18 Best 3D Printing Software for Beginners in 2022 (Free & Paid)

18 Best 3D Printing Software for Beginners in 2022 (Free & Paid)-feature image
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3D printing software simplifies the process of generating real life models from 2D drawings, improving the efficiency of designs and minimizing the cost associated with manufacturing.

Home 3D printer

What is 3D Printing Software?

A 3D printing software is a tool which converts a design in your computer into a 3D model with depth and dimensions. A 3D printing software tool is used for transforming your drawings into meshes which are called G-codes. The best program for 3D printing then uses these G codes to replicate physically realisable models.

A best software for 3D printer modeling uses G-codes to replicate physically realizable models. There are various paid and open source 3D printing software available in the market that makes it easy for designers to create complex designs.

Unlike traditional processes, 3D printed parts and prototypes can often be produced in hours, rather than traditional means of manufacturing which can take from a few days to weeks. This allows the companies to move through design cycles faster and more efficiently.

How to Use 3D Printing Software?

3D printing software encompasses a wide variety of products that aid 3D printing or design process, including slicers, design automation, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and computer-aided design (CAD) technologies.

CAD software allows the users to design complex models that can be sliced into fine layers to laid out instructions for the printers. Because of 3D printing’s prevalence in industry and manufacturing, the OEMs of 3D printing software have developed additional capabilities that support electrical and mechanical design integration.

Today, from a 3D printed airplane parts to medical devices, 3D printing has made it easier than ever to create lighter, more effective parts at a faster rate (and a lower cost) than traditional methods.

What’s the Use of 3D Printing Software?

3D printer modeling software is becoming popular, even in industries where its use was unfathomable a few years ago. We list some popular ways in which CAD software for 3D printing is being used.

  1. Education

Modern day education involves using 3D modeling software for 3D printing to help students grasp scientific and design-based concepts in a better manner.

  1. Manufacturing

3D printing software online solutions can render a prototype far quicker than traditional methods and at a reduced cost.

  1. Healthcare

3D printing software finds a variety of uses in the healthcare industry. It is put into force for bioprinting- a procedure for developing artificial structures imitating human tissue. The software is also highly popular for the creation of prosthetic and implants.

  1. Jewellery Designing

3D design software can helps create intricate jewellery designs in 3D to get a holistic view.

  1. Food Industry

3D printers are being used in the food industry to print the prototype of specific tools required for the processing and storage of packaged food.

Best 3D Printer Software for CAD & 3D Modelling (Mac/Linux/Ubuntu)

Below we mention some of the best 3D printer software which can render creative three-dimensional models in no time.

  • TinkerCAD – Best for creating 3D digital designs
  • Cura – Simple interface and advanced slicing features
  • Sculptris – Popular free 3D modelling software
  • Autodesk AutoCAD – Best 3D printing software for architects and engineers
  • MeshLab – Open source 3D printing software for triangular meshes
  • SketchUp – 3D printing design software with powerful rendering plugins
  • FreeCAD – Open source 3D printing design software
  • OctoPrint – Free and open source 3D printer design software
  • 3D Slash – Popular for its unique interface
  • Creo – 3D CAD solution for 3D modelling
  • Fusion 360 – Cloud based 3D CAD and CAM software
  • Solidworks – Popular 3D CAD design software
  • CATIA – 3D printing software for product design and engineering
  • OnShape – SaaS based 3D CAD and printing software
  • Rhino 6 – Best for 3D printing, designing and modelling
  • QCAD – Free and open source 3D printing design software
  • Meshmixer – Best for working with triangular meshes
  • OpenSCAD – Best 3D CAD modeller software
  • TinkerCAD

Best 3D printer design software for beginners

3D printer design software

TinkerCAD from Autodesk is a best modeling software for 3D printing that lets you design complex 3D models by combining different shapes. Once you have designed the model, you can export it as an SVG file and then laser cut it with this 3D modeling software.

TinkerCAD Home 3D printer Features

  • Ordering 3D prints

You can order 3D prints and get them delivered right to your doorstep

  • 3D design lessons

Beginners can learn to design the perfect model through a number of tutorials and videos

  • Simulation of electronic circuits

You can create virtual electronic circuits and simulate their working in real life

  • Coding

TinkerCAD allows creation of interactive designs using code blocks and C++ language

  • Multiformat file saving

With this software you can obtain 3D models in different formats such as OBJ, SVJ and STL etc.

TinkerCAD 3D printing software online pricing: TinkerCAD software is a free 3D printing software.

Pros

  • It supports brick model designing, similar to building legos
  • You can undertake transformation and shape modification in your designs.

Cons

  • TinkerCAD free 3D printer software does not work without internet connectivity.

Supported Platforms: TinkerCAD 3D printing software for –

  • Windows 8 or higher
  • Mac OS 10.9 or higher

  • Cura

Best open source software used for 3D printing

With Cura 3D printer modeling software, you can monitor different designs from a common interface. You can render 3D models over various networks and save the output in X3D, 3MF, OBJ file formats.

Cura3D Printing Software Features

  • Grouping 3D printers

You can group 3D printers in your organisation and obtain maintenance alerts for individual printers.

  • 3D Printing Assistance

Beginners can access reading materials on how to best use Cura 3D printer design software.

  • Flexible material choice

You can choose the material in which you want your design to be rendered such as polymers, carbon fibres, etc.

  • Global support services

Cura3D printer software team offers support service in your desired language and as per your time zone.

  • Enhanced integrations

Cura offers integration with other CAD software for 3D printing like siemens NX, Autodesk and Solidworks.

Cura3D printer modeling software pricing: Cura is a free, open source 3D printing software for Mac.

Pros

  • Cura can be used by both professional designers and newbies
  • You can utilise plugins to customize 3D design development.

Cons

  • The software can be a burden on your system’s RAM if you are using a device with the modest CPU.

Supported Platforms: Cura 3D Printer Software for Windows, macOS, Linux.


  • Sculptris

Best Program for 3D Printing for Professional Designers

Best 3D printer design software

Sculptris 3D printer slicer software lets you sculpt 3D models from virtual clay. You can easily share your renditions with others in iMage 3D GIF and iMage 3D PNG format. On a normal website this file will appear in 2D format. However other users of Sculptris can see your designs in 3D.

Sculptris Free 3D printing software for Mac Features

  • Automatic addition of polygons

Sculptris automatically adds polygons to create in-depth designs

  • Multiple brushes

This best free CAD software for 3D printing online offers multiple brushes for digitally sculpting designs in different ways

  • Symmetrical sculpting

Symmetry button lets you work on left and right side of your design with equal precision

  • Different colour options

Sculptris provides a variety of colours in virtual clay for you to work upon such as MatCap red, toy plastic, gold, silver foil, etc.

  • Exporting image

The export button lets you to obtain an image of your model designed on the canvas

Sculptris CAD software for 3D printing pricing: You don’t need to spend anything to download Sculptris.

Pros

  • You can preview any .ZPR project files in 3D
  • It works on both windows and mac OS

Cons

  • Sculptris offers limited functionalities for designing highly complex 3D structures.

Supported Platforms: Sculptris 3D printer software for Windows, Mac OS X.


  • Autodesk AutoCAD

Best 3D print software for designing sophisticated mechanical parts

Autodesk AutoCAD software used for 3D printing lets you extract data from PDF files and annotate your designs. By using Autodesk 3D printer software, you can also access tools such as AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Map 3D, AutoCAD Electrical, etc. which can complement your drawings.

AutoCAD 3D Printing Software Features

  • Preloaded plugins

The 3D printer modelling software is loaded with entities such as doors and windows, aiding in easy development of designs.

  • Conversion to STL files

After completion of 3D drawing, the software converts them into STL type for printing.

  • Automated tasks

AutoCAD 3D printer software automates tasks such as comparing drawings, adding blocks, etc.

  • Easy customisation

You can customise the interface as per your need with add on apps and APIs.

  • Enforce industry standards in your drawings

AutoCAD uses a rule-based workflow to ensure that each drawing satisfies certain industry standards.

AutoCAD Home 3D printer software pricing: AutoCAD offers a free trial for 30 days. After that it can be purchased on a subscription basis by paying ₹11,023 per month.

Pros:

  • Autodesk offers web as well as mobile apps
  • Exceptional customer support before and after purchase.

Cons

  • Autodesk has a steep learning curve for beginners.

Supported Platforms: Best 3D printing software for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android.


  • MeshLab

Best 3D modeling software for 3D printing meshes

Free 3D printing software

MeshLab open source 3D printing software is suitable for designing, texturing and transforming 3D meshes. Meshlab best free 3D CAD software for 3D printing software boasts of a measurement tool which can calculate the linear distance between any two points within the mesh framework.

MeshLab 3D printer design software Features

  • 3D Alignment

MeshLab allows alignment of multiple meshes in a single reference system

  • Reconstruction

The software supports different reconstruction from raw blocks such as volumetric, implicit surface etc.

  • Coloring and texturing

MeshLab projects high quality color encoding and texture mapping onto 3D objects

  • Better 3D printing

You can convert your designs to STL format and create inner shells to obtain watertight meshes

  • Efficient cleaning

MeshLab swiftly removes any design errors, poorly oriented faces, vertices and edges

MeshLab 3D printer modeling software pricing: MeshLab is a free open source software

Pros

  • MeshLab makes it easy to manipulate orientation of a 3D model
  • It can import and export 3D designs to third party services such as Blender and Photoscan.

Cons

  • Navigation around 3D meshes can be an arduous task.

Supported Platforms: MeshLab 3D modeling software for Linux, Mac OS X, Windows and, with reduced functionality, on Android and iOS.


  • SketchUp

Best CAD software for 3D printing for architects

Best 3D printing software

SketchUp 3D modelling software is used for designing sustainable designs for building and edifices. The software backs up your designs to the cloud and lets you collaborate with your team on cloud. It also offers a dedicated mobile app for you to access your work anywhere you go.

SketchUp 3D Printing Software Online Features

  • Supports different file formats

You can work on SKP, PNG, JPG files and then export your drawings in PNG and STP file format.

  • Reference material

The software provides access to models generated by other users as well as the software itself for your reference.

  • Compatibility with VR software

The 3D printing software is compatible with HTC vive, Oculus and Microsoft HoloLens for better presentation of your designs

  • LayOut for 2D drawings

You can obtain 2D blueprints with the LayOut feature of SketchUp

  • Build better with Sefaira Plugin

With Sefaira for SketchUp plugin, you can obtain critical information such as a building’s energy requirement before you start building

SketchUp 3D printing software pricing: SketchUp offers a free trial for 30 days. After that you can shift to a paid plan at the rate of ₹8752.91 per year.

Pros

  • You can quickly share designs with clients through trimble connect
  • SketchUp web version allows you to design without the need for downloading the software

Cons

  • SketchUp does not have an autosave feature. In case it closes out of the blue, you might lose important work.

Supported Platforms: SketchUp 3D printer modeling software for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.5+ and Mac OS X 10.6+


  • FreeCAD

Best 3D printer design software for beginners interested in learning 3D modeling

FreeCAD is an open source 3D design, modelling and printing software. The 3D printer software showcases users the history of their designs and all the edits made by them. It converts basic 2D images into 3D and 3D designs into 2D blueprints.

FreeCAD Free 3D Printing Software Features

  • Multiplatform

FreeCAD works equally well on Windows, macOS and Linux

  • Accepts different file formats

FreeCAD software accepts input files in IGES, OBJ, STL, DXF formats etc.

  • Designed for all categories of users

Be it a beginner or professional designer, an experience architect or a student, FreeCAD has something for everyone

  • Advance robot simulation module

With this module, you can track the movements of a robot and plan its trajectory

  • CASCADE technology

You can create complex 3D shapes and carry out complex orientation and scaling operations on them

FreeCAD3D printer design software pricing: FreeCAD open source and free 3D printing software can be used without paying any cost.

Pros

  • It offers add on plugins to boost its core building functions
  • It has a sketcher through which you can draft 2D images and then use them as a base to build 3D structures.

Cons

  • The interface of FreeCAD scores low in terms of intuitiveness.

Supported Platforms: FreeCAD 3D printer slicing software for Windows 32/64 bits, Mac 64-bit, Linux 64-bit.


  • OctoPrint

Best Remote Control 3D Model Rendering Software

OctoPrint is a robust open source 3D drawing printing software. It provides you with extended plugins for creating time lapses and update of printer’s firmware. This 3D printer slicer software is compatible with almost every 3D printer, even with Dremel and PowerSpec.

OctoPrint3D Printer Modeling Software Features

  • Remote monitoring of designs

Use the embedded webcam feed to remotely monitor your printer’s functioning

  • Customizable UI

You can change the themes of OctoPrint’s UI by using the Themeify feature

  • Better management of STL files

With OctoPrint, you can directly slice STL files quickly

  • System command shortcut

Shortcut commands can be created on the main menu for shutting down or rebooting printer and servers

  • Dedicated community

OctoPrint has a community forum where beginners can obtain support and utilities regarding their 3D drawings

OctoPrint CAD software for 3D printing pricing: OctoPrint is an open source and free 3D printing software.

Pros

  • You can set up event hooks to send custom GCODE to your printer
  • It helps define custom controls for moving the print head.

Cons

  • If you cancel a print and then try reprint the same document, it will crash automatically.

Supported Platforms: OctaPrint 3D printing software for Linux, Windows, MacOS X and FreeBSD and is actively tested on Linux and Windows.


  • 3D Slash

Best 3D print software for students

Best 3D print software

An easy to use 3D model drafting tool, 3D Slash has been specifically designed for use by school students. 3D Slash works equally well on online and offline mode and provides engaging cutting and smashing tools for beginners to reshape their models.

3D Slash Home 3D Printer Software Features

  • VR View

You can easily present your designs as the software is compatible with VR headsets

  • Projecting pictures and texts on designs

You can engrave pictures and texts on your 3D designs

  • Color palette

With 3D Slash, give a creative touch to your models and paint them using its encompassing palette

  • Support for files with different formats

You can import .stl and .obj file and start building them

  • Creating student accounts

Teachers can create multiple student accounts and then monitor their designs in real time

3D Slash 3D modeling software pricing: 3D Slash offers a free version. The cost of the premium version starts from ₹147.02. It provides features such as high resolution designing and a dedicated mobile app.

Pros

  • 3D Slash works even on Raspberry pi
  • It offers file synchronization on multiple formats.

Cons

  • 3D Slash software is not designed for complex modelling.

Supported Platforms: Slash is the best 3D printing software for Windows, MacOS and Linux.


  • Creo

Best Program for 3D Printing of Modern Product Design

Best program for 3D printing

Creo printing tool is widely used for manufacturing casts and product designing. You can realise your designs on paper in real life by making use of Creo’s real time simulation and multibody designing.

Features of Creo Software used for 3D printing

  • Generative Design

Develop clean designs by removing all topological flaws from your designs

  • Optimization extension

You can choose the design most optimized as per your needs and the one which involves

  • Fluid dynamics for real time simulation

Creo allows you to simulate the working of your design to get hold of any flaws

  • Better functionality

Creo lets you gauge your designs on real world parametric, such as thermal readings

  • Delaunay Algorithm

Creo makes use of Delaunay algorithm to design cleaner lattices in quick fashion

Creo 3D printing software online pricing: Creo offers a trial version for 30 days and after that you can purchase a lifetime license at ₹169767.68

Pros

  • It is suitable for complex operations on complex 3D models
  • The software can be used for IoT operations, augmented reality etc.

Cons

  • Beginners looking to fiddle with 3D designing may find this software too complex.

Supported Platforms: Creo is the best 3D printing software for:

  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Edition2
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Solidworks

Solidworks CAD Tool

Solidworks CAD software for 3D printing enhances design validation and collaborative processes to fasten the entire product development. As one of the best 3D printing software platforms available, SOLIDWORKS supports easy to use modules for accelerated development processes.

This 3D printing design software provides the best designing tools along with in-depth analysis capabilities.

Soldiworks 3D Printer Design Software Features: 

  • Automation tools- Embedded utilities and automation tools for designing projects.  
  • 3D interconnect- The module helps translate data into the app from another CAD software.  
  • Mold tooling add-ins– For complex designs, these tools help generate cores and cavities.  
  • 3D assembling and parts– The feature is the best for editing designs and producing actual product prototypes. 
  • Surfacing– Use this option to manage transitions and curvatures in a design. 

Solidworks Pricing: Price plans are available for students, commercial enterprises, entrepreneurs, research projects and start-ups. A free trial is currently being offered for research projects only.  

Pros:

  • Expansive set of features 
  • Best for both large and small projects 
  • FEM analysis for assessing a project’s feasibility 
  • Ideal for creating in-hose drawings 
  • Can be used for correcting design errors 

Cons: Unexpected crashes can corrupt 3D models 

Supported platforms: Windows and Mac 

  • CATIA

CATIA design software

CATIA is a powerful product modelling tool that is ideal for drawing and visualizing 3D models. CATIA is one of the best 3D design software, as it supports validation of non-regular and repetitive shapes.

You can also use CATIA 3D printing design software for shadow duration and daylight simulation analysis.

CATIA Features: 

  • Surfacing capabilities– The functionality helps with creating large assemblies and complex geometries. 
  • Optimizing designs- Use CATIA for optimizing the designs of complex HVAC systems. 
  • Concurrent designs– Ideal for real-time collaboration and concurrent designing. 
  • Managing 3D files for printing in 3D: It supports features like mesh generation & analysis, normal & triangle orientation, hole filling, etc.  

CATIA pricing: Basic license is available at quarterly and monthly leases. There are also available role-based modules at a payment of the one-time fee.  

Pros

  • Wonderful tool for designing complicated geometries 
  • Best for sheet and solid surface modelling 
  • Helpful generative metal tool 
  • Multiple customization options 
  • Builds good renders 

Cons: Inconvenient drag and drop toolbar 

Supported platforms: Windows 64-bit 

  • OnShape

OnShape CAD Software

Create, share and collaborate designs seamlessly with OnShape 3D printer design software. The parametric modelling tool supports standard content, context designs and various sheet metal tools.

The free 3D printer design software for educators and students specifically can also be deployed for performing multi part designing configurations.

OnShape 3D Printing Design Software Features:

  • Data management – Version controls available besides release management modules. 
  • Follow mode- The tool helps with generating reviews for interactive designs. 
  • FeatureScript– Use the feature for designing complex surface and solid models.  
  • Configurable drawings- Draw detailed parts and assemblies with OnShape. 

Supported Platforms: Windows 7,8,10 and Mac

Pros

  • Best for designing multiple parts 
  • Easy interface 
  • Quick document navigation 

Cons: Merging function doesn’t work sometimes 

OnShape Pricing: Yearly paid plans available for this 3D printer design software: 

  • Enterprise- On request 
  • Professional- ₹ 154641 
  • Standard- ₹ 110471 
  • Rhino 6

CAD software for 3D printing

Rhino 6 is a popular CAD software for 3D printing and it supports Grasshopper, a popular programming visual language. It is one of the best 3D design software that helps perform robotic control and environmental analysis along with high DPI displays.

The 3D printing design software can also be used for graphic sensitive shading.

Rhino 6 3D Printer Design Software Features:

  • Parametric modelling- The 3D printer design software offers an easy and fast iterative process. 
  • White box display– No post-production required for quick diagram exports. 
  • Command prompts- Modelling commands for best industrial designs.  
  • OneView– The feature is the best for aligning Cplanes within single views.  
  • Line layers- Dashed hidden line layers with clipping pane and custom logic. 

Rhino 6 Pricing: Details regarding the pricing of Rhino 6 is available on request at Techjockey.com.  

Pros

  • Easy space visualizations
  • Grasshopper for parametric designing
  • Seamless translations to mechanical from opticals
  • Best for drawing interesting geometric shapes for functional purposes 

Cons: No support for Mac OS

Supported platforms: Windows 8.1 and 10 (64-bit)

Best Free & Open Source 3D Modeling Software for 3D Printing

As being an essential part of engineering, CAD is professionally used in architecture, auto parts design, space shuttle research, aeronautics, bridge construction, interior-design, and even clothing and jewelry.

A number of professional-grade open source and free 3D printing software like FreeCAD, OpenSCAD, QCAD, BricsCAD (paid software), and VariCAD (paid software) are supported by Mac/Linux/Ubuntu platforms.

Below we mention some of the best 3D printer software which can render creative 3D models for Mac/Linux/Ubuntu in no time.

  • FreeCAD

FreeCAD is an open source 3D design, modelling and printing software. The 3D printer software showcases users the history of their designs and all the edits made by them. It converts basic 2D images into 3D and 3D designs into 2D blueprints.

FreeCAD Free 3D Printing Software Features

  • Multiplatform: FreeCAD works equally well on Windows, macOS and Linux

  • Accepts different file formats: FreeCAD software accepts input files in IGES, OBJ, STL, DXF formats etc.

  • Designed for all categories of users: Be it a beginner or professional designer, an experience architect or a student, FreeCAD has something for everyone

  • Advance robot simulation module: With this module, you can track the movements of a robot and plan its trajectory

  • CASCADE technology: You can create complex 3D shapes and carry out complex orientation and scaling operations on them

FreeCAD3D printer design software pricing: FreeCAD open source and free 3D printing software can be used without paying any cost.

Pros

  • It offers add on plugins to boost its core building functions
  • It has a sketcher through which you can draft 2D images and then use them as a base to build 3D structures.

Cons: The interface of FreeCAD scores low in terms of intuitiveness. 

Supported Platforms: FreeCAD 3D printer slicing software for Windows 32/64 bits, Mac 64-bit, Linux 64-bit.


  • QCAD

QCAD open-source CAD software

QCAD is an open-source CAD software for 3D printing based on the Qt framework. It has a free community edition and is available as an open-source.

The professional version of QCAD contains add-ons for advanced DXF support, DWG support and many extra tools and features. QCAD CAD software is deployed for 2D designing and drafting.

This 3D printer design software provides support for DWG and DXF file formats for saving and importing files. QCAD is a free printer design software that can be used for diagrams, schematics and planning a buildings’ interiors.

QCAD Free 3D printing Design Software Features

  • Scalable fonts: Scalable and optimized line fonts available.

  • Lines & points construction: QCAD supports orthogonal, bisectors, parallels and single points.

  • Raster image support: The feature helps with inserting bitmaps and adjusting the rotation angles.

  • Group objects: Use QCAD for grouping different design elements for efficient workflows. 

  • Part library: Library with pre-set CAD parts, symbols, screws and nuts.

  • Dockable widgets: View tools supporting starpoint, direction and order overlays.

QCAD Pricing- QCAD is an open source & free 3D printing design software.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Multiple analysis tools available 
  • Best for doing landscaping
  • Documentation support available 

Cons: Occasional crashes cause inconvenience

Supported platforms: Mac, Windows, Linux and Unix-like


  • Meshmixer

Meshmixer 3D printing software

Meshmixer 3D printing software provides powerful capabilities to convert all types of mesh into solid shapes. The design program lets you modify the 3D designs once you download their STL files.

Take any object and convert it into stylized mesh with Meshmixer. It is ideal for working on triangle meshes.

Meshmixer Features

  • Surface stamping: Meshmixer supports surface stamping and 3D sculpting.

  • Layout and packing: Automated optimization of print bed orientations.

  • Mesh smoothing: Free form deformations supported besides mesh simplification and remeshing.

  • Alignment of surfaces: Pivots for 3D positioning with 3D measurements.

Meshmixer Pricing: It’s a free 3D printer design software that can be downloaded from the official website.

Pros:

  • Facility available for doing 3D scans
  • File editing support provided
  • Slice models fit easily the 3D printers

Cons: The tool lags sometimes

Supported platforms: Windows 7 & later and macOS


  • Fusion 360

Fusion 360 software

Fusion 360 offers a single unified platform that supports engineering, manufacturing, design and electronics functions for 3D drafting & designing.

The 3D printer design software with powerful generative design and simulation tools is ideal for manufacturing, product design and editing model fixtures.

Fusion 360 CAD Software for 3D Printing Features

  • 3D designing and modelling: Interactive assemblies and freeform modelling for engineering products.

  • Unified PCB design: Sixteen layered PCB system with electronics cooling and schematic hierarchical capturing.

  • Automated tool changes: Mill turning and adaptive clearing for integrated CAM & CAD processes.

  • Data management: Markups, version control and permission management for cloud collaboration.

  • FEA verification and simulation: Dope optimization, topology and verification for handling complex engineering challenges.

Fusion 360 Pricing: The 3D printing design software is available at a monthly cost of ₹2,993. Also available is a free 30-days trial version.

However, Fusion 360 is a free 3D printer software for hobbyists and individuals focussing on pursuing design engineering for non-commercial purposes.

Pros:

  • Ideal for printing different models
  • Excellent user interface
  • Individual icons with a complete toolset for 3D modelling
  • Easy drafting modules

Cons: Complex drawing features

Supported Platforms: Cloud-based, Windows and MacOS


  • MeshLab

Best 3D and modeling software for 3D printing meshes

MeshLab open source 3D printing software is suitable for designing, texturing and transforming 3D meshes. Meshlab best free 3D CAD software for 3D printing software boasts of a measurement tool which can calculate the linear distance between any two points within the mesh framework.

MeshLab 3D Printer Design Software Features

  • 3D Alignment: MeshLab allows alignment of multiple meshes in a single reference system

  • Reconstruction: The software supports different reconstruction from raw blocks such as volumetric, implicit surface etc.

  • Coloring and texturing: MeshLab projects high quality color encoding and texture mapping onto 3D objects

  • Better 3D printing: You can convert your designs to STL format and create inner shells to obtain watertight meshes

  • Efficient cleaning: MeshLab swiftly removes any design errors, poorly oriented faces, vertices and edges

MeshLab 3D printer modeling software pricing: MeshLab is a free open source 3D printing design software.

Pros

  • MeshLab makes it easy to manipulate orientation of a 3D model
  • It can import and export 3D designs to third party services such as Blender and Photoscan.

Cons: Navigation around 3D meshes can be an arduous task. 

Supported Platforms: MeshLab 3D modeling software for Linux, Mac OS X, Windows and, with reduced functionality, on Android and iOS.


  • OctoPrint

Best Remote Control 3D Model Rendering Software

OctoPrint is a robust open source 3D drawing printing software. It provides you with extended plugins for creating time lapses and update of printer’s firmware. This 3D printer slicer software is compatible with almost every 3D printer, even with Dremel and PowerSpec.

OctoPrint3D Printer Modeling Software Features

  • Remote monitoring of designs: Use the embedded webcam feed to remotely monitor your printer’s functioning

  • Customizable UI: You can change the themes of OctoPrint’s UI by using the Themeify feature

  • Better management of STL files: With OctoPrint, you can directly slice STL files quickly

  • System command shortcut: Shortcut commands can be created on the main menu for shutting down or rebooting printer and servers

  • Dedicated community: OctoPrint has a community forum where beginners can obtain support and utilities regarding their 3D drawings

OctoPrint CAD software for 3D printing pricing: OctoPrint is an open source and free 3D printing software.

Pros

  • You can set up event hooks to send custom GCODE to your printer
  • It helps define custom controls for moving the print head.

Cons: If you cancel a print and then try reprint the same document, it will crash automatically.

Supported Platforms: OctaPrint 3D printing software for Linux, Windows, MacOS X and FreeBSD and is actively tested on Linux and Windows.


  • OpenSCAD

OpenSCAD is a free CAD software for 3D printing. It’s very lightweight and flexible. OpenSCAD isn’t interactive: you need to ‘program’ the model and OpenSCAD will interpret that code to render a visual model. In a sense, it’s like a compiler.

You cannot draw the model – you describe the model. OpenSCAD is a very complicated tool, but once you get to know it, it provides an enjoyable work environment.

OpenSCAD Free 3D Printer Design Software Features

  • Interactive manipulation: The feature helps with setting the default camera position in script.

  • Defining colours: Transparency and part colours can be defined with OpenSCAD.

  • Monolithic part import: Files can be easily imported and attached later on as monolithic parts.

  • Integrated editor: CGAL or computational geometry algorithms library as CSG basic engine.

OpenSCAD Pricing: OpenSCAD is a script based free 3D printing design software for 3D designs.

Pros:

  • Easy to describe as codes the 3D objects
  • Quick characterization of designs
  • Geometrical transitions go well with mathematics
  • Ideal for rapid prototyping

Cons: Syntax validation

Supported Platforms: Linux, Windows and macOS


Our Take

So here is our list of 10 best 3D printing software. While choosing such a software for your organisation, you must ensure that it provides an in-depth 3D view of your 2D drawings.

Moreover, it should allow you to export final output in different formats and should be compatible with leading printers.

FAQs

  1. Why Use 3D printing software?

    3D printing software supports drafting and designing of 3D models along with mesh and video editing. The software can further be used for motion tracking, simulation, rendering and sculpting.

  2. What makes a great software for 3D printing?

    An ideal software for 3D printing would offer powerful modelling modules besides letting you perform rapid prototyping. The best 3D printing design software would cover different facets of 3D drafting processes like animation, sculpting and modelling.

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