An overview of Cubify Design 3D Modeling software.
Cubify Design is a powerful 3D modeling software that allows you to create assemblies of multiple parts including moving, interlocking and articulated designs. This software is best for designing parts and not organic, freeform shapes or characters.
The 3D design software is robust but fairly intuitive so the beginning designer can use the program with a little bit of dedication. Cubify Design makes it easy to 3D print your parts so you can create prototypes or end-use objects.
When you first open Cubify Design, you will encounter the home screen and four main options: Open Files, Create new parts you can put into an assembly, Combine multiple parts in a finished design, and Create detailed manufacturing drawings of your designs.
The main screen in Cubify Design, called the 3D Window, is where you will create your 3D model. Use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out. Click and hold the scroll wheel to pan the object and hold both the right and left buttons to rotate your 3D design. If you click and hold the right and left buttons on an axis or plane, the model will rotate around the axis or plane selected. Maneuvering around your object can take some practice. We recommend spending a few minutes rotating and panning the 3D Window.
Along the top of the 3D Window you will see the toolbar. This is where all of the 3D modeling tools are located. In the upper-left hand corner of the screen is a button with the file options such as Export, Save and New. On the left side of the 3D window is the Design Explorer. This tool lists all of the components that make up your model and provides a history of each feature you used to create your 3D model. You can click on any of the previous components of your model to make adjustments.
To get started, you will need to select a plane. Move your curser over the plane outline and right-click. Once the plane is selected, you can Activate 2D Sketch on the toolbar. From here, you simply select the shape you want and begin drawing.
All of the shapes are located in the Sketch Figures section of the toolbar. Here you will find a rectangle, circle, oval, line and more. As you draw your shapes, you can add dimensions with the Standard Dimension tool. Select Standard Dimension from the toolbar and then select the lines you want to define. Enter the length and hit Enter. With the Select tool selected, you can move an entire shape by dragging the corner of the shape.
Under the Sketch Tools portion of the toolbar, you will find tools that help you combine shapes to form your object. Tools include Trim, Extend, and Intersect in addition to Mirror, Linear, Offset and more. The best way to learn about these tools is to watch the First Design project tutorial and then experiment with the tools.
Once you have your 2D drawing complete, click Deactive Sketch to open the 3D modeling tools. Use the extrude tool to easily extrude your 2D drawing to create a 3D object. There are many other 3D modeling tools that will allow you to create complex shapes.
Once your part is complete, you can easily export an STL file so you can 3D print your object at home or send it to a 3D printing service. Click the Design Icon in the upper-left hand corner and click Export.
Cubify is fairly intuitive but you have to be willing to experiment and practice. Also, 3D Systems offers some help options that will teach you more about the 3D design software. In the upper-left hand corner of the screen you will see a question mark icon. This is where you will find the user guide. We would recommend looking at the Tutorials. 3D Systems has put together two video tutorials to help you get started. The tutorials are located here: http://cubify.com/en/Info/TutorialsDesign.
We would categorize Cubify Design as a prosumer 3D design program. It is fairly easy-to-use and priced right at $199, but still incorporates powerful tools that allow you to create complex 3D models.