The advanced technology of 3D printing helps to create life-like designs from software platforms. Although the 3D printing technology is in its initial phase and rapid developments are happening each day, we already have some excellent software available to facilitate the outcomes. A well-developed and technically robust software is essential to create and print complex designs.
You can find a long list of 3D printing software on the Internet but only a few of them deliver what they promise. We have curated a list of the best available 3D printing software for your future design projects. While making this list, we have given top preference to the innovative features and hardware capabilities of the 3D printing software.
Important points to consider while choosing your 3D printing software
Choosing the best 3D printing software can be a tough task but an eye for detail and a little research can help you to filter out the best product available in the market. Here are the key points to consider while choosing your 3D printing software.
- User Interface and support
- Hardware integration
- Ability to provide preprint simulations
- Compatibility with the 3D printer device
There are different kinds of 3D printing software depending on the ways they print out the designs made by users. Material extrusion, Fused deposition modeling (FDM), Stereolithography (SLA), and Digital light processing are the most common methods used by 3D printing software.
Autodesk Fusion 360
Best 3D printing software
Fusion 360 is the top 3D printing software on our list. The innovative and powerful features make Fusion 360 the favorite choice of millions of users. This world-class tool makes the work of product designers, mechanical & electrical engineers, and machinists less complicated. Fusion 360 has a mechanical design approach and you can always test how your design will respond to outside forces such as pressure and heat in the real world. If your purpose is to create 3D printer-ready models, Autodesk Fusion 360 is the best choice without any doubt.
- Export file support is excellent
- History timeline to correct mistakes effortlessly
- Cloud storage support
- Mesh modeling feature to craft complex designs
- Relatively cheap pricing: Starts at $60 per month or $495 per year
If you ask us which is the most user-friendly 3D printing software, Tinkercad is the answer. This is an online tool and anyone can access it with a pc and internet connection. Even beginners can start using this amazing software with ease. That doesn’t mean Tinkercad lacks any advanced features. It packs all the important features of 3D printing software and works dynamically and efficiently. 3D printer compatibility is another great feature of Tinkercad and it allows designers to print out their 3D designs effortlessly. As the name suggests Tinkercad allows designers to tinker with their models before making any upgrades. If you want to try Tinkercad, there is even a free version available. Go check it out.
- Excellent support for 3D printer devices
- Easy to use the online version
- Can handle complex designs
- Free version
Welcome to the best free 3D printing software on our list. Open-source and powerful, Ultimaker Cura is one of the most widely used 3D printing software in the world. Thanks to the convenient user interface and integrated features of Cura. The main role of Ultimaker Cura is to make your printable 3D files fine-tuned and ready to print on your preferred printer. Integration of Ultimaker Cura with the CAD software is also excellent and it supports exporting a myriad of formats including STL, OBJ, X3D, 3MF, BMP, GIF, JPG, and PNG. This amazing 3D printing software is free to use if you only want the basic features. Users can download pre-made design profiles from the Ultimaker Cura library and print them after making the required changes.
- Open-source, free to use
- Well-integrated software workflow
- Easy to use
- Pre-designed profiles available for download
- Slicing features
Cloud storage is the future and the Onshape 3D printing software is a powerful tool that captivates the immense possibilities of cloud computing and storage. This cloud-based 3D printing software offers unique features and comes with a super-friendly user interface. When compared to other CAD design and printing software available in the market, Onshape stands out with its unique characteristics. For teams collaborating on design projects, this cloud-based software is a blessing. The end-to-end collaboration features are fantastic and it works on all platforms including desktops, smartphones, and tablets. Without a doubt, Onshape is one of the best tools to create accurate and immersive 3D models for printing.
- Cloud-based platforms
- Offers better storage and collaboration tools
- Compatible on Desktop, mobile, and tablets
- The basic version is free. Advanced features are offered with a paid plan, starting from $125 per month.
Creo is here to design and print real-life designs of any shape and size. Considered as one of the best 3D printing software for manufacturers, Creo brings augmented reality and AI-based capabilities to the 3D printing world. This astounding software is designed by Parametric Technology Corporation and they priced it at a one-time license fee of $2,310. A 30-day free trial is available for you to figure out the endless features of this robust tool. Beginners will find this software a little complicated to use because of the overloaded features it packs. Experts can create 3D models that have all the data embedded in them to define the product in real life.
- Efficient simulation of 3D designs using augmented reality
- Features one of the best topology optimization technologies
- A long list of innovative features
- Best for organizations and manufacturers
3D printing software help to translate an object designed by a 3D modeling software into collective data that the 3D printer device can effortlessly read. The role of 3D printing software in the design and manufacturing field is irreplaceable as of today. The use of such software has multiple benefits and it drastically reduces the production costs of manufacturers. We have tried our best to include the best 3D printing software available in the market on this list. Do let us know in the comments which is your favorite 3D printing software.