Likelihood to Recommend
Autodesk MeshMixer is best for repairing STL files and basic modifications toward 3D printing. It is excellent for hollowing out models and adding escape holes for SLA printing or lost-wax casting. Its CSG (Boolean) functions to combine different meshes are good too and seldom cause the program to crash. There is even an integrated algorithm to optimize the layout of multiple files on a print bed in case of small-batch production. Autodesk MeshMixer's sculpting tools are there yet limited and there are a few better alternatives. Best of all, it is completely free.
Vectorworks is just as useful for perfectly measured, hard-line CAD drawing as it is for making beautiful presentation drawings and renderings. Tools in the application allow you to transition between working drawings and presentation drawings without modifying the underlying geometry. DWG exchange with other design team members works very well
- Auto-repair function works fast, and if it does not completely cover all problem areas, manual fixes will work 99.5% of the time.
- Remeshing algorithm is fairly slow but does a wonderful job in creating meshes with homogeneous or adaptive triangulation.
- It contains a comprehensive set of tools to optimize and prepare STL files for 3D printing, such as hollowing and support generation.
- The remeshing tool needs to be faster, as in some cases it takes up to a day of waiting time.
- The sculpting tools need the addition of a proper brush for creating sharp creases and ridges.
- The standard shape library is rather limited. It would be nice to have this connected to online repositories such as Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, or Cults3D.
- There's a bit of inconsistency in the operation of some tools that would appear to the user to be more similar.
- Importing complex Revit models takes a long time and, if the model has a lot of symbols in it, the import might not finish.
Using Blender for STL file preparation is like swatting a mosquito with a wrecking ball, plus its boolean functionalities can be glitchy.ZBrushCoreMini proved too limiting as a sculpting tool, but so did Autodesk MeshMixer, so I am sticking to Sculptris.Materialise Magics and Netfabb are somewhat better at STL file repair and offer more advanced functionalities. But Magics does not remesh as well and Autodesk MeshMixer is far more compact and faster than Netfabb, so remains my weapon of choice.
Flexibility and the responsive capability on Vectorworks Landmark are incredible and useful. Road and drainage designs quality is the most innovative and professionally designed, and effectively detailed drawings provided by Vectorworks Landmark. Compound preparation capability with the software is amazing and easy to produce Plumbing drawings.
Return on Investment
- It speeds up projects by streamlining the CAD-to-3D-printing workflow
- As an advanced user, I have written a few tutorials about it as well
- There is a learning curve for new employees, as regionally Vectorworks is not in wide use and generally not introduced in the academies
- However, because it is more intuitive as far as WYSIWYG drawing, most people pick up the basics pretty quickly.
- It's a really powerful suite of tools. Sometimes it's good to spend some time afforded by a larger project to explore ways to use the software more efficiently (e.g., improving worksheets, using different smart object tools, etc.)
Premium Consulting/Integration Services—
Entry-level set up fee?
MeshMixer Editions & Modules
Additional Pricing Details—
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
Vectorworks Landmark Editions & Modules
|Perpetual Without Maintenance||$3,045|
|Perpetual with Maintenance||$3,715|
|Subscription (Yearly)||$128 ($1530)3|
- per month
- per month (billed annually)