What are the best 3D printing starter software in 2021 (Part 1)

We will divide the best 3D printing initiation software in 2021, between 3D design or modeling software, STL file editing and repair, and slicing software.

3D design or modeling programs 

First of all, we review some of the best 3D modeling programs with which to get started in the world of 3D design: 

  • TinKercad 
  • 3D Slash 
  • ZBrushCoreMini 
  • 3D Builder 
  • Vectary 
  • Figuro (Italy) 
  • OpenScAD 


TinkerCAD is a free modeling software that allows students to create 3D printable models without the need for previous design experience. TinkerCAD is compatible with most models of 3D printers and laser cutters, so students can print or crop their designs immediately. 

3D Slash 

The basic idea of 3D Slash is to make 3D creation or modeling accessible to everyone.3D Slash proves that 3D modeling can be fun, helping you produce useful things. The simple but universal technique for constructing objects with cubes allows the user to create basic and advanced objects. 


ZBrushCoreMini automatically adds or removes polygons as you sculpt so you can focus on your model. 

ZBrushCoreMini contains 8 of ZBrush’s most popular brushes: 

  1. Symmetry. 
  1. Base meshes. 
  1. Materials / Color. 
  1. iMage3D GIF and iMage3D PNG. 
  1. Export of images. 
  1. 3d printing. 
  1. Viewfinder mode. 

3D Builder 

3D Builder is a free program from Microsoft, with which you can view, create and customize 3D objects. It’s available for PC, mobile, Xbox One, Holo Lens, and Surface Hub. It allows you to export models in STL, OBJ or even 3MF formats. 

Microsoft also offers a large selection of ready-to-use 3D models that can be downloaded from the interface for free. Nowadays it is a very popular choice thanks to the many features it offers. 


Vectary is an online design software created by a Slovak company that was unveiled in 2014. It was designed for makers and DIY hobbyists, as well as designers, since it allows you to create complex shapes from any browser in a very simple way. In addition, it is a free 3D software, and its application is wide, not only within the additive manufacturing community. There is also a payment option, depending on the use we are going to give it. 

It works completely online and allows you to save files directly in the cloud. 

Vectary 3D modeling software is a collaborative tool that allows you to easily share your work with others online. Users can professionally create 3D content for websites and social media. 

Figuro (Italy) 

Figuro is an online 3D modeling application. By combining a large number of powerful 3D editing tools with an intuitive interface and tutorials on 3D modeling, Figuro presents itself as a comprehensive online modeling solution for people who want to perform 3D modeling in an easy and intuitive way. 

In addition to a 3D modeler, Figuro also has a Gallery where you can show and share your work, as well as a Community where users can discuss any topic related to 3D modeling. 

Mejores programas impresión 3D

STL file editing and repair programs 

Focusing on STL file editing and repair programs, we find the following: 


MakePrintable is a program for repairing and optimizing 3D printing files. 

This program allows you to repair your files in 4 easy steps: 

  • Upload the file: You can upload files up to 200MB. In addition, it supports more than 15 3D file formats. 
  • Analysis: your model will go through an analysis process, in which a viewer will show you the 3D printing problems of your model, along with statistics on the most common printing problems, such as boundary edges, solidity, thickness problems… 
  • Repair: in the repair process they will rebuild the structure of your model optimizing it for 3D printing and eliminating all problems. The repair is carried out on the cloud servers.
  • Download: Choose from several 3D formats to download your file. OBJ, STL, 3MF or SVG. You can cut your repaired model using Slic3r, or print it directly through their print service. 

Autodesk Meshmixer

Autodesk Meshmixer is free software for Windows and macOS, designed to create and manipulate 3D files. You can use it to optimize, design or print a 3D object. 

Among its tools are: 

  • Sistema de estructuras Drag-and-Drop 
  • 3D patterns and lattices 
  • Branched support structures 
  • Drawing and reflection clippings 
  • Advanced selection tools 


MeshLab is the free program that allows users to edit, clean, repair, inspect, render and convert structures. It offers tools to process the data generated by 3D scanning devices. In addition, it prepares the models for 3D printing. 

Among its features are: 

  • Alignment 
  • Visualization and presentation 
  • Reconstruction 
  • Color processing 
  • Model comparison 
  • Analysis 

Do you want to know what are the best slicing initiation programs? Don’t miss our post next week! 

If you prefer, you can take a look at our Additive Manufacturing Simulation  e-book, or contact us.