Best Free Cad Software For 3d Printing in 2024 to 2025

by Cutting Edger / Last Update: July 05, 2024 Best Free Cad Software For 3d Printing in 2024 to 2025

3D printing has become very popular recently due to its lesser material wastage and more accessibility. CAD software is used to build the multiple layers of the 3D model and then the 3D printing takes place. So, any designer must use cad software to help him create the most effective 3D model for the best 3D print outcome. There are many cad software that are suitable for beginners and professionals. This article will cover the names of the best free cad software for 3d printing in 2024 to 2025. Every software mentioned here is free to use, updated, and has all the necessary features and tools for beginners and professionals.   

 

Things to Consider Before Choosing Free Cad Software for 3D Printing

There are plenty of free cad software for 3d printing available on the internet. It can be confusing to select what software to choose to work with when there are many options. Before advancing with any cad software for 3d printing, you need to consider its accessibility, flexibility, cost, platform support, integration, filing format, tool variety, rendering facilities and resource materials. If any software lacks any of these qualities then there is a possibility that soon you will be looking for another option.

 

Check these Criteria Before Choosing Any Free 3D Cad Software For 3D Printing

Accessibility

Any 3d cad software free for 3d printing should have an easy-to-understand interface with a range of levels to suit every kind of user.

Flexibility

The software needs to be rich in features so that while a beginner can create a basic model, a professional can create a complex model with the same software.

Cost for Upgrade

This is a tricky part. Most of the software is not completely free and after some basic level, you need to buy a subscription to create more advanced models. It is important to know the software you are using offers a competitive price so that you do not have to stop using it midway.

Platform

Pick software compatible with your device so that it runs smoothly without any glitches. Also, check whether it is online or offline-based software. In many cases, most software now runs both online and offline. 

Integration 

Make sure the software includes every necessary tool so that you do not need to run secondary software during modeling. 

Filing Format

The software needs to support a range of file formats for import and export. This makes it easy for you to share your models fast.

Tool Variety

Choose a software that offers a maximum range of tools to create and edit 3D models. The more tools a CAD software includes, the handier it becomes to use.

Rendering Facilities

Same way, pick a CAD software with different rendering options for flexible use.

Resource Materials

Usually beginners learn from tutorials and available videos on the internet. So, it is crucial that the free 3d cad software for 3d printing is widely used and there are plenty of tutorials and hacks available for the users.

 

Our Pick of the Best Free Cad Software for 3D Printing in 2024-2025

 

3D Slash

For non-professionals and children, 3D Slash is the best cad software for 3d printing free because of its lightweight and extremely easy-to-use interface. This software allows coloring multiparts of models and you can export the final models in color as well. The free version has minimal basic tools and features but with a subscription, this software can create incredible models.

 Why to pick?

  • Designed for non-designers and children
  • Basic tools for simpler 3D modeling
  • Coloring option
  • Light storage program

 

Blender

Blender is one of the most popular cad software for 3D modeling and Rendering worldwide. This software can be used with 36 language commands which makes it easy for users who do not learn English as their second language. Blender is loved by professionals for animating and beginners also learn this software to advance with complex models in future.

 Why to pick?

  • Open-source software
  • 36 language support
  • Mostly used for animation
  • Worldwide great number of users

 

Fusion360

Fusion360 is a next-generation software that has amazing tools. You can combine CAD, CAM and CAE tools to create complex 3D models for 3D printing. This software is cloud-based and users can use it from anywhere around the globe. Fusion360 is free for 1 year in general and for students and startups, it is free to use for 3 years. 

 Why to pick?

  • Next generation software
  • Can combine CAD, CAM and CAE tools
  • 1-year free access in general, 3 years free access for students and startups
  • Cloud-based software, worldwide access

 

Leopoly

Leopoly is an advanced CAD software for 3D printing that is free cloud-based and includes customization. The interface is user-friendly and easy to understand for beginners. You can do 3D printing and 3D designing using this software. Lastly, Leopoly uses voxel and vertex modeling to create sophisticated and complex meshes.

Why to pick?

  • Customization option
  • Free cloud-based software
  •  Easy-to-understand interface
  • Painting and sculpting features
  • Voxel and vertex modeling for meshes

 

Meshmixer

Though Meshmixer offers no update now, still the existing features offer enough to create incredible 3D models for 3D printing. The software works perfectly with polygon mesh files and supports STL and OBJ formats. Meshmixer received its last update 5 years ago, still, it is one of the best software for analyzing, editing and repairing 3D models from online resources. Besides, it can generate manual and automatic support structures for 3D printing. The 3D sculpting feature allows the creation of models from scratch and helps create organic shapes like characters and faces simultaneously.

Why to pick?

  • Exclusive compatibility with Polygon mesh 3D files
  • STL and OBJ format support
  • Generation of support structures feature
  • 3D sculpting feature
  • Organically shape creation feature
  • Free software for Windows and macOS

 

Morphy

Initially, Morphy was designed for tablets and now it has been updated for use on different kinds of devices including mobile phones, computers and laptops as well. Morphy includes a touch functionality feature for easy use. It has regular free-of-cost updates. With Morphy, you can create models including animation, architecture, decoration projects for AR/VR, games and STEAM subjects apart from 3D modeling.

Why to pick:

  • Accessible from different devices
  • Touch functionality feature
  • Regular free updates
  • Appropriate for a variety of professionals  

 

Onshape

Onshape is popular among designers for its versatility. It is a website-based CAD software that includes parametric modeling, team collaboration and data management. In the free version, your models are available for everyone and the features are limited. On the other hand, with the paid version the designs are personal and every feature is available with regular updates.

Why to pick?

  • Browser-based software
  • Parametric modeling, team collaboration and data management feature
  • Need to buy the paid version to keep the designs private

Salome

Salome is a unique parametric CAD software for 3D modeling that has been in the market for more than 20 years now. The software is capable of creating basic to complex 3D models and can be exported in STL format for easy slicing. The software receives regular updates that make it appropriate to use even in 2024 and onwards.

Why to pick?

  • Open source CAD software
  • 20-year-old software with regular updates
  • Slicer-compatible STL export format
  • Data analysis and simulation feature

SelfCAD

SelfCAD is partially free software that can be accessible from anywhere online and offline on Windows and Mac computers and you can sync every version and you can use low poly designs in 3D models. The software has a different range of tools to cover simpler to complex 3D modeling that beginners and professionals find handy to use. The free version of the software is enough to create an adequate 3D model for 3D printing. Beginners consider SelfCAD the best cad software for 3d printing for its easy interface. 

The program includes modeling, rendering, sculpting and slicing features. The freehand drawing and sketching tools can create 3D designs from scratch and you can create 3D designs from templates with the shape generator feature. With the image-to-3D tool, you can create 3D models from images as well. The in-built free online slicer slices your models and generates the G-code to send to the 3D printer directly. You can work on STL files with the Simplify 3D tool as well.

Why to pick?

  • Accessible online, on Windows and Mac computers
  • A balanced software for beginners to professionals
  • Easy-to-understand interface
  • Freehand drawing tool, sketching tools and shape generator feature
  • In-built free online slicer, image-to-3D-tool feature

SketchUp

SketchUp is used by a variety of professionals including engineers, architects, designers and many more. It is one of the best beginner cad software for 3d printing that creates 3D printed furniture models from 2D bases. Another incredible feature is that you can save the final model files in different formats. The beginners find the interface easy to learn and advance with. Besides, the SketchUp library has a good amount of 3D stock models to directly work with,

Why to pick?

  • Made for professionals of different professions
  • Can create 3D models from 2D bases
  • Different file-saving options
  • Easy to learn and use
  • Sketchup Library of stock models

TinkerCAD

TinkerCAD saves users from hassle on many levels which wins it the title of the best free cad software for 3d printing. Firstly, this is website-based software so you do not need to download it manually. This also helps you to start 3D modeling immediately. The models are made using basic shapes but have amazing detailing. Besides, the interface is super easy for beginners to learn and advance with.

Why to pick?

  • Best for beginners
  • Website based software
  • Highly detailed 3D models
  •  Easy to learn
  • No download needed

 

Vectary

Vectary is often underlooked as CAD software because its users are mostly artists rather than professional CAD designers. But, the reality is it is a powerful browser-based software that can create many complex 3D models for beginners. It can be called a parametric modeler that includes mesh modeling, subdivision modeling and parametric design combination to create 3D models. You can save up to 10 models in the free version.

Why to pick:

  • Hybrid software
  • Great for artistic use
  • Browser-based software
  • Library of stock models
  • Native parametric modeling feature

Wings 3D

Wings 3D runs on Windows, Linux and macOS platforms and is free to use and redistribute. It includes a range of tools including NURBS curves and subdivision surface features along with texturing, lighting and rendering options. Besides, you can combine this software with other software packages to create more complex 3D models printed. 

Why to pick?

  • Windows, Linux and macOS platform support
  • Free to use and redistribute
  • NURBS curves and subdivision surface feature
  •  Compitable with other software packages

 

Conclusion

Whether it is for personal or professional use, it is crucial to choose a cad software that is easy to use and has all the necessary tools that you require for 3d modeling. We believe, regardless of your skill and purpose, the mentioned cad software in this article will help you select the perfect best free cad software for 3d printing in 2024 to 2025.

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