3D Printing Resources: Design & Print

Learn about 3D printing and discover new resources.

Different Ways to Design

There are many kinds of 3D design software out there, and different ways to design: computer assisted design (CAD), freeform, or sculpting. Different projects may require different software. Below are some choices you may want to explore.

Beginner 3D Design Software

Tinkercad logo

Tinkercad is free, subscription-based, online software. It's great CAD software for beginners and includes interactive tutorials.

OpenSCAD logo

OpenSCAD is free software you can download and use to design solid 3D CAD objects.

FreeCAD logo
FreeCAD is downloadable, and welcomes home users and hobbyists. Post questions to forums.


3D Printing with TINKERCAD

3D Modeling and Printing with TINKERCAD: Create and Print Your Own 3D Models

Check out this free eBook from the library with instructions on using TinkerCAD to design your 3D print projects!

Want to master 3D modeling and printing? TinkerCAD is the perfect software for you: it's friendly, web-based, and free. Even better, you don't have to rely on TinkerCAD's technical documentation to use it. This guide is packed with photos and projects that bring 3D modeling to life!

Intermediate 3D Design Software

SketchUp logo

On SketchUp you draw 2D shapes and use the push/pull tool to convert shapes into 3D objects. Downloading .stl files requires the SketchUp STL extension. Free and paid versions.

Advanced 3D Design Software

blender logo

Blender offers freeform "modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation." Free.

Autodesk logo

Autodesk has a range of 3D design software for engineering, architecture, product design, media and entertainment. Free trial and paid subscription.

SketchUp, Autodesk, and Blender eBooks

Slicer Software

Slicer software prepares your 3D image for printing and interprets your file for the 3D printer.

Cura's software showing a finished 3D design

Cura is Ultimaker's free slicer software and is fairly easy to use. It can be used with other 3D printer manufacturers too.

Repair Software

Some models you create or find may need editing or repair. These free software options can help you with that.

Meshlab logo
Autodesk Meshmixer logo

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