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natess44
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I have been looking for years for a modeler as flexible as A:M but for more cad based modeling, 3d printer stuff. The last I checked A:M was still lacking true boolean cutting and I know it wasn't designed for some kinds of constraints and dimensioning. But I'd love to use the simple yet powerful features of A:M for cad style modeling and I don't think it'd be a hard addon for the programmers at hash. I'd really like it if I could just at least model in there and export for finishing in another program that's more specialized. I've been using some cad programs lately and I just really miss the flexibility of good 'ol A:M for pure modeling. Sure you can make a box and square easy in those crappy cad programs but as soon as you try something with more detail it get laborious to deal with. Find it stupid you can't just grab a vertex and move it in those solid modelers. Besides my opinion, Cad has become alot more popular with 3D printers and with a few add-ons to the already powerful A:M it'd add alot of attention to this great software. Even just a side app that just models would be awesome as well with just a couple tweeks to the modeling for cad it'd be solid.

Haven't used A:M for quite some time but I do miss its ease of use. Just as it is, it's not useful for what I like to do right now.

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Hi Nate!

I recall Martin saying years ago that A:M wasn't built to be a CAD modeler and it wasn't a niche they intended to pursue. You've been warned!

None-the-less A:M does have strong OBJ and STL exporters and a number of A:M users are using A:M to create objects for 3D printing*.

True modeling Booleans for Splines is a big leap. If you need it, I suggest modeling in A:M as if you were going to use its render Booleans,  export the base model and the "cutter" as separate OBJs, then import both into one of those programs that people use to fix polygon models for 3D printing and do the Boolean cut in that.


*Our Image Contest Medal is modeled in A:M, 3D printed in resin, then the resin print is used to cast medals in pewter...

https://forums.hash.com/topic/48234-the-image-contest-medal-and-certificates/?tab=comments#comment-413200

 

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I use a:m almost exclusively for 3d printing. Granted I do not print mechanical pieces out of am. My models are all organic and honestly I find a;m much better than other tools for that purpose. Now 3d printer objects from a:m comes with challenges, but it is what I use. The only part of my workflow that I don't use am for is breaking the model up into pieces in order for it to fit on my printer. I've never been able to do that in a:m reliably, so I do it after exporting in another slicing tool.

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Yeah, I agree that for most things it's fine but boolean, a stronger constraint system for the modeler and maybe some precise measurement constraint would make it probably one of the best modelers out there for cad as well as animation. I know there are work arounds but it makes it a bit more cumbersome. I wish my skills at programming were stronger, I'd make a plugin or something for it. I've missed the flexibility of the modeler. I think it's crazy that with all the money they put into large cad editors that they can't just make a solid modeler that even comes close to the A:M splines. It was worth a shot anyways. I might pop in now and then and try to get someone to add it for me in the future lol. 

Nate

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I guess you are stuck. Since no program presents everything you want and since you have to make some accommodation for what it doesn't, you will have to choose the one with the work-arounds you can live with having to do.

 

 

The grid in the modeler can be set and re-set to any increment you want for precise CP placements with Snap to Grid.

The "Measure Distance" menu option finds the distance between any two CPs.

image.png

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I have designed many 3d printable models in A:M, but as Robert mentioned it is not really intended as a CAD program. The kind of Boolean functions you want are not really practical in A:M, but there are best practices and techniques within A:M that can get you there.

This is a functional "steam" engine I did all in A:M

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:25624

Charles

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