Can anyone suggest software for making jewelry models for 3-d
printing that doesn't have such a steep learning curve.
If you're used to manipulating things by hand with tools, there's
nothing closer to that than the Geomagic/Sensable haptic modeling
systems. Each consists of an articulated arm device and a software
program which, together, give you the sensation of actually touching
your virtual models and affecting their shape, much like pushing clay
around with a modeling tool. There are several versions of the
software available, each with more functions and a correspondingly
higher price, but even the basic "Claytools" system has everything
you need to design jewelry models for 3d printing that are
automatically water- tight, since they use "voxels" - the solid
equivalent of pixels - rather than mesh surfaces which have no
thickness so that even a tiny hole can confuse a printer, which has
no way to tell the outside from the inside of a model. It doesn't
have a huge number of software tools and functions to learn, but the
tools it does have are quite powerful.
It's great for manipulating forms that come in as 3D scans, and is
un- surpassed for subtle organic modeling.