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Thread: Crazy Question about 3D Modeling

  1. Default Crazy Question about 3D Modeling

    I have a few years experience (over 5) with my CW. I have used free patterns, loaded PNGs (I am better than the average with Photoshop) and watched/implemented processes to transform silhouettes to 3D. I am just a part-time hobbyist.

    My results have been satisfactory for my needs.

    I am an expert at technology (Masters degrees in Comp Sci, Physics, Electrical Eng, because this is my real career).

    Knowing too much detail, to advance, I would like recommendations about which add-ons to do more detailed 3D modeling.

    I see, especially on the forum, very detailed patterns I know I am incapable of creating and have no idea about the tools and tech they use to create them.

    Sure I can imagine some just getting the STL or DXF tool and stealing designs from what is available on the web.

    But the question is how do the really great designers do it and with which tools?

    This will be helpful so I do not waste time chasing rabbits down useless holes.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014



    First of all you are more than capable of creating any pattern you envision with a little bit of practice and time. Even designer basic can make decent patterns with a little bit of effort.

    Creating patterns is a ton of fun. You just have to find a software package that you like and become proficient with it.

    The CW advanced 3d modeling add-on will allow you to create your own patterns relatively easily. It has a simplified work flow (compared to most 3d modeling tools) and integrates with designer from the get go. ($200.00)

    I personally use a free 3d modeling tool (blender 3d) but it is way overkill for this type of exercise...but it is free. Because it is not integrated into designer I need the STL importer add-on to be able to bring my 3d models into designer.

    There are literally dozens of programs that will allow you to create 3d models for cnc patterns.

    If you have any CAD background the learning curve gets a lot shallower. Otherwise it is a fairly steep learning curve.

    It has taken me five years but I feel confident I can make any pattern I want with enough time. I had zero CAD/3d modeling background and I am a slow learner.

    - Oscar
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CW samples.png  

  3. #3


    I have the equivalent of a doctorate but I am not an "expert" at anything. Everything changes so fast there are few experts in any field but there are very knowledgeable people. The great designs you see online are made with 3ds max, Vectric or other professional software in combination with other graphic programs. Designers either sell or share their product with the community. Designs that are stolen are designs that have been shared online w/o the owners permission or copyrighted material that is copied. The STL and DXF tools are not for stealing designs but are used to expand the capabilities of Designer and the CW.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014


    Scooby, well said.

    Jim, one of the hardest things I found in learning 3d modeling was starting to think in 3d versus the 2d I was used to. The user interface on any of the professional and professional level software packages is incredibly complex. So challenging to learn all the features. For example blender 3d is being used to make feature films. "Next Gen" on Netflix was created using blender 3d.

    But that is only one way to make patterns. You can use 2d software to make incredible patterns. Alan Malmstrom makes amazing patterns using 2d graphics software.

    So its just finding a path you enjoy and start working at it.

    I also have degrees in electronics, physics, math plus work with bleeding edge technology companies. Didn't really help much in my endeavor to learn 3d. Its hard and hard work to learn good 3d modeling. It is not easy to learn but there will be a eureka moment when it clicks. I still have a long ways to go but like I said, its a ton of fun.

    Sorry, but want to share my latest 3d render. It was for a contest on making your favorite dessert.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails digestif small2.jpg  

  5. Default

    Thanks for the replies guys. I appreciate it.

    Oscar, that attachment is awesome. Great job.

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