Advice getting started with parts authoring?

Advice getting started with parts authoring?
So, I'd like to get a little more comfortable with parts authoring—or more accurately, perhaps, parts editing. I don't see myself soon contributing major new parts to the official library or anything, but I do often find I want to make minor tweaks to existing parts (such as to allow odd connections in Technic assemblies that depend on the physical tolerance of real plastic parts, or to create custom sticker parts, etc.). I think that with the right tools, I wouldn't have much trouble figuring out the process, but it's just a little too abstract to manipulate the raw code of a DAT file without getting visual feedback on what I'm doing. Are there good software programs out there where I could tinker around with the basics?

I should add one major catch—right now, LD Part Editor isn't an option for me. I've encountered a series of technical problems that have so far prevented me from even opening the program, so I have no way to use it. I've reached out for support already, but I realize that this may take some time because LDraw tools are created by volunteers on their free time, so I'm just looking for other options I might use in the meantime. I do also have Studio's Part Designer, but that really doesn't allow you to directly manipulate the various subparts, primitives and so on—unless I'm greatly missing where those capabilities are hidden. I don't think LDCad allows interactive part editing beyond snap info. Should I look into MLCad? Something else? I look forward to everyone's suggestions!
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Advice getting started with parts authoring? - by N. W. Perry - 2019-10-29, 3:43

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