Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard the term 3D printing thrown around here and there. It might sound like a neat way to create your own trinkets and figurines, but it’s also changing the world as we know it. If you want to stay on top of things, then you need to get behind 3D printing.
One of the first things you’ll need in order to start out is the right software for 3D printing. Not sure where to get started? Read on to learn all about 3D software for 3D printing!
Design with CAD
The first thing you need to do to 3D print an object is to create the model using CAD software for 3D printing. CAD stands for computer-aided design, and CAD software is used for a variety of different purposes outside of 3D printing.
Depending on your needs, you might be able to get away with open-source CAD software like FreeCAD. If your goals are more advanced, then it is worthwhile to pay for more powerful CAD software.
Some people bypass this step by using pre-made 3D models. If you want to make sure the design is 100 percent your own, however, then you need to build it from scratch with the best modeling software for 3D printing.
Edit with STL
A lot of people don’t build their 3D models from scratch. Instead, they search databases for STL files that work for their printing needs. That doesn’t mean that the file you download is automatically going to be ready to print, however.
If you need to edit the STL file, then you’re going to need editing software. Some good free options include MeshLab, SketchUp, and Blender. Not all editing software works the same, so try out a few different options to find the one that works best for your needs.
Print with Slicer Software
It’s not enough to create a 3D model and edit it. You also have to prep the model for printing with slicer software.
Slicer software takes your 3D model and translates it into g-code, which is the code your 3D printer reads when printing a project. This means that the slicer divides up the model into numerous 2D layers, and it tells the printer how each layer should be printed. This is a necessary step if you have your own 3D desktop printer, but users who plan on printing via a 3D service do not need slicing software.
Do You Have the Right Software for 3D Printing?
If you want to get started in the world of 3D printing, then downloading the right software for 3D printing is critical. It’s not enough to simply have a 3D printer, if you want to create quality products, then you need to have everything from CAD software for 3D printing to slicer software. Before you know it, you’ll be a 3D printing pro!
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