CAD software is a helpful method to make mechanical or industrial plans. It gives you a hand in designing 3D objects and helps prepare a blueprint in an orderly fashion. Different industries like aerospace, architecture, 3D modeling, mechanical designs, automobile industry etc. incorporate this tool.
This section has brought you a selection of the best CAD software for 3D printing and modeling that can be used by both beginners as well as advanced users. If you are confused which one is for you then this article may just ease your mind.
What is CAD Software?
CAD is a useful way to create mechanical or industrial plans and blueprints. It assists you with designing 3D objects and preparing a blueprint in an orderly fashion.
CAD software is used in different industries including aerospace, architecture, 3D modeling, mechanical designs, automobile industry and many more spaces.
Several tools help you render various functions like creating, contouring, applying textures and many more. If you want to enhance your 3D design skills.
In this guide, we have compiled some of the best CAD software for 3D printing and modeling for both beginners and advanced users.
What is the Best 3D CAD Software For Beginners & Professionals?
1. Nano Cad
If you are looking for CAD tools that come with the complete “.dwg” support, then Nano CAD is what you are looking for.
You can enjoy the premium features including SNAP, ONSAP, precision tools along with Command Line Tool. Whether you are new to 3D CAD software or are a professional architect, you would find NanoCAD extremely useful.
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The free version comes with several features and provides a good base for the new users thereby making it an excellent 3D CAD software for beginners. But if you are a professional then you need to pay to unlock the professional features.
Nano CAD supports Windows.
2. 3D Crafter
3D Crafter is a real animation and 3D modeling tool that allows you to plan out your 3D models on the computer. The easy to use drag and drop option is something that makes it a must-have tool.
It comes with built-in 3D shape crafting tools and primitive utilities that help you create complex designs and models easily.
This software also allows you to apply animation and effects on the models and shapes. You just need to place the object at each point thereby, making sure that the animations are smooth.
3D Crafter is compatible with Windows.
Adobe Dimension CC is a part of the Creative Cloud Suite that brings new dimensions into your project and design.
The features such as lighting and high-quality models allow you to build and craft some engaging 3D models easily within seconds. The navigation options along with the drag and drop features make this app, one of the best CAD software for 3D printing.
You can easily craft superfine 3D prints using an image or vector graphics onto a model. Adobe Dimension CC delivers unbeatable performance by helping you create realistic three-dimensional images with perfect texture, contour and lighting effects.
Adobe Dimension CC is fully compatible with macOS and Windows 10.
4. Daz Studio
Daz Studio is a free-to-use 3D CAD software that is full of features and is geared more towards professionals.
Besides these features such as morphing, animation after-effects and posing, the software also enables you to enhance your skills with a list of in-app interactive tutorials and learning modules.
Daz Studio runs seamlessly well on Windows and Mac OS X platforms.
If you are looking for ways to design your next Printed Circuit Board (PCB) then KiCAD will do the job. It is one of the best free CAD software systems that is loved by engineers and electricians around the world.
It is an open-source PCB design software that comes with a built-in project manager and four powerful utilities including a printed circuit board editor, schematic editor, footprint selecting tool and the GERBER file viewer/editor.
There are a few additional features that include:
- Two library component editors that allow you to create and edit the schematic components.
- A 3D viewer and editor to render your PCB in 3D space.
KiCAD performs smoothly on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Ubuntu.
It is a function rendering and modeling program that offers tons and tons of 3D modeling options and tools. You can create, design and animate 3D characters and models for HD games.
This is one of the best 3D CAD software that comes with some features that help you in:
- Modeling hard surfaces.
- Applying contour.
- Creating animations for 3D effects.
- Applying after effects.
- Texturing to create superfine designs.
This software comes with many learning modules you can use if you want to learn the basics of 3D modeling.
Auto Desk 3ds Max supports Windows, Linux, and iOS.
7. Solid Works
Solid Works is a 3D CAD software that comes with tons and tons of powerful features making it one of the best 3D modeling software.
It is a program that is developed by Dassault Systemes and runs on Windows. If you are new to three-dimensional modeling and design crafting, this software is not for you. A huge collection of tools and tons of features makes it a perfect choice for professional artists and architects.
This program is easy to use if you know the depths of designing and modeling. The PDF guides and essential options help you modify the quality of your designs and models.
Solid Works runs smoothly on Windows.
Blender is a free-to-use open-source CAD software that assists you with 3D designing, shaping and modeling and rendering functions, thus making it a versatile program.
You can do much more than just handling projects, animations, applying after-effects, three-dimensional printing and whatnot. This is undoubtedly an excellent CAD software for 3D printing.
You can also install certain add-ons to unlock several functions, options and features depending on your assignment.
Blender is highly Windows macOS and Linux.
FreeCad is a 3D CAD program that allows you to design real objects of any size in 3D space. It is a dynamic parametric modeling program and you can easily change the dimensions and parameters of your models or designs using its model history menu.
You can use this software to create:
- Fantastic 3D characters, locations and areas for game projects.
- Architectural models and designs.
- Animations and after-effects.
- Industrial designs.
There are some primitive options and features that make FreeCAD one of the best CAD software tools for professionals:
It is a multiplatform performer and can process multiple file-formats including DAE, STEP, IFC, OBJ, DXF, STL and many more.
FreeCAD syncs well with Windows, macOS and Linux devices.
10. Mesh Mixer
MeshMixer is a top-notch 3D CAD program that you can use for shaping and modeling excellent 3D designs. It is geared more towards handling professional models in 3D space, thereby making it a good choice for artists and architects.
You can also use it to build, edit and modify models from scratch as the program provides all the necessary tools.
If your assignment is all about 3D modeling, crafting and printing then this program will assist you in your projects. All this makes Mesh Mixer one of the best CAD software for 3D printing.
These are some features it offers:
- Tools for brushing.
- Tools for measuring thickness and stability.
- Mesh smoothing tools.
MeshMixer works well on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
So these are some best 3D CAD software systems to get if you are a civil engineer, architect, graphic designer or a 3D artist.
Bonus 3D CAD Software
Based on the recommendations and user ratings from our study we are also revealing an excellent CAD software for 3D printing.
3DReshaper is a wonderful 3D CAD program that helps you in processing the models. If you are a professional artist with years of experience in modeling, after-effects and three-dimensional printing then this is the program you are looking for.
It is a flexible app that caters to several industries including shipbuilding, automobile, civil engineering, arts, gaming and many more sectors. It packs a punch of features and supports several scripts for hassle-free modeling.
If you are interested in getting an app that can save your time and assist you in your complex projects, then this is one of the best CAD software for 3D printing
This is a unique program that easily processes 3D point clouds from various sources including:
- Digital devices.
- Laser scanning.
- 3D scanners.
- Other sources such as UAVs.
Since point-cloud processing is the most difficult step to manage and handle, the software offers powerful tools and functions such as Automatic Segmentation to manage and process point clouds and Fusion to simplify your tasks.
3DReshaper works perfectly fine on Windows 10.
This brings an end to our guide and concludes the list of best CAD software. It is difficult to answer which CAD software is the best as each of the above-mentioned programs comes with its own set of advantages and useful features.
It is worth suggesting that running animation and 3D effects on your computer require powerful hardware. Most of the apps discussed in this guide are free and are undoubtedly the best CAD software tools for professionals that will assist you in your assignments and projects. We hope that you select the program that suits your needs and works the best for you.