3D Design Software Recommendations

3D printing is the most fun when you make the models yourself!

At NWA3D, we're constantly using CAD (computer aided design) software to 3D print. Our favorite 3D design softwares are free for schools, easy to use, and have a lot of tutorials available on the web.

 

Tinkercad

Cost: Free
Operating System: Windows, Mac, Linux, or Chromebook Web Browser
Tutorials Included: Yes, embedded tutorials available
Level of Difficulty: Easy 

Tinkercad.com is a fantastic site to begin learning how to 3D model. It's made by AUTODESK, and the controls you learn scale great into Fusion 360. It's even based in a web browser, so it works on Chromebooks!

Here's our video on how to create a keychain and export it for 3D printing:

 

Onshape

Cost: Free for Students and Educators
Operating System: iOS, Android; Windows, Mac, Linux, or Chromebook Web Browser
Tutorials Included: Yes, embedded tutorials available
Level of Difficulty: Easy to Medium

Onshape.com is a more advanced modeling program, created by some of the same minds that made SOLIDWORKS. It's also based in a web browser, and they also have a great app for tablets!

Here is a great tutorial over how to create a keychain by the Center for Advanced Surface Engineering, one of our partners: Introduction to 3D Printing with Onshape

 

Fusion 360

Cost: Free for Students and Educators
Operating System: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac
Tutorials Included: Yes, AUTODESK University
Level of Difficulty: Medium to Hard

Fusion 360 is a fantastic software suite for computer aided manufacturing. Created by Autodesk, Fusion 360 is based in the cloud to easily share and work on projects simultaneously. Check out Autodesk University for online classes.