Visio 3D wannabe seeks sage advice

Started by cliff50, February 19, 2021, 08:10:14 AM

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please ...   I need some enlightenment from the gurus on this mountain.

I have a  burning desire to push the 3D envelope.. if Visio is not the tool for it now .... when will it be?

I am contemplating  Google SketchUp  or Blender  but apprehensive about the learning curve.

I wanna draw \ render  3D rotational perspectives of real world shapes (organic  or mechanical)   .. Fly around not necessarily Fly through.

cliff understands the dollar spend is proportional to realistic resolution.
So if time is not a factor, how many crisp $100 notes would buy a virtual experience ?

appreciate in advance your suggestions



Paul Herber

Don't do it. Visio can make a few shapes look like 3D but it's all smoke and mirrors. Use a proper 3D tool.
Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -


so have done 3D visio native shapes because Visio 3D is hard to use for anything but simplest.
That said, I agree:   Get a real 3D tool.


Didn't JuneThe2nd play around with some Visio 3d stuff when it 1st became available?
Visio 2019 Pro


yes June did an excellent job with 3D !

I tinkered around in the visio 3D space too using a database backend to trigger move forward move back actions as shapes overlapped during rotation, albeit along a singular axis of rotation...

Visio seems to have the range of shape fill flexibility  that I require, however the capacity to indent, push pull, extrude  vertices and edges in a tri-axial environment, just doesn't seem to be there... nor as Surrogate suggests :- ever will be.

moving forward, if not Visio, what would be your weapon of choice ... Sketchup or Blender?


sketchup:   Pros:  extrude et al, macros using R   Cons:   very obtuse interface
Adobe:       Daughter uses it a lot...she likes it.
openofffice/LibreOffice:   I could never make its 3D work.
Inkscape:   seems to have promise, macros


So, we're talking entry level, low cost 3D? 

My son has used 3D Studio Max, pricey.  Also Blender.  He likes Blender.
There's  Maya by Autodesk.

I've not used any, so can't offer an opinion.
Visio 2019 Pro


I used to LOVE Sketchup, because it is incredibly intuitive, and there used to be a free version.

Now only the web version remains free, and the Desktop version is on a rather expensive subscription scheme.

If I were not so proficient in SketchUp after using it for so many years, I'd probably start with Blender, because a) it is very powerful and b) it is -- unbelievable to me -- free and open source.
Visio 2003 for production
Visio 2019


Sketchup is very very obtuse with all its context sensitive key....I stopped using it 3 years ago.

Blender is better (uses python instead sketchup R, none of this context sensitive UI crap that went out with DEC).

Sketchup now seems relegated to architecture and interior design. 
So the real question is "Just how many drawings of Sydney Opera House does Earth need???"


David  P.
I went down the SketchUp path.
currently using a free download  "Sketchup Make"
refer attached link

after using Visio  for a decade or more,  I found the SketchUp syntax  and operation  to be reasonably easy ... moreover .. the speed and intuitive control  seem very natural.

The Youtube demo pertains to Radio tower infrastructure I am use to.
so far , I don't believe the Sketchup program  can link to ODBC .. as per Visio..  ( would be very interested if anyone knows how)

re the subject of Tower infrastructure .. I previously created a 2D  (rotational ) plus  automatic drawing of Tower infrastructure using the Visio pro platform  with ODBC back end  .. refer link here

I did dabble a bit with  Blender  and I agree with you on its merits, range of features ..  however I found the GUI to complicated for a me as a beginner living at the arse end of the planet.

enjoy the videos ...  happy to share the experience 



6 months on Sketchup make  (free .. zero cost).
I am happy with the results so far.
I find the GUI very intuitive after that time... maybe its just me but the syntax used for construction of objects, grouping and mouse control screen interactions is similar to Visio . ( yeah hear what you say  Microsoft vs Google)

This is how far I got without spending a dime : enjoy !

context.  this was my old car , I found I had only one surviving photo of it. So I rebuilt a 3D model of it from fond memory.
(the brunette was more fiesty.. if you are wondering.)



wow...I kind of view sketchup as the anthesis of Visio
- context sensitive GUI (Dec VT100 anybody??)
- great for just freehand drawing but no connections or controls (3rd party scripts from users help).
- color/lighting/etc targeting the construction industry.

We all here in my company used to do alot of sketchup circa 2010....nobody does it now adays.
(maybe it actually got usable since then ;-) )