Computer Aided Design utilizes computer resources to assist in the creation, analysis, and modification of design. Designers and engineers no longer have to depend on manual technical drawings to conceptualize an idea, thanks to 3d printing development from Spatial. Coupled up with CAD is 3D printing technology then that joins and solidify designed objects using materials such as powder grains and liquid molecules.
3D printing technology has been widely leveraged for quite some time, and it continues to evolve and so does the software that handles the design processes. Over time, newer and more advanced tools and functions are being released to facilitate more complex 3D printing. Enlisted below are the top 4 3D printing computer-aided software you need to consider and why.
Solidworks is both a 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) and a Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) software program. It is developed by Dassault Systemes and was first released in 1995. It runs on Microsoft Windows. Solidworks boasts an enormous user base of up to 2 million designers and engineers located in over 160,000 companies around the world. The company is best known for its modeling technology that is easy to use, affordable and is available on Windows desktops. Solidworks is marketing several versions of its software in additional eDrawings, DraftSight, a collaboration tool and a 2D CAD product. Its latest version, SolidWorks 2018, was released in September 2017.
Fusion 360 is a 3D printing Computer Aided Design program developed by Autodesk. Autodesk is popular with simulation and modeling programs having other robust software such as Autocad LT, Civil 3D, Inventor, Revit and Tinkercad under its umbrella. Fusion 360 is a Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) and Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) type software. It is cloud-based hence connects all your product development processes into a single platform that works for both PC and MAC users. It is brilliantly designed and seamlessly operates.
Unlike the first two aforementioned programs, Tinkercad is a simple CAD program that is easy enough to be used by everyone. Founded in 2010, Tinkercad was developed with the goal of enabling every human to become a proficient designer. It requires no design experience. It is an easy to use, intuitive 3D design and 3D printing application. It is web-based and is only accessible online. Tinkercad works by using shapes as building blocks. You can then move, adjust and rotate the shapes freely in space and combine these shapes to obtain unique designs.
Onshape is a cloud-based Computer Aided Design (CAD) program that provides state of the art parametric 3D modeling. It was developed by former Solidworks management and is available in Microsoft, Linux and OSX. It is cloud computing intensive allowing teams to collaborate on a shared design through the cloud service. Onshape is primarily used in mechanical CAD for product and machinery design. Industries that use Onshape software include 3D printing, mechanical machinery, consumer electronics, medical devices, machine and industrial parts. Updates are frequently made on the web platform.