This has been discussed on a few other Thingiverse forums, and I haven't been able to provide people with a good, free and legal option after having used professional CAD software such as Solidworks or NX. I have started testing OnShape:
I don't like that it forces you to make an account to try it or view someone else's model, and also that your 'source' file is forever in the cloud (though you can download a wide range of usable non-mesh formats), but it can do >= 90% of what I used Siemens NX for when I had access to a license to do as I will with.
You can even use it behind a proxy should your temporary CAD workstation computer reside behind one! It is parametric with a wide range of input files, collaboration is a snap, and is the most GitHub-like CAD experience I have seen which is nice for version control of your models -- if we could see the underlying code or had an 'export to OpenSCAD' so it can be VC'd with Git and be truly open forever, that would be super cool!
Unfortunately, all of your shapes must be public unless you pay (GH-like model), so users in some areas where it can be illegal to posses certain information (be grateful if you can, and your freedoms you hold that keep it that way), that like firearm related CAD may be in a sketchy situation and need to break out some anonymizing services to create and maintain an account. Same goes for posting on a site like this, where you may not want every bit of text you have typed to be tied to your real name and subject to any other scrutiny that may accompany something you publish on the internet. If you are in that boat, the wide range of file export options should suffice, but you will lose the collaboration power that OnShape brings as '21st century' CAD if you want to whip something up with your buddies.
Been busy working on some cool things and haven't had much time to devote to the Thingiverse hobby or much of any CAD lately, but figured this was worth some time to share for everyone hoping to get into this hobby, or realize the full potential of the incredible fabrication machines and mobile processors we now have at our fingertips, and future devices to come.
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I am 111 hours in and just had my first problem, the Feed Tray Cover, file name "Main Gun Top" isn't printing with the front hinge? I can see the issue in Mesh Mixer but I am new to this and don't know how to correct? Here are photos of the print and the gap you can see in Cura, can you guys please help me out?
Posting this here for critique and ideas. feel free to modify
Right now the plug is a tight fit in my KSC g17. not as tight in my gen3 g34. needs to be drilled and pinned to the frame. the top brace which snaps on to the beaver tail needs some fine adjusting but im 95% sure it will line up. Further plans involve sculpting a picatinny rail on the back to attach a tube, stock or arm brace.
Update 3/1: Modified the beaver tail brace to hold much firmly and keep it from jumping off due to side to side movement. There already is a pin hole on the model too. It needs a 5 degree adjustment to the rail to have it perfectly straight when attaching stocks. some people might want that downward angle though
I might get one of those cool rifle caliber pistols with a short barrel and no stock soon, and thanks to Sig Sauer we can attach an arm brace which makes your gun look almost as cool, allows you to shoot it a bit better, and will only be considered a stock (and an illegal unregistered Short Barreled Rifle (SBR)) if you INTEND to use it like one. Recently there has been competition to the Sig Brace from Shockwave called the AR Blade that is used in a similar manner to assist in shooting these rifle caliber pistols. The Sig brace is $100+ which seems a little ridiculous to me, and while the Blade is cheaper, a 3D printed one would be even cheaper!
Unfortunately my lawyer buddy thinks it would be dangerous to post, due to patent infringement (with two competing designs now), but who would be interested in such a thing if I were to create it? I'll do my best to avoid trampling on other's intellectual property and post it if there's enough demand, but if not, extra liability seems rather pointless.