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I'm losing my mind, it all started out with the idea of a project where I want an abstract shape (I'm going to call it a stretched cube with an angle), now I know a bit of Vectorworks - a 3D/Architecture drawing program. I found nothing in all the tutorials how to make something low poly but still be able to for example screw the bottom of with a thread for example.

I found numerous shapes I like on Thingiverse but they are all STL files which I've learned so far are hard to edit and make them functionally usable when cross transferring them for one to another program.

Today I gave it another try to find other programs which can give me the result and functionality I want. Thus far I've only found program where you make the shape perfectly and then by using a mesh program like 123make and Meshmixer to then change the outcome of the rendering. But in my case this makes some parts unable to use anymore as example the threading?

So for the question I their a program which I can make a low poly shape (example below) where I still can add holes and threading like you can do with AutoCAD, Vectorworks.

I hope somebody knows how to do this I've been searching and asking around for weeks!!

This is an example of the type of shape I would like to create, Low poly vase - mine would be exactly the same but it would be to give you an idea

Example of the thread I would like to implement in the shape above, Tap and Die for 3D printed threads

1 Answer 1

I've had my share of struggles with the issues you're having - bridging the software gap between hard-edge, parametric modeling tools (typically CAD) and more free-form, 'soft'/organic, modeling tools. It's not a trivial task to work across both domains simultaneously.

The simplest workflow I've developed is:

  1. Create a simple CAD model of parts of the object you're trying to make that have mechanical/precision features (e.g. threaded screw holes, joints) in a CAD program (e.g. AutoCAD, Inventor, Solidworks, Fusion 360).
  2. Export a high-precision STL of those parts
  3. Create/generate the 'soft'/organic portions of the model in your software suite of choice (e.g. Blender, Maya)
  4. Export an OBJ file (or STL, if the option is available) of the 'soft' parts
  5. Import both sets of parts into Meshmixer and combine them there.
  6. Export to a single, combined STL
  7. (Optional) Pass the 'end product' STL through a model "fixer" - I quite like the Microsoft Model Repair Service

Meshmixer is a powerful but poorly documented tool. In my experience, it's capable of accomplishing most of the basic "fixes" most models need in preparation for 3d-printing. It is possible to do some amount of sculpting/organic modeling within Meshmixer itself but you'll probably find it inferior in that regard to other software suites, if you know how to use them.