Free 3d Printer Software For Mac
3D printing has taken the world by storm and one can marvel at this technological wonder that has come a long way to make the preparation of 3D models a reality.
Apps for Printer. The Printer Software directory includes programs developed to manage printers and to print documents and photos. The catalog includes software for identifying and monitoring. The best 3D printing software is not always expensive, sometimes you can access it without charge. Free 3D printing software helps you design and slice your objects without a cost. A free 3D printing software is a program that helps you design, slice or process your STL files to produce a 3D printed object without any cost. This page aims to. Compare the best 3D Printing software for Mac of 2020 for your business. Find the highest rated 3D Printing software for Mac pricing, reviews, free demos, trials, and more. AUTOCAD – Leading 3D Modeling Software. The AUTOCAD for Mac is the best 3d modeling software that money can buy for you. The industry leading software is the first choice for every user who want the best user experience. Blender – Free Open 3D Modeler. The blender is a free open 3D modeler software which is free for use. Ultimaker Cura is free, easy-to-use 3D printing software trusted by millions of users. Fine-tune your 3D model with 400+ settings for the best slicing and printing results.
With the invention of 3D printers, 3D printing has spread far and wide impacting lives of different people and making the production of 3D models affordable unlike in the past.
However, a printer alone is not just enough to make you achieve your goals. You will also need 3D printing software to make your work easier.
Whether you are a professional or just a beginner, the following 10 best 3D printing software will create a huge difference when it comes to three-dimension printing.
Top Free 3D Printing Software
If you are looking for 3D printing software that is a benchmark slicer for the Ultimaker 3D printers, Cura should be your ultimate choice.
This free software is compatible with a good number of 3D printers on the market today. The software is fully open source and you can extend it through a plugin system.
Cura is easy to use the software, allowing you to control the most significant 3D print settings on a clear interface. Just choose the right configured settings (recommended mode or custom mode) and the software will guide you accordingly.
Cura can also be used as a 3D printer host program to directly control your machine where the 3D printer will need to be connected to your PC for all that duration.
However, Cura can also be used in professional applications such as seamless CAD integration using Siemens NX and SolidWorks.
Otherwise, you will find this software to be quite effective and accessible slicer for most of your 3D printing projects.
- Software name: Cura
- Function: Slicer and 3D printer host
- Level: For beginner
- Price: Free
- System: Mac, Windows or Linux
MatterControl was recently upgraded to version 2.2 and is a 3D printing as well as CAD software for your PC. It comes with several features such as printer host functionality designed to allow you to directly control and monitor your printing project when connected through USB.
Additionally, this software allows you to slice STLs in a bid to export the content to the SD card when doing offline printing.
The user interface is remarkably structured where the left side directs you to the file browser and geometric primitives as a way of enhancing your printing.
Apart from that, there is a new feature with the ability to take and drag those geometric primitives into position right on the STL in readiness for printing.
MatterControl 2.0 has suitably advanced 3D print settings that are tailored towards configuring your print assignment.
As such, this software program comes out as a comprehensive 3D printing tool for most of the printing processes ranging from support preparation all the way to slicing and control.
- Software :MatterControl 2.0
- Function: 3D printer host, design and slicer
- Level: Beginner
- Price: Free
- System: Mac, Windows and Linux.
The 3DPrinterOS comes in handy as a beginner friendly and best free printing software program for both 3D printers and slicing. This software is a cloud-based 3D printing as well as 3D printer management tool for the newcomers in 3D printing.
Being a comprehensive suite that always encompasses the print job queuing, printer control, delegation and an application-based plugin system, 3DPrinterOS can assure you of quality printing on the beginner and professional levels basis.
Besides, this software allows for an STL analysis not to mention the plus in-cloud slicing and repair. In other words, this is a one-stop-shop known for taking an STL to the printed objects with barely your fingers being lifted.
- Software: 3DPrinterOS
- Function: STL repair, STL editor, 3D printer host and slicer
- Level: Beginner
- System: Ubuntu, Windows, Mac and Raspberry Pi
When you think of the best free 3D printing software program for your upcoming 3D printing project, then KISSlicer should cross your mind right now. This software is designed primarily for 3D printer control and slicing.
However, don’t get confused with the software’s acronym (which is commonly referred to as Keep It Simple Slicer) when it comes to making your 3D printing quite enjoyable and fulfilling.
This free 3D printing software is a pretty sophisticated printing tool that you cannot overlook when searching for the right program for your 3D printer.
In fact, many have always hailed the KISSlicer software as a worthy alternative to a number of 3D slicer software tools on the market while others have had complaints here and there about its confusing user interface.
All in all, this software will serve you better especially the free version when printing with just one extruder. Should you feel like using a multi-head, then the best option for you is the paid pro version.
- Software: KISSlicer
- Function: Slicer
- Level: Intermediate
- Price: Free
- System: Windows, Mac and Linux
Slic3r is one of the best free 3-dimensional printing software programs you can rely on. This software works as a perfect printing tool for 3D printer control and slicing with a reputation for adding the bleeding edge features not found anywhere else.
As an open source slicer, Slic3r 3D software stands out among the rest with its ability to make 3D honeycomb infill and creating structurally unique and useful shapes throughout the interior of a 3D print.
In addition to that, Slic3r 3D printing software is actually in direct integration with the OctoPrint. This means, when your files are sliced on your desktop, they are likely to be uploaded directly to the OctoPrint 3D printing at the click of a button.
- Software: Slic3r
- Function: Slicer
- Level: Intermediate
- Price: Free
- System: Windows, Linux and Mac
Just like a few other types of the best free 3D printing software, Slice Crafter software program is also designed for 3D printer control as well as slicing.
This great software is the brain behind the creation of IceSL and in most cases, many users take it as a browser-based slicer.
As 3D printing software, SliceCrafter allows you to quickly and conveniently make a G-code in preparation for your 3D printing. This feat is achieved through the use of a vast majority of options that are afforded to your printer by IceSL itself.
- Software: SliceCrafter
- Function: Slicer
- Level: Beginner and Intermediate
- System: Browser
- Price: Free
IceSL 3D printing software is a remarkable program designed to take your 3D printing to the next level. In reality of things, this is not only mere 3D slicer software but it is also a 3D modelling tool.
This program allows you to edit your 3D model directly using scripting in what experts call a Lua-based language. This activity takes place on the left side of the window on a given 3D printer. At a glance, it may look like a frightening prospect while in essence, it makes it possible for the nifty parametric 3D modelling. However, the centre window is used as a live view during the entire printing process.
On the right window, you can come across a wide range of slicing settings which are preconfigured for you if you are a beginner. The configuration of those settings is meant to make your task easy and quick while expanding out all the advanced settings for IceSL software.
One of the most notable aspects of using this software is its progressively variable settings. These settings enable you to specify the number of values for various printing settings specifically the layer heights as IceSL graduates the changes on its own.
As a result, you will witness a smooth transition starting from dense moving towards the light infill and from fine all the way to course layer heights and so on.
- Software: IceSL
- Function: Slicer or design
- Level: Intermediate
- System: Windows or Linux
OctoPrint comes in handy as purely web-based software for 3D printer host that lets you have full control over your 3D printing tasks and the printer itself. When you combine it with your Wi-Fi enable gadget such as Raspberry Pi (when it is hooked up to your 3D printer), you can just dial in to have full control of your printing apparatus remotely through OctoPrint website interface.
Most significantly, OctoPrint accepts G-Code from an array of 3D printer slicer software programs to incorporate the g Code Visualizer.
This feature enables you to visualize G-code files prior to and during printing. On the other hand, you can as well slice STL files directly into OctoPrint itself as an all-in-one 3D print preparation package.
Given that OctoPrint as open source software complete with a thriving community around it, you can easily activate plugins to expand this software’s functionality in a bid to make it a robust solution for the printing purposes.
Furthermore, this software comes out clearly as the best option for banishing your 3D printer from the PC in order to control it remotely.
- Software: OctoPrint
- Function: 3D printer host or slicer
- Level: Intermediate
- Price: Free
- System: Mac, Linux, and Windows
Repetier-Host has been in business for quite a long time and it is always referred to as “the great-grandfather” of 3D printing software and the most preferred choice in the RepRap maker community.
This free 3D printing software is open source that is capable of controlling 3D printing and slicing.
Repetier-Host is a 3D printing software that targets intermediate and advanced user spectrum because it is an all-in-one solution that provides multi-extruder support ( as high as 16 extruders), a large number of slicer support through plugins and great support for any FDM 3D printer you can come across.
Additionally, Repetier-Host offers remote access features using the Repetier Server to give you easy access and control over your 3D printer from any location via a browser on your desktop, smartphone or tablet.
- Software: Repetier-Host
- Function: 3D printer host or slice
- Level: Intermediate, advanced
- Price: Free
- System: Windows, Linux or Mac.
Apart from 3DPrinterOs software, AstroPrint is also a cloud-based 3D printing solution that lets you monitor and manage all your 3D printers with ease.
Also, this software can manage your slicer settings, material profiles and printer profiles as well. With your free AstroPrint Cloud account, you can manage to store all crucial information that will help you in achieving a very successful print.
Needless to say, these vital settings are accessible via your browser and AstroPrint mobile application.
One thing that makes AstroPrint unique is its built-in compatibility with MyMiniFactory and Thingiverse along with free 3D computer-aided-design (CAD) software such as 3D slash and Leopoly.
Apart from that, there is a cloud slicing engine that enables you to slice 3D models right from your smartphone and eventually send them directly to your 3D printer wirelessly.
However, this software requires you to pay for more advanced features although creating a free account can expose you to instant access to a couple of useful tools that will help you optimize and manage a 3D printing process.
- Software: AstroPrint
- Function: 3D printer host, slicer
- Level: Beginner
- Price: Free for the basic version
- System: Browser
How to Pick the Right 3D Printing Software?
Before you settle for the right 3D printing software, you need to consider the following factors:
- Purpose: Quite a number of free 3D printing software are tailored towards different applications such as engineering designs or artistic/sculpting. Therefore, go for 3D printing software that suits your needs.
- Cost: Your budget is a very important determinant when it comes to choosing the right 3D printing software for yourself. Luckily, there is free software for both beginners and professionals alike. But if you want to make some advancement, you would definitely consider your budget before purchasing your intended software.
- Ease of use: Most of the free 3D printing software programs are easy to use and they come with their tutorials to help you get started without any technical issues.
- File conversation: When looking for the right 3D printing software, it is highly recommended that you settle for the one whose files are robust especially when saved. Most of the 3D printing software use STL file type to make your work worthwhile.
- Parametric versus explicit modelling: You should also consider these two approaches when choosing your 3D printing software. The parametric approach deals with engineering and architectural designs simply because the files contain more specific dimensions as well as relations and have a design history. On the other hand, the explicit approach is used by industrial designers and artists due to their flexibility. When choosing your perfect 3D printing software, it’s important to look critically into these two considerations before you make up your mind
3D printing software offers a better platform for learners to get started and for professionals to advance their skills.
From the ten best 3D printing software programs highlighted above, you can easily choose the one which meets your needs.
Don’t let your 3D printing dreams to become invalid when you can use these free programs to take your 3D printing to the next level.
The community of 3D printing and modeling may have become much larger in the past few years, but most 3D models shared online nowadays are limited to a few file formats. One of these file formats is STL. Despite its ubiquity, STL files are notoriously difficult to edit. Should you find yourself with an STL file format that you’d like to tweak and play around with, what software should you use? What exactly is the STL file format, and why is it so important?
What is the STL file format?
STL stands for “Stereolithography” and is considered one of the simplest 3D file formats. It’s also one of the oldest, developed in the 1980s and was originally meant to simplify the transfer of data from 3D CAD models to a 3D printer.
A characteristic of the STL file format, which makes it one of the simpler options, is that it approximates a 3D surface as a triangular mesh. Thus, instead of a truly smooth surface, an STL object is composed of a high number of very small, non-overlapping triangles. This technique is known as tessellation and is considered one of the oldest methods of simplifying a smooth surface in 3D space.
By increasing the number and decreasing the size of the triangles that form the tessellated pattern, the resolution of a 3D file in the STL format can be enhanced. Naturally, a file that holds a higher resolution model will be larger. However, the accuracy at which an STL file can approximate a surface will always be at a lower fidelity compared to file formats that represent 3D surfaces using smooth splines, such as OBJ.
What are the benefits of STL?
The STL file format has been widely used for sharing of models within the 3D printing community. They may have limitations in terms of resolution and fidelity, but so do 3D printers. In fact, STL has become such a preferred file format that most 3D printers and slicer software used nowadays have been designed to work with STL files.
Since STL files are simple and have small file sizes, they are more easily shared and downloaded than other, high-fidelity alternatives. In most cases, users of 3D printers can just download a finished model off of file-sharing websites and print them at home. Beginners to 3D printing typically start this way before developing the skills to come up with their own models.
What are STL editors, and why use them?
While downloading finished models is certainly a quick and convenient way to get into 3D printing, some people may want to edit the features of a model to suit their needs. There could also be circumstances when you only need to print a part of a model. Not all models are perfect, so you may even find yourself needing to repair that model you just downloaded.
There are two different types of STL editing and modeling software. The first is based on CAD and is made for general 3D modeling. This technology has been the standard for industrial and professional 3D modeling and allows for extremely accurate measurement and modeling in 3D space. Since the resolution of 3D printers is limited, CAD software is considered overpowered for use in modeling for 3D printers. Thus, although CAD-based software platforms do an excellent job, editing STL files do not quite utilize the full potential of this type of software.
3D modeling software specially made for 3D printing are called mesh editing software. Instead of precise software representation, a mesh editing software instead reduces these objects into shells with no internal filling. This simplifies the modeling process, although the model can be quickly converted to solid objects right before printing. Within the 3D printing community, mesh editing software is considered more appropriate for STL editing.
The top 5 best free STL editors
3d Software For Mac
FreeCAD is one of the most feature-rich CAD design software platforms. Best of all, the software is open source and completely free. FreeCAD uses parametric modeling principles and has been widely used by both professionals and beginners.
With FreeCAD, you can add features, make measurements, and separate components of an existing STL file. Since FreeCAD was originally meant for mechanical and engineering design, it allows for extremely fine and precise edits. However, it’s very difficult to use FreeCAD for sculpting, so smooth surfaces can be challenging.
Even if you don’t already have an existing STL file, you can still use FreeCAD to come up with your own 3D sketches and model them in 3D space. It does take some time to get used to the FreeCAD platform and to learn how to use its functions, but it’s not so difficult to be inaccessible for beginners. One major flaw of the open source platform of FreeCAD is that it can be full of bugs, although this could be easily remedied by sticking to the latest stable version.
Blender is another free 3D printing software that is a little more sophisticated than FreeCAD. It has been touted as a software that can support the whole 3D design pipeline and is best suited for individual designers and small design firms. With a wide suite of excellent features, Blender has been used to for modeling, animation, video rendering, film and visual effects, and 3D simulation.
A huge part of why Blender has been able to extend its range of capabilities is that it’s completely community-driven. Users can introduce new features, make minor or major changes to the code, or implement bug fixes. Best of all, Blender is completely free, even if you use it for commercial purposes.
Although modeling is just one of the major functions of Blender, it has a very rich set of features. You can build your own models from 2D sketches or edit an existing STL file. Aside from the usual features, including STL repair, removal and addition of components, and partial masking of models, Blender has much more advanced sculpting capabilities. With twenty different brush types and dynamic sculpting, you can pretty much generate any type of smooth surface. You can grab and pinch areas, flatten sections, inflate and deflate a model, or sculpt the model like clay.
We wouldn’t classify Blender as beginner-friendly, but its learning curve is pretty friendly. With so many features, it will take some time before you can unlock the full potential of Blender. As far as 3D printing software go, Blender is one of the most comprehensive.
The SketchUp software platform, which used to be owned by Google, is now with Trimble but still retains the user-friendly characteristic for which it became famous for. You have the option of downloading the free SketchUp Make version or upgrading to the paid SketchUp Pro version. The good news is that you can use the free version to edit STL files, but you’ll need to make sure to download and install the SketchUp STL plugin first.
The simplicity of SketchUp is its strong suit. It’s very easy to learn, and its interface will feel familiar to anyone who’s ever used a graphic design program. However, this ease-of-use comes at the price of a limited feature set. The STL editing capabilities of SketchUp are pretty much limited to dragging edges and vertices and adding or deleting individual triangles. It has no built-in STL repair function, but you can still do it manually by using the Solid Inspector tool and correcting any hitches yourself.
Despite the limited features of SketchUp, it remains one of the most widely used 3D design software worldwide. It’s highly recommended for beginners. Even people with no 3D modeling experience can learn the fundamentals of SketchUp within a few minutes.
Best 3d Printer Software Free
MeshLab, as its name implies, is a software platform for editing 3D triangular meshes. It’s also open source, which helps give it a rich set of functions and features. If you need modeling software specifically for 3D printing, MeshLab is one of the best options for editing, cleaning, rendering, and texturing mesh-based models.
You will need an existing STL file to make the most use out of MeshLab. It can combine different meshes of a 3D scan, remove parts of an existing, and automatically repair a 3D model. However, it cannot be used to build your own models from scratch. You can also simplify the triangular faces of a model, thereby reducing geometry complexity for easier file sharing.
MeshLab isn’t exceptionally user-friendly, but their website has several tutorials that can help get you started. They also have a dedicated community of developers that can provide support if you need bug fixes or if you just have any general questions or clarifications.
In the field of free mesh editing programs, few can equal the quality of MeshMixer. Aside from having a huge set of the necessary mesh editing features, MeshMixer is also very user-friendly. It even has a built-in slicer tool so you can prepare your model for printing and send it directly to your 3D printer via MeshMixer.
The development team behind MeshMixer calls it the “Swiss Army knife” of 3D meshes. It does have just about everything you need, so we’re inclined to agree. You can combine meshes, drag edges and vertices, make measurements, smooth meshes, and even do free-form sculpting. The software comes with a couple of automated features that can help identify problems with your STL file such as holes, misaligned surface, and paper-thin walls.
By combining ease-of-use and an impressive array of features, MeshMixer is considered by many to be the best free mesh editing software. It’s only available for Windows and Mac, though, so Linux users will have to look elsewhere.
If you’ve gotten into 3D printing, then you probably have dozens to hundreds of STL files lying around in your computer. While printing them as they were modeled originally is fine, the next logical step you need to take is to learn how to edit existing models. This is best done with an STL editor. If you’re still a beginner, then we recommend starting with an STL editor that you can download for free.
As you can see from our list of the best free STL editors, being free for use has not hindered these software platforms from having excellent quality. With impressive features and intelligently designed interfaces, it’s almost unbelievable that they are free.