Top 10 Best 3D Printing Software For Beginners in 2021

Consider Sharing

Are you looking for the best 3D Printing Software to use as a beginner? Well, I have a list of top software that will help you to design amazing 3D designs and print them using a suitable printing set.

3D printer image
3D printer image

What is 3D Printing Software?

3d printing software allows you to create 3d objects inside the base of software, render the model into 3d printing machine comprehensible data facilitating 3d printer to create the real model portion by portion. You can start building an anime character from scratch and introduce it to the real world with the help of a 3D printer.

3D printing is preferred over the traditional method of molding, for its simplicity to create small and complex designs and characters with a lot of ease. 3D printing also uses less material if compared with the traditional manufacturing process.

You can start with a mess. The mess can be cubical, cylindrical, or triangular. Then, you switch to edit mode and start manipulating it to find the shape of your imagination. You convert it to what you had visualized earlier. All you need after that is a 3D printer. 

There are hundreds or more 3D printing software available. Each of them is sufficient if you are an absolute beginner. But you would surely need monster things once you are comfortable with the basics.

We have made a list of the top 10 3D printing software for beginners. Have a look at this list.

Best 3D Printing Software For Beginners in 2021 [Updated]

1. Autodesk Fusion 360

Fusion 360
Fusion 360

Autodesk is suited for beginner to professional. It’s a cloud-based tool that can handle the most complex projects. It has to dominate features available despite being a cloud-based application. You can perform freeform, solid, and mesh modeling in this program.

The program features a bunch of tools for modeling, sculpturing, simulations, assemblies, and 3D printing, etc. It provides the freedom to design, engineering, and manufacturing in one place. You can collaborate to bring ideas together for a complex project, a big deal.

It ensures the faster and efficient production of high-quality products. The platform is ideal for making complex mechanical parts, the reason why most mechanical engineers prefer it.

Features of Autodesk Fusion 360

  1. Suited for beginners to professionals.
  2. Supports solid modeling.
  3. Easily collaborate with other designers.

Pricing for personal – Free

Pricing of a commercial license – $595/year

2. Ultimaker Cura

ultimaker cura screenshot

Ultimate Cura is open-source software for 3D modeling and printing. It flawlessly integrates with the printer. It provides a basic mode for those who are absolute beginners to let them understand the basics. That’s important because gaining 3D modeling skills and experience can be tedious.

Give it a try if you prefer learning the very basics at first rather than clawing at the professional keys. Ultimate Cura also offers a custom mode to customize your final design. A great choice to go with if you have never used a 3D slicer before.

Features of Ultimate Cura

  1. One of the best-suited 3D printing application for beginners.
  2. One can easily install a plugin for solid modeling.
  3. Quick learning curve and beginner-friendly

Pricing for personal and commercial purpose – Free (open-source program)

2. TinkerCAD


TinkerCAD is a browser-based 3D modeling and printing tool. It’s a beginner-friendly program with a very catching user-interface.

You can make use of shape and shape grouping to create some complex designs. You can create a wide range of other 3d designs and prototypes.

Despite being simplistic and less functional, it’s a great software for professional modelers. It has more complicated tools built-in for godly purposes.

It finally converts your work into STL format which is a 3D printer readable format and saves it into the cloud. You can share it with anyone or print instantly with one click.

Features of TinkerCAD

  1. Supports the STL file format for instant printing.
  2. Quick learning curve and beginner-friendly
  3. Offers a tutorial guide before starting.

Pricing for personal and commercial purpose – Free 

4. MeshLab


Similar to Ultimate Cura, it’s also an open-source tool with a powerful slicing engine. It includes Slic3r which has powerful algorithms to open, repair and transform 3D models.

The software has top-notch tools for editing, rendering, and converting meshes. In MeshLab, slicing can be done with comfort and ease.

MeshLab can be used purposefully for editing the mesh. Reconstructing 3D models is also a facility provides. MeshLab can be user-friendly for beginners in case they want to do more in less time.

Features of MeshLab

  1. Capable to reconstruct 3D designs.
  2. The software supports 3D color mapping and texturing.
  3. It comes with a measurement tool that can easily calculate the distance between two points in a mess.

Pricing for personal and commercial purpose – Free (open-source)

5. Blender

Blender is a widely used software for modeling purposes. It’s an open-source application packed with many features such as animation, simulation, video editing, sculpting, texturing, and so on.

This is a single place solution for everything you want. You can start with a mesh, go to edit mode, and can make an entire movie out of that just with this tool. From animating your characters to working on some mesmerizing visual effects, blender can do it all.

The built-in sculpting tools are more like Mudbox. You can also create games with blender by simply integrating a game engine and making the use of your pre-build characters.

Blender can be extended with a lot of plugins available which makes it more feature-rich and powerful.

For an absolute beginner, I will suggest watching some tutorial videos before starting with it. Coming to 3D printing, it can handle anything connected to the “3D” word. It’s a jack-of-all-trades software.

Do you want to know whether you should use Blender for 3D animation? Read this post and know more about it.

Features of Blender

  1. Everything you need in one place for making animations and games.
  2. It’s an open-source platform and at the same time, widely popular, so it is developed by a large blender community, and cool features are added every day along with fixing bugs.
  3. It can help you in game creation.

Pricing for personal and commercial purpose – Free (open-source)

Also Read: Is Blender Good for 2D Animation

6. FreeCAD

FreeCAD is also an open-source application that gives you the freedom to build what you want. The application can be an efficient tool for 3D printing. It lets you make real-life objects in no time. It features parametric modeling that allows you to modify your designs based on your model history.

The platform is suited for engineering and architecture drawings which are 2D and 3D. The designers can create a 3D model on the 2D base easily. For mechanical engineers, the platform features element analysis tools, BIM, Path workbench, geodata workbench, and robot simulation module which helps study robot movements.

Features of FreeCAD

  1. Parametric components for efficient editing.
  2. Comes with tools like BIM and FEA tool for mechanical engineering.
  3. Beginner-friendly

Pricing for personal and commercial purpose – Free (open-source)

7. LibreCAD

librecad screenshot

Another open-source tool for 3D modeling, designing, and printing. LibreCAD is a perfect option for a beginner, especially for mechanical engineering students.

The application includes interactive geometry editing and rendering. The software is programmed in C++, a powerful and efficient programming language.

There is also a command-line option available at the bottom of the page which ensures the change in current workflows. You can draw layers, templates and can do some advanced snapping.

Features of LibreCAD

  1. A command-line option for streamlining the workflow.
  2. Supports more than 30 languages and .dwg file format.
  3. Beginner-friendly especially for engineering students.

Pricing for personal and commercial purpose – Free (open-source)

8. Rhinoceros 3D

Rhinoceros 3D website screenshot

Rhinoceros enables you to make precise models. It uses non-uniform rational basis spline (NURB) which is an advanced mathematical model particularly used in computer graphics for making a smooth curved surface.

You can model any shape of your imagination with a very accurate design and prototype, and manufacturing. Rhino files are compatible with Blender.

Rhino focuses on the visualization method of learning, a big advantage for a beginner. Also, if your system is also a beginner without special hardware such as a powerful graphics card, you can use it with ease.

Features of Rhinoceros 3D

  1. No need for a high-end PC for running this software as a beginner.
  2. Supports 3D digitizers.
  3. Allow files in STL, OBJ, and AutoCAD format.

Pricing for personal and commercial purpose – $495

9. Meshmixer

meshmixer screenshot

Meshmixer is another tool for optimized 3D designing and 3D printing. It’s one of the most-used tools worldwide probably because it allows you to manipulate a triangular mess. It’s has a clean and simple user- interface.

The main reason behind its popularity and at the same time the application is user-friendly. After blender, this software is best for softening the mesh to ensure a smooth finish to the model.

It also supports 3D modeling which is a considerable thing before choosing the right software. All in all, if you are an absolute beginner and need an incredibly straightforward application, you can proceed with this option.

Features of Meshmixer

  • Supports 3D modeling.
  • It autosaves to the recent model that you have created.
  • You can work with a triangular mess.

Pricing for personal and commercial purpose – Free (open-source)

10. 3D Slash

3d slash

3D slasher is by far the best application for beginners who don’t want to dig deep into the subject. It has advanced features for 3D modeling but an easy to use interface which makes it easier for beginners to work with and print 3D models. It features a high definition mode for accurate modeling and editing.

The platform is not suited for professional but leave that case. For a beginner, there is no better choice than this one. You can start playing.

This software is rated as a great 3D modeling tool by various organizations and websites such as Techcrunch, 3Dinsider, and All3DP, etc.

Features of 3D Slash

  • You can import STL and OBJ model and also can save your own one created into those formats.
  • Apply solid colors through the syringe tool.
  • The software features VR mode to visualize the model in virtual reality.

Pricing for personal and commercial purpose – Free (open-source)

Final Verdict

I hope you will find it easier to easily design amazing 3D models and easily get them printed using appropriate hardware. I have researched a lot to make this article as informative as possible. Choose your software properly after fully confirming the information on their official websites. Along with this, do not forget to share this article with the people who may need it. Share your feedback in the comment section.

Consider Sharing