7 Best Software for 3D Printing of 2022 (Features and Pricing)

Last updated on by Editorial Staff
Software for 3D Printing

3D printing is a fantastic technology, but using the right software is critical to getting great results.

Not all software is created equal. Some tools are better for beginners, while others are for more advanced ones. It can be hard to know which program is right for you.

We’ve listed 7 best software for 3d printing based on user feedback. You may be a beginner or an experienced printer; we have a program that will suit your needs.

Here is the list of 7 best software for 3d printing.

1. FreeCAD

“FreeCAD” is free software that can be used for 3D printing. You can create simple or complex designs with this software. It’s easy to use and has several features. That is an excellent program for beginners. A community of volunteers develops it.

Specialty: Enables robust 2D sketching and 3D modeling toolkit. Includes a technical drawing module and a robot simulation for manufacturing workflow. 

Features

  • Export/import models and data
  • A 2D sketching tool that allows sketching geometry-constrained
  • Provides dedicated workbenches for CSG modeling 2D, 3D printing
  • FreeCAD provides tools for exporting and editing solid, full-precision models for 3D printing or CNC machining, 2D drawings
  • A Robot simulation enables you to learn robot movements in a graphical environment
  • Modular architecture allows plugin extensions to add features to the core application
  • A Rendering module can export 3D models for rendering with external renderers
Overview of FreeCAD

Price

This software is entirely free.

Likes 

  • Easy user interface
  • It offers Python Scripting, Model meshing

Dislikes

  • Since FreeCAD 0.19, it no longer officially supports 32-bit Windows. It might work on these systems, but no support is given.
  • Depending on a computer’s OpenGL graphics capabilities, one might encounter a crash when running FreeCAD via a remote desktop. To fix this, you need to upgrade your OpenGL driver.

Other details

Supported applicationsArchitecture, Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Manufacturing. 
Latest releaseFreeCAD 0.20
Date June 14, 2022
Programming languageC++, Python
Operating systemLinux, macOS, Unix, Windows, FreeBSD
Business sizeSmall, medium
CompetitorsArchiCAD, AutoCAD, DesignSpark Mechanical
Customer ratingsIn g2, 4.2 out of 5 (54 reviews)

2. Autodesk TinkerCAD

TinkerCAD is 3D printing software that enables you to design and print 3D objects. It’s free, open-source software that’s easy to use and allows you to create complex designs. Tinker also supports developing basic models of constructive solid geometry for beginners.

Specialty: Enables the creation of 3D printable models and basic solid modeling.

Features

  • Compatible with STL 3MF OBJ file types
  • Mesh repair functionality
  • Standalone Slicer Integrated 3D Modeling
  • Cloud-based Platform
  • Easy to add or import shapes, adjust shapes and combine elements
  • Easy to add or import and adapt figures, duplicate and combine elements
  • Multiple object alignment along any axis
  • Ruler to measure dimensions
Design View of Autodesk TinkerCAD
Design View of Autodesk TinkerCAD

Price

It is fully free of cost.

Likes

  • It is easy to learn and implement

Dislikes

  • The size of the canvas is limited.
  • It offers significantly less customization.

Other details

DeploymentCloud, SaaS, Web-Based
Supported applications Education
File format to import and exportSTL, OBJ, and SVG
Programming languageJavaScript, Web
User type Beginner
Customer ratings4.6 out of 5 (95 reviews)

3. Ultimaker Cura

Ultimaker Cura is a free, open-source 3d printing software application that gives users everything they need to control their 3D printing process.

Cura is the single stop for all your 3D printing needs, from settings and pre-sets to simple firmware updates. Over the past eight years, it has become one of the most popular slicing applications on the market. 

Features

  • Plugins allow opening a file from a menu or exporting it from an application
  • Slices your 3D model into layers and generates G-code instructions
  • Print from history without reslicing
  • Automated material handling, air filtration, and filament humidity control
  • Advanced active leveling, remote printing, and monitoring make 3D printing more superficial and accessible.
  • Provides the widest material choice from advanced polymers to carbon fiber composites for the application.​
  • Seamless integration with the help of plugins
  • Scale production and digital distribution
Design View of Ultimaker Cura
Overview Demo Page of Ultimaker Cura

Price

It offers both free and subscription pricing models.

It offers three pricing options.

  • Ultimaker Essentials – Cost information not provided
  • Ultimaker Professional –$50 per month
  • Ultimaker Excellence –$1,000 per month
Pricing of Ultimaker Cura

Likes

  • It has an easy user interface.
  • It is very versatile and has a large community of users.
  • It is constantly being updated with new features.

Dislikes

  • Slicing can be slow for huge models.

Other details

Supported applicationsProduct development, Manufacturing, Food and Beverages, End-use parts, Architecture, and Education
File supportSTL, 3MF, and OBJ
Latest release 5.1.0 / 19
DateJuly 2022
Programming languagePython, C++, QML
Operating systemWindows, macOS, Linux
Business size Medium to large
User typeBeginners, Advanced Users
Customer ratings4.6 out of 5 (34 reviews)

4. Octo print

It is a web interface for managing 3D printers. It allows you to send G-code files to your printer, start and stop prints, view the print status and history, and much more. It’s open-source software released under the GPLv3 license.

Features

  • Compatible with most of the available 3D printers. 
  • An embedded webcam allows you to see how the printer creates an object.
  • The Integrated G CODE visualizer allows you to watch a rendition of the G CODE that you are printing.
  • Advanced temperature settings
  • Bed Level Visualizer.
  • Theme control UI using Themeify.
  • Plugins allow us to extend OctoPrint’s functionality individually.
Overview of OcroPrint

Price

The software is entirely free.

Likes

  • It provides customizable features.
  • Webcam allows you to see defects and cancel a print, reducing material waste.

Dislikes

  • Restarting a print can sometimes result in immediate failure.

Other details

Latest release 1.8.1
Date May 24, 2022
Programming languagePython, JavaScript
Operating systemWindows, macOS, Linux
Customer ratings4.3 out of 5(6 reviews)

5. Blender

A blender is a software for 3D printing that helps you to create 3D models from scratch or to modify existing ones. It’s free and open, so you can download and use it on your computer.

Blender has many features, including creating meshes, editing textures, sculpting objects, adding lighting and animation, and exporting your models for printing.

Specialty: Designed to develop sophisticated 3D models.

Features

  • Multi-core CPU rendering using SIMD acceleration
  • Python coding for custom tools and add-ons
  • Digital sculpting tools enable the power and flexibility
  • Non-Linear Animation (NLA) helps with independent movements
  • Rigging tools enable envelope, skeleton, and automatic skinning
  • Real-time view tracked footage and 3d scene
  • VFX support for motion tracking
Overview of Blender

Price

It is entirely free.

Likes

  • The perfect tool to learn and can make competitive photorealistic renders 

Dislikes

  • Slightly complex animation needs python programming.
  • Not optimized well for portable devices.

Other details

Supported applications Modeling, sculpting, rigging, 3D and 2D animation, simulation, rendering, compositing, motion tracking, and video editing
Latest release3.2.2 3 
DateAugust 2022
Programming languageC, C++, and Python
Operating systemWindows, macOS, Linux, OpenBSD, NetBSD, DragonFly BSD,Haik
User type Advanced Users
Customer ratings4.5 out of 5 in g2(224 reviews)

6. Sketchup

SketchUp is one of the world’s most popular 3D modeling and design tools. Used by architects, engineers, construction professionals, woodworkers, and hobbyists, SketchUp is easy to use yet powerful enough to create high-quality models.

Features

  • 3D Imaging
  • 2D parametric modeling
  • Architectural Symbol and Component Library
  • Annotations
  • Data Import/Export
  • Document Management
  • BIM Modeling
  • 3D Printing
Overview of  Sketchup

Price

  • Basic-$199-Design & collaborate anywhere
  • Professional-$299-Create professional work
  • Studio-$699-For advanced workflows
Pricing Sheet of Sketchup

Likes

  • The advantage of Sketchup is that you can create whatever you like.
  • You can use the 3ds max and Vray plugin to create excellent renderings.

Dislikes

  • UI looks complex for beginners

Other details

DeploymentCloud, SaaS, Web-Based
Supported applicationsSocial media, advertising, analytics, software
Latest releaseSketchUp Pro 2022.0
DateJanuary 25, 2022
Operating systemLinux, Windows
DeploymentCloud, SaaS, Web-Based
Supported languagesGerman, English, French, Italian, Japanese
Customer Support Email/Help Desk, FAQs/Forum, Knowledge Base, Phone Support
Customer ratingsIn g2, 4.5 out of 5 (750 reviews)
Capterra, 4.5 out of 5 (824 reviews)

7. Autodesk Fusion 360

Autodesk Fusion 360 is a powerful, professional-grade 3D printing software engineers and designers use to create high-quality prints.

It enables a wide range of features and options that allow users to customize their images, ensure quality results, and produce parts with excellent accuracy.

Specialty: Integrated cloud CAD, CAM, CAE, and PCB software platform.

Features

  • Flexible 3D modeling with direct, surface, parametric, mesh, or freeform modeling
  • Full-fledge electronics and PCB tools
  • Includes SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis)
  • Support for 16-layer PCB systems
  • Electronics cooling simulations allow for the management of thermal constraints of electronic components
  • Advanced CAD modeling tools make it easy to create detailed 3D designs
Overview of  Autodesk Fusion 360
Overview of Autodesk Fusion 360
  • FEA verification, testing, and simulation help topology and shape optimization with cloud-based machine learning and AI

Price

  • $1,5 paid every three years-$1555 VALUE
  • Paid annually- $545
  • Paid monthly-$70
Pricing of Autodesk fusion 360

Likes

  • It can work on one project live with a team.
  • You can save and share tasks with coworkers on the cloud. 

Dislikes

  • Sometimes cause network speed issues.
  • Limited in creating functions on CAD as compared to top design CAD tools.

Other details

DeploymentCloud, SaaS, Web-Based
Supported applications 3D CAD, CAM, and CAE professionals
Operating systemMac, Windows
Support Email/Help Desk, FAQs/Forum, Knowledge Base, 24/7 (Live Rep)
Customer ratingsCapture, 4.6 out of 5 (158 reviews)

FAQs

What is 3D printing?

3D printing is a process of creating three-dimensional solid objects from a digital model. The printer reads the digital model and manufactures the object by laying down successive thin layers of material until the entire object is created.

What are the applications of 3D printing technology?

3D printing has many potential applications, including manufacturing aircraft parts, medical implants, prosthetic body parts, eyeglasses, food, clothing, and toys. It has also been used to create homes and other buildings.

Is 3d printing costly?

The cost of 3D printers has decreased dramatically in recent years, making them a more viable option for homes and small businesses. However, the 3D printing materials (filament, resin, Etc.), the operation cost (energy, maintenance, Etc.), and the complexity of objects decide the cost.

Conclusion

As 3D printing becomes more popular, the demand for software to help with the process increases. The seven best software for 3d printing listed in this blog post is some of the most popular and highly rated options.

Each has its unique features and strengths, so it is important to choose the one that will work best for your individual needs.

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