CAD Software for 3D Printing

  • Metal

    I’m just wondering what everyone is using for 3D design work. I’m starting a few new projects (at work and at Makerspace) and I need to get back into CAD. I’ll be setting up my “office” next week and want to start playing with Slic3r and the 3D printer in the space. Any suggestions for me?

  • 3D

    I ranted about modern days CAD software zoo here:
    TL;DR: OnShape is your friend. Hour and a half and you’re a CAD guru.

  • OnShape and Fusion 360 are probably the most pupular choice amoung our members. I have heard from a few other members that they are also wanting to improve their CAD skills.

    How about we start organizing a monthly CAD workshop or meeting? If someone is interested in teaching a particular topic, that would be awesome. Otherwise we can get together and work on our own designs and ask for help when we need.

    [whoisin title=(Would you try to attend a monthly CAD workshop?) iamin=(Yes! I have been waiting for this!)]

    I know there are a few CAD experts in our community. Let us know if you would be willing to come to these workshops and share your skills and knowledge with everyone else.

  • I really like OnShape ( It’s free. It runs in Firefox or Chrome (and sometimes Opera) on pretty much any platform that has OpenGL (Windows, Mac, Linux) and Android & iOS tablets.

    Pretty much all of the parts in my repository here:
    were done in OnShape, and the file in each directory has links to my publically shared OnShape documents.

    There are also lots of tutorial videos for OnShape as well.

    They keep adding new features every 6 weeks, so there are a bunch of new things recently as well.

    It can export STL files too.

  • I write code. OpenScad works well with the way that I think. I suspect that for visually oriented people it would be frustrating, but if you have prior experience writing OpenGL 3d graphics stuff, or Povray stuff, it will be very much more of the same.

  • Linux

    I like OpenScad too. There are some nice improvements in the latest iteration of the editor attached to it as well.

    Not sure how it would hold up for larger projects.

  • Linux

    I’ve fought with OnShape and had some pretty cool results come out of it, but OpenScad has some very cool “Does what i tell it to” features.
    I don’t know enough to justify it either way.

    Learning and working on learning more!


  • One push for OpenSCAD is that if you want to make something parametric and you also want to publish it on thingiverse, then you can make it work with customizer.

    I hacked together this: and because I used OpenSCAD you can click on the “Open in Customizer” button, change several of the parameters and get a customized STL file.

    Conceptually, you can do something similar with OnShape, but it wouldn’t have the “focused” input parameters.

Log in to reply