When designing something for 3D printing, the software you want to use depends on what you try. Generally, 3D design software falls into two categories. CAD software is commonly used when making industrial items such as mechanical items.

On the other hand, some CAD software enables maximum artistic freedom because the design does not have to be mechanical, functional or physically fit. Historically, 3D modeling software has been used to create organic designs in movie animations and video games. However, it can be used to create 3D printed models.

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– Beginner Level

– Free

TinkerCAD is an online 3D design application for beginners coming from Autodesk. The software has an intuitive block building concept, which allows you to create models from a set of basic shapes. The online software is equipped with a library of millions of files that users can use to find the right format and manipulate it as needed.

It also has direct communication with third party print services. This is a very simple program, and there will be some limitations. But, it is for those who have no experience working with 3D models.

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– Beginner Level

– Free

FreeCAD is a free, open-source parametric three-model modelling tool that lets you design realistic objects of any size. Parametric components make editing easy. You can go into the history of the model and change the parameters to make the model different.

This software is not designed for professional purposes, but it is a great training tool. The options offered are very basic, but a good start is when you have no experience.

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– Beginner Level

– Free

This 3D software is specifically designed for educational, developmental purposes so that anyone can use OpenCAD, a more professional CAD software. The object development and transformation order are represented by the colour block, reminiscent of the famous construction toy.

BlocksCAD code is compatible with Open SCAD so you can provide models later. The export format can be Open SCAD or STL. To make sure that anyone learns to use the software, Blockscade has a YouTube channel with various tutorials on 3D models.

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– Intermediate Level

– One license is $2,310

Creo is one of the market leaders in software product design, developed by Parametric Technology Corporation 30 years ago. This includes many tasks such as thermal surface construction, structural, motion, parametric and direct force models and models.

It's a complete, customizable tool for additional manufacturing, allowing you to perform your dimensional calculations while providing the final ID model. The latest version of Crew 5.0 was released in 2018 and has redesigned a better user interface for better handling. A 30-day trial version is available for free.

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Fusion 360

– Intermediate Level

– Payment: $60/month or $495/year

– Free for students, educators & academic institutions

Fusion 360 is a 3D CAD-based virtual program. The unique use of force can bring together design teams to collaborate on complex projects. The advantage of the Fusion 360 platform is that it stores the history of all models, including all changes. It includes a variety of design options, including free, solid modelling and mesh models.

Monthly payments are based on purchases. Developers are also constantly updating these features, leading to new instalments. It uses a variety of platforms and allows users to access information wherever they want. Many praised the ability and use of software and professional interfaces and workflows.

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– Professional Level

– One license is $3,995

Published by Dassault Systems, it is often used by professional 3D designers. This is a parametric model. The software includes many features such as design validation tools, or reverse engineering.

They are used only for industrial equipment. It is very practical and detailed. A special feature of this is that unlike other software that mimics curves through a smooth flat structure, SolidWorks uses the NURBS system. The system allows you to create curves in detail.

Furthermore, it is not a polygon model; it uses a one-dimensional schema and thus eliminates it. Software users are often at a disadvantage. It has a limited ability to import STL files. If you want to download and convert, STL files, the secondary program will be the most important. File Formats There are many formats of the output file and are not for the post-design process.

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– Professional Level

– From $185/month or $1,470/year

– Free and fully-functional version to download for students and faculties.

AutoDesk's AutoCAD software was the first CAD software to hit the market in 1982, based on the CAD software industry. Although AutoCAD is well-known and widely used, its popularity in the i.matoryise pole in the 3D printing community has recently waned.

Many users say that although it is ideal for 2D drafts, 3D models are not easy to use. In fact, the learning curve is to master macros and high-speed scripts because they can solve simple classes. The purpose of the software is to provide professionals with experience in algorithm programming models.

If you have this skill, then there is nothing you can't do with AutoCAD. 3D models for 3D printing can be easily converted to STL files. Since 2010, AutoCAD has been released on mobile and web applications, also known as AutoCAD 360.

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- Professional Level

– Starting price around $10,000

CATIA CAD solutions have historically been tailored to the needs of Dassault Aviation. More than just CAD software, it is a multi-platform software suite for CAD, CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing), CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) and much more. They were used by Dassault Systems' 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

Catia builds and designs products using a variety of tools to use existing tools at different stages of the product development process, incorporating different methods for product design and development.

That's why the software is so useful for industrial and creative designers, mechanical engineers and system architects. Catia provides a 3D design environment that creates online and organizes parties to share product design and sharing in product modelling.



From a single product to large manufacturing industry, you can't ignore the importance of design. Even when you need to design a product, property or something else, the manual work seems limited. Therefore, it is important to support machines and equipment.

田中 菜月
田中 菜月 Oct 31, 23
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