10 Best Free 3D Printing Software

There are an awful lot of software applications for the 3D printing process. With so many options and alternatives available, it becomes even more crucial to select the right one for your needs.

I’m listing the best 3D printing software for every workflow stage. I gather the top software for designing, managing, preparing, viewing, and repairing your prints and printers, what they can do, and where to download them.

Let’s dive in right now!

1. Ultimaker Cura

Ultimaker Cura


  • Version: Ultimaker Cura 5.2.1
  • Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux
  • Compatibility: 64-bit OS

Key Features

Using Ultimaker Cura, your 3D model will be ready to print in no time. Professionally-optimized profiles for 3D printers and materials mean you can now start printing with confidence.

The process of using it is simple and natural. You may import photos, sketches made in Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw, and other files. The software requires little configuration.

Thanks to the software’s suggested settings area, I had no trouble getting started with this program, even though it was my first time doing so. As your skill grows, you’ll be able to experiment with other options, expanding the range of your output.

I enjoy it because it caters to 3D printer enthusiasts of varying experience levels.

At first, I only utilized the default options, but now that I’m more comfortable, I’ve begun playing with more complicated ones.

It takes some time to become used to the granularity of Cura’s parameter settings, which are necessary for printing with a wide variety of filaments and other materials.

Once you get the hang of things, you’ll have no trouble fine-tuning your print settings to optimize the filament, print size, and print quality you need.

In addition to its zero cost, Cura offers a wealth of benefits to its consumers. It’s useful for both novices and seasoned experts.

On the other hand, I think it could do a better job of producing plastic supports for 3D printing. I’d also like that it doesn’t get cooked when I preview.

Price: Free

Website Link: https://ultimaker.com/software/ultimaker-cura


  • Simple use
  • Free software
  • Preset installation
  • Adaptive printing option
  • Detailed controlling interface
  • Suitable for different levels of experience


  • It takes time to get used to the operation

2. Simplify3D



  • Version: Simplify3D 4.1
  • Platforms: Windows Vista, Mac OS, Linux
  • Compatibility: 64-bit OS

Key Features

It is possible to slice and print 3D models using Simplify3D. This program dashes on even very modest hardware.

Not only that, but it has many options. Each time I explore it, I find something new. You may make speed changes at various points in the same print. You can also modify support structures independently and repair models locally.

The development time is short, and the preview of the application pathways is precise. Publishing individual parts is a significant competitive differentiator.

You can make advanced print models even in regions where previous software failed. It’s because of the excellent mix of quick slicing and the flexibility to construct diverse processes.

The software’s most powerful feature is its support structure creation algorithm, followed closely by its manual support modification capabilities. It quickly generates G-code with pinpoint accuracy in previewing toolpaths.

Simplify3D’s compatibility with a wide range of printers is another strength. If I use it with thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPUs), I have complete freedom in adjusting print settings.

Simplify3D’s interface is straightforward to learn. If you’re having issues, check out the website for a comprehensive troubleshooting guide.

Price: Free trial

Website Link: https://all3dp.com/1/simplify3d-free-download-full-version/


  • Good performance
  • Energy efficiency
  • Professional printing
  • Intuitive interface


  • Poor user experience
  • Lacks many functions compared to cura

3. PrusaSlicer



  • Version: PrusaSlicer 2.5.0
  • Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux
  • Compatibility: 64-bit OS

Key Features

PrusaSlicer is an optimized slicer for use with Prusa 3D printers. When printing the same 3D model with the same default parameters in PrusaSlicer and Cura, you should expect a 10-30% improvement in print speed with PrusaSlicer.

PrusaSlicer seems to be more speed-focused and has better-tuned profiles for that purpose. You are not limited to a predetermined layer height.

It’s possible, for instance, to have heavier layers on straight parts and finer layers in areas with more complicated characteristics. This method speeds up the printing process without sacrificing output quality.

Use the Print host upload queue to print sliced files in sequence on a PrusaSlicer system. It may slice your files in bulk and hold them in a queue until you’re ready to print.

I like how it always surprises us with innovative new capabilities that expand our understanding of what’s possible. The interfaces have also grown more accessible to newcomers, with several tutorials available to help you get started.

On the other hand, it is far more challenging to remove the PrusaSlicer’s printed supports. PrusaSlicer printing would need extra sanding and touch-ups since the support wouldn’t come off in one piece.

Price: Free

Website Link: https://www.prusa3d.com/page/prusaslicer_424/


  • Print previews
  • Speedy printing
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Provides suitable settings for a wide variety of 3D printers


  • No intelligent seam-hiding option

4. Fusion 360

Fusion 360


  • Version: Fusion 360 V.2.0.12670
  • Platforms: macOS, Windows,
  • Compatibility: 64-bit OS

Key Features

Product designers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and machinists may all benefit from Fusion 360. It is the first and only integrated cloud CAD, CAM, CAE, and PCB product development solution.

Easily accessible features cover the essentials. Cloud computing allows for seamless online file sharing and collaboration among employees.

You may run all simulations from a computer with an internet connection—a customizable layout based on a chronological timeline.

Linking your whole design to the manufacturing product development process helps to deliver high-quality goods to market quicker and favorably affects your bottom line. In addition, Autodesk fusion’s features are intuitive and helpful.

Fusion 360 is vital to my process since it allows me to iterate from concept to prototype rapidly. Because of the fusion method, I can also refine it swiftly.

There isn’t much I don’t like about Fusion 360. On rare occasions, it can freeze up, but the auto-save feature will permanently preserve your work.

Overall, Fusion 360 saves money, is simple to learn, and can grow with any size team. Therefore, manufacturers may also benefit from this software.

Price: Free trial

Website Link: https://www.autodesk.com/campaigns/fusion-360/dream-to-done


  • Integrated cloud
  • The sheet metal mode
  • Robust simulation mode
  • Multiple file formats
  • The capability of “reversing the clock.”


  • Freeze-up error

5. AstroPrint



  • Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux
  • Compatibility: 64-bit OS

Key Features

You may start AstroPrint’s graphical installation procedure from your phone. After the installation, you can get going with only a few clicks or finger points.

The primary goal of Astroprint is to provide a straightforward user experience. The interface works on both desktop computers and mobile phones. The interface seems polished and well-designed, with animated menus and buttons.

At least there is a slicing option in the AstroPrint app on the phone, so it’s not all awful. But neither the object’s location nor the code file may be modified or saved outside the program.

Benefits abound, from easy mesh manipulation to a wide selection of slicer engines and an extensive library of pre-existing models. Astroprint’s default installation is the superior package.

AstroPrint is suitable for users with little to no expertise using such devices. In exchange, it provides a fast user experience free of significant roadblocks, is more simple to set up, and calls for less user setup.

AstroPrint is fantastic on mobile devices, thanks to its extensive, colorful menus and buttons that are simple to use even on tiny displays.

This program is excellent for novice and advanced users. However, AstroPrint’s setup is impossible due to the printer’s need for an active Internet connection throughout the process. The producer provides several turnkey options (Astroboxes) that should be accessible even to novices.

Price: Free

Website Link: https://www.astroprint.com/download-3d-printer-software


  • Well-designed interface
  • A wide selection of slicer engines
  • Straightforward user experience
  • Extensive library of pre-existing models
  • Vast selection of compatible printers


  • Messy first setup

6. OctoPrint



  • Version: OctoPrint 1.8.6
  • Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux
  • Compatibility: 64-bit OS

Key Features

Through Octoprint, I can keep tabs on and manage my printers from afar. The online interface is user-friendly enough to be compatible with my 3D printers.

I can start printing even while I’m not in the office, which is a huge time saver.

Thanks to my webcam, I can check for errors before committing too much time or money to a print run.

Having a complete remote is a great convenience, and I’m enjoying using it with this. Because of its small size, you may easily pack it away for a trip.

This program makes operating the 3D printer and collecting data a breeze. Fast installation and a wide variety of optional add-ons make it a compelling option.

The only time I’ve had trouble with OctoPrint was when I canceled a print and tried to resume it. There are instances when continuing a print job results in an immediate failure.

The warm-up period is not cancelable, as I discovered. As an alternative, cancel immediately after, and the problem will no longer exist.

OctoPrint’s integrated Cura slicing has not functioned well for me. Fixing that integration so you can use it again would be great.

Price: Free

Website Link: https://octoprint.org/download/


  • Small size
  • Fast installation
  • Remote control
  • A wide variety of optional add-ons
  • User-friendly and flexible online interface


  • Integrated Cura slicing has not functioned well

7. Onshape



  • Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux
  • Compatibility: 64-bit OS

Key Features

Onshape combines computer-aided design (CAD), data management, and analytics into a single, cloud-based service.

With Onshape, engineers and designers can work together from any location using any device (desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhone, etc.).

The program makes it possible for groups to reduce the time it takes to bring a product to market, making them more likely to satisfy their consumers.

It has a streamlined design, user-friendly UI, and clever pairing mechanism. The system adds even more capabilities and new items to its cloud infrastructure every month.

However, many of the latest capabilities, including rendering, are still in beta, and the interface is not as user-friendly as the rest of Onshape. It’s remarkable that you may produce a rendered picture in seconds.

Price: Free

Website Link: https://www.onshape.com/en/products/free


  • User-friendly UI
  • Streamlined design
  • Clever pairing mechanism
  • Completely adjustable parameters.
  • Expert-level settings and utilities.


  • Some capabilities are still in beta.

8. Vectary



  • Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux
  • Compatibility: 64-bit OS

Key Features

Once you’ve gotten the hang of using Vectary’s many tools, you’ll find that editing and creating new items is a blast. Even on their free plan, you may export to the OBJ and STL formats supported by most slicers.

I like how simple it was to make my 3D models. The UI is user-friendly and reasonably powerful, considering the price.

VECTARY is a fantastic tool for teaching 3D modeling in the classroom since it does not need any software installed. After signing up, students may use the exact program copy on their computers or at school computer facilities.

Because of its user-friendliness, simplicity, and intuitiveness, especially for those without a background in 3D modeling, it exists on the web and is both quick and adaptable.

However, for proper 3D modeling, you’ll need to supplement it with additional programs. Although Vectary can’t accomplish everything, it does its intended function well.

Price: Free trial

Website Link: https://www.vectary.com


  • Powerful operation
  • Affordable price
  • User-friendliness, simplicity, and intuitiveness


  • No offline version

9. Solid Edge

Solid Edge


  • Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux
  • Compatibility: 64-bit OS

Key Features

The Solid Edge has an excellent initial setting. Designers may model basic and complicated objects using the software’s many tools.

The program utilizes a parametric approach. Sketching a line, square, or circle adds a dynamic third dimension.

This feature of Solid Edge, where I can secure and release sketch plans, is the greatest. For my life, I can’t think of any other program that has this function.

The Solid Edge program has an incredible “explode assemblies” option that I like using. Solid Edge is lightning fast, and its design, screens, and default colors are all quite pleasant.

Tools for creating drawings, animations, or renderings are great—smaller file sizes than those. In addition, solid Edge allows me to import and export almost any file format imaginable.

There isn’t much to complain about. However, I can’t access a help menu or a user manual if I get lost using Solid Edge. I also couldn’t tolerate a few hiccups while putting the pieces together.

The Solid Edge program is helpful for engineers because it allows them to explore design details.

Price: Free

Website Link: https://solidedge.siemens.com/en/free-software/overview/


  • Sketch feature
  • Pleasant default colors
  • Lightning fast printing
  • Export multiple formats


  • I can’t access the help menu.

10. Meshmixer



  • Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux
  • Compatibility: 64-bit OS

Key Features

The interface is straightforward and comes equipped with valuable tools for 3D printing. There’s also the option to scan objects in three dimensions.

In addition, it has helpful editing features, such as Mesh repair. The program works with both the STL and the 3MF file formats.

With Meshmixer, I can fix the broken STL files I get on the internet, which is a huge time saver. It’s also helpful when working with STL, OBJ, and PLY files to make changes to individual components.

I may fix the broken parts of the 3D object with the help of the automated repair feature. The ability to smooth out textures is excellent for many gaming assets.

I generally find the Meshmixer interface quite pleasant to work with since it provides high-quality tools for changing 3D components, all of which are well-labeled and easy to understand. The support generator tool is invaluable for 3D printing and quickly creating media.

It does, however, need some time spent practicing to familiarize yourself with the system’s layout and functionality.

To get the most out of it, you should devote time to learning how to utilize it through tutorial videos or written materials.

To sum up, MeshMixer is a fantastic tool at your disposal if you need to make tiny tweaks to 3D models before printing them.

However, if the models you’re working with are complex, you should use other tools to make immediate changes to the model itself.

Price: Free

Website Link: https://www.meshmixer.com/download.html


  • Fast printing
  • Helpful editing features
  • Straightforward interface
  • Three-dimensional scanning


  • Can’t handle complex works

How To Choose?

Sort of 3D models

It is a crucial first step in selecting a modeling program.

  • Solid modeling

In this context, “solid modeling” refers to digital representations of geometric solids such as cubes, spheres, cones, and cylinders. Well-known programs like Tinkercad use such modeling.

  • Mesh modeling

Also known as polygon modeling, polygon meshes are sets of vertices representing objects in three dimensions. In mesh-based modeling, you may change the object’s design by adjusting the positions of its vertices.

Extremely challenging because it separately treats each vertex. This modeling style creates models for use in animation, computer graphics, miniatures, etc.

It’s no secret that Blender is widely used for creating mesh models.

  • Surface modeling

Developing a 3D model with surface modeling requires dealing with, well, surfaces. It focuses more on the surface features, such as curves and contours than on the underlying structure.

Consequently, I often use it to design flat surfaces, such as those seen on airplanes and automobiles. Surface modeling also can make full 3D models like any other modeling program.

  • Parametric modeling

While parametric modeling is a very involved product design method, it is also highly competent and trustworthy software. The mathematical foundations of this program ensure that its output is reliable and consistent.

Popular parametric modeling programs include SolidWorks, Fusion 360, and Creo.


  • Free

Most people, particularly those who use computers on their own, don’t make enough money to warrant purchasing software that requires payment.

Free software like Tinkercad, SelfCAD, and FreeCAD is capable of producing high-quality models.

  • Free trials

OnShape and Rhino are just two examples of high-end programs that provide free trials or memberships (like Fusion 360). Many amateurs may easily afford the relatively low price of commercial versions of software like SelfCAD.

  • Paid

A wide variety of high-quality solutions are available all around the globe for those who are ready to shell out the necessary cash. The prices might vary from reasonable to outrageous.

The cost of a license for Onshape, Rhino, or Fusion 360 is often within reach of a single designer whose only responsibility is design.

Creo, SolidWorks, CATIA, and Autodesk Revit are just a few CAD programs that a business or university might utilize.


The next step is to ensure the program is compatible with 3D printing if you want to use it to make models. The 3D model must be exportable in an appropriate format, such as STL, OBJ, or STEP.


Is FreeCAD suitable for 3D printing?

FreeCAD is an open-source and free parametric CAD program for 3D printing. Parametric modeling allows designers to create complicated models and make changes quickly.

How can I make a 3D design for free?

Blender is an open-source 3D animation studio that anybody may use for free. You may use it to create models, animations, simulations, and final rendered outputs in 3D.

Is Blender an excellent 3D program?

Whether you’re a one-person studio, a freelancer, or just a hobbyist, Blender is a fantastic choice. Blender may be a better place to begin your exploration of the world of 3D modeling.

Is FreeCAD better than TinkerCAD?

You may use the open-source software package FreeCAD for free for modeling. It’s a step up from Tinkercad and SketchUp, letting you make precise models and drawings in various scales.

Is 3D printing expensive?

Without a 3D model, it might be challenging to determine how much a 3D print will cost. The cost of 3D printing may vary depending on several variables.


I have included some of the most excellent and feature-rich free apps available without breaking the bank to get you started with your 3D printer.

Now that you know what’s available, you can start bringing your 3D model to life using Ultimaker Cura or Fusion 360. Please let me know what you think of the list, and feel free to forward it to anybody who could benefit from it.