Here is a list of best free 3D printing software for Windows. In 3D printing, you can send print instructions or G-Code to a 3D printer to print the desired 3D object. It is a really good way to create complex designs only by using a computer and a 3D printer.
In these software, you can input and view a 3D model file of STL, X3D, 3MF, G-File, OBJ, etc. formats. According to input 3D model file, these software prepares slices or basically the design instruction for the printer. After that, you can define important printing parameters like printing material, temperature, layer height, wall thickness, top thickness, infill density, etc. There are more parameters that you might need to specify according to different 3D printer software. Lastly, you can send instructions to your 3D printer to start the 3D printing process. Besides this, you can also save the instructions as G-Code and the design as STL, 3DS, OBJ, etc. formats.
My favorite 3D printing software for Windows:
Slic3r is my favorite 3D printing software because it simplifies the overall 3D printing process. Still, it does not leave out any important option which may be essential to create proper printing instructions. Plus, this software also lets you save the Slice and G-Code of a model which you can again use in future.
You can also check out lists of best free 3D Data Visualizer, 3D Rendering, and 3D Animation software for Windows.
Slic3r is a free 3D printing software for Windows. This software helps you print an input 3D model by providing essential printing instruction to a 3D printer. In it, you can input 3D models of STL, OBJ, and AMF formats. The imported 3D model can immediately be previewed in its Plater section, where you also get options to view the model in 2D and Layer formats. Now, to prepare the printer for 3D printing, first, go to its Print Settings and define parameters like layer height, solid layers, fill density, fill patterns, pattern spacing, support material, etc. After that, go to Filament and Printer Settings to define further parameters such as Extruder Temperature, Filament Diameter, Bed Shape, Nozzle Diameter, etc. After all specifying all the parameters, you can send instructions to your 3D printer to start the printing process.
This software also lets you export the model in G-Code, STL, and AMF file formats. Plus, it even lets you save the slice of your 3D model as SVG file. Overall, it is a handy 3D printer software for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
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Repetier Host is another free 3D printing software for Windows. It is a really good 3D printing software through which you can give print instructions to a 3D printer. Like other similar software, this one can also take 3D models as input and slice them to prepare the G-code instructions for a 3D printer. However, it also has a unique quality which is its ability to provide manual controls of a 3D printer on the interface. The basic process of 3D model printing consists of four steps namely Object Placement, Slice, Preview, and Print.
Let’s take a look at all four steps to print a 3D model:
- Object Placement: In this step, you need to import a 3D model of STL, AMF, OBJ, 3DS, AST, etc. formats. After that, place, scale, rotate, or duplicate the model on the virtual bed according to your design.
- Slice: In this step, you need to specify various slicing parameters like Speed, Infill Density, Adhesion Type, Filament Setting, Quality, etc.
- Preview: Using its Preview section, you can preview print region, model layers, printing statistics, etc., before starting the 3D printing process.
- Print: In this last step, you just need to send the printing instructions to a 3D printer via a host, USB, or TCP connection, or through Repetier-Server to start the printing process.
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Ultimaker Cura is a free and open source 3D printing software for Windows. It is specially designed to work with Ultimaker Cura 3D Printers. Using this software, you can easily load a 3D object file of 3MF, G-File, X3D, STL, BMP, PNG, etc. formats. According to the input 3D model, it quickly prepares slices of your model and prepares it for printing. Before printing the model, you can preview it, scale it, and adjust various settings as you like. On its Prepare Section, you can view your 3D model and its placement inside a virtual 3D printer. Now, use its Print Setup menu to adjust print parameters like printing temperature, blue plate temperature, material type, layer height, wall thickness, top thickness, infill density, etc. After all the setup, you can start the printing process. During the printing, you can use its monitor section to monitor the progress of the 3D printing process. Overall, it is another easy to use 3D printing software.
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KISSlicer is yet another free 3D printing software for Windows. Using this software, you can quickly generate G-code according to the input 3D model. You can use the generated G-code in any 3D printer to print a 3D object.
In this software, you can only input 3D models of STL file format. When you load a model, you can immediately view it over a virtual 3D printer bed. On the right side of the interface, you get a Profile Setting using which you can replicate multiple copies of a model to print multiple 3D objects together. Apart from the model, you can select the Models+Path option to view the 3D model along with the printing path of the extruder. An option to only view the extruder printing path is also available. Now, use its Wizards Menu to perform all necessary printer and material information to initialize the printing process.
In the Wizards menu, you get two sections namely Create Profile Wizard and Tuning Wizard. Its Create Profile wizard is used to specify all parameters related to the printer, material, style, and support. The Tuning Wizard is used to tune the function of Z like temperature, flow rate, destring length, G-Code Token, etc. After the setup, save the Gcode to print the 3D model.
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MatterControl is another free and open source 3D printing software for Windows. It is a simple and straightforward 3D printing software that supports 3D printers of various companies like 3D Cloner, 3D Factory, Airwolf 3D, BCN3D, etc.
In order to print a 3D model, first, import a 3D model file of STL, AMF, ZIP, G-Code, etc. The imported model can be viewed in the standard 3D format along with its Layer format in its 3D View and Layer View sections, respectively. After viewing the model, go to its Settings menu and setup up printing parameters like Material Type, Quality, Fill Density, Layer Height, etc. After setting up all the parameters, you can start the 3D printing process by transferring the printing information to your 3D printer. During the printing, you can keep an eye on the printing process from its interface. This software also lets you track the printing process by accessing the Matterhackers account from anywhere. Home Page Download Page
Autodesk Meshmixer is the next free 3D printing software for Windows. It is mainly a 3D model creation and editing software. In it, you can create a model from scratch and also import 3D models of STL, OBJ, AMF, PLY, 3MF, etc. formats. To create and edit 3D models, it comes with various designing and modeling tools like Selection Tools, Editing Tools, Sculpt Tools, Stamp Tools, Shader Tools, etc. The selection tools let you erase, fill, re-mesh, extract, bridge, join, and separate the selections. Selections can be converted to solid part, stamp, or open part. The editing tools let you easily apply changes to a design. These tools let you mirror, duplicate, transform, align, plane cut, make solid, hollow, make slice, add tube, and unwrap. The Sculpt and Stamp tools are equally helpful in 3D designing.
After designing and editing of a 3D model, you can print it using the 3D printing option. Its printing option also shows you all the instruction to print your 3D model. In the instruction, you get five simple steps to print a 3D object. The first step is to select a printer and then choose the material that you want to use to build your 3D object. After that, use the transform tool to move, rotate, and scale your model, and also to move the platform. In the next step, use the repair tool to check the strength, stability, and slicing algorithms. The last step is to add the support structure and start the printing process. Home Page Download Page