I have an opportunity to obtain an makerbot 3d printer. I have zero experience with any type of 3d printing whatsoever. Does this tool come with software to design the piece or does it require a program like autocad 3d or solidworks to design and then convert to machine code? Thanks for any help!
Upgrade to ARC Pro
Your robot can be more than a simple automated machine with the power of ARC Pro!
I don't think makerbot gives you software to create 3D models with but I can be mistaken.
The FlashForge Dreamer looks good from the videos posted.
Also, if you are looking at that, there is a black friday deal from Micro Center for a flashforge creator clone that is selling for $800.
I really wish makerbot still sold the 2 but at reasonable prices. They pushed their last product to market too quickly. Corporate buyouts often have these results though. This has defiantly hurt makerbot in the short term. I hope there is a long term benefit to them though.
Flashforge Creator with Makerware
software options for Flashforge
Do not go to small because it really limits what you can print.... in fact I wish I had a larger printer sometimes.
The 2X added the heated build plate, a second extruder and hotend and the plastic enclosure pieces to keep temp fluctuations from affecting the print. Most later clones like the flash forge have the features of the 2X.
That being said, blender is a full blown 3d program so, be prepared to watch hours of you tube tutorials. It's not super bad if you've messed with 3dDesign or google sketchup. it's a little easier to figure out just because you're familiar with the concepts. Messing with 3d programs is just a little different than most programs. There's lots of keyboard controls. It's worth it though, even if it's to learn to be able to model out some basic shapes.
You'll still have to export the file out to .stl then slice and print it with other software. That's just what I've learned in my 3d adventures. I hope it helps.
It was the one I was using the most. I only really started using blender because I wanted to mess with "engraving" a logo into an object so I needed to use specific fonts that I couldn't use in 123. But It's a great program for the most part.
To be honest and fair, I'm by no means an expert. I'm just fumbling through when it comes to 3d design.
What ever route anybody goes, I highly recommend watching tutorial vids on you tube or something. I've had a computer since 1986. I also have done just about anything you can do with a computer at least once and using these 3d programs is just different from anything I've ever messed with.
Sorry to be so long winded. In short, I think 123Design will do you right @RichardR.