Software Platforms Making 3D Printing Simple

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Cura

Visit: https://ultimaker.com

Full version: Free

Cura is a popular 3D slicing application software to process 3D printing of ready models. Made by 3D printer producer Ultimaker, Cura supports an array of input file formats, including STL, X3D, 3MF, OBJ, and image formats like JPG, PNG and GIF. It also supports popular 3D printing plugins like SolidWorks, Siemens NX and Autodesk.

3D Slash

Visit: www.3dslash.net

Full version: Free

For casual designers, students or users with very little 3D modelling background, 3D Slash is a great tool. The software platform is used for 3D modelling using a basic cuboid block-based interface. The platform is Web-based and also comes as a desktop or mobile application. You need to register and create an account to use the platform. Created models are stored online with export ability. Advanced model customisation by importing 3D format files can be done as well. Advanced features can be availed through plan-based payment.

TinkerCAD

Visit: www.tinkercad.com

Full version: Free

TinkerCAD is an easy-to-use Web-based 3D modelling tool. Easy usability of the software lies in its guidance through a course for the complete 3D design process, which teaches the basics before making more complex modelling techniques. 3D designs created with TinkerCAD are stored in the cloud and can be easily accessed from anywhere. The software can import 2D and 3D shapes, vectors, logos or images. TinkerCAD supports all 3D printers that accept industry-standard STL file formats. The latest upgrade features solid modelling, SVG format file export for laser cutting machines, direct integration with third-party printing services and more.

SolidWorks

Visit: www.solidworks.com

Full version: Paid

SolidWorks created by Dassault Systemes is a solid modelling computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) software platform. It is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Its user base ranges from individuals to large companies, covering a wide range of manufacturing segments. Design is intuitive; it knows how you want the component to respond to changes and updates. SolidWorks files (before version 2015) use Microsoft Structured Storage file format, where each SLDDRW (graphic file), SLDPRT (part file) and SLDASM (assembly file) file embeds various sub-files, including preview bitmaps and metadata sub-files. These sub-files can be extracted using third-party tools, although these use proprietary binary file formats in many cases.

FreeCAD

Visit: www.tinkercad.com

Full version: Free

FreeCAD is a free open source (under LGPLv2 + licence) universal parametric 3D CAD modeller and building information modelling software with finite element method support. Like many modern 3D CAD modellers, it has 2D components to extract design details from 3D models to create 2D production drawings. FreeCAD is designed to leverage other open source libraries such as Open CASCADE (CAD kernel), Coin3D (an avatar of Open Inventor), Qt GUI framework and Python scripts. Files can be exported and imported in the following file formats: FreeCAD Standard File Format (.FCStd), DXF, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), STEP, IGES, StereoLithography (STL), OBJ (Wavefront), DAE (Collada), SCAD ( OpenSCAD), IV (inventor) and IFC.


 

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