ubiquitous, hasn't it?), but hadn't heard of 123D Design. I love the idea of people learning to produce their own plans and drawings. It's an exceedingly useful skill to have.

    When you're ready to share some of your own homemade tools, we'd love to see them. Please post them directly in the Homemade Tools, subforum. We'll add each one to the database, as well as to your builder page on the site.

    Non-tool items should be shared in the Not a Tool, but Homemade subforum.


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