Ultimaker Cura is an open-source application that can be seamlessly integrated with any 3D printer. It is quite easy to use which makes it ideal for beginners.
However, it can also be a great choice for advanced users since it offers over 200 settings to refine their prints.
What makes Ultimaker Cura one of the best 3D printing software is that it offers highly customizable features that can meet the users’ specific requirements, allowing for in-depth control and smoother workflow.
Integration with Siemens NX, Autodesk Inventor, SolidWorks and more
AutoCAD is another powerful software from the set of products created by Autodesk. It is a computer-aided design (CAD) tool that helps users create precise 2D and 3D drawings.
The software is developed for professional use and offers a range of advanced features and capabilities to create 3D models. It has a huge amount of libraries and tools available which makes it one of the most quintessential programs on the market for architects and engineers.
2D drafting, drawing and annotation
3D modeling and visualization
PDF import and export
Ability to extract object data to tables
Offers a web and smartphone application
Comes with preloaded plugins for building product design
Ability to easily convert 3D models into STL files which allows easy printing
Requires very high-level hardware resources for big models
Lacks tools for complex geometry
Some templates are difficult to use
This best 3D printing software costs:
$3,652/paid every 3 years
Free trial? Yes, estimated four gigabytes (no credit card required)
Users can get a 30-day money-back guarantee on annual plans.
Using OpenSCAD, designers can create reliable and solid three-dimensional objects. While most popular 3D printing tools focus on the artistic side of 3D modeling, this software is more focused on the CAD aspect.
This open-source platform is most appropriate for professionals working on complex projects, but also suitable for coders and programmers.
What makes OpenSCAD special is the ability to offer a look under the hood of 3D models as well as the potential to import 2D drawings and extrude them as 3-dimensional.
These are the key benefits of using these types of software platforms:
Lower production cost and waste reduction: During the traditional development process, creators use blocks of raw materials and shapes until they get the intended design. However, this can mean a waste of resources, time and money. With 3D printer modeling software, designers can create products in a digital form that printers can later create or replicate the exact same objects. This not only saves time and effort, but it also ensures that for the developed objects materials were used just as much as needed.
Better product quality: Unlike traditional product design that can sometimes lead to poor quality, developing products using 3D printer modeling software can ensure the products created are of the highest standard. This is because these tools not only allow for the preview, adjustments and refinements of objects, but they are also printed step to step, which ensures higher quality.
Fairly small learning curve: These tools come with many detailed guides and tutorials that allow designers to learn their functionalities. They can also select different templates that will guide them through the development process, making it easy for beginners to gain the needed skills to operate with them.
Easy and quick prototyping: Designing objects is a creative process that can undergo many changes until the designer gets the final version. These programs come with a wide range of tools and features that can make the prototyping easier and quicker, allowing them to preview them using virtual reality that can stimulate the experience before the object comes into life.
High customization capabilities: Based on the individual needs of the designers or their clients, 3D printing tools allow the modeling and manufacturing of personalized objects. From simple to complex objects, using these tools designers can create models that meet their requirements which allows for in-depth control and smoother workflow.
Which Industries Use Design Software For 3D Printers
3D modeling and printing tools are not limited to one specific field, however, the industrial and manufacturing sectors benefit most from them.
These programs revolutionize the way designers and engineers build parts, making the process more efficient and smooth.
According to a recent analysis on the 3D printing market, the industry verticals that will drive the market growth in the years to come are:
Aerospace and defense
And the top industries that take advantage of these tools are:
Automotive: Many notable brands like BMW and Porsche take advantage of design software for 3D printers to facilitate the printing of three-dimensional parts including prototypes, fixtures and jags. This process provides auto companies a cost-effective means to produce parts but also enjoy a high level of customization.
Aerospace: The aerospace industry is an early adopter of 3D printing since this process allows for the development of parts that are stronger and lighter than parts created with traditional manufacturing. Considering the fact that the objects created for this industry require high precision, aerospace manufacturers rely on 3D printer modeling software to develop parts that meet the highest standards in terms of the requirements of each component.
Robotics: 3D printer modeling software helps designers in the robotic sector create custom designs for different parts like grippers and sensor mounts. These programs benefit the industry making it possible for the creation of complex parts precisely at a lower cost.
How To Choose The Best 3D Printing Software
Selecting the best 3D printing software will depend on several key factors including:
Features and functionalities: You may have access to the most expensive software but it would be in vain if it does not include the type of features and functionalities you need to execute your projects. When comparing the best 3D printing software, make sure you consider only those that come equipped with the tools that will make your job as a designer easier. For instance, pay attention to the operating systems that they support or the type of industries they are most suitable for.
Cost: Some of these tools are open-source and reasonably priced while others come with hefty prices that not everyone can afford. There are also programs that offer both free versions and pro versions, where the latter ones come with advanced features. So, the cost can play a major role when selecting the best tool for your needs. This is why you need to compare these tools in terms of cost and available features and pick the one that falls in your budget but also meets your requirements.
Experience level: Be aware of the fact that these 3d printer modeling software tools come in different shapes and sizes, meaning they may not be suitable for every level. Depending on whether you are a beginner or a professional designer, pick the software that is most suitable for you considering the number of features supported.
Learning curve: Some of these tools come with extensive features that may require steep learning, especially for beginners who are not that much familiar with these types of programs. So, before selecting the best 3D printing software for you, make sure you find out how easy it is to get familiar with the program and if it offers guides and tutorials on more complex features.
Support and community: At some point, these programs may crash or experience some bugs. So, you may need to contact the support team for help. In addition, you might also want to pick a software company that has a well-developed online community where you can get in touch with other designers to ask questions, share advice and collaborate.
Best 3D Printing Software Takeaways
3D primer modeling software allows designers and engineers to develop three-dimensional models and print them into real objects with ease.
The industries that benefit the most from this software are:
The major benefits of using design software for 3D printers are:
Easy learning curve
Easy and quick prototyping
Better product quality
Lower cost and waste reduction
To choose the best 3D printing software for your needs, consider the following factors: