I have done 3D modeling in the past on 3D Studio R4 (when Max came out, it seemed really complicated and I kind of lost interest).
I’m kind of tinkering with the idea to try some modern stuff, but would like to get some hints, what would be the “best for a beginner” these days?
One problem being, that I’m now tied to Mac and cannot in any way possible even think about going back to Windows.
For native Mac apps you have following possibilities:
1) Google Sketchup (http://sketchup.google.com/) - really easy to use, ideal tool for beginners
2) AutoCAD for MAC (http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?siteID=123112&id=17326753) - AutoDesk just launched a product for Apple. I haven't use it so I don't no how good it is.
3) Siemens NX is for MAC as well (http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/products/nx/index.shtml) . I have played around with it while ago and it was pretty good. But this is very powerful tool and are ment for hard-core engineers.
For Mac, you have a few options, some free:
Google SketchUp - http://sketchup.google.com
SolidThinking - http://www.solidthinking.com
Blender - http://www.blender.org
Cheetah3D - http://www.cheetah3d.com
Cinema4D - http://www.maxon.net
modo - http://www.luxology.com/modo
Cobalt - http://www.ashlar.com/products/product-overview.html
For prismatic modeling, the Ashlar products would be a good choice. For free and quick Google SketchUp is a fine way to start off.
Are you open to running boot-camp on your mac? You could load windows 7 on your machine and run just about anything. What kind of modeling are you looking to do?
I’d rather not install viruses on my machine :)
But on a more serious note, sure, that would probably be the path to take. I’ve fiddled around with Sketchup a bit, but somehow it felt like I had to tread really-really carefully or I’ll end up messing it up pretty quickly.
But I’d go with the basics – mostly mechanical things etc.
Would Google Sketchup be too amateurish and limiting? At least that's what I've been recommended most of the time and it should run on Mac, too.
There are two ways to do it:
1) there are native MAC apps that you can run
2) you can use Parallel, VmWare or other software to emulate Windows.
since you have used autocad then it will be easy for you to use inventor.
Inventor is nice and easy to learn
I have seen Solidworks on a Mac, via PC emulator software (?).
Rhino 3D is coming to the mac as well, currently in Beta - you could apply to become a beta tester
You need to already use Rhino to become a Beta tester. I run Rhino on a Mac and am very happy with the basic system, though it still has a long way to go before it is a competent package to use in a business enviroment.
I also run a PC for my full Rhino, when the Mac version falls on its knee's.
Allan, any updates on a Rhino for MAC?
@Joules not true, I have no license for Rhino and I'm a beta tester for the Mac Version - you just have to apply and they have to accept it
@Hardi sorry for the late answer, but yeah - they are still working on it, hopefully it won't take too much time until they are finished
Platform agnostic, perfect for a beginner, great for 3D print prep so you’ll get to experience your stuff IRL thus giving positive feedback loop = keeps your learning going.
great suggestion Siim. Love that little app. lotta possibility there and hope they continue developing.
"One problem being, that I’m now tied to Mac and cannot in any way possible even think about going back to Windows."
It depends what you want to lean toward, a designer or an engineer.
If a designer you can get away with a Mac because the programs that run on it are good for the design and not necessarily production.
If an engineer then you need to deal with windows because these are the real manufacturing programs.
I'm a member of the Rhino beta program. They are doing a good job, but still a long way to catch up to the Windows version. Then again the Mac development team is very small in comparison.
For me the convergence of OSX and iOS are a compelling combination for on the move CAD and shop floor prototype design.
The new iPad, if it can be integrated with machine control is going to be a desktop killer.