What Software is used for 3D Printing?
There are many software used for 3D printing, you can use some of these software to create 3D models. You also need a software for slicing.
A slicing software is used to convert a 3D model into a language that a 3D printer understands. Most slicing software come with high-end 3D printing machines.
I have curated a list of the best 3D printing software that you need to make any type of 3D model. These include
Blender is versatile, free, and open-source 3D software with a toolset used for creating animated films, visual effects, 3D printed models, and video games.
Blender features include 3D modeling, raster graphics editing, texturing, UV unwrapping, rigging and skinning, simulations, dynamics, sculpting, animation, scripting using Python, and more.
Blender has supported 3D printing since 2002, it has since become even more accessible and powerful than ever before; thanks to the 3D printing toolbox and real-time mesh analysis features.
In the last couple of years, a lot of other tools and features have been added to the program that can directly or indirectly help you print 3D models easily and with better quality whether it be industrial parts or organic shapes like characters or animals.
Creo is one of the best software for 3D printing products used by many manufacturers. Creo is a family or Suite of Computer Aided Design (CAD) software supporting product design and development.
You can combine the powerful functionality of Creo with new technologies such as generative design, augmented reality, real-time simulation, additive manufacturing, and the IoT to iterate faster, reduce costs, and improve product quality.
It also provides 3D CAD parameter solid modeling, 3D direct modeling, Orthographic views, analysis and simulations, technical illustrations, and more.
AutoCAD is another amazing 3D printing tool on this list. It is most suitable for professional use because it is equipped with a lot of tools and features. It can be used to draft, engineer, and automate designs.
Overall, it is a very versatile 3D printing software that offers a lot of capabilities to create 3D models. It allows the user to attach and import data from PDFs.
It also comes with seven industry-specific toolsets for electrical design, plant design, architecture layout drawings, mechanical design, 3D mapping, adding scanned images, and converting raster images.
SolidWorks is a good modeling and Computer Aided Design and engineering program that is developed by Dassault Systems and it is one of the preferred choices of 3D designers. It is powerful and easy to learn.
It offers a wide range of tools and features to efficiently designed 3D models for industrial purposes and it is good for 3D printing of industrial Parts.
Furthermore, SolidWorks comes enabled with a lot of detailed and unique features that Empower professionals to create Innovative 3D designs.
TinkerCAD is a simple and easy to use Computer Aided Design software that can actually be a good introduction to 3D work and 3D printing.
It is a free to use, browser-based software, this means that you don’t have to install it to use it and you will need an active internet connection to use TinkerCAD.
You can use the 3D printing program to create very simple or good-looking 3D models using its geometry that you can add together quickly or by customizing parameters to create 3D models for 3D printing.
TinkerCAD is geared toward children and people with no in 3D modeling. It is very easy to use and all the complexity of 3D modeling is hidden from a regular user.
3D Slash is a software that offers an original and intuitive experience to create 3D models easily. It has a unique interface that makes building 3D models fun. It is very easy to get started with, it also has great team features that make it a great choice for many schools, and companies.
3D slash is also fully Raspberry Pi-compatible, it works on the Pi-Top minicomputer to allow students to design 3D objects on the single board computer.
Vectary is a 3D design software that allows you to create simple or complex models in the browser for 3D printing. You can customize templates or start your own projects by assembling objects from a 3D asset library.
The features for a free plan are limited but users can still have up to 10 personal projects as well as many new features such as generative tools, Advanced objects, lists, collections, asset library, and more.
The paid plans start at $12 per seat per month for pro and $25 per seat per month for a business plan.
Catia is a multi-platform Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) software suite developed by Dassault Systems. It is used in the design of various objects, such as Vehicles, buildings components, high-tech, components, etc.
Catia is an excellent software suite to create 3D models for 3D printing.
Leopoly is a 3D modeling, 3D printing, and personalization cloud-based software that runs on the browser. The basic concept of the platform is to provide people with a digital object creating tool.
It also offers the opportunity to personalize premade digital models as well as self-modeling. On the site, users can save, download, or order their physical models in the cloud through integrated 3D printer providers.
Rhinoceros 3D is a computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D printing software for architecture and Industrial design. Rhinoceros is packed with many amazing features that help you to create even the most complex model
Prices for Rhinoceros 3D commercial plan start at €995 for a permanent license. Schools and students plans are also available for €975 and €195 respectively.
Onshape is one of the best web-based Computer Aided Design software. It helps a lot of businesses to modernize their product design process. It makes it easy to design 3D models for 3D printing.
Onshape is aimed at professional level users who want Version Control and the ability to collaborate easily. It has features for product data management, real-time design review, simultaneous editing, and more.
Onshape plans include standard at $1500 per user per year, professional at $2500 per user per year, and an enterprise plan for organizations.
Fusion 360 is a powerful cloud-based Computer Aided Design program for students and small companies. It comes with a very powerful computer aided manufacturing suite. It is used for professional product design and manufacturing.
A commercial version of Fusion 360 is very affordable compared to other high end CAD software. It starts at $70 per month.
Fusion 360 is very powerful when it comes to creating complicated mechanical pieces and its tools are easy to use. It has an efficient and fast workflow that makes it a good option for 3D printing projects.
SketchUp is an easy to use Computer Aided Design software that makes generating 3D models for 3D printing a bliss. Sketch has an easy-to-understand interface that makes it easy to work with 3D models.
Sketchup has a free plan for primary and secondary school students who have a Microsoft Education account. Plans for commercial use include Go ($199 per year), Pro ($299 per year), and Studio ($699 per year).
Openscad is a free software for creating solid 3D CAD objects. Unlike most free software for creating 3D models (such as Blender), it does not focus on the artistic aspects of 3D modeling but instead on the CAD aspects. It is easy to use and work with.
The software we have discussed are used to create 3D models but they cannot be used directly for 3D printing. 3D printing is a layer-by-layer process and it’s what you need is slicing programs.
This process cannot be done in SolidWorks, SketchUp, or even Blender directly, what happens in the slicing program is that the entire 3D model is divided into slices with predefined thicknesses.
These slicing software convert 3D models into G Codes, which define the movement of the 3D printer. Most slicing software come with high-end 3D printing machines.