By Eva Williams 4 days ago, Apps and Software
Verdict: SelfCAD is an advanced browser-based 3D design and modeling package that combines rendering, slicing, 3D printing, technical and artistic functions in one software. Users can draw, model, sculpt, animate and cut fragments for printing without the need for lengthy learning, additional software or extensions.
This full-featured online CAD/CAM platform lets you create objects, scenes, designs, prototypes and print objects in less time than using traditional CAD programs, without switching between applications.
Cloud hosting lets you create together and share your creations with others without worrying about whether they have the u201crightu201d software for viewing projects or the robust computers for 3D modeling. A variety of guides, integrated hints, and a creator of step-by-step video tutorials make SelfCAD online an ideal choice for users in many spheres and with different skill levels.
Additive manufacturing and 3D printing is a progressively developing industry, with new affordable 3D printers and CAD programs increasingly appearing on the market. Currently, many hobbyists, schools and entire industries are switching to 3D printing. In order to simplify the introduction and training in this relatively new industry, the SelfCAD online platform was launched at the end of 2016.
The software introduces novices to the basics of 3D modeling in an accessible and unobtrusive way. As for the pros, it provides an array of working tools for various tasks, including creating interactive textbooks and the opportunity to exhibit their masterpieces on the marketplace.
Developers call SelfCAD an inexpensive 3D modeling software. In this SelfCAD online 3D designing software review, the emphasis is also put on the exclusive functions of preparation, slicing and 3D printing itself.
Without going deep into highly specialized functions, in SelfCAD you can really spend the entire cycle of creating a three-dimensional print u2013 from a flat sketch to a finished product. Drawing and sketching tools for 2D and 3D needs make it easy to create models from scratch.
The form generator lets you quickly create an interesting model, and also speeds up work with simple forms. Macros automate and facilitate the design stage. There are simplified but not mandatory functions for converting a drawing into a 3D object (with the background removed) and animation with a simple timeline.
Follow Path is an interesting multi-purpose tool that can be used with drawing and sketching tools to create a model by squeezing together with profiles, or even to design them from scratch. A simple mouse click lets you automatically complete complex forms. With SelfCAD, you can work with all types of design, including basic 3D designs, new concepts, special and unique shapes.
As with any best 3D modeling software, SelfCAD has a way to create primitives and components for sculpting. It uses the fast voxelization feature for re-meshing, which you can run manually during the working process.
Modeling brushes make it easy to create even a complex face model. The 3D modeling and sketching, transformation, deformation and flexibility functions to alter 3D models are fairly standard and intuitive.
SelfCAD offers the Stitch and Scoop logic functions with four options: difference, union, extrusion, and intersection. You can combine two objects or subtract one from the other, or create a new object that is simply a shape in which the two objects overlap or do not overlap.
Creating holes, gaps or connecting models is easier with the Magic Fix tool. It identifies design issues and fixes them automatically. Easy modes for selecting part or an entire object simplify the work. You can draw a 3D model on paper, take a picture, and use the Reference Image tool to import it into your workspace. Then circle it using the drawing tools and convert the sketch to a 3D model using the Polygon Fill tool.
While you can technically use the models you create in SelfCAD for basic games and animation, this software is more focused on 3D printing. You have many options for sending models to a vast array of printers.
To prepare the shape for 3D printing, it is important to check each layer of the object using the integrated slicing function instead of 3D slicing software. Users can simply select a preset profile, customize the design support structure and padding, or pick from a variety of other advanced settings.
SelfCAD offers an integrated slicer based on Cura, one of the best 3D printing software, letting you generate a G-code that can be sent to a 3D printer for printing. When preparing for printing, you can use layer modeling, edit the layer height and fill density, control the print speed.
A detailed preview of the layer using the slider shows the approximate print time, gives an estimate of the material used, indicates the final weight of the model, as well as other aspects.
Another important thing to mention in this SelfCAD online 3D designing software review is that the developers take into account the importance of community support and the opportunity to draw inspiration or earn money from your craft. Thatu2019s why SelfCAD has partnered with MyMiniFactory, a digital platform and a kind of marketplace where designers can share with each other through a database of free or paid ready-to-print 3D projects.
Through the MyMiniFactory account, the user has access to more than 45,000 ready-to-print models. Feel free to upload them to the editor and start changing them to suit your needs. Also, you can upload your models here so that the whole world can evaluate them. There is an integrated ability to upload your 3D design online, namely on Facebook or Instagram, as well as SelfCAD forums and blogs.
SelfCADu2019s mission is to make 3D design and printing accessible to everyone. The mission was definitely completed as there is a SelfCAD free version with direct import/export restrictions, as well as some warping and sketching tools. The full version of SelfCAD Pro is available for a 30-day free trial period before you have to subscribe to it at a moderate price of $ 14.99 / month.
If you donu2019t like the subscription model, take advantage of a perpetual license option, which is cheaper than buying multiple modeling and 3D printing packages separately. There are discounts for the purchase of SelfCAD by schools as learning software, savings on an annual subscription instead of a monthly one, as well as volume discounts for the purchase of a license bundle.