3d printing is something that most tech and art enthusiasts are interested in, but ordinary people don’t need it. This is the common idea that everyone has about 3D printing these days, but it is not true. Designers, architects and engineers have been using 3D printing for over 3 decades now. However, the increase in demand and the accessibility of free 3d printing software made it popular among the designer community.
Here’s one thing, your prints are as good as the software you use. The 3D printing software allows the user to explore its various capabilities ranging from modeling and rendering, sculpting, customizing and presenting to clients.
In this article, we’ve put together a list of the best free third-party 3D printing software that are best suited for novice 3D modelers as well as experienced professional designers. While the integrated 3d generator suitable for most, if you are looking for alternatives then this article will interest you.
Best Free 3D Printing Software
1. TinkerCAD – Easy to use 3D printing software
TinkerCAD is an online computer-aided design (CAD) 3D printing software for beginners. The software is packed with tutorials and guides to help beginners get the somewhat exact designs they are looking for.
You just need to create an account on its website and it just gives you access to the browser based app. TinkerCAD offers you a wide variety of predefined shapes and structures. It helps you create your design just by dragging and dropping the box and adjusting the height, width and length.
TinkerCAD gives you direct integration with third-party printing services and even lets you easily share and export files. Get it here.
2. 3D slash
What makes it different from other 3D printing software, it can also work as a 3D logo and text maker. This feature allows you to turn your logo into a 3D model or export your text to 3D text. It is free and is ideal 3D printing software for beginners.
It is an intuitive building blocks concept to create shapes, make it quite simple to use. You can download the multitude of files available in the huge library. If you can’t get creative, just import from the available files and slice them into something new.
There is very little software that can work from concept to finish as fast as 3D slash. Its ability to be compatible with VR headsets makes it even more future-ready. Check it out here.
3. FreeCAD 3D printing application
FreeCAD is a free and open source 3D parametric modeling tool that works well enough for the home user and experienced designers. Since this is a parametric 3D modeler, this technically describes that you can easily modify your design by simply going back to your model history and changing its parameters.
To put it simply, if a parametric component is designing a car, just go back to your model history, edit the component, and you will have a different model. It may not be the best for business purposes. However, it is a great training tool for a novice as it allows you to design real objects of any size. Download them here.
It is another great printing and modeling software that is a perfect blend of usability and functionality. SketchUp is a popular drawing-based 3D printing tool for designing 3D models that provide a great user experience with a relatively flat learning curve.
This software has a huge warehouse of 3D models uploaded by users. If you don’t want to start from scratch, you can choose a design and modify it as you wish. This is how easy it is to print a 3D object with SketchUp.
This software is considered good for the design of architectural, interior and exterior projects. SketchUp offers you free tutorials that can help you transform your skills from a beginner to an advanced engineer.
This is free introductory software for virtual sculpture 3D printing and a great stepping stone for digital sculptors. It focuses on the concept of plasticine to create statues or figurines.
Beginners can learn the ins and outs of digital sculpting or painting before moving on to more refined and sophisticated techniques like ZBrush etc. Plus, it allows artists to have tools like various brushes and paint palettes that they need to bring their digital sculpture to life. Get it here.
It is an open source software accompanied by professional tools in its own right. It may not be an ideal choice for beginners, as it is suitable for users who feel ready to design complex 3D models.
Blender is free computer-aided design (CAD) software that covers many facets of 3D creation, including animation and modeling. Its photorealistic rendering option is the most interesting feature that sets it apart from the rest. It gives sophisticated 3D models and an air of realism that very little software can do. Check it out here.
These were some of the best popular 3D printing software for every step of your workflow. And the best part is that they are all free or at least free for educators, students and for open source projects.