3D modeling software

If I am going to make the purchase for 3D modeling software, which software would you recomend based on industry standard, $$$, learning curve, quality of product:

3d Studio Max
Form z


thats one of the most vague and open ended questions this forum sees at an average of 5 a month.

try going to “search” and looking up the topic on this forum.

otherwise, based on the slew of info you provided, go with solidworks.

second choice, rhino.

all others are no where near “industry standard” as solidworks, especially if you are going to deal with engineering and manufacturing.

but then again, who knows what your industry is. are you working on a new marvel comics character movie or a pixar animation feature?

all others are no where near “industry standard” as solidworks

I’d like to see this backed up with numbers. Pro/E has been considered the industry standard for years and they had the largest growth in the first quarter of this year.

pro/E and solidworks.

…compared to those listed in the original post.

stop pushing up the middle of your glasses, wagging your index finger, and pipe down from the peanut gallery.

If you want to do actual CAD for product design (ie shelled parts with draft bosses drawings etc) use Solidworks.

If you are just looking for a surface modeller for renderings get Rhino.

Rhino and SW work well together so I would actually suggest you get both.

Pro-E is gaining back ground but if you are a designer that is just buying software you likely won’t be working with the very large firms that are buying it again. Solidworks is still cheaper and as a result is more popular with smaller manufacturing firms and design consultancies.

Stay away from Maya and 3ds Max unless you want to animate.

good stuff

hey guys, what do u guys think of this programs like Form Z http://www.formz.comand Concepts http://www.concepts3d.com/. I need some professional opinion cuz my school is pushing these programs on us and not solidworks or Pro Engineer like u guys have talked about.

typos, void the “this”

Form Z is used professionally by (correct me if I’m wrong) exhibit design and POP design firms. The lack of design history, and polygon-based modeling, makes it unsuitable for industrial design.

Don’t know about the other one. You’ll do yourself the biggest favor knowing one of the more-used programs, getting new jobs.

You can take knowledge from one program, and apply it to how another program works (i.e. rhino to alias, SW to ProE) but FormZ is pretty unique, more like 3DS I think, and not useful for a product designer to learn.

So there.

This thread should be in the software forum.

thanks that was very helpful slippy. what are POP design firms?

Have you chosen an area you want to work yet? Do you know some firms/companies you would liek to be hired by? research them, look at the classifieds. I see Rhino, Pro E Solid works and Alias regularly in the job postings. if not, get eval copies (1 year Alias is free Rhino is cheap at student discount sites. and learn several. flexibility and the ablility to work in multiple formats can replace deep specific knowledge for your first job, then stay late and teach yourself the system they use. Make sure they know youre doing it too. the drive and initiative will be noted. Maybe even translate into a job offer after grad or a good reference.

this is honest to god good advice:

don’t even bother firing up FormZ. just forget about it, right now.

its an inferior program that is one of the most UNintuitive and useless especially in the product design field.

the ONLY exceptionis if you are one of the top, most fluent users of it that you can do things YOUR WAY to develop products with. If you are going to be having various different jobs, dealing with different companies, and associating with the rest of the product development world, don’t bother.

POP stands for Point-of-Purchase displays.
I have recently used Strata for purely conceptual renderings and found it to work very well at pumping out good images quickly, but you do not have anything for prototyping with once it’s done.
You will need to decide on what hat you wish to wear (concept or prototyping) and then target a client or employee (job or opportunities) then the question should answer itself.

POP = Point of Purchase

These are the racks, stands, end-caps, independent freestanding structures upon which are held products. Go to a drug store. Find the batteries. See the thing all the batteries hang on? That’s the POP display. Companies use it to create a distinctive and crafted exhibit for the stores to display that companies products. Some companies do it well - Specialized Bikes for example - and some just sh*t it out.

Agreed - many firms crank away on FormZ, and are able to deliver concepts for exhibits and POPs in days. This is mostly a cookie-cutter approach to design, altered for batteries, to helmets, to watches, to soap. If you are good and quick in this program you may be able to get a production job doing this stuff. The extension of POP is exhibit design, although budgets are larger and more time is generally put into design definition - see Exhibitgroup-Giltspur’s work - but not always.

So I second the last comment: don’t even bother firing it up, and if the profs want to buy it and make you learn it, you should riot. They will be selling you short.

Responding to the original question, it sounds like johnf is looking for a 3D software program, not an engineering CAD package. My personal choice is Alias Studio by far. It offers more modeling and rending control, killer raytracer, etc. It’ll set you back $5000 for a Design Studio license, but if you are a student, you can buy a one-year license for $100.

My sincere gratitude to u all.

I have used many different CAD packages from SW to UG but by far the best in my opinion is Proe WF2, Solidworks can only take you so far when it comes to high end surface modelling etc.