What software to use for 3d printing

3d printing software

3d Printing Software Lists

3D printing software includes CAD (Computer-Aided Design) tools, slicer software, and printer host software. CAD tools like Tinkercad, Blender, and SketchUp create 3D models exported as STL or OBJ files. Slicer software, such as Cura and Slic3r, converts these models into thin layers and adjusts print settings for quality. Printer host software, like OctoPrint, controls and monitors the printing process by sending G-code instructions to the printer. Together, these tools enable the design, preparation, and fabrication of high-quality 3D printed parts and prototypes.

3D Modeling Software Lists

You can easily start a 3d printing business if you know all the software as mentioned here. At least you know one software in each category. For example. You know one 3d modeling software, one Slicer software, and one 3D Printer Hosts.

  • Tinkercad
  • Blender
  • SketchUp

1. Tinkercad

Tinkercad is a free, browser-based CAD software developed by Autodesk, perfect for beginners. It simplifies the creation of 3D models using basic shapes and features an intuitive interface. Widely used in educational settings, Tinkercad offers a gentle introduction to CAD software. Here are some key points about Tinkercad:

    • Free and Accessible: Available as an online app for everyone at no cost.
    • Educational Focus: Provides a free lesson plan created by CAD professionals and teachers.
    • Beginner-Friendly: Designed for ease of use, making it ideal for students and newcomers to 3D design.


    • User-Friendly Interface: Tinkercad boasts a simple and intuitive design, making it easy for beginners to learn and navigate.
    • 3D Printing Compatibility: It supports 3D printing and generates solid files necessary for printing.
    • Active Community: Tinkercad has a vibrant user community that shares and collaborates on 3D models, enhancing design sharing and community support.
    • STEM Education Tool: Tinkercad is an excellent resource for STEM educators, featuring electronics and coding tools in a straightforward format.
    • Free for Education: Tinkercad is free for educational use, making it a valuable resource for both students and teachers.


    • Limited Features: Primarily designed for beginners and students, Tinkercad’s capabilities are basic compared to advanced CAD software.
    • Basic Rendering Options: Tinkercad’s rendering features are limited, lacking lighting effects and offering only plain color choices for models.
    • Requires Internet Connection: Being an online tool, Tinkercad needs a stable internet connection, which may be a drawback for some users.
    • Compatibility Concerns: It works best on Windows with Google Chrome; Mac users may face compatibility issues.
    • Restricted Touchscreen Support: Tinkercad is not fully optimized for touchscreen devices, which could be a limitation for some users.

    Overall, Tinkercad is an excellent starting point for beginners and students in 3D design, offering an easy interface and 3D printing compatibility. However, its simplicity and limited features may not meet the needs of more advanced users or those requiring sophisticated functionality.

    2. Blender


    It is a free and open-source 3D design software used for various applications, including 3D modeling, video games, and visual effects. It features a 3D printing toolbox for checking mesh geometry and supports a wide range of tasks. Blender offers extensive features and tools for modeling, texturing, painting, sculpting, fluids, rigging, tracking, and more. Designed to be accessible to both beginners and professionals, Blender is a powerful and versatile tool with a large community of users and developers contributing to its ongoing development and support.


    • Free and Open-Source: Blender is completely free to download and use, with no restrictions on personal or commercial projects.
    • Comprehensive Features: It offers a wide range of capabilities, including modeling, texturing, painting, sculpting, fluids, rigging, tracking, and more, making it a versatile tool for many 3D creation tasks.
    • Strong Community Support: Blender has a large, active community of users and developers who contribute to its development and offer support through tutorials, forums, and other resources.
    • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Available on Windows, macOS, and Linux, Blender is accessible to users across different operating systems.
    • Regular Updates: Blender is frequently updated with new features and improvements, ensuring users have access to the latest tools and techniques.


    • Steep Learning Curve: Due to its complex interface and numerous features, Blender can be overwhelming for beginners.
    • Less Intuitive Interface: Some users find Blender’s interface less intuitive compared to other 3D software, which can hinder effective navigation and use.
    • Performance Demands: Blender can be resource-intensive and may experience performance issues, especially on lower-end hardware.
    • Rendering Limitations: Blender’s rendering capabilities may not be as advanced as those of some other 3D software, potentially limiting its use for certain projects.
    • Potential Bugs: Blender can be prone to bugs and errors, which can be frustrating for users unfamiliar with troubleshooting and debugging.

    Overall, Blender is a powerful and versatile 3D creation software with a wide range of features and tools. Despite some limitations, its free and open-source nature, along with strong community support, make it a popular choice among 3D artists and designers.

    3. SketchUp

    It is a free, web-based 3D modeling and design tool developed by Trimble, widely used in fields such as architecture, engineering, and education. It caters to both beginners and professionals with its user-friendly interface and versatile features. SketchUp offers a free version for basic 3D modeling and a more advanced paid version for professional use. Known for its ease of use, SketchUp enables users to create detailed 3D models and designs with features including 3D modeling, texturing, and rendering, making it a versatile tool for a variety of applications.


    • Ease of Use: SketchUp is renowned for its user-friendly interface, making it easy for users to learn and navigate.
    • Free Version: The basic version of SketchUp is free to download and use, with no restrictions on personal or commercial projects.
    • Community Support: SketchUp boasts a large, active community of users and developers who contribute to its development and provide support through tutorials, forums, and other resources.
    • Powerful 3D Modeling: SketchUp offers robust 3D modeling capabilities, allowing users to create complex shapes and models.
    • Rendering Options: Users can create photo-realistic renderings using plugins like Maxwell, enhancing the visual quality of their designs.
    • Interoperability: SketchUp integrates easily with other software, making it a versatile tool for various applications.
    • Intuitive Interface: Its clean and straightforward interface ensures ease of navigation and use.
    • Components and Plugins: SketchUp has a vast library of pre-built components and plugins that enhance the design process.


    • Limited Built-in Rendering: The built-in rendering capabilities are basic; advanced rendering requires additional plugins like Maxwell.
    • Performance with Complex Models: SketchUp may struggle with complex models, leading to performance issues and slow rendering times.
    • Lack of Automation: SketchUp does not offer extensive automation, requiring users to have a good understanding of coding for creating complex models.
    • Grouping and Organization: It lacks robust grouping and collapsing features, complicating navigation and organization of elements within a project.
    • Limited Pre-built Library: The library of pre-built components and models is somewhat limited, making it difficult to find specific models.

    Overall, SketchUp is a powerful and versatile 3D modeling tool with a wide range of features. Despite some limitations, its ease of use, free availability, and strong community support make it a popular choice among designers and architects.

    Slicer software

    Slicer software is a crucial component in the 3D printing process. It converts a 3D model file (such as an STL or OBJ file) into instructions that a 3D printer can understand, known as G-code.

    The key functions of slicer software include:

    • Slicing the 3D Model: Dividing the 3D model into thin horizontal layers that the 3D printer builds one by one.
    • Determining the Tool Path: Planning the path the printer’s extruder or laser needs to follow to print each layer.
    • Adjusting Printing Parameters: Allowing users to modify settings such as layer height, infill density, and print speed to optimize print quality and speed.
    • Generating G-code: Creating the G-code file that contains all the instructions for the 3D printer to follow.

    Some of the top slicer software options mentioned in the search results include:

    • Cura: A free and open-source slicer developed by Ultimaker, compatible with many 3D printers.
    • Slic3r: Another free and open-source slicer with advanced features like real-time incremental slicing.
    • Simplify3D: A premium slicer software that enhances print quality by correcting model issues.
    • KISSlicer: A fast and efficient slicer with a basic interface, suitable for most 3D printing needs.
    • ideaMaker: A free slicer from Raise3D that provides simple and fast slicing for many 3D printers.

    Slicer software is an essential tool that bridges the gap between 3D modeling and actual 3D printing, enabling users to prepare their digital models for successful physical fabrication.

    3D Printer Hosts

    OctoPrint Overview: It is a free, open-source web interface designed for remote control and monitoring of 3D printers. It allows users to manage their 3D printing process from any device with a web browser.


      • Remote Control: Control your 3D printer from anywhere, start and stop prints, and adjust settings remotely.
      • Monitoring: Live video feed and real-time progress updates help users monitor prints. It also supports time-lapse video creation.
      • File Management: Upload G-code files directly through the interface, organize print files, and keep track of printing history.
      • Plugin System: Extensive plugin support to add functionality, such as integration with cloud services, enhanced UI, and additional features.
      • Printer Status: Provides detailed status reports, including temperature readings, job progress, and more.
      • Community and Support: Strong community backing with extensive documentation, forums, and regular updates from developers.
      • Compatibility: Works with a wide range of 3D printers, and can be installed on devices like Raspberry Pi, turning it into a dedicated server for printer control.
      • Security: User authentication and access control to ensure that only authorized users can operate the printer.

      These software tools, including slicer software and 3D printer hosts like OctoPrint, work together to create and manage 3D models, slice them into printable layers, and control the 3D printing process. This integrated approach enhances the efficiency and convenience of 3D printing, from model creation to final product.