Now that we’ve introduced and demonstrated 3D printing to more than 150 students, teachers, entrepreneurs and professionals in Dar es Salaam, we are starting to see the collective creative mind kicking into gear. Many of these students want to jump into 3D modelling right away. We are available to teach 3D modelling software via our after-class programs and weekend workshops, but for those who are keen on teaching themselves, here are our recommendations for free 3D modelling software.
#1 – TinkerCAD.com
We find this software to be the easiest in which to get started with 3D design. It’s intuitive and you can quickly create models from their available shapes. Just export to .stl file for 3D printing.
- Web-based software that requires internet access
- Need to register free account
- Intuitive and quick to create
#2 – 123D Design
For much of our own in-house designing we used Autodesk’s 123D Design software. This software is a step up from their TinkerCAD software as it allows one to design more intricate and detailed designs. The learning curve is higher though and we recommend investing some time in our courses or online tutorials in order to take advantage of the features.
- Free download for PC or Mac
- Registration allows saving to the cloud
- More powerful software for better designs
#3 – Morphi App
This is a perfect starting place for young ones or those who are used to using ipads. This software has been used by young children to create some amazing 3D printable items. Follow their Instagram account for inspiration!
- For iPad and Mac (PC and Android are in development)
- Used in education
- Fun and easy to use
There are of course other 3D modelling software available and that are great as well. Check out 3Ders.org Top 10 Free Modelling Software list for more.