Like the title says, I received a 3D printer for Christmas. I've got the printer set up and I've done a test print to verify I have everything leveled, but now that I'm at the point that I would need to design something I'm totally lost. I was hoping you guys could help me out with the basics of software and design.
The printer I was gifted is a FlashForge Creator Pro ( http://www.amazon.com/FlashForge-Structure-Optimized-Platform-Extruder/dp/B00I8NM6JO/ ). It's running Sailfish firmware, but I don't know if that makes a difference. The test print I did came out perfect and with what I think is an amazing resolution - though admittedly I don't know enough to speak to that right now.
For 3D modelling I already have Autodesk Inventor, but if there are better options out there I'll take a look. For now I'm focusing on that just because I'm familiar with and understand the features of Inventor. I know I'm going to need to use something to slice the design and convert it all to G-code. The test prints that came with the printer are in the .x3g format.
And one final thing I wanted to work on - I've put the printer as far away from human ears as possible. During the test print it was pretty quiet, but still not something I want to hear for hours at a time. I have an extra Raspberri Pi that I'd like to mount to the printer and use as a remote control for the printer, as well as setting up a camera so I can watch the progress of builds without going across the house. Is there any software in particular that I would need to get that going?
I believe Sean did a few great articles on modelling for 3d-printing, and the recent lightsaber videos has a lot of good information on how to orient the pieces to get optimal results. If you search for @countspatula, I suspect you'll get all of Sean's articles which should be a great start. He uses Cinema 4d, which is a rather different piece of software than Inventor in its broad strokes, but I think the same principles apply. :)
Congrats on the printer!
For the remote side have a squint at this setup.
I would suggest using Octoprint to remotely control the printer. It's super easy to set up on the Raspberry Pi, you can add a camera to it and control it from web browser or phone app. I set up Octoprint on an RPi 2 and got everything but the WiFi up and running first try. I think Will did a video about Octoprint on here some time ago, check it out.