FreeForm Modelers

   3D Modeling programs seem to be built for two industries manufacturing and animation. The manufacturing modeling programs make it easier to construct models which are very accurate. The animation type make it easier to build and modify complex organic shapes by pulling stretching and twisting surfaces. Some of these programs have the ability to export surfaces or solids that can be imported into a cam program and toolpaths laid over them. Below is a small list of programs that can be used in conjunction with a cam package to build parts or art.

Rhino can start with a sketch, drawing, physical model, or only an idea. Rhino provides the tools to accurately model your designs ready for rendering, animation, drafting, engineering, analysis, and manufacturing. $745

Spatch is a freeform modeling program that outputs dxf files and it is free   Free

sPatch Resources on the Internet      

Sculptor Pro Tools is an interactive NURBS-based surface modeler for Windows NT or Windows 95. Sculptor allows you to quickly create and modify complex smooth organic shapes which are unattainable using standard modeling tools. Sculptor objects have no limitations on the 3D geometry they represent. Deformable sharp edges seamlessly integrate with smooth surfaces. Objects may be interactively   molded into any shape while in a dynamically rendered view.  $850

Imageware Surfacer provides application-driven solutions in the areas of free-form product design, rapid surfacing, high-quality surfacing, reverse engineer-ing, computer aided verification, polygo-nal modeling, rapid prototyping, class-1 surfacing and surface healing. It enables customers to design, accurately build, and fully inspect high-quality, free-form shaped products in less time. $Arm and Leg

Form Z gives a user unparalleled versatility with a solid and surface modeler which allows complete control over the creative process of 3D design. Having already eliminated, in the past, the surface/solids distinction by blending them into a hybrid solution, form.Z has also more recently merged the different types of objects:  NURBS, Bezier/Coons patches, analytic primitives, polygonal objects, and even  metaballs can be separate representations or they may coexist on the same object     $1495

Lightwave 3D 6 is a powerful animation-production package for professionals. It  is built upon the fast, accurate 3-D Inverse Kinematics (IK) engine. With radiosity, caustics, subdivision surface animation, Skelegons, thousands of enhancements, and an unsurpassed workflow, LightWave 6 is everything you need in  an animation system. With LightWave 6 you own a robust tool set for manipulating these revolutionary surfaces, including interactive modifiers that allow you to  model in multiple "soft" modes. LightWave also allows you to sculpt "digital clay" by directly manipulating it at the vertex level, controlling groups of points or polygons with an extreme list of operators. Real-time subdivision  surfaces, extensive texturing tools, character animation tools, HyperVoxels, and ray tracing are all incorporated into an extremely powerful animation system.       $2495

 TrueSpace1 is a full 3D rendering package was originally sold for 550 (with box and manuals). Using trueSpace 1.0 you will be able to model, render and animate 3D  graphics in one integrated program. This isn't a lightweight modelling program - the full version of trueSpace 1.0 has many professional features, interactive  painting, hierarchy, direct manipulation and a True 3D Interface. You can create  anything from flying 3D text, titles and logos to realistic ray-traced  animations that explain complex mechanisms.   This is a neat little program but only saves in 3D Studio ASCII format so you will need to use one of the free 3D file converters to turn it into a dxf file.   FREE

trueSpace Version 2, 3, and 4.2

AC3D