Working on a 3D digital model feels so satisfying when you get to print it the way you envisioned it. 3D printing software help realize this hard work into reality. Here are some of the best 3D printing software available right now.


14+ 3D Printing Software

1. Fusion 360

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Rating: 4.7/5

Price: $60/month

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2. Onshape

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Rating: 4.7/5

Price: $1,500/year

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3. Tinkercad

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Rating: 4.6/5

Price: Custom

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4. Solid Edge

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Rating: 4.8/5

Price: FREE

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5. Ultimaker Cura

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Rating: 5/5

Price: FREE

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6. Markforged

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Rating: 5/5

Price: Custom

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7. Blender

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Rating: 4.7/5

Price: Custom

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8. Simplify3D

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Rating: 4.3/5

Price: Custom

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9. Makeprintable

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Rating: 5/5

Price: Custom

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10. Shape Ways

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Rating: 5/5

Price: Custom

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11. 3D Slash

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Rating: 5/5

Price: Custom

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12. 3dprinting.com

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Rating: 4.5/5

Price: Custom

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13. OctoPrint

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Rating: 4.7/5

Price: Custom

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14. Slic3r

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Rating: 4.7/5

Price: FREE

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15. Repetier-Host

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Rating: 4.9/5

Price: FREE

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What Is 3D Printing Software?

3D printing is a manufacturing process where digital 3D models are constructed and printed using 3D printing software. Most 3D printing software is 3D modeling software themselves with features and tools that allow users to build their own 3D models.

Benefits

3D printing is a revolutionary technology that brings in so many benefits. Users can make their rendered 3D models come to life by printing them in 3D. These models could be their custom-made toys or everyday products such as utensils. 3D printing also provides a more flexible designing which the traditional manufacturing processes wouldn’t usually allow. Because it’s used by many personal users, 3D printing allows them to print their own models at any time if they have the equipment. The fact that 3D printing can be done at homes instead of factories makes this technology a cost-effective, environmental way of manufacturing products.

  • Users can print their 3D digital models to life
  • 3D printers can print anything from toys to utensils
  • Flexible printing design
  • Can be printed anytime
  • Cost-effective, environmentally friendly

Features

Because 3D printing software has integrated features for users to build their own 3D models for printing, the software should have the product design tools to build their 3D models and each software has different tools available depending on if they are a free user or paying subscriber. 3D printing software should be able to support STL files and other support file formats in order to print 3D models. Some software has cloud server backup features where 3D modeling can be done anywhere on any device and can also be a teamwork process. Most important, 3D printing software should be able to allow users to design, render and print any type of model.

  • 3D modeling tools
  • File support for 3D printing formats such as STL
  • Cloud services
  • Design any types of 3D models

Top 10 3D Printing Software

1. Markforged

Markforged provides industry-standard 3D printing features including The Digital Forge,  their software where its clients can build and print their own 3D models. Founded in 2013, the company has 284 employees and it earned a revenue of $20.3 million in the first quarter of 2021.

2. Fusion 360

Fusion 360 caters to both personal and business users as they provide 3D printing technology software and tools on a subscription basis. Launched in 2012 by Autodesk, the company has 10,300 employees and earned a revenue of $3.27 billion in 2020.

3. Simplify3D

Simplify3D believes that building perfect software matters so their own software ensures that 3D printers properly understand the instructions and specifications for high-quality 3D printing. Founded in 2013, the company has 16 employees and a revenue of $3 million.

4. Tinkercad

3D printing doesn’t need to be hard and professional thanks to Tinkercad with basic tools that can help everyone build their own 3D model easily, making the software popular for school students! Launched in 2011 by Autodesk, the company currently has 10,300 employees and earns a revenue of $3.27 billion in 2020.

5. Blender

Blender offers 3D printing tools and software for free to allow artists to show their creativity, with unique animated software-based tools integrated into 3D printing such as motion tracking and video editing. Founded in 2002 with currently 26 employees, the non-profit company receives $2 million annually via donations.

6. Ultimaker Cura

Ultimaker Cura allows 3D modeling to be done and printed from many devices with tools that make 3D modeling feel like a sophisticated profession. Founded in 2011, the company has 400 employees and has experienced a “double-digit revenue growth” in the first half of 2020 according to the company.

7. 3D Slash

3D Slash provides easy tools for everyone that make 3D printing a fun experience that feels like playing a game! Founded in 2014, the company has 6 employees in their Paris office and earns $33,192 in sales.

8. Onshape

Onshape does more than 3D printing as their cloud server saving feature and built-in data management software fosters collaboration from team members. The company was founded in 2012 and has currently 101 employees. 

9. Makeprintable

Founded in 2013, Makeprintable assures its clients and users that they can print high-quality 3D models the fastest while also fostering a community-like portal for fellow 3D printing hobbyists and professionals. 

10. OctoPrint

Founded in 2012, OctoPrint provides convenient tools for 3D printing which 3D modeling can be done from their website and can be printed remotely. 

How long does 3D printing take using 3D printing software?

There’s no concrete answer to how long 3D printing takes as it depends on the software and the type of model and material it takes to construct a 3D model. It could take minutes to hours to days and even weeks. There is some software that offers fast 3D printing but it really depends on the type of models that are being printed on.

How does 3D printing save the environment?

Unlike manufacturing factories, 3D printers do not waste much electricity and resources to print a 3D model. Also, the materials used to print 3D models contain recyclable and materials which makes it ideal to reuse recycled materials. The logistical costs such as manufacturing and transporting are almost eliminated which leaves a lesser carbon footprint compared to factories.

3D printing comes with a lot of advantages that include being an eco-friendly and cost-effective way to manufacture products. While it may take a long time to render and print them in 3D, the satisfaction and its potential usefulness make the hard work and patience worth it.


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