Today on our weekly live 3D Hangouts, our Community Spotlight features the prolific and playful 3D designer and hobbyist Perry Engel who currently is sharing over 450 designs up on Thingiverse and elsewhere. (Best known online as “cerberus333”.) While he uses a number of tools to accomplish his designs, his use of the free digital sculpting tool Sculptris has inspired hundreds of beginning 3D designers to dive into digital sculpting tools. Here is a quick survey of just a few free digital sculpting tools you can explore right now!
Pixologic Sculptris: One of the most popular free 3D sculpting tools available, and one of the more powerful ways to dive in and sketch out your ideas in digital clay. There are a number of excellent Sculptris training tools from the time lapse sculpts on the Sculptris site to lengthy training series. Check out “Sculptris digital sculpting tutorial” by Ryan Kittleson shared below as a place to start. From the Sculptris site:
Enter Sculptris, a fun and engaging way to start off your digital sculpting journey! If you’re new to the world of digital sculpting, Sculptris is the ideal ground on which to get started. Sculptris provides an excellent gateway into the exciting world of 3D. It’s features are easy to learn, even for someone with no experience in digital art, yet robust enough for creating base models that can then be refined in other applications, such as ZBrush…. (read more)
Blender: And check out the excellent free tutorial “Sculpting a Human Head in Blender” from Jonathan Williamson on Blender Cookie, one of a number of free training resources to introduce you to this aspect of Blender!
Experience the joy of sculpting organic subjects using the built-in sculpting feature set of Blender. Sculpting in Blender includes:
- 20 different brush types
- Multi-res sculpting support
- Dynamic Topology sculpting
- Mirrored sculpting
Autodesk Meshmixer: While many use this tool more for mashups and creating support for objects that will be 3D printed, Meshmixer is also a powerful, intuitive sculpting tool — and a great place to explore the role of sculpting within a broader digital toolchain that includes generating base objects in other tools first. Leveraging the strengths of each software package separately and then bringing them all together. The best way to learn about Meshmixer is to study carefully the video releases from “meshmixer” — you will catch undocumented toolsets and use-patterns that will unlock the mysteries of Meshmixer for you!
Meshmixer is the ultimate tool for 3D mashups and remixes. Mash, mix, sculpt, stamp or paint your own 3D designs, or start from over 10,000 models in the Gallery. Now includes direct 3D print support. (read more)
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!