10 Best Software for 3D Printing and 3D Modeling

Best Software for 3D Printing and 3D Modeling

Each 3D print starts as a 3D model created in a modeling program. A long time back, we needed to invest bunches of cash and energy to obtain and learn to use modeling software. These days, there are some simple-to-use modeling software choices available, large numbers of which are free. This article is full of those 3D printing software options and arranged with their popularity among the users.

The list, likewise, shows whether the product utilizes solid modeling, a type of 3D modeling that consistently creates models that are "manifold" or "watertight." A manifold or complex model is one in which all dividers of the model have some thickness, which is essential for 3D printing.

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On the other hand, programming that uses polygon modeling can produce dividers that have zero thickness; that is fine for making computer CGIs for games and films but not helpful when 3D printing the models. Manifold models can be made with polygon modeling software, it simply takes more steps and experience. All the software in this list can make 3D printable models, however, every model that comes out of solid modeling software is 3D printable.

3D PRINTING SOFTWARE | 3D MODELING SOFTWARE

These tools are all about creating models for 3D printing. Some of them are pretty easy to use while other programs are only suitable for professional users with years of experience.

1. Tinkercad

Autodesk Tinkercad 3d Printing

Tinkercad is the best option for starters & professionals in the field of 3D printing. It is a browser-based 3D printing software that features an automatic block-building concept that allows you to start developing models from basic shapes & structures. Tinkercad also has tutorials for novices to get started and to get the designs they are looking for.

Price: Free

Solid Modeling: Yes

Specially Made For Beginners

2. Blender

Blender 3D Modeling Software Download

Blender has been a great & popular software for character designing & graphics designing for a very long time and now it's gaining more popularity in the field of 3D modeling. In reality, Blender covers many angles of 3D development including 3D modeling, animation, simulation, rendering, motion tracking as well as video editing. It is open-source software that is ideal for users who are starting or have started creating curves in designing complex 3D models. Blender is truly a 3D animation software that started rendering using polygon  3D modeling techniques to create 3D models.

Price: Free

Solid Modeling: No

Specially Made For: Amateurs and advanced users

3. AutoDesk Fusion 360

Autodesk Fusion 360 3D Printing

AutoDesk Fusion 360 is one of the best 3D printing software. This is a cloud-based 3D CAD software that uses the power of the cloud making it easy for team members to collaboratively work on complex projects. AutoDesk Fusion 360 is a professional software with a monthly payment subscription basis. It offers a lot of design options including freeform, solid, and mesh modeling.

Price: Free for personal use and startups, $595/year for commercial license

Solid Modeling: Yes

Specially Made For Amateurs to professionals

4. AutoDesk AutoCAD

AutoDesk AutoCAD Software

Autodesk AutoCAD is a high-end 3D modeling software with amazing 3D printing tools. This 3D modeling & printing software is best suitable for professional 3D designers who have experience in programming 3D designs algorithmically. It is a very powerful software that has lots of functionalities under its pocket. It allows the user to attach and import data from PDFs, add annotations to drawings, and extract object data to tables. Autodesk AutoCAD is capable of easily converting 3D models into STL files for better 3D printing. It also offers web & smartphone applications.

Price: Free with trial / $1449 per year

Solid Modeling: Yes

Specially Made For Experienced Professionals

5. Ultimaker Cura

Ultimaker Cura 3D Printing Software

Don't go for its name, Ultimaker Cura is capable of supporting any 3D printer. It is an open-source 3D modeling slicer ideal for beginners because it is natural & fast. While it has a few menu options which make it easy to start with for 3D modeling students. Ultimaker Cura has backup & syncing plugins. Users can save projects with a digital library. Their official website provides access to 3D printing online courses. Ultimate Cura can be used to print on multiple networks and is compatible with STL, X3D, OBJ, and 3MF file formats. This 3D printing software takes a lot of time to print 3D models. The great thing about this software is that it has a worldwide community of 40,000 active users from which you can ask anything regarding 3D modeling.

Price: Free

Solid Modeling: Yes

Specially Made For Best for Beginners who don't want to spend a lot of money

6. PTC Creo

PTC Creo 3D Modeling Software

Creo is developed by Parametric Technology Corporation. It is one of the leading product designing software in the market. Creo is one of the best 3D printing & manufacturing software. Users can take advantage of its AR capabilities for easy simulation of 3D designs.

It allows the users to take advantage of data from the real world to generate accurate designs. Creo is quite difficult to configure by beginners because it has way more features that a new user could understand. Creo is available for a 30-day free trial to know how the 3D modeling software works or you can purchase a lifetime license of this software by paying a $2310 one-time payment.

7. SolidWorks

Now, let's talk about SolidWorks. SolidWorks is a CAD-based software often used by professional 3D designers. It features a large number of features including design validation tools, and reverse engineering. SolidWorks generally focuses on industrial designs while most other software is focused on flat designs. It uses a system of NURBS that produces wonderfully detailed curvatures. SolidWorks comes with three different packages including $1295/year or $3995 for a lifetime license.

8. Catia

At first, Catia was developed to serve the internal requirements of Dassault Aviation. However, it deliberately accumulated massive popularity for being a multi-purpose suite. Catia is one of the best multi-suite platforms which cater to multiple features including CAD, CAM, and CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) in the aerospace & automotive industries.

Using Catia, users can easily monitor the changes in the 3D model for adequate improvement of the product. Users can collaborate online for product designing, and share designs of 3D models. Catia is being used by some of the biggest automotive companies in the world including BMW, Porsche, Daimler Chrysler, Audi, Volkswagen, Bentley Motors Limited, Volvo, and many more. Although, it is a plethora of features yet it is quite expensive than most other 3D modeling software.

9. Rhinoceros 3D

Rhinoceros 3D or Rhino 3D software is proclaimed as one of the most skillful 3D modelers. This 3D modeling software uses NURB, which is clean and lets users manipulate curves, points, surfaces, meshes, and solids in any manner. Using Rhinoceros 3D, users can easily alter the display control points on the 3D model which efficiently alters into the required design. It allows the users to import files from several sources like DXF, SolidWorks, IGES, AutoCAD, OBJ, SketchUp, MicroStation, STEP, and STL, among others. This 3D printing software also supports 3D digitizers and it is capable of importing 3D scanned point data from the cloud. It allows the users to add dimensions to any viewpoint. While this 3D modeling comes with several packages but the paid package starts from $295 - $495.

10. SketchUp

SketchUp 3D Designing Software

SketchUp Make is another great software for 3D printing & designing. It is a very powerful modeling software as it maintains the balance between usability and functionality which makes it ideal for most skill levels. It offers an easy learning option with more advanced features for professionals at an extra cost. SketchUp also allows the users to document 3D designs in 2D. Looking at its features, SketchUp is a great option for interior & exterior design projects. On SketchUp, complex designs often take quite a time but for simpler designs, it doesn't take much time. It comes with a free version, SketchUp Make, and paid version with additional features, SketchUp Pro.

FAQs

What is the best design software for 3D printing?

  • Tinkercad
  • Blender
  • AutoDesk Fusion 360
  • AutoDesk AutoCAD
  • Ultimaker Cura
  • PTC Creo
  • SolidWorks
  • Catia
  • Rhinoceros 3D
  • SketchUp

What 3D software is most used?

  • Autodesk Maya.
  • ZBrush.
  • Lightwave 3D.
  • Houdini.
  • Cinema 4D.
  • Modo.
  • Blender

Can you make money from 3D printing?

Yes, you can generate income from a 3D printer. And there are numerous ways to do so, such as selling 3D printed items, digital goods, or even offering a 3D printing service in your area.

Best 3D Modeling Software for Mac?

  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Blender
  • 3DS Max
  • Maya 3D Animation
  • FreeCAD - Open Source 3D Modeler
  • AutoCAD Civil 3D
  • Pixologic
  • OpenSCAD
  • MeshMixer
  • Rhinoceros

Is Fusion still free?

For eligible non-commercial users, Fusion 360 for personal use is free for three years. Fusion 360 home-based, non-commercial design, manufacturing, and fabrication projects must be performed by a hobbyist user who makes less than $1,000 USD in annual revenue.

Is Blender 3D free?

The open-source, free 3D modeling program is called Blender. The whole 3D pipeline is supported, including modeling, sculpting, rigging, simulation, 2D and 3D animation, compositing, motion tracking, and video editing.

Is Maya hard to learn?

A cyclopean program is Maya. It is capable of virtually anything you could want of a 3D package. This is what gives it its strength, but it also makes learning it challenging. Because of its extreme intricacy, elements are hidden inside menus.

How does 3D printing 2022 make money?

Design and sell 3D prints, Start a local 3D printing business, Design and build prototypes, Rent out your 3D printer, Sell digital 3D models, Repair things in your household, Repair 3D printers for others, etc.


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