#71 TIPS: What to know about Stud.io
Stud.io is an alternative design software to LEGO Digital Design (LDD), and today I will highlight its main features.
Here is a link for the free download: https://studio.bricklink.com/v2/build/studio.page
Stud.io's main feature and its "unique selling point" is the ability to easily order pieces and see the inventory you can choose from. This allows you to accurately see what pieces are in stock and it can even give you an estimate for their price, as well as the overall price of the model, letting you find cheaper alternative parts to bring the cost down.
As well as being a smooth and user friendly design software, you can use lots of shortcuts such as importing official LEGO sets straight into the program just by typing the set number which is great to see what pieces they use. Other shortcuts include a popup menu when you right click: letting you set new origin points for rotation and grouping parts together. These groups can then be made into steps which makes it easy to view all the parts used in a single menu.
You can also check for any collisions or structural problems with Stud.io when "collision" is turned on. Contrasting to this feature, you can utilise and test "illegal" connections, making it a great choice for designing MOCs that you will actually build. This gives you lots of control with how you want to build which is limited in other software.
But the best feature for me, is the access to a very decent built-in rendering software. You can select different options such as shadow quality, light position and image size, and with a few clicks you can have a high quality render ready to save. What makes this even better is that you can import files from LDD to render them, which is useful if you prefer other programs; many others are also compatible in this way.
Some other features worth listing are sharing easily to Bricklink's Gallery and being able to build with others in real time.
Look out for a comparison between Stud.io and LDD, but in the meantime you can check out the software and have a play around.