Today, in a matter of hours, I went from never having done 3D CAD to having a physical object from an idea I had. I went through some tutorials and got a bit of nudging from the people on my team, but the only barriers standing between me and this wood cut were what I knew, not the quality of the tools involved.
I downloaded and installed Fusion360, Autodesk’s newest entry-level 3D design tool for Mac OS X. After following the tutorials, I designed a button! Then I created and saved the toolpaths for the button. I was able to see the simulated toolpaths in Fusion360.
I opened the toolpaths in Otherplan, the software that drives the Othermill, and was delighted to find that I had done things correctly, and my paths in Otherplan looked just like my design in Fusion360. You can do this with your Fusion360 toolpaths too, even if you don’t have an Othermill – just download Otherplan for free.
I tested out each of the toolpaths by cutting them: one for the button outline, one for the button holes, and one for the curved part of the button. In the interest of time, and because it was already the end of the day, I didn’t allow any of the cuts to finish. But even though the wood doesn’t look like a button, I’m excited to finally be making my own CAD designs for 3D objects, and cutting them out on the Othermill.
Today I paid $0 for software and have come away understanding way more about the entire process of 3D design. Now I just have to knit a giant sweater to match my soon-to-be giant buttons.