3D printing Meetup

I recently held a meetup group where we discussed everything from how a 3D printer works to the latest trends in the industry.

The conversation was so diverse because of the diverse backgrounds of people in attendance. From industry experts, to designers, to experts in traditional forms of printing. Everyone was able to gather and learn from each other combined with the gracious support of FabCafe we were able to make the event a huge success.

One of the major topics was software. I compiled a list for everyone to see and included some of the comments, partly as my own, partly as contribution from other members.

Grouped by purpose

3D Model Making

CAD – Useful for engineering

Tinkercad – Great for beginners
Autodesk 123D – well balanced
Solidworks – Professional use/powerful, expensive, if you have a .edu use it to get a free copy
Autodesk fusion 360 – Loved by many, ‘powerfulish’
Openscad – Loved by programmers, free
Sketchup – popular, kind of user friendly

Design/art focus – Useful for organic shapes

Rhinoceroses – Raising star
Zbrush – Popular/powerful/industry leader
Blender – Free, powerful
Sculptris – lots of jewelers use it
Maya – First published in the 14th century

Slicer – the brain of your 3d printer

Cura – free, pretty good, popular
Slic3r – free, pretty good, popular
Simplify3d – some nice features ( esp. supports) ‘pricyish’

Apps and other cool stuff

3dprinteros – online, one stop 3d printing software, kind of cool, still buggy
tinkerplay – ipad and android, great for kids, make cool models and print them
grabcad – online model repository
youmagine – online model repository
thingiverse – online model repository
3dhubs.com – find local 3d printers to print your work


The group is free and meets every two weeks. Stops are limited so please RSVP.


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