9 Best 3D Printing Software in 2021

9 Best 3D Printing Software in 2021

If you need to print a three-dimensional object, a 3D printing software can help you cope with this task. Such software translate 3D models into data that can be read by a special printer. They are often referred to as cutting programs because they divide the 3D model into sections so that a printer can create an object faster.

Top 9 3D Printing Software

  1. Fusion 360 - Suitable for creating mechanical parts
  2. AutoCAD - For advanced users with programming skills
  3. Cura - For novices as well as pro specialists
  4. MeshLab - Latest tools for editing
  5. Sculptris - Great for users who work in creative fields
  6. SketchUp - Suitable for architects
  7. Creo - Recommended by 3D products’ manufacturers
  8. OctoPrint - The best web-based program
  9. 3D Slash - The option for amateurs

Anyone having a 3D printer will need such software to print ready-made models. Most 3D printing software products work in combination with various design programs as well as general-purpose CAD tools.

There are many 3D printing programs available but not all of them will suit you. Good 3D printing software can restore and edit STL, 3MF or OBJ files. It also allows you to use 2D models to create 3D models and turns them into instructions for printers.

1. Fusion 360 - Our Choice

 
Suitable for high-performance mechanical parts
  • Controls shapes
  • Useful modeling tools
  • Editing is easy with the history tree
  • Suitable for mechanical parts
  • Steep learning curve

Verdict: Fusion 360 is a 3D printer slicer software that was created by Autodesk developers. Compared to similar products, Fusion 360 is more user-friendly and fully covers planning, testing and 3D design execution.

Fusion 360 comes with advanced mesh analysis and parametric tools. They will help you solve industrial design tasks. Besides, the service allows you to see what your construction will look like once it has been manufactured and what issues you might face when you put it to use.

Being one of the best 3D modeling software products, Fusion 360 lives up to expectations by offering several great collaboration options. There are tools for project version control, cloud sharing, exporting and importing widespread CAD file formats.

fusion 360 interface 3d printing software

2. AutoCAD

 
For advanced users with programming skills
  • Cloud storage
  • Allows you to manage large projects
  • Exact details
  • Dimensions and annotations
  • Complicated templates

Verdict: AutoCAD is an architectural design software solution for construction specialists and engineers who need to create accurate 2D and 3D drawings. AutoCAD goes with Print Studio, which helps you print 3D designs with ease.

This software is rather expensive, so many users download AutoCAD Crack. It might result in your PC getting infected with viruses, so it’s better to consider AutoCAD alternatives instead of using pirated software.

AutoCAD is a multifunctional program that has many options for creating and printing 3D objects. You can use PDF files, import their data, add annotations to drawings and download export data to tables. These features together with analytics tools help you improve the overall presentation of the data.

autocad interface 3d printing software

3. Cura

 
Works for novices as well as pro specialists
  • Fully editable layers
  • Rapid update schedule
  • X3G output support
  • Free of charge
  • Editing is slow

Verdict: If you want to find an open-source program for printing three-dimensional models, take a look at Ultimaker Cura. This free 3D modeling software for beginners comes with helpful tutorials and recommendations.

It is an intuitive 3D printing program that allows you to save files using the button in the upper left corner. Besides, it has automatic print setup and support options.

You can browse the layers separately to detect overhangs and find the information your need by using the button on the top right. By using the overhang option, you can change the alignment of an object.

cura interface 3d printing software

4. MeshLab

 
Latest tools for processing and editing
  • Opens large files
  • Remeshing options
  • Cross-platform
  • Meshes correction after scanning
  • A bit difficult-to-use

Verdict: As the name suggests, this open-source 3D design software aims to process and fix 3D meshes. However, you can also use MeshLab for such purposes as rendering, editing and adding texture. Plus, the service works great for 3D project printing.

MeshLab is the best 3D print software for processing raw CAD data and working with three-dimensional objects. Thus, you can rebuild your 3D design, work on color grading and texture.

Even though MeshLab was last updated in 2016, it is still considered to be a great option for 3D printing, editing and recovering STL files. MeshLab is a great choice if you need to align and edit 3D designs.

meshlab interface 3d printing software

5. Sculptris

 
Great for users who work in creative fields
  • 3D model sculpting
  • Adding details to different parts
  • Effortless learning curve
  • Symmetry mode
  • Stopped in development

Verdict: Sculptris can be compared to modeling clay. It serves as a virtual sculpting tool that allows you to create and print statues or figures. You can create your favorite characters from movies, cartoons and games with this 3D printing software.

Another advantage of Sculptris is its versatility. The program is suitable for beginners while including various advanced options that make it easier to create 3D-sculptures. Thanks to dynamic tessellation, Sculptris can analyze your design to ensure that all the details are displayed with high accuracy.

Although Sculptris is a powerful program, you will not face any difficulties when printing 3D models because the process is intuitive. Instead of using complex shapes like polygons, edges and vertices, you can create your 3D models as if you’re working with clay.

sculptris interface 3d printing software

6. SketchUp

 
Suitable for architects
  • Easy-to-use
  • A library with free 3D details
  • Components can be changed
  • Clear design
  • A limited number of file formats

Verdict: SketchUp is a great software if you are a beginner, as the purpose of the service is to introduce you to 3D modeling. What’s more, SketchUp 3D modeling software is also great for professional users, as it offers more advanced features.

This software will be useful for design, architecture and cinema professionals. It can also be used as interior design software. Manufacturers appreciate this software as well because SketchUp allows them to work with both large and small models.

The platform will help users who want to start working with 3D printing. Thanks to a large library with free 3D models, it will be easier for you to master the ropes. SketchUp is a great choice if you want to create and print 3D models with ease, it will be your first step to mastering and improving your skills.

sketchup interface 3d printing software

7. Creo

 
Recommended by 3D products’ manufacturers
  • Topology optimization technologies
  • User-friendly interface
  • Creation of templates
  • Big assembly files
  • Rendering occasionally crashes

Verdict: Fans of the popular 3D modeling software Pro Engineer will enjoy its enhanced version, Creo PLM. The tool is designed to make it easier to work with 3D objects in the manufacturing industry. It easily copes with complex geometry and assembly projects.

This 3D printer software is popular among users as it comes with advanced motion, design and temperature control tools. With Creo, you can effectively design, model and print 3D objects as it offers you options for surfacing, modeling and analysis.

Creo now has a model validation tool that is useful for 3D printing. With it, a user can create the latest designs, optimize and print models with ease. All you need to do is select colors and materials, calculate material consumption. Then you can print a model directly from Creo.

creo interface 3d printing software

8. OctoPrint

 
The best web-based program
  • Fast support feedback
  • Supported by common slicers
  • Open-source
  • Compatible with slow hardware
  • Loads too slowly

Verdict: OctoPrint is an online-based 3D printing service that allows you to manage your printing tasks. You can connect a Wi-Fi enabled device to the printer, like the Raspberry Pi, to control it remotely via the OctoPrint interface.

OctoPrint supports G-Code from most 3D printing software and contains gCodeVisualizer which is great for visualizing files before and during 3D printing. OctoPrint also includes an STL slicer.

With OctoPrint, you can not only control the printing process remotely but also track the tasks in progress. On the OctoPrint platform, you can set up push notifications or alerts for various available messengers.

octoprint interface 3d printing software

9. 3D Slash

 
The best 3D printer software for novices
  • Inserts rounded shapes
  • High-definition
  • Colors are easy to apply
  • VR mode
  • For novices only

Verdict: 3D Slash changes the way you think about 3D modeling. The program shows that 3D printing can be fun and useful for self-development. You need only to learn how to create and print digital files.

If you are new to 3D modeling, you will probably find it difficult to understand how to design a 3D object. Still, this program will help you quickly deal with this difficult task, because it is considered to be the best 3D printing software for novices.

3D Slash makes the process of creating 3D models simple and fun. Besides, it has an easy learning curve as it has been designed specifically for beginners and kids.

slash interface 3d printing software
creative cloud all special offers creative cloud all special offers