Free 3D printing software

List of free and open source 3D printing software available for downloading on the internet.

 

- Slic3r

Slic3r is the tool you need to convert a 3D model into printing instructions for your 3D printer. It cuts the model into horizontal slices (layers), generates toolpaths to fill them and calculates the amount of material to be extruded.

The Slic3r project was born in 2011 within the RepRap community as an effort to provide the growing 3D printing technology with an open and flexible toolchain. The code and the algorithms are not based on any other previous work. Readability and maintainability of the code are among the design goals. Slic3r, being a true non-profit community project, allowed the people to experiment with several original new features that have become common thereafter such as multiple extruders, brim, microlayering, bridge detection, command line slicing, variable layer heights, sequential printing (one object at time), honeycomb infill, mesh cutting, object splitting into parts, AMF support, avoid crossing perimeters, distinct extrusion widths, modifiers, and much more. All of these features were first introduced in Slic3r and are now part of the commercial software out there.

Slic3r is based on a community of people working collaboratively on GitHub, discussing new features and testing them. It’s being used by tens of thousands of people all over the world, and there are more than 1,000 forks of it. It’s a non-profit project. 3D printing became a business since the RepRap community was born, but we want to keep 3D printing free, and Slic3r will always be an independent project, not driven by any business or single vendor. Support is appreciated, though.

 

- Ultimaker Cura

Trusted by millions of users, Ultimaker Cura is the world’s most popular 3D printing software. Prepare prints with a few clicks, integrate with CAD software for an easier workflow, or dive into custom settings for in-depth control.

Slicing features:

  • Intent profiles print specific applications at the click of a button
  • Recommended profiles tested for thousands of hours ensure reliable results
  • ‘Custom mode’ gives over 400 settings for granular control
  • CAD plugin integration with SolidWorks, Siemens NX, Autodesk Inventor​, and more
  • Compatible file types: STL, OBJ, X3D, 3MF, BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG
  • Prepare your 3D model for print in minutes with recommended settings
  • Simply choose speed and quality settings, and you can start printing

Ultimaker Cura is free and open source software.

 

- MatterControl

MatterControl is a free, open-source, all-in-one software package that lets you design, slice, organize, and manage your 3D prints. With MatterControl, you can design your parts from scratch using the Design Tools, or visit the Design Apps to browse existing projects. You can also slice your designs using a variety of advanced settings for customized support generation, software bed leveling, and integrated controls for dual extrusion using powerful 64-bit processing. When you have all the variables managed, you can print straight from MatterControl - no need for multiple programs - MatterControl does it all.

 

- MeshLab

Beside being able to export to STL (one of the most common formats for 3D printing), MeshLab can be used to prepare 3D models for printing by creating inner shells, resampling/remeshing the 3D model to make slicing easier, closing small holes to obtain watertight meshes, and flattening the bottom area to have a better platform adherence.

 

- Repetier

Import one or more 3D models and place, scale, rotate or duplicate them on your virtual bed. Slice your plate with different slicers and optimal settings for perfect results. Check the result completely, in regions or layer for layer.

Repetier-Host can handle up to 16 extruders with different filament types and colors simultaneously and visualize the result with individual filament colors, so you can see your result before printing.

Repetier-Host includes directly 4 different slicers: Slic3r, Slic3r Prusa Edition, CuraEngine and Skeinforge. If that is not enough, you can use any other slicer you want with Repetier-Host.

After slicing you can see all extruder movements and support structures. You control the whole model, a particular area or individual layers and recognize potential problems before printing – this saves a lot of time and money.

You can load or duplicate as many models that fit on your build plate and print them simultaneously. The efficient use of the build plate saves a lot of time!

 

- ReplicatorG

ReplicatorG is a simple, open source 3D printing program. This is the software that will drive your MakerBot Replicator, Thing-O-Matic, CupCake CNC, RepRap machine, or generic CNC machine. You can give it a GCode or STL file to process, and it takes it from there. It's cross platform, easily installed, and is based on the familiar Arduino / Processing environments. ReplicatorG is used by thousands of MakerBot Operators, and has printed tens of thousands of 3D objects and counting.

 

- Octoprint

Control and monitor every aspect of your 3D printer and your printing jobs right from within your browser:

Access the embedded webcam feed and watch remotely how your printer is creating your newest thing. Get constant feedback regarding the current progress of your print job. Take a look at the integrated GCODE visualizer to see a rendition of the GCODE you are currently printing. Keep an eye on the temperatures of your hotends and print bed and adapt them on the fly. Move the print head along all axes, extrude, retract or just define your own custom controls. Start, stop or just pause your current print job, you are in full control at any time.

 

- Meshmixer

Meshmixer is state-of-the-art software for working with triangle meshes. Do you need to clean up a 3D scan, do some 3D printing, or design an object that fits something else? Meshmixer can help. Think of it as a sort of "Swiss Army Knife" for 3D meshes.

 

- Makerbot Print

MakerBot Print is free software that optimizes and streamlines the 3D printing process for any workflow. It allows you to discover, prepare, manage, and share 3D prints.

 

- KISSlicer

KISSlicer is a powerful, easy-to-use, ​and fast cross-platform app that slices STL files into printer-ready G-code files.​​ Keep It Simple Slicer - KISS!

FREE uses a single extruder for all functions

KISSlicer incorporates many advanced (but easy to use) slicing features, generating high quality G-code paths for exceptional prints.

Use the Profile Wizards to quickly set up your printer and materials or download profiles shared by the helpful users on the forum. You can still use the FREE version of KISSlicer with a multi-extruder printer, but you are limited to selecting a single extruder for each print.

 

- Craftware

CraftWare is a FREE, fast, easy-to-use slicer software that converts your digital 3D object into a .gcode toolpath format understood by most 3D printers.

CraftWare primarily works as a slicer for solid 3D digital objects, but it is also an excellent tool for many other tasks. You can interactively manage your prints, thus reducing build time and finding the optimal build supports. CraftWare also utilizes the most impressive gcode visualizer on the market; this allows you to see each print layer-by-layer, from any angle, easily allowing you to detect any places that you may want to modify before printing. It is basically like seeing a finished print in front of you before you press the start button.

Strengths:

  • Open multiple .stl, .obj files and arrange them on the build platform.
  • Scale, move, and rotate, clone individual models or groups of models at once.
  • Interactive support management.
  • Effective slicing of objects in no time.
  • Load/save .gcode generated from other programs too.
  • Gcode toolpath traversal.
  • Machine control.