Getting started on tight budget

:rolleyes: Living on So Shallow Security, I want to be sure I don’t invest in a lot in unnecessary software. All I have now is ViaCAD 2D/3D v5.0 and the crappy Paint program that comes with Windows Vista Home Basic. I have used SoftCAD 3D and a verrry early version of Truspace.

I have two projects in mind for which I shall need 3D animation, and perhaps mechanical simulation software.

First, I need to illustrate some concepts of my Fractal Foam Model of Universes. This involves animated 3D distortion grids superimposed on a random foam structure. The distortion is in the form of sheer waves and pressure waves. Actual simulation of this phenomenon probably requires megabucks worth of hardware and software; for now, I just want to illustrate what I think a simulation might reveal and post it on my future website. (I don’t have the web building software, yet, either.)

Second, I have some mechanical inventions that are best illustrated with animated CAD drawings. I would like to have software that warns of overlapping solids and excessive stress. Part hierarchies are of moderate importance to me.

Third, for fun stuff, I want good rendering, textures and ray tracing.

I appreciate your comments on what does and what does not contain the features I need, and how much they cost.

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