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Toolset to perform CAD Hard Surface Modelling in 3D Coat

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I'm just wanting to see if there already exists a tool or set of tools that will allow for precision hard surface modelling inside of 3D Coat?  Something similiar to Sketch-up would be great, not sure if I have overlooked this somehow along the way so am asking here before I go and make a feature request for such a toolset in case it already exists.


I found that working with Blender for hard surface is good, but lacks some critical points :


-  Units aren't always value based but are at times a scale factor which makes it very difficult to keep things precise.


-  There is no visual snapping so to get any Hard Surface object modeled, it requires a lot of extra work in re-typing various values for surface heights or lengths etc.



Useful things Blender offered, Box surface rendering, non-destructive smooth surface modifiers.  (using this combination anything that I was able to create had a ready-made smooth version and a retopo version good to bake which is a big time-saver.. sadly everythign that was created did not have 100% precision to it like a sketchup model has)


there is another software that executes Cad very well .. Form-Z.  Does 3D Coat have any tools that provide a workaround or similar toolset to this as well where you can add 2D plane shapes onto the surface of another shape and extrude outwards etc..?


Hope this makes sense what I'm asking about.

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No, I'm afraid not, at the moment. Although Andrew said something once about a possibility of using NURBS to create volumes in 3D Coat and I think he even said it wouldn't be too hard to implement. So maybe in the future. I'm looking forward to it too, because NURBS support would make 3D Coat very powerful.

Until then, I recommend Moment of Inspiration (a.k.a MoI: $295) coded by one of the creators of Rhino. I tried the trial version and it works exceptionally well with 3D Coat, that is if you can figure out proper export settings that would import well to 3D Coat, but it isn't that hard. Just trial and error.

For polygonal modeller with great snapping and fantastic manipulator control I can recommend NVil (formerly known as VoidWorld; $79). It's a pretty obscure program, but a really powerful one once you get the hang of it. It's like Silo on high quality steroids, plus - the developer (just like Andrew) listens to users and, what's also important, NVil has a 3D Coat applink which works pretty well.

Edited by ajz3d

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I think creating hard surface objects in 3D Coat is a very real option. If you learn how to use the tools properly, you can make good hard surface objects (just like in Zbrush).

Of course these objects will be very high poly, and will require retopology to get a clean mesh with a lower poly count, but often this is an unnecessary step for many pipelines. For example, concept art, consumer product rendering, and background objects in animated scenes may not require low poly versions of the models.

There are many examples in the 3D-Coat galleries (and throughout the 3D-Coat forums) of high quality hard surface models made exclusively with 3D-Coat.

On the other hand, as I have already stated, traditional polygonal modeling tools are still valuable for many use cases, and 3D-Coat doesn't really have those kinds of tools yet.

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