CAD, or computer-aided design, the software enables you to design a 3D model from the ground, up. There are many types of CAD software, each with its own benefits.
AutoCAD, created by Autodesk, is perhaps the best-known among them since it was one of the first CAD software programs available for personal computers when released in 1982. Other CAD platforms include:
Fusion360 – great for designing and creating efficient mechanical parts
3ds Max – used in all types of custom 3D model creation, including video game design, architecture, and 3D printing
TinkerCAD – A free, browser-based CAD tool that allows users to build 3D models out of various shapes. Popular with CAD novices and for STEAM education
Blender – free, open-source 3D model creation software
Siemens NX – for designing and creating advanced 3D models
Solidworks – for designing and creating professional parts for industrial use
CATIA – Advanced design software used for creating surfaces and engineering systems
Before you begin 3D printing, be sure to do your research and pick the CAD software that’s right for your use case. This way, you’ll get the most out of the model you choose to design and print.
Also check which file types your slicing software is compatible with, so you can make your 3D designs into 3D prints.