If you have invested in a good 3D printer, then you must be excited to try out new models and designs of your own. But without a good 3D design software, you can do nothing with your 3D printer. Some printers actually come with a DVD containing a limited version of a commercial software like SolidWorks. But if your printer was not accompanied with any 3D design software, then you can download OpenSCAD or FreeCAD. OpenSCAD is smaller and easier to learn but does not offer an interactive interface. For people who are more comfortable with their mice and stylus, FreeCAD is a better option.
FreeCAD might look a little more familiar to the people who have used AutoDesk AutoCAD before. You simply can drag and drag the various geometric figures and solids, manipulate their parameters easily from the graphical user interface. However, it is not exactly as comfortable as the AutoDesk software and might require a long time to learn all the features.
FreeCAD supports a large number of file formats making it possible and easy for you to import the drawings and projects designed using other design software including the DWG format from AutoDesk’s AutoCAD. But when we tried to open some of the OpenSCAD files (SCAD files), it first failed to load them and popped up error messages. But after a number of tries, it finally opened these files. AutoDesk DWG files were loaded without any problems. At the same time, it supports all the programming syntax from the OpenSCAD software.
FreeCAD is available for all the popular operating systems for the desktop computers – Windows, Linux and Mac. There is no special hardware requirement and it can be run on any standard desktop computer. And if one day, you find FreeCAD limited in features, you can always add many more features/functions using a large number of add-ons designed by the FreeCAD community.
You can download FreeCAD from https://www.freecadweb.org/.