Free CAD 3D Print design tools

FREE CAD 3D PRINT DESIGN TOOLS

FREE CAD 3D PRINT DESIGN TOOLS

FREE CAD 3D PRINT DESIGN TOOLS

    FREE CAD 3D PRINT DESIGN TOOLS 1So, you get 3D Printer and now you want to design or editing 3D models, Here's the top list of free CAD 3D print design tools for beginners and advanced users.

    3D PRINTING

    3D Printing, technically known as additive manufacturing has been gaining interests of many in the last decade. The multifarious uses of 3D printing have led it to be a must-have tool for every architecture and engineering firm. 3D printing enables you to create and manufacture real objects from a digital file in no time.

    It is not only a user-friendly process but is also an environment-friendly procedure as it requires much less material than the traditional manufacturing methods. The technical advancements in 3D printing have extended its uses in various industries like aerospace, aviation, construction, consumer products, food and medical industries. What’s the most interesting aspect of this procedure is the flexibility it offers to its users, but what are the tools to do so? Let us answer this question for you here as we tell you about free CAD 3D print tools.

    3D MODELING

    3D modeling can be mainly categorized into three categories and understanding that will help users select our type of model and the tool that is the best fit for it. The major classification is such that there’s “object primitive modeling”, “parametric modeling” and “mesh modeling”. Object primitive modeling is used for creating simpler models and you start it by using pre-defined shapes, by adding and subtracting objects to and from each other you can create new objects which can then be 3D printed through 3D printers. On the other hand, in parametric modeling you initially use a 2D object and transform that into a 3D object by extruding. If you choose this sort of modeling, you can have all the steps saved to create your object, thus it is far easier to alter a model in the parametric model than in object primitive modeling. Mesh modeling and sculpting is more of an artistic approach to 3D modeling where you can manipulate an object like clay. You can sculpt the objects to give them defined features; this makes it a great option for animation and character creation.

    CAD PROGRAMS

    Now that you know about the categories, let’s move on to the tools that you can use for 3D printing which are CAD programs and free of cost too!

    TINKERCAD

    Starting with “TINKERCAD”, it is the most popular software among the beginners and it provides one with immaculate opportunities to create 3D objects using primitive object modeling. This software is free, cloud-based and easy to use. It has a drag and drops features which make it easy to select various objects to create one. Other tools allow you to subtract one shape from the other to create holes. You can then resize and re-centre the object; however, it is difficult to make major modifications in TinkerCADas it works on the building block method. It also provides you with basic mesh editing options but it does not support image manipulation like taking a JPEG format picture as an example. You can import the STL file and use it to manipulate it to create your object. The downside of TinkerCAD is that you need to have a strong internet connection otherwise working on it and saving the details becomes an irritating process. TinkerCAD also had a number of educational resources and tutorials that you can use to learn the tools. It can be connected directly to the 3D printer to print your choice of models.

    MATTERCONTROL

    MATTERCONTROL is one of its kinds amongst software. This highly intuitive and advanced tool helps you bring your imaginations to life. It can easily compete with other paid software based on its functionality, but we would say it is even better because it is free! In addition to that, it is open-source. You can design, create, analyze and print your models in this parametric software which works on the principles of hybrid modelling. You start with a pseudo-parametric design and work it up to 3D model. What distinguishes this software is its capability to import JPEG format files and turn them directly into a 3D object. It is swift, easy and magical!MatterControl has amazing support for its users in terms of the tutorials that are present for its tool usages according to the level of the user’s expertise. You can download it without paying a single penny on your Mac, Windows and Linux!

    FREECAD

    The list of free CAD 3D print tools also includes FREECADwhich as the name suggest, is free. It is a highly flexible, open-source and parametric software. It supports meshes and right-hand coordinate system. In order to design a 3D model on FreeCAD, you start out by drawing a sketch which is two-dimensional. Then you pad and extrude the sketch to transform it into a 3D object. You can combine it with other object and sketches to create new ones on FreeCAD.

    MESHMIXER

    MESHMIXER is an artistic tool for 3D printing and designing. It is used widely in the health industry as well as for product designing and engineering devices. Meshmixer offers a great variety of tools like drag and drop mesh mixing, 3D sculpting and surface stamping, re-meshing and mesh simplification, and other printing tools like automatic print bed orientation optimization, layout and packing. This software is free for Mac and Windows users and it has got a lot to offer to you.

    BLENDER

    Moreover, Blender 2.8 is also the software that has won the hearts of many animators and designers. It is free, intuitive, and open source. Using this software you can make animated movies as it enables you to do rigging, texturing, rendering, and video editing. It covers your entire work-flow from the concept to the final output, thus it is easier to track your progress on Blender. Fortunately, it also comes with a built-in game engine which has given it much popularity among the game developers’ community.  It is kept up to date and is a highly efficient software.

    Other software that you might look into includes Fusion360, Leopoly, Vectary, CATIA, AUTOCAD, OnShape, Sketchup, OpenSCAD, and Sculptris. You will find details of these tools in our other articles, so don’t forget to check them out too!

    Keep designing and keep printing to bring your projects to life!

    Draftings Australia provides excellent 3d printing3d modelling services at an affordable rate. Call Us now!

    THE ULTIMATE BEGINNERS GUIDE TO 3D PRINTING

    3D PRINTING BEGINNER'S GUIDE FEATURE IMAGE

    THE ULTIMATE BEGINNERS GUIDE TO 3D PRINTING

    Beginners guide to 3d printing

      beginners guide to 3d printingIn the Advanced world of 3D printing, one can be easily confused as to what options are the best for beginners to try their hands on. The variety in the kinds of 3D printers and the material that goes into it for creating exceptional 3D models and object is so vast and full of options that it gets a handful job for a beginner to pick the right thing. To make things convenient for you, we are here to present the breakdown of what 3D printing is like and how you can go about it efficiently. This article will serve as a stepping stone in your journey of 3D printing.

      Beginners guide to 3d printing

      Choice of Printer

      First things first, you need to decide which printer is the right choice for you. Your needs and expectations from any 3D printer depend heavily on whether you are going to use it as a hobbyist or as a business benefactor. If you are getting into this art because of your passion for it, then we should suggest you printers that are not too hard on the pocket to buy and will give you a satisfactory result. Most of the hobbyists use FDM printers which are Fuel Deposition Model printers. They create a relatively thin layer of filament (material) to create the object and it is cheap as well. In case of using it for your business, you would need a powerful printer which has relatively more number of features and is assembled as well. These printers lie in the category of SLI printers which stands for Stereo Lithography printers. Although SLI printers are expensive, they produce high-quality prints. These printers use a laser or projector to harden the resin, and that’s how it prints your 3D model.  For hobbyists, best printers are the “Creality Series”, “FlashFirge”, “TierTime”, and “SeemeCNC Rostock series”. Whereas, for business beginners, “ Pulse”, “Ultimaker”, “LulzBot”, “CraftBot”, and “SeemeCNC” are the best options.

      Choice of Filament

      Next thing you need to learn about 3D printing is what are filaments and how are they used? So, the filament is the real material that is melted through the printer to create objects. Hence you can say that it is the most primary requisition for 3D printing. Filaments come in the form of a spool weighing 1Kg with a diameter of 1.75mm. It is attached to the nozzle of the printer where it is heated on high temperatures to melt it and form objects. One can use many types of filaments but the most frequently used are PLA and ABS. PLA comes in a variety of colours and is relatively affordable. As it is less stringy and sticky than ABS, it is easier to use as well. PLA is also less toxic than other types of filaments; however, it is comparatively less durable than ABS as it is malleable. Other filaments you can find in the market include nylon, carbon fibre, TPU, wood, metal, and glow-in-the-dark. You can customize your objects by using any of these filaments to give a realistic look to your object.

      First Model Print

      Now, the most vital question is, “what do you want to print?” Experts suggest it is best to print the mainstream 3D models on your printer if you’re not used to the setting yet. Multiple websites like “Thingiverse.com” and “myminifactory.com” present you with ample of options to print. These websites feature the “ready-to-print” models that you can print and get the hang of your printer settings. This practice will not only help you fix your printer settings but will also help you compare your printed object with others through the abundant tutorials present on the web. This way you can comprehend what went wrong with your print. But there’s one thing you must not forget! The first few models you print will not turn out perfect. You will have to take your time to get used to this magical machine.

      Slicing Software

      Next on our list is the “Slicing Software”. This software is where you set all the settings for your printer. It commands your printer to print your object in a certain manner. You can set the dimensions, colours, temperatures, etc. for your printer. Some popular slicing software includes “MakerWare”, “Cura”, and “Simplify 3D”.

      3D Printing Model

      Coming to the process of how 3D printing works! So you either create 3D Computer-Aided Model or you can get free ones from online forums as we have mentioned earlier. You then export that model as a “.STL” file into the slicing software where you set all the settings for your print. Consequently, slicer generates a “.G-code” file which is sent to the printer. The filament attached to the extruder is then extruded according to the command and your 3D object comes to life!

      Extruders

      Now let’s focus our attention on “extruders”. There are two types of extruders, one is single and the other one is dual. Most of the printers come with a single extruder and they only extrude one type of filament. This means you can only have one colour and material coming out of the extruder at a type of using a single extruder. On the other hand, dual extruders can print two different types of materials or filaments at one time. This enhances productivity as well as creativity for printing 3D objects.

      Heated Bed

      Once the printer starts extruding the filament, it sets on your printer's heated bed. Here it is important to note that your adhesion settings in the slicer software must be set appropriately to keep your object adhered to the bed. These beds are categorized as glass beds and printer’s tape beds. Glass beds are less durable and sturdy than printer’s tape beds because once you scratch the bed for removing your object, the entire glass bed becomes useless and you have to change it which incurs an additional cost. On the contrary, painter’s tape beds are not as vulnerable to scratches and are definitely durable.

      Conclusively, these factors must be kept in mind when getting into 3D printing as it will save you the trouble of wasting your material as well as your time.

      Draftings Australia provides excellent 3d printing, 3d modelling services at an affordable rate. Call Us now!