What software do you use


What software do you use for drawing you project ?


Is “wath” the same meaning of “what”?

And could you explain “drawing your project” further? Such as, draw what and for what purpose.


excuse me I do not speak English very well
yes i mean WHAT
I would like to know which software you use to draw your project in 3d For exemple sketchup


Never mind, I’m not good at English either :smile:
I’m also exploring good tools for simple 3D Design.

I found this online tool several days before: https://www.tinkercad.com/ which was shared by @doug
Since I don’t know much about 3D model design, it’s good to me.

And one of my workmate ever use FUSION360 to design 3D model, it is recommend for CNC, but also can be used as a 3D model design tool.


English…it’s a Standard language many People have to learn at School - like me.
I also want to write in my native language (German) - but it will be boring for 97% of the other users…so I’m trying my best.

I’m using Solid Edge at my Company because I’m working with this Software for the last about 15 years so I’m pretty good with it (as Long as I don’t have to produce free forms).
The most parts I have designed in the past were flanges, shafts ans some other parts that can be made with a mill/lathe/drill (so no fancy designs - function is first!). But also my bed (made from 80x80x2 mm stainless steel square tubes) has been drawn by myself

The last days I thought about what to do with my Snapmaker - since I want to work with the Printer at home.
Solid Edge is very expensive so I was searching for a free alternative.
In the CNC quick start guide there is a reference to Autodesk Fusion 360 so I gave it a try.
I was very impressed about the posibilities in this “free” tool (educational licence) - if you draw something from scratch there are more posibilities than in the cheapest Version of Solid Edge.
So I found my prefered 3D-CAD for home use…

If you have used AutoCAD ore something like that in the past you will learn pretty fast to draw your firs models.
You have to draw a 2D sketch and then expand/cut/turn it into a 3D-object.
For first time user not very intuitive but it is compareable to the big Players like SolidWorks, Inventor, SolidEdge,…

I’ll send you some examples of some simple objects in a few days (after I received my Snapmaker and tried it out) if you want to.


I took a look at tinkercad but I don’t like it at all. It’s very “Comic style” and you can’t do very much with this tool.
Maybe it is better for People starting with 3D-CAD but this isn’t good for exerienced users like me.

Once more - I don’t do free forms (like figures, cars ore something like that) but parts that can be produced with standard CNC Tools.


Yeah, our mechanical engineers also think tinkercad is a toy, lol~

I’m happy that you like Fusion360, yours opinion as a experienced engineer is important for us :wink:


I am just learning how to use AutoCAD. Got it from the piratebay (sssh!)
Looks like a very powerful but difficult to use for starters tool.

Will have a look at Fusion though. Maybe it is a little easier to use.

The perfect tool for complex stuff would be Rhinoceros. But that one is (like AutoCAD) reeeeally expensive and hard to get “for free”


Yeah, Rhinoceros is always used for Industrial Design, a professional tool. It could build complex curved surface and I’m not sure if it’s suitable for 3D printing


Rhinoceros is for free form design. I found it much easier to design with straight lines and circles…

I think you are from Germany.
You just have to understand how 3D CAD works.

For Fusion you have to draw a closed 2D sketch (the lines have to make a closed fence) first.
Then you can take the encased area and “pull” it up for creating a 3D object.
For a simple cube you draw a sqare and the evolve it by the length of the sides.

If you want to you can ask me in German for assistance with Fusion 360 (I’m a new user to this Software too but I do understand the mechanism behind) - but I think this Forum is not the right place. I want to stay with English here.

Also you can send me Hand drawn drafts with some dimensions and I can try to make a 3D model out of it for you.


Autodesk Fusion 360
Free for students


autocad is way too big for anything less than large projects, and their libraries are oriented for teams, loners not so much…

on large team projects, used autocad with custom/purchased libraries for years (hated almost every minute of it)…

orcad was more to my liking for smaller projects and when designing by myself…
(with eagle/freecad for trons/mechanical)…

starting with kcad from trons/pcb now, and looking into going back to freecad for mechanical work…



After much research I built a little list of (free) software that seem to have good review and large communities. Constructive criticism is welcome ! Note that I do not mind the learning curve.

Freeform Modeling Tools : Blender
Scultping Tools: Sculptris
CAD Tools: FreeCad
Slicers: Slic3r
Handy Tools: Meshmixer

Sculptris and Blender are redundant, but I like sculptris and will try Blender to see what is the hype about :slight_smile:

Slic3r… I am not sure it works well with Snapmaker, isn’t it redundant with Meshmixer ?


I am using OpenSCAD as it allows me to describe the shape I want programmatically (which is what I do for a day job!) then, currently, use Cura for slicing.


I use a variousity of programs. As backbone I use Fusion360, with the help of CorelDraw (importing True Type Fonts into Fusion doesn’t work all the time, so I have to import vectors as sketches) and even Photoshop (scanned blueprints). Slicing / gcoding with Snapmaker3D / SnapmakerJS / Slic3r.

Works best for me, even that Fusion got such a steep learning curve.

AutoCAD is far too big, Fusion is the best choice as it is free for students / education personal and freelancers so I would give it a try. There are lots of tutorials on their site and Youtube full of lessons. I tested SketchUp but it has got this only amateur touch but as hard to understand as Fusion. So I chose Fusion with its simulation and stresstest environment.


I also started with Slic3r, but found Cura 3.2.1. much more satisfying.
Much more configuration options and configurable interface to show/hide slicing options.
No Configuration for SnapMaker available yet, but it wasn’t too hard to configure even for a new 3D printer user like me.
Blender is currently my drawing program. Steep learning curve but I think it’s a great tool. Still plan to try some other options people throw in here if they are available on Linux.

The main plus/requirement for me on these softwares is that these are all available as free softwares on Linux. At least to try them out.


Hi @harry

Dough The newbie here. I have just installed OpenSCAD, as a result of finding a number of parametric projects on Thingiverse and thought I would have a go at learning to modify them. With your experience it would be great if you would consider sharing some hints on the forum, People such as @Noah, @Rainie, @tone, @rojaljelly and other users, may find this useful.

Keep having fun.



I’m using Fusion 360 and Cura at the moment.I’ve designed and printed my first simple thing. A cup washer (not a thing for cleaning your coffee mug!). It’s at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2834115 . Not very exciting but is is useful.

I used a new filament - Black PLA+ from 3D Fillies in Australia. It seems to stick to the bed better than the Snapmaker supplied PLA. It also seems less brittle.



I started with TinkerCAD, it seems to be the easiest to use for mashing different thingiverse items together.

I have downloaded Fusion360 as it seems to be the logical ‘next step’ I have watched a couple of youtube videos on Fusion360 but am finding the leap from ‘following along’ to building my own design difficult. I am attempting to replicate my tinkerCAD models but am finding the learning curve to be almost vertical :tired_face:

I downloaded Cura but each time I try it, it doesn’t set the nozzle temperature for some reason, the SnapmakerJS still does a great job.


I use Fusion 360 for design. The design history function is a big time-saver.

For slicing, I use Simplify3D.