Is autocad good for 3d printing

Can You Use AutoCAD for 3D Printing? – Printing It 3D

3D model manipulation with AutoCAD is easy. Thousands of toolsets make specialty customization a breeze. Plus, the preset packages will cut down design time! 

You can use the computer-aided design program AutoCAD to assist creators in 3D printing. This Auto Desk design software is an elite product, perfect for all industries. Many professionals like architects, engineers, and creators use AutoCAD for design purposes.

Computer-aided design programs are known for their critical roles in creating prototypes for businesses, people in the construction industry, and more. Downloading AutoCAD software unlocks a new world of 3D printing creativity because it is so powerful. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is AutoCAD Used For? 

There are many uses for AutoCAD software.

AutoCAD is architectural computer-aided design software used for designing 3D and 2D models. The designs crafted from AutoCAD are used to create prototypes of buildings or models in various industries, such as engineering, to create 3D models for 3D printing. 

With AutoCAD, your 3D printing experience is more creative and innovative than ever.

AutoCAD is, by default, a fantastic tool for the construction industry. 

In addition, AutoCAD has also been recognized for its part in recent medical advancements creating artificial replacements. The extensive tools and printing capabilities make this the most advanced modeling program ever.

How Does AutoCAD Work With 3D Printing?

Creating a product prototype before pitching an idea is much more effective than showing it on paper.

AutoCAD works with the 3D printing process by creating accurate and precise 3D models. The program has endless capabilities, including creating prototypes, medical implants, miniature displays, and more.

Is AutoCAD Good for 3D Modeling? 

AutoCAD is excellent for 3D modeling. As a commercial computer design software, the included packages offer thousands of tools that make designing simple. AutoCAD offers hundreds of features that other CAD programs don’t.

A CAD program is required to complete the 3D printing process. This software helps manipulate the defining features of 3-dimensional objects. 

Pros of AutoCAD 

AutoCAD has everything you need in one comprehensive program to minimize the time you spend modeling and maximize the time you spend creating. 

In particular, here are its advantages:

AutoCAD Is Supported on Multiple Interfaces

AutoCAD is supported on multiple interfaces, including your personal computer, smartphone, and smart tablet. The AutoCAD mobile app makes designing 3D models more convenient than ever before.

For an additional cost, you can also upgrade your contract and access your subscription on multiple devices. This is excellent as it allows customers to avoid paying two subscriptions, especially businesses or people who use more than one computer (e. g., personal versus work, etc.).

AutoCAD Offers Attractive Bundle Deals

AutoCAD’s high expense deters many people, but the many deals offered may sway you otherwise. AutoCAD focuses primarily on quality products and customer satisfaction. That is why they strive to prove that this investment is worth it by offering great deals, including free software.

Examples of AutoCAD’s great deals:

  • Reduced contract costs 
  • A 30-day free trial
  • FREE software updates, add-ons, enhancements, etc. as they release

You can purchase AutoCAD contracts in monthly increments or up to as long as 3 years. The longer the contract term, the more you will save.

AutoCAD Features Time-Saving Toolsets 

AutoCAD has various toolsets that include millions of intelligent parts to help you save time, not cut corners. These additional packages make designing 3D models simple and include everything you need.

One unique feature includes the Architecture toolset. The Architecture toolset helps users create floor plans with preset models like walls and doors. 

AutoCAD includes thousands of objects like this across all added packages. These make designing much faster and more efficient.

Cons of AutoCAD 

With every great product comes a few drawbacks like high expense and a steep learning curve. Considering these drawbacks below before purchasing this CAD program is crucial. 

AutoCAD Is an Expensive Investment  

Since AutoCAD is an expensive CAD program, you should consider it as a long-term investment. Depending on the contract package you choose, it can cost over a thousand dollars. 

There are plenty of cheaper CAD program alternatives, but they are not necessarily better. The reason these programs are less expensive is that they do not include the same features.

AutoCAD Has a Steep Learning Curve

There are thousands of unique features included with AutoCAD. Unfortunately, the extensive features create a steep learning curve for people who have never used a CAD program.  

This advanced program can be well-enjoyed by veteran CAD users or quick learners. Several available options sometimes make diving in the deep end better.

AutoCAD Has High System Requirements 

The system requirements for AutoCAD are exceedingly high. These high system requirements prevent most people from using this AutoCAD successfully, even on upgraded computers that meet the requirements. That is why you must have a computer that exceeds the system requirements.

The (real) recommended system requirements for AutoCAD are: 

  • 3+ GHz processor 
  • 1920 x 1080 display with True Color 
  • 16 GB disk space of memory 

Every new update with AutoCAD includes a variety of new features that increases the system requirements significantly. Before investing in AutoCAD, consider if your computer can handle these updates.

Should You Get AutoCad for 3D Printing?

You should get AutoCAD if you’re serious about 3D printing. Since AutoCAD is an expensive program with a steep learning curve, it’s essential to treat it as a long-term investment, especially if you need it for your business. Ensure you have a computer strong enough to support the program.


AutoCAD is an excellent, highly recommended 3D printing computer-aided design program. 

There are many reasons AutoCAD is superior to its design program competitors:

  • It’s a high-quality CAD program.
  • It includes thousands of pro-made designs.
  • You’ll get a free upgrade with a subscription service.
  • It offers specialty contract discounts.

However, due to its high cost, you must treat AutoCAD as a long-term investment. Plus, AutoCAD has a learning curve, and you’ll need a strong computer for the program.

AutoCAD: All You Need to Know Before Getting Started

Published on July 8, 2022 by Carlota V.

AutoCAD enables the professional creation and editing of 2D geometry and 3D models with solids, surfaces, and objects. It is one of the most internationally recognized CAD software because of the wide variety of editing possibilities it offers. For these reasons, it is a tool widely used by architects, engineers and industrial designers, among others. Currently, the software is developed and marketed by Autodesk, a leader in the market of design, engineering and 3D animation software. Founded in 1982, Autodesk, a multinational company, began its adventure with the development of AutoCAD before moving on to other software solutions, some of which specialize in additive manufacturing.

The first version of AutoCAD included only a modifiable drawing and a limited set of functionalities. Despite its simplicity, it was at the time a real revolution as it allowed to replace traditional hand drawings with a digital drawings. The name AutoCAD refers to Autodesk of course but also to Computer Aided Design. Initially, the software was not designed for 3D design, it was only dedicated to two-dimensional modeling. AutoCAD has rapidly evolved: so what are its features today?

AutoCAD is one of the most popular CAD software on the market

How Does it Work?

AutoCAD software is available for MAC and Windows, and supported programming interfaces include ActiveX Automation, VBA, AutoLISP, Visual LISP, ObjectARX, and .NET. However, the type of interface to be used will depend on the programming needs and experience of the user. On the Autodesk website, we can see that AutoCAD software offers many different options depending on the type of user. Thus, one can choose specialized tool sets such as Map 3D, dedicated to mapping applications, Plant 3D for piping and instrumentation schematics, and finally AutoCAD Architecture for accelerating architectural design thanks to more than 8,000 available objects.

In AutoCAD, there are four types of 3D modeling. The first is wireframe modeling, where a three-dimensional structure is designed and used as a reference geometry on which various models and modifications are made. The second is the solid modeling where the user will be able to play with different masses. Surface modeling offers precise control of curved surfaces. Finally, mesh modeling allows the user to freely sculpt shapes, create folds and smoothing. The 3D models can be exported in .STL format, which allows them to be 3D printed.

There are 4 types of 3D modeling in AutoCAD

For those who are still in school, Autodesk also gives the option to purchase an educational version free for 3 years, which can be used on a maximum of two personal devices and is aimed primarily at students. In addition, the main versions allow all users to purchase a 30-day free trial period to discover all its functionalities. If by any chance you decide not to opt for this type of software, there are always alternatives, such as FreeCAD, Onshape or nanoCAD. In the following, we will explain the two main versions of AutoCAD, but it is important to mention that there is also a mobile version of the software.

Full AutoCAD, the Most Complete Version

Of course, the full version of AutoCAD includes all the features of the limited version, plus many more. It integrates a palette of industry-specialized tools to reach multiple disciplines such as architecture, mechanical and electrical engineering. It allows 3D modeling, rendering and point clouds capable of generating final products that users will be impressed with. It also provides individual and network licensing, ideal for teams as it does not limit to one license situation per person. In addition, unlike the LT version, this extended version allows export in .stl files for 3D printing. The price of this version is $235 per month, although if you decide to pay annually, the price will be $1865 which in the end is a lower amount than if purchased monthly.

Full AutoCAD is the most complete version and allows 3D modeling functions (photo credits: Autodesk)

AutoCAD LT, the Cheaper, More Limited Version

This LT version of AutoCAD is much more affordable than the full version, so it is normal to wonder what the difference is. The reason is that AutoCAD LT does not have a Z-axis in the drawing, or anything that uses it. This means that it has no 3D modeling capability, it only allows editing in two dimensions. Even so, it allows multiple functions. One of the main advantages of the LT version is its ease of use. It looks and works just like the extended version, but without the clutter of 3D modeling operations, among others. It is therefore ideal for people who are just starting out in this area and are looking to understand the basic commands of the software. The price of this version is $60 per month, having the option to contract a full year for $460, a little cheaper than if purchased monthly.

In conclusion, it is important to remember that, at its inception, AutoCAD was not created as a software dedicated to 3D design. In addition, it has many complex tools that make it difficult to use. Therefore, as it is not a software for beginners, we recommend other simpler software to get started in the world of 3D modeling, such as TinkerCAD. If you already have knowledge in this type of software and you are thinking of getting it, you can find more information on the official AutoDesk website HERE.

Have you used AutoCAD to create 3D printable models? Let us know in a comment below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly Newsletter, with all the latest news in 3D printing delivered straight to your inbox!

Fusion 360 vs. AutoCAD. Which application to choose for 3D printing?

There is no doubt that 3D printers can do a lot of great things. But to get the most out of them, you'll need a good CAD program to create your own 3D models. The two most popular options are Fusion360 and AutoCAD.

Now that you've narrowed down your choices to these two CAD packages, how do you know which one is right for you?

There is so much information to think about that it can be quite a difficult decision. In this post, we will walk you through a detailed guide, taking a close look at the specifications, features, and differences of both apps to make your choice easier.

Which application is best for beginners?

Both Fusion 360 and AutoCAD are designed for people with at least some experience in 3D design, but that doesn't mean newbies should give up right away.

Fortunately, it won't take years to learn the usable design of both programs. Instead, you only need to understand a few basic terms and concepts to get started.

If 3D modeling software is still too complicated for you, you can always order 3D printing from 3D4U with pre-modeling of your project.

Comparison of Fusion360 and AutoCAD.

Both programs are similar in terms of functionality and user interface. However, they do have some clear differences. Below we have provided a table showing the differences between AutoCAD and Fusion360.

Fusion360 AutoCAD
Designed for freeform models. Emphasizes models based on geometry.
Works mainly with cloud technologies. Works mainly with local and network files, but has the ability to save to the cloud.
It includes a lot of solid features and functions, but is a little more difficult to learn. Fewer features, making it easier to learn.
Capable of creating incredibly detailed 3D models that are very well suited for 3D printing. Can create both 2D and 3D drawings that will be primarily used in construction and engineering environments.
Ideal for modeling and prototyping products. Suitable for developing detailed drawings and plans for manufacturing parts.
Mainly used by mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and machining and manufacturing specialists. It is mainly used by builders, engineers and architects.
Cannot be controlled using the command line. You can control it from the command line.

What is the best CAD program and why?

Now that we know the difference in features and functions, we can begin to judge which CAD program is best for our needs as a 3D printer user and 3D model maker.

Whether you decide to buy a 3D printer for your home or a 3D printer for your business, you will need modeling skills to bring your ideas to life.

In the next section, we compared two applications in five different categories and determined a winner in each.

User support.

Both AutoCAD and Fusion360 are owned by Autodesk. So the customer support for both of these apps is very similar.

Fusion360 is mainly used by private users so you will probably find more questions and answers online than on AutoCAD, which is somewhat of an industry software.

Winner: Draw.

The complexity of the study.

Fusion360 includes many complex features that make it quite difficult to start learning, but most of the commands are intuitive.

AutoCAD is much more limited and easier to learn and master.

Even though AutoCAD takes a lot of effort to learn, it's still generally easier than Fusion360.

AutoCAD has been around for a long time and there are many tutorials available on the Internet.

However, Fusion360 has a very large following and is probably the more popular option for hobby users, which means that with its huge community, the average person will easily find answers, tutorials, and tips for their project.

Winner: AutoCAD.


Fusion360 and AutoCAD can create 3D models in virtually unlimited shapes and sizes.

However, Fusion360 has an advantage over AutoCAD in that it can create more complex designs, including:

  • Application of materials to desired shapes;
  • Inclusion in the development of the user interface of special design tools;
  • Materials for stress testing in real conditions;
  • Universal bolt hole tool;
  • AI-based part design;

Winner: Fusion360.

User experience.

AutoCAD and Fusion360 are both user-friendly because both have intuitive option menus, well-designed icons, and an identical 3-axis (x, y, z) workspace.

The difference is that Fusion360 has a right-click context menu that improves your workflow and saves you time, while AutoCAD comes with the classic "command line".

Which is better is more of a personal preference.

The average private user of Fusion360 will feel more familiar.

Winner: Fusion360.


The clear winner here is Fusion360 as finite element stress modeling (FEM) cannot be done with AutoCAD.

When running this type of simulation, you will need to apply it to the material qualities of your 3D model. These material qualities include ductility, tensile strength, thermal resistance, and fracture strength.

With simulation models, you can measure the force required to fail, allowing you to refine your design in the virtual world before sending it to print.

You can also stress analyze products with more than one ingredient. This allows you to assemble several parts together and determine the loads on the weakest link in the product.

After a thorough analysis of your project, all you have to do is choose and buy the right consumable for 3D printing.

Winner: Fusion360.


Rendering is great for seeing how your 3D print will look in real life.

Both Fusion360 and AutoCAD can efficiently realize and create amazing photorealistic images.

And since spectacle is an important factor in product development, you need to choose the 3D modeling software that will allow you to achieve your desired goal.

This is what you can achieve with AutoCAD and Fusion360, making them the perfect choice.

Winner: Draw.


Assemblies allow you to connect multiple components together and connect them using common engineering links and mechanisms so you can see how your assembly will move in real life.

When it comes to assembly, the clear winner here is Fusion360. And this should come as no surprise, since most modern CAD programs blur the line between a real product and a virtual model.

This example is well illustrated when assigning constraints and relationships in 3D models.

For example, with Fusion360 you can model an internal combustion engine and put together all the components, such as pistons, connecting rod and crankshaft, just like in a real engine.

Therefore, you can see how the motor starts and rotates just like in the real world.

This feature is handy for checking that your custom builds will fit together and move as you expect before 3D printing them.

Winner: Fusion360.

Overall winner: Fusion360.

While AutoCAD is a popular and high quality 3D modeling software, Fusion360 is overall the best choice for those of us who use it to design 3D printed parts.

With Fusion360, you can create any 3D model efficiently and productively, whether it's a phone case, gaming miniatures or a drone.

AutoCAD 3D modeling software overview.

AutoCAD specifications.

AutoCAD 3D modeling software is used to create both 2D and 3D models in the manufacturing industry and AEC - Architecture (architecture), Engineering (mechanical engineering) & Construction (construction).

AutoCAD Core Features:

Electrical toolset: AutoCAD integrates a standard electrical symbol library and simplified schematic diagramming. This feature is ideal for electricians and engineers.

Map 3D: AutoCAD 3D modeling software can easily read and edit GIS (Geographic Information System) topology for use in design, planning and geodata management.

Architectural toolset: this program includes specialized automatic tools that allow you to efficiently create architectural drawings and documentation. As a result, it is an ideal program for both architects and other architecture experts.

Mechanical toolset: although it is almost identical to the electric tool set, it is integrated with mechanical components and parts. This function is most often used by mechanical specialists.

Plant 3D: This essential feature helps users create the diagrams and drawings needed for plant design.

AutoCAD system requirements.

Operating system. Windows 10 (64-bit only), Windows 8.1, or Microsoft® Windows® 7 SP1.
Memory. 8 GB, but 16 GB recommended.
Processor type. 2.5 GHz, but 3 GHz or more recommended).
Disk space. 6.0 GB.
Video card. 1 GB GPU with 29 GB/s bandwidth and DirectX 11 compatibility, but 4 GB GPU with 106 GB/s bandwidth and DirectX 11 compatibility is recommended.0026

Pros and cons of AutoCAD.


  • If necessary, you can add cloud storage to your subscription.
  • has been the industry standard for decades.
  • Although designed for 2D design, it can also perform 3D modeling.
  • Excellent customer support and many online guides to help you in case of any problems.
  • It does not need the cloud or the Internet to work properly, as it uses network and local files.
  • This professional design software can be customized to suit your needs.


  • Proper use may take some time, especially if you are new to 3D modeling and drafting.
  • This is primarily a 2D design program and focuses on that, not 3D.
  • Computer requires more processing power than Fusion360.
  • This is mainly a Windows program and although there is a Mac version, it has other features.

Fusion360 3D modeling software overview.

Fusion360 specifications.

Fusion360 cloud-based CAD software is commonly used in the manufacturing and AEC industries due to its many features. Some of the key features that make it popular include:

Cloud Software: This makes Fusion360 enable teams to work and collaborate in real time towards a common goal. This makes it easy and quick to meet project deadlines.

Simulation: Fusion360 simulation software includes simulation features such as modal frequency, static stress, bending, and non-linear stress.

3D Modeling & Design: With Fusion360 you can perform parametric, mesh, surface and any other major modeling standard. You can also work with assemblies, which vary depending on the complexity of the project, or with independent components.

Data Management: With Fusion360 you can efficiently manage metadata and data related to projects and their files. In addition, all data about your files is stored securely in the cloud.

Rendering: Fusion360 can render photorealistically and detail both 2D documents and drafts.

Electronic versatility: With this 3D modeling software, you can work with various tools dedicated to PCB manufacturing and design.

Fusion360 system requirements.

Operating system. Windows 10 (64-bit only), Windows 8.1, or Microsoft® Windows® 7 SP1 Apple® macOS™ Sierra v10.12; Apple® macOS™ High Sierra v10.13; Apple® macOS™ Mojave v10.14.
Memory. 3 GB RAM (4 GB or more recommended).
Processor. 64-bit processor.
Disk space. 2.5 GB.
Video card. 512MB GDDR RAM or more, except for Intel GMA X3100 cards.

Pros and Cons of Fusion360.


  • It uses the cloud, which means you can comfortably move your computer from one location to another without disrupting your workflow.
  • It's easy and simple to learn and use, making it a great choice if you're new to this type of software. Therefore, you do not need to spend a lot of time learning how to use it correctly.
  • Includes both organic and parametric modeling and provides you with a changelog.
  • You can find many online courses and materials to hone your skills in using this 3D modeling software.
  • It's very powerful and you don't have to design carefully to get exceptional quality 3D models.


  • Because it uses cloud technology, it cannot work without a fast internet connection.
  • Sometimes when drawing complex 3D models, the process becomes slow.
  • Your use of the cloud may affect your work if there are any issues or failures.


Which is better between AutoCAD and Fusion360 is one of the most common questions we get asked about 3D modeling software. I hope this guide has helped answer any of your questions and made it easier for you to make your decision.

In most cases, Fusion360 is the best choice for 3D printer users. Fusion360 was designed to be a complete 3D design package and is virtually limitless in the possibilities of creating any shape you can imagine.

Our company uses Fusion360 in its 3D printing studio in Odessa. We always meet the needs of our customers and, when providing a 3D printing service, we optimize your project to minimize your costs while maintaining the quality and durability of the product.

Top Free 3D Modeling Software (for Beginners) for Spring 2021 Users can export their models and either 3D print them or post them online for others to download for free or for money.

These programs range from easy-to-use for beginners to professional programs that can take years to learn. That's why we've created our list of the best free 3D modeling software to help you make your choice.

Some free online programs run entirely in the browser, others need to be downloaded. But they are all, at least in the short term, free.

List of best free programs for 3D modeling in 2021:

  1. TinkerCAD-Best program for beginners

  2. 3D Slash-Simple program for beginners

  3. 9000 FREECAD-Free source 9000
  4. 9017

  5. A well-developed set of tools for creating professional 3D models.

  6. The presence of new tools that allow you to take a completely new approach to creating 3D designs.

  7. 1. TinkerCAD is the best free program for beginners

    Country of origin - USA. Available to work in the browser.

    This is one of the many 3D CAD programs from Autodesk giant TinkerCAD. The tool looks deceptively primitive, easy to use, but again and again it makes it to the top of the best free programs.

    TinkerCAD allows you to create detailed 3D models using basic shapes by joining them together. The learning process is much easier than in other programs. It is perfect for beginners and kids to teach kids how to 3D print. It is most often used in schools and classrooms around the world. You can get started in minutes in your browser without downloading. What's more, you can download the TinkerCAD app and play with the models on your smartphone or tablet!

    Autodesk makes a wide variety of software for various industries. TinkerCAD is perfect for beginners in 3D design to make something cool. You can export the model to STL and any other format and send it to a 3D printer. Once you gain the necessary experience, you may need a more sophisticated program such as AutoCAD. But at the same time, TinkerCAD remains a great program to start your career as a 3D designer.

    2. 3D Slash is a simple free program for beginners

    Basic version is free, premium version costs $2 per month.

    Ideal for beginners. 3D Slash is not like a regular program, more like a friendly, interactive 3D world where you can create whatever you want. The development team clearly thought out how to make the user interface as natural as possible, understandable to non-designers, without a complex learning process. The functionality is intuitive and convenient.

    At the same time, you are not limited to basic forms. You can create impressive and more complex objects. The standard version is free, the premium version comes with a small monthly fee. School and professional plans are also available.

    3. FreeCAD is a free and open source program

    FreeCAD was released back in 2002, and although still in beta testing, its development is well advanced. It is designed to make the process of creating 3D versions of real objects as efficient and simple as possible.

    A very useful feature is the ability to start with a static 2D sketch, from which you can then build the final 3D model. FreeCAD works well on Windows and Mac, you can easily export the model as STL, OBJ or even DXF files, for example for CNC.

    Although FreeCAD was developed primarily for machine tools, it can also be used for 3D printing. What's more, FreeCAD is open source, so you can work with Python.

    FreeCAD is ideal for users with some design experience, as some of the tools can be difficult for beginners. But overall it is a very powerful free 3D modeling tool.

    4. SketchUp

    Basic version is free, Pro version costs $299 per year. The country of the developer is the USA.

    A veteran of the 3D modeling software industry, created in 2000 by Lastsoftware. In 2006, Google bought it to implement this versatile and powerful tool in its services. It has since been sold to Trimble Inc., who have offered a free version. SketchUp is a great choice for beginner designers. It, like TinkerCAD, is easier to learn than most other 3D programs. Contains almost all the tools you might need.

    Though mostly used by architects, SketchUp is gaining popularity in 3D printing. The tools are surprisingly well suited to 3D CAD file creators. You can download the SketchUp STL extension to create files in STL.

    SketchUp has a simple interface that is not overloaded with information. You can easily figure it out in a few hours and create a very realistic 3D model on the first day.

    5. Blender - Extended Freeware

    The country of origin is the Netherlands.

    Possibly the most popular 3D design software. Blender has a huge active community that shares its STL files and 3D models as well as information on the web. A quick Google and YouTube search will turn up thousands of links where users showcase their 3D designs and share their Blender 3D experience. Such popularity is primarily due to the fact that the program is 100% free and open source. You can create almost anything in it. The choice of tools is huge.

    The learning process is more complex than in previous programs. However, thanks to its toolset, Blender is a versatile 3D modeling program. It is used in a variety of applications ranging from VFX for movies, video games, 3D model design to 3D printing. In addition, Blender comes with an integrated game engine as well as detailed modeling tools and video editing capabilities. This incredible free software is ideal for game developers and experienced 3D modelers.

    6. MeshMixer

    Country of origin - USA.

    Meshmixer is a unique program that does not fit into any particular category. Another development from Autodesk, Meshmixer sets itself apart from the competition in that it allows you to edit existing models using a variety of tools, including animation, buckle/fill, repair. Meshmixer is well suited for design modification and quality assurance. Useful for both beginners and experts. Allows you to improve and prepare your models for 3D printing.

    Another important advantage of the program is the possibility of using it in topological optimization. With simple tools, parts can be made lighter and more economically. This is especially useful for subsequent 3D printing in industries such as aerospace and automotive, where the weight of the model is very important.

    All in all, Meshmixer is a versatile option for those who need to improve their 3D model. Beginners can change their models, experts can optimize industrial designs.

    7. Fusion 360

    The program is free for personal use for a year, the Pro version costs about $500 per year.

    Country of origin - USA.

    Another Autodesk development for schools and academic institutions. It is undoubtedly a tool for experts, but easy enough to use for an educated beginner. Fusion 360 is a sharing program that allows you to share STL files via the cloud for collaborative editing and model optimization.

    Powerful tools for virtually any industrial 3D design. It has built-in functions for estimating the load that the components of a 3D model will face. This allows designers to find potential weaknesses before printing. Once created, you can easily export the model to an STL file or any other format. The program has recently become free for students, startups, and more. If you have some experience or want to improve your 3D design skills, this 3D software is perfect.

    8. Vectary

    Free program with premium features for $12 per month.

    Vectary launched in 2014 and calls itself the most accessible 3D and AR design platform. This is a free web-based 3D modeling program. Vectary offers templates with pre-rendered and lit screens that you can place your 3D models in front of for product photography and other artistic purposes. A simple work interface with the necessary set of tools makes working with lighting and modeling easy. You can easily export your finished design or scene as an AR model.

    The free package includes access to Vectary Studio for creating and designing models, as well as the ability to export your creations to OBJ or STL formats. For other formats, you will need an update. You can create up to 25 projects for free, as well as access a library of 3D assets, materials, and Vectary icons. A paid upgrade gives you access to AR preview tools, as well as project sharing features and teams for better and faster feedback between multiple people.

    9. SelfCAD

    Free education software. For the rest, it costs $4.99 per month.

    Country of origin - USA.

    SelfCAD focuses on being the best browser-based, no-download free 3D modeling software for students around the world. It is popular in American schools teaching 3D design to students. Simple and easy to use, requiring a short training period, SelfCAD has all the necessary tools for creating models. It also has slicing tools to prepare STL or G-code files for 3D printing.

    SelfCAD is a simple 3D design program with a very clear interface, suitable for beginners.

    10. BlocksCAD

    The program is provided free of charge. There are paid educational versions for schools.

    Country of origin - USA.

    BlocksCAD is educationally oriented and was created for STEM students in grades 3-8. It is a cloud-based free 3D modeling software that promotes learning about mathematics, computational thinking, coding concepts, and designing models for 3D printing.

    The free gallery has a wide selection of projects that can be used in personal and classroom work, ranging from snowmen, jewelry rings, fish, and even the infamous cafeteria. Works great with OpenSCAD, designed to be simple, fun and easy for kids to work with. 3D models can be created using colorful, easy-to-manage blocks and exported either as STL files or as files to be opened and edited in OpenSCAD. For beginners, BlocksCAD offers extensive tutorials on the basics of 3D modeling and how to use 3D software.

    11. OpenSCAD

    OpenSCAD is a free downloadable program. It looks intimidating, because it “envelops” with codes and scripts. This is a powerful tool. But keep in mind that it is for those who are used to coding. The program was created back in 2010 by Marius Kintel and Clifford Wolf. New updates and patches are released regularly. OpenSCAD is loved by 3D designers who prefer a scripted rather than an artistic design method. It is also worth noting that a 3D part in OpenSCAD can be created using only the mouse, but this is not the only feature of the program.

    Overall, we are impressed with OpenSCAD: it offers something new and free of charge. However, at least intermediate knowledge of scripting languages ​​is required.

    Learn more