The technology has reached the next level, and today the leap of technology has blessed us with 3D printing technology. Years back, it was next to impossible to predict that we can have 3D modeling tools/software to create 3D objects.
With time, 3D printing software has become popular and has gained huge demand. 3D design software is nowadays available with advanced features that let you create 3D animations, CGI, and even develop video games for game-freaks.
The increasing competition has resulted in numerous 3D printing tools that you can use to start building 3D objects and then use 3D printers to bring them into reality.
Numerous free and paid 3d design software are available online. Some give you a downloadable setup, whereas some are accessible via a cloud server. In short, you get a plethora of options to choose from and start creating your existing design/models.
Today, different businesses use 3D designing software. 3D designing is highly used in visualizing the world before converting your ideas into reality.
The use of 3D printing tools has earned a gradual increase in demand with time. The demand will further increase in the coming decades.
How To Choose Good 3D Printing Software?
If you are ready to make the right investment and looking forward to buying the best 3D printing software, below listed are the points that will help you.
Which Industry or Application are you using 3D software For?
Before finding the right 3D printing software, the first thing to consider is to acknowledge for which industry or application you want to use the printing software.
The selection of 3D modeling software highly depends upon your niche. Businesses in manufacturing, jewelry making, etc., require different software types that fit their customer’s needs.
Match your requirements with the features of 3D printing tools and find the best one for your business.
For e.g., the animation industry is using Maya as a great software that offers high-end features for designing top-quality games.
Consider what Sort of 3D Models you are Making
Yes, different types of 3D models that aren’t possible to create with any 3D printing tool. E.g., CAD tools are only effective for certain industries.
Usually, solid modeling isn’t possible with free tools. Hence, free tools won’t serve your needs. The level of details required plays a vital role in selecting the 3d modeling tool for your business.
Remember, 3D modeling software is different from CAD software, which you must know before investing in one of them.
These are a few crucial pointers that you must consider when buying/using a 3D design tool.
What’s your Level of Expertise?
Based on your personal/professional requirements, it’s important to acknowledge whether you are a beginner or a professional. For newbies, numerous FREE 3D design software is available.
However, if you are looking for complex designs for a business, you should go for a high-end paid designing tool. Different tools are available with Free trial and paid version.
Hence you must choose the one that fits your custom requirements.
Fusion 360 is a product of Autodesk, which is specially developed to unify the designing, electronics, engineering, and manufacturing into a single platform.
It has made the entire 3D CAD process easy with limitless features and creativity.
It is one of the 3D CAD, CAM, PCB, and CAE tools that have brought you the entire 3D modeling possibilities on a single platform.
If you are a newbie and your need is only restricted to CAD, it will be a tricky tool to understand and use.
Autodesk Fusion 360 free version is only limited to 3-axis matching, which isn’t fully capable of developing 3D objects.
Yet, its price is nearly reasonable. You can further check its free version to acknowledge whether the tool fits your needs or not.
- CAM Data Exchange
- Integrated 3D Modeling
- Downloadable Application
- Cloud-based Platform
- File Editing – File Editing
- Drawing Tools
- File Support – STL Compatible
- CAD/CAM Compatibility
- CNC Feature Recognition
- CAD-CAM Import
- Free to use for non-commercial use.
- Free version available for students, startups, and teachers
- It is an intuitive and powerful tool.
- Includes large chunk of information and tutorials
- Offer cloud based storage
- FEA simulation feature
- A bit confusing for those unaccustomed to 3D modeling or CAD software
- The free version is only limited to 3-axis machining
- Feature Tree/History is difficult to get used to
- 30-day free trial and access to all capabilities and features in Fusion 360.
- Monthly – $60
- Yearly- $495 (only $42/month value)
Solid works are yet another great 3D modeling software that comes with the freedom to create anything you want. Like Fusion 360, it encompasses a large chunk of features that aren’t available in its alternatives.
Many users prefer Solidworks as it offers easy and quick support to 3rd party vendors. Further, its UI is easy to understand, which makes the learning process smooth.
However, many users find its interface a bit outdated and need updating. Further, its official support is always the lagging area that drags many users from the Solidworks software.
Another factor is its price! It comes with custom pricing, which isn’t disclosed. However, you can get this software for commercial, research, academia, students, and entrepreneur purposes.
Except for its weak customer support, you can make countless designs with this software.
- Collaborate and Communicate
- 3D Solid Modeling
- Bill of Materials (BOM)
- Mold Design
- Sheet Metal
- Large Assembly Design
- Advanced Surfacing
- Conceptual Design
- 2D Drawings
- Design Automation
- Eliminate Interferences
- Supports 3rd party vendors
- Comes with in-person training
- Quick to learn
- User Interface is a bit out-dated
- Unsatisfactory official support
- Slow Initial Response
Custom pricing available for:
- Entrepreneurs & Startups
3D Slash is an excellent tool for creating 3D objects in a single go. It is an easy-to-use software that comes with advanced features that makes the 3D modeling process smooth.
It includes the TEAM features that are specially made for the schools. With synchronized apps, you can use this software online and offline.
Numerous tech giants like Google, Onshape, Astroprint, Sketchfab, etc., are already using the 3D Slash software.
It is a tool available for all devices, i.e., Windows, Linux, and Mac. It gives you an out-of-the-box 3D printing solution that isn’t available in other alternatives.
However, some designs are tough to create in this software. Further, the software sometimes crashes during its use. For the older generation, it is tricky to understand this software and use it to the fullest.
Above all, it is a great option to start 3D modeling designs.
- Basic features to get started right away
- Intuitive to pick up: no training required
- Use the basic tools to hammer or rebuild
- Paint your models using a wide color palette
- Create your 3D logo or text with a click
- Advanced features, to work precisely
- Start from an .stl or .obj file
- The model with high precision
- Sculpt shapes using an image or a photograph
- Copy-Paste, move, resize, flip, combine… in a click!
- Insert rounded shapes, .stl, or .obj files into your model
- Select and work parts of your object by color
- Project pictures or text on your model, and use them as a decal!
- Team features designed for schools
- Create Student accounts on the Teacher Dashboard. No email address is required for students.
- View in real-time the files created by the students
- Prepare and share resources
- Easy to use software
- Comes with detailed tutorials with example
- Available for Windows, MAC, and Linux
- Offers out-of-the-box 3D modeling/printing solution
- Difficult to create complex designs
- The software frequently crashes during use
- For the older generation, it is too complex
- Free – Limited functions
- Premium – Only $2 per month! (billed annually – total $24)
- Schools – Starting from ($12 per month)
- Professionals – Starting from ($20 per month)
FreeCAD is a 3D parametric modeler which you can download and get the freedom to build whatever you want. It is an open-source parametric 3d modeling software that is programmed to design real-life objects.
You can design and modify them to make them a perfect fit for your 3D modeling necessities. Using this software, you can create 3D objects via 2D and vise versa.
It encompasses numerous components that you can adjust and create high-quality 3D designs. It is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Hence, you can use it anywhere you want. Further, it can read numerous file-formats, including STEP, IGES, STL, SVG, DXF, OBJ, IFC, DAE, and many others.
However, for newbie users, it is tough to understand and get used to it. Further, some users find its interface lacking the latest updates. In terms of pricing, it is a quotation-based software.
- Geometry kernel
- Robot simulation
- Path mode
- Full parametric model
- Standard formats
- Modular architecture
- Easy to get started (With basic knowledge)
- Its interface is easy to customize
- Offers 100% GUI mode with parametric model support
- It can work with 2D and 3D shapes
- Complicated for the newbie users
- The user interface isn’t perfect currently
Pricing Quote Based
TinkerCAD is a FREE to use 3D printing software that is the perfect option if you are looking for fruitful yet straightforward software for your upcoming 3D designs. The ThinkerCAD is easy to use and lets you create drawings with simple code.
In short, it is an easy to use 3d modeling software. However, you need an active internet connection to use this tool.
Further, it has limited options to use, as it is available for FREE. Yet, it offers you effective options that make it highly effective and competitive against the alternatives.
Moreover, if you want to create complex designs, you need more precision. To some extent, this software might not fulfill your requirement for complex structures.
Hence, you can make its best use of standard 3D designs.
- Component Library
- Collaboration Tools
- For 3D Printing
- Data Import/Export
- Has easy to make drawings and code
- Quite easy to use
- Free to use
- It doesn’t require a lot of time to learn to use
- Can’t be used without the internet
- Has limited capabilities
- Need more precision and more details for complex designs
Solid Edge is the future of complicated 3D designing. This software is a complete suite of advanced tools that lets you make mechanical and electrical design, simulation, technical publications, data management, and many more.
Enclosed with lightning-fast reverse engineering, its user interface is powered with AI that makes your 3D modeling easy and time savvy. It uses a postprocessor database that speeds up the NC programming.
The Solid Edge is a great software to create high-quality documents and illustrations. With this, you can take control of your data, save time and money.
It offers you integration with Siemens Team centre suite and PLM solutions, which makes it great.
- PLC Tools
- Component Library
- Bill of Materials
- Industry-Specific Database
- Dynamic Modeling
- Functions / Calculations
- 3D Modeling
- Reusable Designs
- System Design Tools
- Design Export
- Manufacturing Design Data
- Direct Manipulation
- 2D Drawing
- Motion Modeling
- Electrical Parts Catalog
- CAD Tools
- Graphical Modeling
- Design Analysis
- Presentation Tools
- Continuous Modeling
- Symbol Library
- Offers integration with Siemens Team Centre suite, as well as other PLM solutions
- Offers parameterization of CAD models
- Includes license management
- Can handle DWG files well
- Its intelligent cursor feature is powerful and intuitive
- The interface is not as user-friendly
- The cost of a Solid Edge license is not justified by the functionality
Pricing Free Trial
SketchUp gives you a seamless platform to design delightfully and collaborate clearly to build better designs.
It is the super-smart 3D modeling software that helps visualize your ideas that you can choose to change the world and make it your way.
With hundreds of professionally developed extensions, you can make amazing designs at your fingertips. With the collaboration feature, you can build efficiency and work together as a team. It comes with a 30 days free trial.
Another big hurdle with this software is that it requires a highly configured PC with a powerful memory.
Above all, it is amazing software that lets you develop impeccable designs.
- Lighting effects
- 3D models
- 2D models
- Layer manager
- Can adapt furniture or objects to other applications
- An easy way to learn 3D modeling
- Has easy to use and friendly interface
- Allows to develop impeccable designs
- Require high-configuration PC
- For Personal Use
- Free for Web Only
- SketchUp Shop: (Web Only): $119USD/yr
- SketchUp Pro (Desktop and Web): $299USD/yr
- For Professional Use
- SketchUp Shop: (Web Only): $119USD/yr
- SketchUp Pro (Desktop and Web): $299USD/yr
- SketchUp Studio (Desktop and Web): $1199USD/yr
- For Higher Education
- SketchUp Studio For Students (Desktop and Web): $55USD/yr
- SketchUp Studio For Educators (Desktop and Web): $55USD/yr
Creo is an advanced 3D modeling software for imaging, design, create and innovating 3D objects. It is a great option to build 3D prototyping.
This software gives you an efficient and cost-effective platform to design a wide range of 3D CAD product development. It offers a user-friendly UI which makes the software easy to use.
It gives you the option to design multiple templates with the use of advanced tools. However, its third-party format takes time and often hangs your system.
For beginners, detailed knowledge is required to start creating 2D and 3D models.
It offers a free trial with limited features. Yet, the free trial gives you a detailed glimpse of the features available in the software.
- Data Import/Export
- For 3D Printing
- Component Library
- Compliance Management
- Design Management
- 2D Drawing
- Collaboration Tools
- Bill of Materials Management
- 3D Imaging
- Cost Tracking
- Document Management
- For Architects
- Design Analysis
- Offers simple, user-friendly UI
- Easy to understand and use
- Gives you the ability to make templates
- Contains many advanced tools
- Third-party format change takes a long time
- Needs advanced feature to create models
- Needs a lot of knowledge to create the 2D & 3D models (For beginner)
- Free Trial
- Creo Design Packages start at ₹1,34,000
OnShape is the only SAAS product development platform that has offered the blend of CAD, built-in data management, and real-time collaboration tools.
The tool is trusted by numerous tech giants like Nvidia, Kichler, Synapse, Garrett, etc.
It gives you a secure cloud platform that offers top-level security to your designs. With its analytics and reporting, you can easily analyze the project, user, or document.
With complete history, you can even check the log for changes.
The OnShape doesn’t require any download, installation, or license codes. Instead, you can use it on the cloud and make its use to the fullest.
The built-in version has omitted the need for a PDM system with a dedicated server and network infrastructure. It offers professional, standard, and enterprise-based pricing.
This software doesn’t include the FEM option. Further, its Mate connectors require time for expertise.
- Bill of Materials
- Data Management
- Has an easy to use interface
- Allows you to design faster
- Available on almost all types of computers ( Mobile, Tablet, Windows, and Mac)
- Easy and streamlined to work with several parts simultaneously
- All the keyboard shortcuts are readily available
- It doesn’t include FEM (finite element analysis/simulations)
- Mate connectors in assemblies take some time to get used- to
- Professional – $2,100 per user, per year
- Standard – $1,500 per user, per year
- Enterprise – Ask for a quotation
Next on our list is Simplify3D, a powerful 3D printing software that offers you a plethora of options to start creating 3D designs and use it for diverse applications.
It is one of the trusted software used by professionals, makers, and educators worldwide.
Above all, it is compatible with almost all 3D printers available currently. This makes it a must to choose software if you are designing and printing 3D objects.
With this software, you can use enormous designing options and showcase the power of 3D modeling. Its unmatched features make it a perfect option for businesses & industries.
However, its scripting lags when compared to other alternatives. Further, some users encounter specific issues related to placing Surface on bed, etc.
Once the company overcomes these hurdles, this tool will be a great option to choose in the current price.
- Powerful Scripting Engine
- Multi-Part Customization
- Precision for Small Features
- Total Control, Improved Quality
- Built for High Performance
- Machine Control and Monitoring
- Optimized for Multiple Extruders
- Mesh Analysis and Repair
- Variable Print Settings
- Creates 3D designs at a high-speed
- Application paths preview is accurate
- Has a substantial edge in terms of capability to publish components
- You can easily export the FFF settings
- The scripts don’t work the way it should
- You need to Place surface on the bed every time for every part
Purchase Simplify3D today – $149
Rhinoceros 3D is another 3d printing tool that lets you create, edit, analyze, document, render and animate the 3d objects within your requirement criteria.
You can make uninhibited free-form 3D modeling with accuracy and compatibility. Through this software, you can easily read and repair the meshes of IGES files.
It is an affordable 3D modeling software that doesn’t require heavy PC customization for 3D designing. In the latest Rhino 7, you can create organic shapes with SubD tools as well.
It offers you numerous model creation tools that make your 3D modeling process smooth and quick. It still has the classic dashboard that can annoy some users.
Yet, it comes with many options to edit, make or display a 3D object on-screen.
However, its rendering engine needs improvement. Further, its user interface needs updates that match the ongoing theme.
- Rhino for Mac
- Development platform for hundreds of specialty 3D products.
- Read and repair meshes and extremely challenging IGES files.
- Fast, even on an ordinary laptop computer. No special hardware is needed.
- Affordable purchase price
- Uninhibited free-form 3D modeling tools
- Offers ease of learning
- It covers 85% of all your 3D needs
- Can handle almost all 3D formats
- Gives the possibility of creating complex designs
- Sometimes exporting as a 2D drawing is time-consuming
- It doesn’t have a good native rendering engine
- Its user interface could be better designed
- Full – single-user
- Rhino 7 for Windows and Mac: US$ 995
- Flamingo nXt 5: $495
- Bongo 2: $495
- Upgrade an old version – single-user
- Rhino 7 for Windows and Mac: US$ 595
- Flamingo nXt 5 upgrades from 1.x or 2.0: US$ 295
- Flamingo nXt 5 upgrade from nXt – Free
- Bongo 2: US$ 295
Last on the list is Markforged, an intelligent, additive manufacturing platform for professionals. It is purposely built software that offers you seamless 3D modeling.
With the dynamic additive 3d printing software, you can make on-demand designs and bring the concept into reality.
It is one of the world’s most advanced 3D printing software that comes with ample features and capabilities to serve your needs.
Its easy-to-use interface gives cutting-edge software. You can easily integrate it with the cloud. However, it isn’t a good option if your motive is only to learn it. Further, it doesn’t have an explicit set of options.
Above all, its price is a bit higher than other alternatives. You have other low-budget options if your requirements are limited.
- Print with fibers, composites, and metals
- Interact seamlessly with printers
- Store and access parts effortlessly
- Manage projects with simple organizational features
- Monitor devices in real-time
- Easy to use interface and cutting-edge system
- It allows designing various prototypes quickly & dynamically
- Easy to integrate with the cloud
- Isn’t very explicit with the use of their tools
- It isn’t affordable for learning or fun
- Offline Eiger License (C-0025) – $5,000
- Offline Eiger Update (as available) (C-0030) – $1,000
What is 3D Printing Software?
With the introduction, many of you have already understood the basic concept of 3D printing software. With 3D printers, you can bring the 3D designs into reality.
You can create 3D objects/designs using 3D modeling software and use a 3D printer to understand the logic and create realistic 3D products.
For a newbie, 3D printing software is also known as slicer software as it converts a single #D image into multiple slices. These slices enable the 3D printer to create 3D objects slice by slice.
Nowadays, marketplaces and creative studios use 3D printing software. There is multiple 3D designing software that businesses use for printing.
Modeling software was present in human society years back. However, since its evolution, there has been a tough struggle to develop and find an easy-to-use modeling software that can benefit you with great features.
The right 3D modeling & printing software selection depends upon its pros, cons, price, and available features.
With 3D printing software, you can design any object and convert it into slices that help the respective printers print a perfect 3D object.
Many printing software that uses polygon modeling isn’t fit for creating 3D models as they don’t have enough thickness of the walls.
The shortest definition of 3D printing software is computer graphics software that helps you design and develop 3D graphics using 3D software. Further, you can use a 3D printer to recreate your virtual 3D object into reality.
Below you will find a detailed list of top 3D printing software that you can choose to start exploring your creativity or use for business purposes.
The entire list of 3D-making software is based on crisp research and detailed analysis of the traits, pros, and cons of each software available for purchase.
Benefits of Using 3D Printing Software
Undoubtedly, the use of 3D printing software is gradually increasing. Yet, many of you are unaware of their benefits. So, below are the untold benefits/advantages of using 3D printing software.
With the use of 3D printing software, you can design and develop complex designs. Hence, there isn’t any restriction on building 3D objects anymore. It is an advancement to traditional printing technology.
The entire process of designing the prototypes is quick and easy. Once you are familiar with the software, it’s easy to design any complex prototype that you want. Nowadays, 3D printing is also inexpensive, which makes it a good option to go with.
Print on Demand
YES! You can now print 3D objects anytime and anywhere you want. For printing 3D objects, you don’t need heavy inventory or gadgets. Instead, the market has easy-to-use 3D printing software and quick printing technology that makes the entire process hassle-free.
Numerous businesses have already integrated 3D printing technology into their work culture. The use of 3D printing software gives a strong foundation to your work and enhances your scope of vision to the next level.
Minimizing Waste with Precise Designing
The advanced set of features available in 3D printing online tools makes it possible to minimize waste through precise design. The software ensures no residue is left that keeps the accurate usage of raw material for 3D modeling.
With the right 3D modeling software, you can minimize your efforts, level of wastage, etc. This ultimately makes 3D printing cost-effective. The use of the right 3D modeling software is crucial to limit the cost and save big.
With reduced wastage and time-saving traits, 3D printing tools are already in huge demand. Simultaneously, the use of 3D objects also supports green nature.
Hence it doesn’t harm nature in any sense and maintains the environment-friendly trait.
These are the prominent benefits of 3d modeling software. Numerous other traits of 3d modeling software traits have completely revolutionized the digital era and gradually grown its demand.
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