This summer I finally decided to try 3d modeling after reading an article in Wired magazine that laid out the process. I looked for an open source CAD program that would be straightforward to use, and that matched my design approach. I found openSCAD, which was perfect for me. openSCAD lets you write instructions for your designs, which I much prefer to designing with a mouse. Some aspects of openSCAD take some experience to understand, but it is still relatively easy to get started with the program.
My first project with openSCAD was a holiday ornament based on the Koch snowflake fractal. It was a very satisfying project, which pushed me to learn a number of different aspects of working with openSCAD, and doing 3d design work in general. This introduction will focus on something simpler than this project, because fractals get fairly difficult unless you have some programming experience.
Next: Installing openSCAD