Using Modo to create manufacturable surfaces

We might be starting work on a project that will involve creating and editing a lot of characters (fantastical types - unicorns, monsters, etc.) that ultimately need to be manufactured as figures & toys. SolidWorks has been our primary tool, but it is clearly not the best one for this job so we are considering getting new software. One we are considering is Modo since it also has the capability to do animation, which we may end up doing a bit of.

The only issue with Modo is I’m not totally sure it can export good surface for manufacturing. Design Engine’s site says it can export to SW to make class A surfaces (Learning to Design with MODO | Design Engine) and NovEdge article says that if we stick to SubD it can export as STEP (How to use MODO for Product Design, Step by Step.), buy Modo’s site makes no mention of exporting to CAD besides Rhino and does not list STEP files as an export-able type (Importing and Exporting File Formats).

Has anyone had success exporting out of Modo to create manufacturable surfaces? Or should we move on to another tool? We’re also considering SolidWorks’ 3D Sculptor/xShape (to hopefully have best interoperability with SW, though it may be too new to be mature), Rhino, and Fusion 360.

You might already be the local expert on this process.
Maybe look at similar kinds of products for process info/inspo? ZBrush and .ztl files… IDK.

Most modern CAM proprograms, maybe all now, can import STL files and use them to write tool paths. So if you can save out a good STL you should be good to go. I have even sent character based OBJ files to China and had there were no problems or comments.

Thanks, that’s good to know. Makes things a bit more open.

I hadn’t looked into ZBrush as I had thought of it as a tool for animators/screen output, but perhaps that would be a good option. Reading in the GeekWire article that Funko Pops use it is certainly an endorsement.

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