Nowadays, we find the use of 3D printing software everywhere. For instance, Boeing is already planning to build an entire airplane using 3D printing technology. In addition to that, medical experts can now create artificial organs and prosthetics for individuals that need transplants at a relatively low cost. According to Forbes, 93% of organizations that utilize 3D printing say that 3D printing helps save them time when marketing. \n\n\n\nSo, what are your best options when it comes to using 3D printing\nsoftware? The best options in 3D printing software include the following:\n\n\n\nTinkercadSketchUpUltimaker CuraSculptrisWings3DBlenderBRL-CADMatterControl 2.03DPrinterOSKISSlicer\n\n\n\nSince 3D printing is currently revolutionizing many\nindustries, there\u2019s a huge demand for learning more about the technology and\nits uses. Since there isn\u2019t a lot of information available on the Internet\ntoday regarding the best options in 3D printing software, we created this guide\nto help you out. Below we\u2019ll discuss the different options you\u2019ll have when it\ncomes to 3D printing and the best 3D printing software we can use today. \n\n\n\nThe Rising Importance of 3D Printing Technology\n\n\n\n3D printing is making it easier for individuals in many\nindustries to produce products, bringing down the costs of production as well\nas making things more affordable for today\u2019s consumer. What\u2019s also amazing\nabout this rapidly developing technology is not only how cheap it\u2019s building\nproducts cost, but how affordable it is for anyone to purchase a 3D printer. \n\n\n\nTo understand how to use 3D printing technology, you\u2019ll first need to pick up some 3D printing software. Incredibly, there are a bevy of options available on the Internet today when it comes to 3D printing software. Some of this software is free and costs nothing. Some have a relatively average software cost. Still, some other programs cost thousands of dollars.\n\n\n\nIf you are just starting out into the wonderful world of 3D\nprinting, there\u2019s no need to spend thousands of dollars on software, luckily.\nOur list below gives you an overview of some free options. However, for those\nof you that are more advanced and that do want a different alternative than free\nsoftware, we\u2019ve also included some software that you\u2019d have to purchase. \n\n\n\nThe Best 3D Printer Software\n\n\n\nNow that you\u2019ve decided on the type of 3D printer that you\u2019ll be using, it\u2019s time to get to the blueprints of your product design. To communicate with your 3D printer and create the product of your dreams, you\u2019ll need to use some 3D printer software to design that object. There are many different programs available on the Internet today when it comes to 3D printing software. Some of these programs are free, and some of them cost thousands of dollars.\n\n\n\nHow much you\u2019ll need to spend on 3D printer software depends\non the product you are trying to manufacture. If you are creating something\nsimple, then you might be just fine with some free software. Also, if you are\nnew to the game of 3D printing, you\u2019ll want to select software that\u2019s right for\na beginner. Considering all of that, we\u2019ll cover your options in 3D printer\nsoftware below. \n\n\n\n#1 Tinkercad\n\n\n\nOne of the best 3D printer software options out there, Tinkercad is a free software option that\u2019s great for newbies. This software is designed to be easy-to-use so that even beginners can create their 3D models. Plus, Tinkercad will also teach you about solid modeling, which you can build from later if you want to create more complex objects at a later date. \n\n\n\nTinkercad has some great features, including:\n\n\n\nTinkercad is browser-based, and also works as an app. With this software, you\u2019ll get an easy-to-understand building block concept that helps you envision what you\u2019re building. You can create your product using basic shapes, which provides a straightforward introduction into the world of 3D designing. Tinkercad is not only free, but it\u2019s full of excellent tutorials that will help take you from a novice to an expert. Tinkercad also features a library that has millions of files in it. You can use those shapes and manipulate them if you need to when creating your design. This software also features integration with third-party printing, so that makes printing much easier. \n\n\n\nIf you\u2019re dying to learn all you can about 3D printing so\nthat you can create excellent products, then Tinkercad is the software you\nshould use. It\u2019s easy to export files, share things, and get everything done. \n\n\n\n#2 SketchUp\n\n\n\nSketchUp is another excellent free option for CAD software. It\u2019s a powerful option that works well for newbies as well as those with a standard set of skills. Much like Tinkercad, SketchUp provides you with an easy way to both learn and create 3D objects. If you are looking to get started quickly, you can use SketchUp\u2019s 3D Warehouse, where you\u2019ll find plenty of pre-made models. \n\n\n\nSketchUp\nalso features special services in their program for teachers. If you enjoy\nusing SketchUp\u2019s free trial, then you can pay for its Pro version, which will\nmake the platform much easier to use. \n\n\n\n#3 Ultimaker Cura\n\n\n\nUltimaker Cura is another free software opportunity you\u2019ll have when it comes to 3D printing. Ultimaker Cura is a slicer that works very well with all types of 3D printers, and that\u2019s one of the reasons why this software is so popular. Ultimaker Cura is beginner-friendly and features a recommended mode for individuals that are new to 3D printing. \n\n\n\nBy starting with the recommended mode, you\u2019ll be able to\nlearn several new concepts about 3D printing. As you hone your skills, you\u2019ll\nnotice how easy it is to create your products with this software. As you become\nmore tuned-into this software, you can swap modes and learn how to customize\nyour products using the custom mode feature. \n\n\n\nUltimaker Cura\u2019s learning curve is minor, and most people that start using this software make products for their 3D printers relatively quickly. Since you can add custom objects using this software, you can also start with their extensive library and customize some objects. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n#4 Sculptris\n\n\n\nSculptris is the software to pick if you want to make organic designs. It works similar to Tinkercad, but Tinkercad\u2019s focus is on using geometric patterns. Sculptris is also very easy to use, and the features on it will take you from newbie to advanced in little time. If you\u2019ve ever modeled with clay before, then you\u2019ll love Sculptris, because that\u2019s what it feels like. \n\n\n\nSculptris is great if you want to create cartoon-like\nobjects and characters. \n\n\n\nHowever, your 3D sculptures on Sculptris will be very basic.\nIf you opt to use Sculptris, you\u2019ll need to learn how to expand on your designs\nlater with other types of software. We still recommend checking out Sculptris\nif your objects are organic because it\u2019s the first step in the process of\ncreating natural objects. \n\n\n\n#5 Wings3D\n\n\n\nWings3D is another free 3D printing software that\u2019s excellent for beginners. Here\u2019s why:\n\n\n\nEven though this software is simple and easy to use, it\u2019s\nnot limited. It provides many useful features. Some of the other valuable\nfeatures include:\n\n\n\nInsetBendSheerPlane cut \n\n\n\n#6 Blender\n\n\n\nBlender is another free software option. It\u2019s a compelling software program, and it\u2019s probably not the best software for beginners. \n\n\n\nYou\u2019ll need to gain some experience and reach the advanced\nlevel to utilize Blender, but once you do, you\u2019ll get access to plenty of\nhelpful 3D printing advice. For example, Blender houses a large community of\nfollowers that love sharing resources online about the software. That means you\ncan get some first-class tips from expert users. \n\n\n\n#7 BRL-CAD\n\n\n\nBRL-CAD offers another free software opportunity, but this is a product that\u2019s intended for more advanced users. The US Army developed this software initially to support ballistic and electromagnetic analysis. The army modeled weapons systems with this software, and that\u2019s one of the reasons why it\u2019s so advanced. BRL-CAD works well for solid modeling and allows you to edit using interactive geometry editing. \n\n\n\nOriginally the downside to this software was its expense. Since its release, it\u2019s become a free, open-source tool that\u2019s excellent for 3D printing.\n\n\n\n#8\nMatterControl 2.0\n\n\n\nAnother excellent free option for your 3D printing software is MatterControl 2.0. If you need a CAD and 3D printing software for your desktop, then this software will give you everything you need in one program. If you download this free software, you\u2019ll get plenty of great features. \n\n\n\nYou\u2019ll have software that allows you to directly control\nand watch your printing when you connect to it with a USB. Also, you\u2019ll be able to slice STLs so you can export them\nto an SD card and print offline. Plus, the software interface is incredibly easy for\nbeginners. Once you load up the software, you\u2019ll see your file\nbrowser and library of shapes on the left. You can import those objects and\nmodify them for the STL you want to print, then design the structure. That\nmeans this free software program offers some excellent customization features. This software also features some advanced printer\nsettings if you want to configure your print jobs in a particular way. You\u2019ll also get a slick viewer that helps you with all\nyour 3D printing needs. \n\n\n\nWe love the\nDesign Tools feature on this program, which allows you to design the parts of\nyour prototype easily. You can transfer these designs quickly over into your\nslicer mode and print them. So, luckily, you won\u2019t also need a slicer program\nif you opt for this software. Since so many 3D printing programs typically only\nlet you print or slice, it\u2019s nice to have something like MatterControl 2.0, a\nprogram that can do everything.\n\n\n\n#9 3DPrinterOS\n\n\n\nIf you want something that\u2019s free but offers a cloud-based solution, then 3DPrinterOS might just be the program for you. 3DPrinter OS is quite comprehensive. For example, you\u2019ll be able to do the following with 3DPrinterOS:\n\n\n\nThis software will allow you to download the starter\npackage for free if you want to try things out temporarily. With the free\nprogram, you can do the following:\n\n\n\nUpload and print GcodeMonitor your toolpathsWatch your printing remotelyUse the forum for assistance\n\n\n\nAfter you try\nout the starter package, you can decide to pay for the software or not. The\nsoftware isn\u2019t that expensive and costs only $15 monthly. The monthly fee includes:\n\n\n\nPrinter sharing and permissionsProject sharingSlicingCustomized customer service \n\n\n\nThere are\nother versions of 3DPrinterOS available, too, if something more advanced is\nneeded. However, the more advanced software program is reserved more for\nbusinesses and education. \n\n\n\n#10\nKISSlicer\n\n\n\nWhile the acronym for this software means the \u201cKeep It Simple Slicer,\u201d that\u2019s just referring to its ease-of-use. KISSlicer is a pretty impressive 3D printing software program that compares to many of the other 3D slicing programs you\u2019ll find on the Internet today. \n\n\n\nFor most people, using the free version of the software\nshould work just fine if you are only using one extruder. However, if you plan\non doing more, then consider opting for the paid Pro version of this software.\nWith the Pro version, you\u2019ll have access to multi-head printing. While this\nsoftware is a bit more for the experienced, it still helps simplify the art of\nslicing with features like:\n\n\n\nProfile\nWizards, which gives you the ability to use 3D printer-specific settings, andTurning\nWizards, which optimizes your software and printing program. \n\n\n\nThis software updates itself\nquite regularly and releases new versions often. So, as long as you keep up\nwith the updates, you\u2019ll wind up with the latest in 3D printer slicing\ntechnology. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nWhat Can 3D Printers Do?\n\n\n\n3D printers offer\nseveral amazing possibilities. You can make a wide variety of items with them\nonce you get the hang of using the software. You can make products from all\nkinds of materials, including plastic and ceramic. However, before you use your\nprinter, you\u2019ll need a design concept that you\u2019ll make using your 3D printing\nsoftware. \n\n\n\nAfter you\u2019ve\ndesigned your object using CAD software, you\u2019ll then need to use separate slicing\nsoftware to create the final product. Slicing software helps your printer to\nsee the purpose in those flat layers it uses to stack and make your object.\nPlus, slicing software will also help the printer figure out the fastest way to\nget the job done. Once you tell it to print, it will layer slices of the\nmaterial you\u2019ve decided to use for your product. \n\n\n\nSo, what type of 3D printer should you purchase, and what type of software? While we can\u2019t decide for you, what we can do is present you with your options in both 3D printers and software. That way, you can make an educated decision about what type of 3D printer and what type of 3D printing software you want to use. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nTypes of 3D Printers\n\n\n\nThere are several different categories of 3D printers in existence today. Understanding these categories can help you figure out the type of 3D printer that you\u2019ll use to create your products. So, we\u2019ll cover the different types of 3D printers below. \n\n\n\n#1 3D Printer: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nFused deposition modeling, or FDM, is also sometimes called fused filament fabrication, or FFF. This type of 3D printing technology uses material extrusion to create products. That\u2019s good news for those of you that are looking to get started with 3D printing at an affordable price because material extrusion printers are the highest-selling type of 3D printer around today. The affordability of these printers, and their ability to perform well, are the two reasons why many people find these printers attractive.\n\n\n\nUsing FDM printing means you\u2019ll get a well-finished product\nfull of color. You can also make your product out of different materials. You\u2019ll\nhave the final say about the materials you use with this printer. However, you\nwon\u2019t be able to make mechanical parts with this type of printer, since the\nobjects it creates will be slightly brittle. \n\n\n\nThe printer continues to produce the object using this layer-by-layer\nmethod until it completes making the product. Sometimes additional support\ninstruments are needed when making more complex objects with your printer.\nAgain, this is where using 3D printing software will help you guide your\nprinter. FDM printing has been used to create many different objects, from\nfishing jigs to housing fixtures. \n\n\n\n#2 3D Printer: Stereolithography (SLA)\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nStereolithography, also known as SLA, is another option\nyou\u2019ll have when it comes to 3D printing methods.\n\n\n\nInterestingly, SLA is one of the earliest forms of 3D printing in existence today. We still use SLA printing because of its effectiveness and the potential it offers for products. If you purchase an SLA printer, you\u2019ll notice immediately that this type of printer is nothing like your standard desktop printer. Instead of using ink, SLA 3D printers utilize liquid plastic to create an object. \n\n\n\nSLA printers are excellent for making objects that feature\nsmooth surfaces. However, the quality of the objects you create can vary a bit\nfrom one SLA printer to another. That\u2019s why it\u2019s essential to purchase a\nhigh-quality SLA printer. While that might cost you a little more, it\u2019s\ncertainly a worthwhile investment if you\u2019re going to create plastic products\nand sell them. After you purchase your SLA printer, you\u2019ll be done with most of\nyour start-up investment.\n\n\n\nSLA printers vary since they\u2019ve been around for so long.\nThat\u2019s why we can\u2019t emphasize the importance of ensuring the quality of the SLA\nprinter you might purchase. Even the time required to make each object depends\non the kind of SLA printer you are buying. You can assemble smaller items every\nsix to eight hours using a basic SLA printer. However, if you purchase a more\npowerful SLA printer, you\u2019ll be able to make more objects in less time. The\nchoice is up to you.\n\n\n\nSLA printing is often used by mechanical engineers that want\nto ensure certain parts will fit into their required designs. Also, individuals\nthat have an excellent plastic product idea to sell online often invest in SLA\nprinters.\n\n\n\n#3 3D Printer: Digital Light Processing (DLP)\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nDigital Light Processing, or DLP, is SLA\u2019s 3D printing sibling. There are a couple of differences between SLA printing and DLP printing, but they are minor. In DLP printing, you\u2019ll use a projector for your ultraviolet light instead of an oven, or an LED spotlight. You also get a screen to draw layers of your image on, which helps make DLP printing a little more modern than SLA printing. \n\n\n\nDLP printers revolutionized 3D printing and made it more\nlikely for people to do it at their homes. They work much like SLA printers,\nbut they are more affordable and more comfortable to create. Since DLP printers\nfeature a mobile screen to cure resin instead of using the SLA laser system,\nwhich is somewhat complicated for many people, individuals usually find DLP\nprinters to be very easy to use. Also, since DLP printers are so easy to make,\nthey are widely available and quite affordable. \n\n\n\nLike other 3D resin printers, DLP printers provide some excellent finishing and a wide choice of materials. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n#4 3D Printer: Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)\n\n\n\nIn the 1980s, an inventor and teacher by the name of Dr. Carl Deckard created and patented the first SLS technology. SLS, or selective laser sintering, is the type of technology that uses CO2 lasers to melt pieces together. SLS printers are strong enough to use metal materials, although metal isn\u2019t the only type of content you can use on an SLS printer. You can use many different materials, even glass, when you purchase an SLS printer. \n\n\n\nAn SLS printer works by scanning and creating an object one\nlayer at a time until the product is complete. While the printer is doing its\nwork, it uses powders to protect the item that it is creating. So, with SLS\nprinting, you won\u2019t need other structures on your printer to support it while\nit makes your product. However, you will have to clean off the powders that are\nleftover once the printing is complete. \n\n\n\nSLS printers can create precise parts using a different materials. As a result, many industries use SLS printers to create fully functional prototypes. SLS technology does resemble SLA technology as far as quickness and quality are concerned. However, unlike SLS printing, SLA printing uses liquid resins. \n\n\n\n#5 3D Printer: Material Jetting (MJ) \n\n\n\nMaterial jetting, or MJ printing, utilizes photopolymer\nresin to create a product, but the functionality of this printer is more like a\nstandard inkjet printer. However, instead of just printing a single ink layer,\nan MJ printer will use multiple layers to form an item. \n\n\n\nWhen an object is created using MJ printing, the printer\nheat drops tiny particles of photopolymer that solidify with UV light. Once a\nlayer is printed, the build platform will lower and repeat the process,\nbuilding another layer. \n\n\n\nMJ printing also doesn\u2019t use one point to follow directions\nand create a cross-sectional layer. Instead, MJ printers deposit the material\nin a line-wise way, moving much more quickly. That means MJ printers can create\nseveral objects in one line without the speed of their production being affected.\nSo, MJ printers tend to be faster than any other type of 3D printer. \n\n\n\nWhen people create products using MJ printing, they use a dissolvable material that they have to clean off once the printing job is finished. MJ printing is becoming increasingly more popular because of its quickness, and the ability to create several objects with beautiful color. However, while MJ printing will give you a beautiful product, it\u2019s one of the more expensive options in 3D printers. So, you\u2019ll need to decide whether you need this type of printer to get the job done. \n\n\n\n Now that we\u2019ve covered your options in 3D printing, you\u2019ll need to use the information above to select the type of 3D printer you want to use. That decision might be dictated by the type of product you are making and the material you are using. If you are making plastic products, however, you do have a lot of options. So, make your decision wisely, and then move onto the next step\u2014selecting the right 3D printing software for your product. \n\n\n\nRecap\n\n\n\nIn this article, we discussed ten pieces of software that are commonly used with 3d printers and provided an overview of the type of printers on the market. As a recap, here is the list of the top software used with 3d printers that we covered in this article.\n\n\n\nTinkercadSketchUpUltimaker CuraSculptrisWings3DBlenderBRL-CADMatterControl 2.03DPrinterOSKISSlicer\n\n\n\nMake sure you check out our YouTube channel, and if you would like any additional details or have any questions, please leave a comment below. If you liked this article and want to read others click here.