3D Printing and Design Software

3D model design / CAD / CAM software

If you are not sure what software for 3d modelling and design you should use, start with this post:

Software list:

https://tinkercad.com/ (browser based, free and easy)

FreeCAD http://www.freecadweb.org (open source, free and multiplatform)

http://brlcad.org/ BRL-CAD open source CAD

LibreCAD open source 2D CAD

http://www.gcad3d.org/ gCAD3d open source 3D CAD in German

QCAD open source 2D CAD multiplatform program  

Shapesmith http://shapesmith.net/ (in-browser design)

https://www.onshape.com/ Onshape cloud based professional CAD with free and paid versions

http://www.wings3d.com/ Wings 3D is an advanced open source subdivision modeler CAD software that is both powerful and easy to use.


http://www.designspark.com/eng/page/mechanical Free and powerful 3d design software

http://www.skimlab.com/ (in-browser with powerful features)

Blender CAM http://blendercam.blogspot.com/ Blender CAM is an open source solution for artistic CAM - Computer aided machining - a g-code generation tool. Blender CAM is an extension for the free open-source Blender 3d package.

LinuxCNC Features http://www.cnc-club.ru/wiki/index.php/LinuxCNC_Features embeds a LinuxCNC compatible graphical g-code programming interface directly into the LinuxCNC native user interface making it into an open source CAM.

http://blokify.com/ Simple 3d modelling software aimed at children.

Pixologic Sculpturis (3d sculpting and painting) http://pixologic.com/sculptris/

nVil http://digitalfossils.com/

SpaceClaim http://www.spaceclaim.com/ Expensive and powerfull high-end 3d modelling

Sculptfab, on-line sculpting app http://labs.sketchfab.com/sculptfab/

http://www.makersempire.com/ Maker's Empire is tablet software (iOS, Android, Windows) for easy creation and 3d printing. It is easy to use and aimed at children and undemanding designers.

http://flatfab.com/  FlatBab enables you to draw and design with 2d surfaces and get 3d shapes ideal for CNC cutting

http://www.3digitalcooks.com/design-tools/lin3s/lin3s.html Lin3s simple design web based tool that uses straight lines and is optimized for paste extrusion (like food pastes) and air pressure extruders.

http://www.shapr3d.com/ Simple touch guided 3d model design app for your iPad

https://blockscad.einsteinsworkshop.com/ BlocksCAD browser based simple CAD, it is open sourced with all files at: https://github.com/einsteinsworkshop/blockscad

CAE Linux distribution focused on open source CAD / CAM / CIM / CAE / FEA and 3d printing. Detailed post with tutorials here: http://diy3dprinting.blogspot.com/2015/04/best-linux-distribution-for-3d-printing.html

http://3dcreationist.com/app/ 3dCreationist is a very simple browser based CAD

Vectary http://vectary.com/ On-line CAD with simple modelling features from Slovakia


http://aero.go.usu.edu/ MachUp and CloudFoil software (web interface) specialized for design of air frames and foils. You can design and analyse flying machines, drones, model aircraft and other aerodynamic objects. There is a free and Pro version.

http://www.niklasroy.com/articles/194/gdraw-free-software-for-you gDraw free software that enables you to draw in 2D and gives 3D printable g-code. Requires Processing.

http://estlcam.de/ ESTLCAM is simple(r) CAM software,

Programmatic CAD

OpenSCAD OpenSCAD is a software for creating solid 3D CAD models. It is free software and available for Linux/UNIX, Windows and Mac OS X. Unlike most free software for creating 3D models (such as Blender) it does not focus on the artistic aspects of 3D modelling but instead on the CAD aspects. Basically: it means that you will have to write code, learn a lot and you will need some time if you are a beginner.





http://openjscad.org/ OpenJsCAD web based solid modelling in Javascript,

http://joostn.github.io/OpenJsCad/  OpenJsCad github repository



http://honeycomb3d.com/ (web based)

http://solvespace.com/index.pl Solvespace parametric 2d/3d CAD

Here is a list with some other programmatic CAD software: http://emacstragic.net/programmatic-cad-openscad-alternatives/

https://github.com/mkeeter/antimony Antimony is novel CAD software which is open source and uses nodes and links to design. It looks really interesting.

https://github.com/sikuli/craftml CraftML free and open source simple CAD available online at http://craftml.io/ with simple repository of 3d models made by it

https://github.com/mkeeter/kokopelli Kokopelli open source CAD / CAM tool which uses Python

https://graphscad.blogspot.com graphSCAD is node editor for OpenSCAD

Control software, slicers, firmware, drivers ...

http://www.repetier.com/download/ Repetier Host

http://www.netfabb.com/ Netfabb 3d printing software that comes in free and professional version.

http://www.linuxcnc.org/ LinuxCNC is open source software system for computer control of machines such as milling machines, lathes, plasma cutters, cutting machines, robots, hexapods, 3d printers etc.

Slic3r Open source G-code generator for 3D printers. One of the essentials.

http://replicat.org/ ReplicatorG

KISSlicer http://kisslicer.com/

Katana slicer by Printr http://printr.com/katana

Skeinforge http://reprap.org/wiki/Skeinforgehttp://fabmetheus.crsndoo.com/  Skeinforge is a tool chain composed of Python scripts that converts your 3D model into G-Code instructions for RepRap.

Ultimaker Cura Cura

http://www.reprap.org/wiki/Kamaq Kamaq RepRap firmware which is Linux based and written in Python. It has a web-interface in HTML5/JavaScript and websockets. It controls up to 4 stepper motors (axes) via standard USB audio device, end-switches and heaters via GPIO and hw-mon.

http://www.craftunique.com/craftware CraftWare free slicer

http://www.simplify3d.com/ Simplify3D integrated printing software with power feature and a price

Creation Workshop - by Envision Labs, 3D Slicing and Control program for your UV DLP Printer

GCodePrintr for Android  http://gcodeprintr.dietzm.de,  formerly known as G-code simulator and printer control (Android application available) http://www.dietzm.de/gcodesim/

http://slicercloud.com/  Slicer Cloud, online free slicer powered with powerful computer cluster

http://print3r.terawattindustries.com/ Android 3d print server

RepRap Phone Host, Windows mobile phone application http://www.bananna3d.com/reprapphonehost.php

Mach3 CNC software addon that hacks it into 3d printing software: http://cnc2printer3d.wordpress.com/software/

How to validate and check your 3d models / stl files before printing: http://diy3dprinting.blogspot.com/2014/07/how-to-check-your-3d-models-before.html

http://makeprintable.com/ MakePrintable is a set of online tool for checking and repairing 3d models to make them 3d printable and other operations. Very useful!

https://github.com/openhardwarecoza/LaserWeb LaserWeb is a Node.js based host software for Lasercutters/Engravers running Marlin / Smoothieware / Grbl / LasaurGrbl with integrated parametric g-code generators, Raster support and Vector Engraving. DXF is supported.

Grbl https://github.com/grbl/grbl  simple, reliable G-code interpreter firmware for the Arduino Uno.

G-code-streaming packages: bCNC and UGS, (tested specifically with Grbl)

GCMC http://www.vagrearg.org/content/gcmc-intro G-code generator. It is a front-end language aimed at producing human-readable machine routines. By abstracting away the unnecessary idiosyncrasies of the language, GCMC enables you to generate complex tool movements and patterns.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/dxf2gcode/ dxf2gcode G-code ganerator. Makes gcode based on an original DXF design file that also features automatic cutter compensation done in software. It is a very useful feature that will generate an offset tool-path based on the diameter of the tool and the type of cut (pocket or outside edge).

http://www.nanodlp.com/  nanoDLP is a Raspberry Pi based host and control software for DLP based 3D printers.

Open source slicer for DLP 3d printers in JavaScript released by Matt Keeter and Martin Galese from Formlabs:

https://grid.space/kiri Kiri:Moto is a free web based slicer that can be used for FDM printers, laser cutters and CNC machines

https://github.com/kory75/Marlin_360 Marlin 360 for polar coordinates 3d printer

Remote 3d printer management and control

http://astroprint.com/ AstroPrint is full mobile 3d printer control and cloud slicing solution

Printerface. 3d printing software that enables you to print with Raspberry Pi acting as controller. Also enables remote control via internet.


https://github.com/jjg/octowatch Octowatch is an Octoprint app for the Pebble smartwatch



https://www.botqueue.com/ BotQueue lets you control multiple 3D printers through the Internet and turn them into your own manufacturing center. Think cloud-based computing, but for making things in the real world. Now you can build the robot army you've always dreamed of! Oh yeah, and its 100% open source.

http://3dprinteros.com/ First cloud based open source 3D printer operating system.

http://www.repetier-apps.com/ Repetier Informer iOS mobile app for remote monitoring of Repetier 3d printer software

http://xyzbots.com/reprapweb.html  RepRapWeb is open source web UI software for remot control of multiple 3d printers that runs on Raspbery Pi

http://photonelephant.com/  Photon Elephant is Raspberry Pi based 3d printer OS.

3D Printing and digital fabrication business software 

http://makeros.com/ maker OS is a web based application for running an digital fabrication small business.

http://www.printocracy.io/ Printocracy is an online quotation generator for you 3d printing business. You can set up many parameters and generate price quotations via a widget on your website.

http://printelize.com/en/ Printelize is an online sales automation software designed for businesses that provide 3D printing services.

CNC Software 

http://camotics.org/  CAMotics is an Open-Source software which simulates 3-axis CNC milling or engraving. It is a fast, flexible and user friendly simulation software for the DIY and Open-Source community. CAMotics works on Linux, OS-X and Windows.

http://svgnest.com/ SVGNest open source vector nesting

StippleGen is a free, open source, and cross-platform application from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories that can create stipple drawings and “TSP art,” from image files. Ideal for CNC / laser cutter halftone projects and Voronoi art.

Geography, mapping and 3d printing

http://jthatch.com/terrain2stl/ Generate 3d printable .stl files based on map data.

http://jthatch.com/Moon2STL/ Generate 3d printable .stl files based on Moon map data. Moon2STL uses data from the Unified Lunar Control Network 2005, a topographical model of the lunar surface, provided online by the US Geological Survey. Made from a network of photos derived from Earth-based and Apollo photographs, as well as Mariner 10 and Galileo images.

http://osmbuildings.org/ Open Street Map Buildings, is an open source map with 3d models of buildings. You can download .stl files from the menu.

Various other software

http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/  MeshLab is an open source, portable, and extensible system for the processing and editing of unstructured 3D triangular meshes. The system is aimed to help the processing of the typical not-so-small unstructured models arising in 3D scanning, providing a set of tools for editing, cleaning, healing, inspecting, rendering and converting this kind of meshes.

http://abfab3d.com AbFab3D is a toolkit to help in the development of 3D printing tools and editors. The toolkit will contain both Voxel and Triangle aware code and will include functions for changing between them. The goal is to make creating 3D editors easier.

Designing gears: http://woodgears.ca/gear_cutting/template.html

http://geargenerator.com/ Great online gear design generator. The designs are downloadable.


http://www.matterhackers.com/topic/mattercontrol MatterControl software

PreForm Software for Form Labs Form 1 3d printer http://formlabs.com/pages/software

MachineKit: http://bb-lcnc.blogspot.com/p/machinekit_16.html  It's turn-key BeagleBone SD Card image, based on Robert C Nelson's omap-image-builder scripts and the LinuxCNC machine control software to allow easy experimentation and to promote the use of LinuxCNC in the 3D printer and maker communities.

http://slicer.org/ Slicer is a free, open source software package for visualization and image analysis. 3D Slicer is natively designed to be available on multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux and Mac Os X.

http://www.greentoken.de/onlineconv/ Online 3D Model Converter, online web application that is a tool to convert digital 3d model files from one file format to another (ie.: FBX to OBJ or OBJ to STL for 3D printing, DAE to JSON for use with WebGL, ..).

http://labs.cctech.co.in/3dprinttech/ 3DPrintTech is CAD plugin for model splitting and nesting for efficient batch printing from India.

http://www.i3dconverter.com/index.html i3DConverter is very powerful 3d model file converter and interactive 3D model viewer tool. The program supports 678 file formats. Mostly optimized for MacOS but Windows application also exists. Priced at 50 USD or 40 EUR.

http://standardselectronics.com/3d-printer-calculator/ Free calculator that will enable you to calculate varous 3d print parameters (time, price, weight, volume etc ...)

Software libraries, frameworks etc.:

http://jreinhardt.github.io/BOLTS/index.html The aim of BOLTS is to build a free and open-source standard parts library for CAD applications. It does so by providing a common database that can be utilized by many different CAD applications.

http://pygestalt.org/ Gestalt is a framework for building controllers for automated tools. It enables you to import your machines as Python modules, and makes it easy to connect machines to browser-based user interfaces. Gestalt will be available as an open source library in November 2013.
In the interim, you can read about Gestalt in much more detail here.

http://pypy.org/ PyPy is faster and compliant implementation of Python language. Useful to speed up slicing 3D Models using skeinforge.py or other Python applications.

Topper 3d model infill algorithm https://github.com/rptynan/Topper

http://scadboard.wordpress.com/ SCADboard simple 3D print OpenSCAD library for producing circuit boards 

Plater is a 3D printer plates placer and optimizer

DEMto3d is an extension, which allows the 3D printing of digital elevation models with the free GIS software Kosmo Desktop (http://www.opengis.es/)

SlicerShare is a webpage dedicated to shearing slicer settings. It is searchable by material, printer and other parameters. You can find optimal and tried slicer setting there.

Codeable Objects Processing library is a library that will enable you to design complex objects based on code for production on laser cnc cutting or 3d printing,

https://github.com/caretdashcaret/pince-nez Pinc-nez is a Blender script that enables you to make 3d printable eyeglasses frames from eyeglasses SVGs.

http://3d-button.com/ 3D Button is a free plugin for your CAD software that simplifies ordering from 3d printing services like Shapeways

https://github.com/SquirrelCZE/CADModels/blob/master/TOOLS/hexer.scad Hexify openSCAD script for making a solid model into hexagone infill.

http://www.osteo3d.com/ Osteo3D has ability to create 3d models from medical scan files and has a repository of medical models with ability to create custom 3d printed guides for medical procedures

https://github.com/jjg/3dna 3dna code for OpenSCAD enables creation of 3d models from raw DNA analysis data

Retr3D https://www.wevolver.com/matthew.rogge/retr3d/main/description/  source code is available at: https://github.com/Maaphoo/Retr3d
https://cdn.rawgit.com/masterperson40/ewaste3Dprinter/master/config_generator/index.html if you want to make your 3d printer from recycled electronic parts or e-waste. You input what you got into web based app and get the design as FreeCAD file.