Designer’s Handbook: Free Design Tools

151001 Pinshape Article

There seems to be an ever increasing number of freely available design tools to do everything from create 3D files for 3D printing, to 3D scanning and digital sculpting. Today Pinshape have just published an article I’ve written for them breaking down all of these free tools, helping you figure out which are best for your application. Click here to read all the details.

Even if you’re an established designer comfortable with commercial CAD software, it’s worth taking a look at the sorts of tools out there which you may never have even considered – I know I’ve learned a few things putting together this article, along with a previous article for Pinshape on modifying STL files using the free tool Meshmixer.

While I still have to stick to my opinion that you get what you pay for (so if you get it for free you can’t expect a lot!), I do have to say that thanks to the growing interest in 3D printing, 3D CAD software is really growing equally as quickly, and some of the free software is quite impressive. Autodesk certainly seems to be the big player to watch at the moment, not just for free software (check out the range of products in the 123D suite), but also a huge number of developments in the high-end spectrum as well. Exciting times in the 3D world!

– Posted by James Novak

UPDATE 30/03/2016: With the sad news that Pinshape has closed down (read more here), you can now read this article in the PDF below.

Click here to open the PDF

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