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.

Click here to download our PDF tutorial on how to export from these programs for 3D printing!

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:

 

SketchUp

Cost: Free for Educators
Operating System: Windows, Mac, Chromebooks
Tutorials Included: Yes, embedded tutorials available
Level of Difficulty: Easy to Medium

https://www.sketchup.com/3Dfor/education-educators is a great program to learn the basics of 3D design. They even have a even based in a web browser based SketchUp for Schools, that works on Chromebooks with Google Classroom!

SketchUp has tons of tutorials available on their website:

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: 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 PDF 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 HoneyPoint3D's Fusion 360 Online Tutorial available in our store: