What is the best 3D modeling software for a beginner on a 3D printed mini barrel project?

  • My goal is to 3D print a 5 liter miniature barrel with a side stand, similar to this wooden one on Amazon. I want it to have a removable top so that a boxed wine bladder may be put inside, and there should be a hole on the top as well so that the spigot may stick out and be used. I have no experience with 3D modeling or printing, but I have access to a public 3D printer at my local library. I know you can print parts individually (ex. curved wood-colored sides with staves and holes to interlock and make up the body of the barrel, the metal-colored hoops to go around the barrel). I don't know what software to use, though. I was thinking of starting to learn Blender? Would that be effective for this project?

    Just to add on here since several answers mention Autodesk 123D. Autodesk 123D has been discontinued and they are now pushing users towards Autodesk Fusion 360.

  • fred_dot_u

    fred_dot_u Correct answer

    6 years ago

    Your question begins in an inappropriate format for StackExchange, but you've ended it with one more appropriate by asking if Blender would work.

    If you are willing to take the time to learn Blender, you are certain to discover that it will do as you require, and much much more. Your referenced model could be created using engineering-type design software such as Fusion 360 or SolidWorks or many of the free packages, but the free-form aspect is more suited to the flexibility of Blender.

    2020 UPDATE: Fusion 360 now supports a sculpt feature, which combines organic modeling with the engineering-type for which it is previously known.

    Even though Blender is not an engineering-type program, it has internal support for precise modeling. Should you learn to use those features, you get the best of both types of software.

    If you construct your model in the software in segments/pieces as you suggest, your result will have greater flexibility at the printing stage, specifically with respect to color and filament choices. Instead of wood-colored sides, you can use wood-simulated PLA filament! Depending on the printer at the library, you could also use filamet, a filament containing 88 percent metal for the hoops.

    I use Blender for some aspects of modeling, often importing the STL into Meshmixer to address things I've not yet learned in Blender.

    I hope your reference to 5 liter is the original size and that your model will be a miniature of it. A 3d printer with 5 liter capacity would be a wonderful asset at the public library!

    I've forgotten something you may find useful. Our local public library has an agreement with lynda.com, a substantial learning resource. I have only now examined the material available. There are many hours of tutorial information specific to Blender on the Lynda.com web site. If your library has this available, it will facilitate your objective and save money too!

    I like the dual approach of generating the measured parts in Fusion and then working out more organic parts of the design in blender.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM