I'm in the market for 3D modeling software. I've looked at Google Sketchup and the plethora of Autodesk products, and I'm having trouble telling what will fit my needs. For the most part, I'd be using the software to plan personal projects (a spice cabinet, a bookshelf, etc.), but I expect some larger projects are on the way that will require more careful engineering. As far as I can tell, these are my needs:
- Create assemblies from custom and standard parts (ability to assemble things like screws and bolts and whatnot is NECESSARY)
- Do some basic stress tests on the models. The ability to use non-rigid components (i.e. rope) and test the results of applying small offsets to moving parts is a HUGE plus.
- Create blueprints and/or build instructions from the model
As far as I can tell, this list is fairly standard for this sort of thing. So, fellow hackers and makers, what do you use? What would you recommend?