By Jason Vander Griendt

May 30, 2016 at 8:13 am

Preparing a flawless 3D design of your desired product is the very first step in the 3D printing process. For this to happen, you need the help of 3D modeling software (or even better yet, a CAD artist like those on the JCAD team with hundreds or thousands of hours using 3D modeling programs under their belt). If you want to try and do it yourself, 3D modeling software has plenty of features that allow a user to tinker with designing their product idea. However, the professional software that has all the bells and whistles doesn’t come cheap.

best free 3d modeling software Is free 3D modelling software a good idea?

If you think you’d like to try your hand at CAD design, try one of these free options first and save yourself some money. If you decide 3d design is too complicated to do yourself, you’d be surprised how cheaply you can outsource it to a company like us!

TinkerCAD: For absolute novices, TinkerCAD by Autodesk is an excellent starting choice. The platform browser software allows you create 3D geometrical forms, save designs, share them online, and export plans as .STL files for 3D print. Though slightly limited in features, TinkerCAD is excellent for experimenting. Users can progressively develop simple to complicated and sophisticated forms. For motivation, TinkerCAD grants some pre-set 3D forms to begin with along with a gallery of ready-made printable 3D models.

3DSlash: Another excellent, free software for novice 3D modelers is 3DSlash. 3DSlash was composed particularly for non-professionals of all ages, including children. The objective is to present 3D modeling ideas through fun and interactive games. In 3DSlash, clients use conventional tools like chisels and hammers, to shape three-dimensional pieces. The 3D model created can be shared on the web, or exported as an .STL file for 3D printing. The site also highlights many 3D modeling tutorial videos that are unquestionably worth looking at.

123D Design: Another free 3D software via Autodesk. Despite the fact that it’s more advanced, 123D Design is basic and one of the easier 3D modeling and editing software suites to use in the beginning. There is a broad library of preset 3D models that can be altered and 3D geometric shapes can be designed. Completed 3D models can be exported to .STL format for 3D printing, and we can print your designs here inhouse.

Blender: Blender is the most powerful and popular free 3D design program available. It’s also open source. You’ll most likely find however, that it’s beyond the scope of beginners. Unlike other free software, Blender is a digital sculptor that is perfect for building organic 3D forms. Blender users enjoy a creative freedom that goes beyond creating 3D printing models. Blender can be utilized to make photorealistic computer game design, animated movies, visual impacts and that’s just the beginning. If you manage to master the controls, Blender can be a reliable software for all your needs.

Although these softwares mentioned above are “free” of cost, they come with a certain price. All of these software tools demand a substantial amount of time, effort, and energy from the user even to being learning the basics. To become proficient you’d need to invest even more time to hone your skills. While hobby inventors might not have a problem with spending hours tinkering with a new tool, serious inventors know their time is better spent on creative ideas, outsourcing parts of their project they are not able to complete to professionals.

If you’re in this category, JCAD will be your best friend in the development process. We can guarantee you reliable results in your 3D CAD designs, spare you many wasted hours of frustration of feeling like a failure and free up precious time to invest on other pressing things.

Send through a quote request today and we’ll get back to you in 5 – 10 minutes with a price on your project!


Keep reading: Is Blender good for 3D printing?

Jason Vander Griendt

Jason Vander Griendt is a Mechanical Engineering Technician with years of experience working at major companies such as SNC Lavalin Inc, Hatch Ltd. Siemens and Gerdau Ameristeel. He is the CEO of JCAD – Inc., a company he started in 2006 after seeing a gap in the market for businesses who could assist clients through the entire product design and manufacturing process.

Jason has been featured in Forbes, has had his businesses analyzed and discussed in multiple start-up books, was a previous winner of the Notable8 Digital Innovator of the year award, and is a regular guest on business panels and podcasts. Email Jason at or follow him on LinkedIn.

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