Best Program To Make 3d Models For Printing – Modeling is one of the most important skills in 3D printing. Without it, you won’t be able to use your expensive equipment, which will soon become a useless toy gathering dust in the closet. In this article, we review basic and professional level programs that will help you learn how to create models for 3D printing.
The most popular software of this type is CAD (computer aided design). This technology essentially replaced freehand drawing. CAD software allows you to model objects from headphone wires to rocket launchers. The technology works on the principle of geometry. It is based on a two-dimensional technical drawing of the object. The software automatically performs all mathematical calculations, making the work of engineers, designers and developers easier. The advantage of such software lies in the accuracy of calculations required in mechanical engineering, or in the design of technical components where exact dimensions are important.
Best Program To Make 3d Models For Printing
The purpose of the simplest computer-aided design systems is to create two-dimensional drawings and related documentation. More sophisticated programs allow the development of 3D objects based on existing standard models.
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The most time-consuming programs go beyond CAD and creative 3D modeling. Here, we are initially dealing with a three-dimensional form, not a flat pattern. The use of such programs requires professionalism and at the same time offers more opportunities to solve complex problems that are not provided by automatic algorithms, but often without a clear reference to dimensions.
We open our certification with a free program with a simple, intuitive interface for professional use. It can be used to design either smaller parts or entire buildings. FreeCAD will be good for beginner 3D printing. In this software, you create a 2D sketch and then export it to a 3D model. The program interface is divided into modules such as “Drawing”, “Rendering”, “Architecture”.
We have already mentioned its user-friendly functions, such as: zoom, angle change, camera control. The upper toolbar contains all the tools needed for modeling. On the left side you will find switchable modules. At the bottom of the screen are the model properties. It is convenient that you can open several drawings in different tabs at the same time and switch between them as needed.
This software is no worse in terms of functionality than its paid counterparts. Plus, it’s an open source program. Advanced users can use the Python programming language to add additional options provided by the default settings.
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The obvious advantage of the program is that it is compatible not only with Windows and macOS, but also with Linux.
It is worth mentioning that Freecad uses its own extension when saving files, so errors and inaccuracies may occur when loading projects from third-party programs.
If you have never built a model before, you will definitely come across this software. Designed to teach kids about the possibilities of 3D and perfect for home design and 3D printing.
You don’t even need to download Tinkercad. This Autodesk service is available online. To get started, you must sign in as a student, teacher, or individual user and use the service for free.
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You can start modeling a service workspace using existing forms or create a new project from scratch. The work included in the tender is also accompanied by reference material specially developed for training. The main tools are “Group”, “Adjust” and “Align”. In addition, the software has also saved the works of other authors, most of which you can modify and then 3D print.
Users of the service work with 3D shapes, but can also convert 2D sketches into 3D models. The program saves the finished project as stl, obj and svg files. It is very convenient because it can be opened in other, preferably more professional, software. The stl format allows files to be imported into third-party slicers for 3D printing.
In fact, TinkerCAD is a free training service for beginners that will guide you into the world of more advanced CAD software.
It is a commercial software from Autodesk, but has a free license for students, personal users, and small businesses if you are using it for non-commercial purposes or as a startup making less than $100,000 a year. The license is issued for one year, with the possibility of extension. It is noteworthy that the full range of functions is not available in the personal and student editions for professional use. However, their shortcomings are not important for the average user.
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As for the program interface, it is user-friendly, but since the software is full of various options, it will be difficult for a beginner to figure it out right away. The software offers many options for modeling solids. The tools here are no different from classic tools, but there is a timeline so you can go back and make changes at any stage of your modeling. Here you can also access spline modeling, manually control the parameters of the 3D curves or set the dimensions automatically.
Fusion 360 is perfect for working with drawings, which justifies its rating in our best CAD software review. You can set the parameters required for drawing. It is also possible to create specific models using mathematical functions. In this case, all elements belonging to that value are changed. So, for example, you can create a gear by specifying the number of modules and teeth.
The software includes a gallery of the most popular engineering part templates, as well as the ability to import and edit 3D scanned objects.
Fusion 360 supports more than 50 file formats, such as sldprt, sat, iges, step, stl, and obj, but saves projects as f3d files.
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This software does rendering and animation and supports engineering analysis work where you can see the weak points of the model you are using.
This CAD software for 3D printing has its own slicer, which means it slices the model to prepare it for printing. It also supports printing items here.
What makes it unique: clear interface, access to the library of models created by other users.
It is a simple software popular among architects. People use it to design buildings and even cities. This software is owned by Google Company; Much of the structure of Google Earth was created with his help.
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This software has a free version for non-commercial use. The manufacturer offers a stripped down version of SketchUp Make and a full but expensive SketchUp Pro.
All 3D objects in SketchUp are created based on drawings, which in turn consist of simple elements: lines, arcs, rectangles, etc.
Importantly, there are educational materials at every step to make learning the software easier. A virtual assistant tells you what to do next. The user-friendly interface makes working with the software easier.
The resulting projects are saved as skp files. Software users can import and export dwg, ddf, jpg, png, psd, obj files.
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Like its analogues, this software has a library of popular models that you can download for free. It supports additional plugins for exporting, rendering and creating physical effects. There are free Ruby extensions for SketchUp, but it is closed source software.
Interestingly, this software is not compatible with Linux, and its modern versions are not suitable for 32-bit systems.
This free 3D editor can be used not only for 3D modeling and rendering, but also for creating animations, sculptures and computer games. Yes, it has a game engine, as well as brushes for painting and animation tools, including skeletons; It has great capabilities for textures, visualization renders, basic video editing and of course 3D modeling, otherwise Blender wouldn’t be on our list. While we are talking about the CAD software used for 3D modeling here, we will not go into detail about the rendering and animation capabilities of the software.
This software has a complex interface. It is not surprising, because it combines many options. But you can work faster if you set hotkeys. The software runs smoothly under Windows, GNU/Linux and MacOS. The installation file weighs about 200 MB.
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Blender goes beyond CAD software. Here we can immediately work with 3D models. Among its options, you will find the design of objects based on primitives. It is also possible to work with polygons or NURBS and Bézier curves, as well as metaspheres, Boolean operations and subdivision surfaces. A basic tool for sculpting is also provided. There are various modifiers in the software gallery. These options allow you to perform actions or assign properties to an object.
It’s important to point out that when you’re modeling polygons, remember to make sure the geometry of the object is closed.
This software is not suitable for professional engineers and architects, but it is good for home 3D printing.
This simple computer-aided design system is based on the existing Qcad software
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