Whether it is for professional projects or for hobbyists, a good 3D Modeling Software is a must-have to create efficiently. However, most of them were created and designed for a use on Windows or Mac platforms. Besides the world-famous AutoCAD or SolidWorks, there are some alternatives for Linux users. Here is our Top 7 Best 3D Modeling Software for 3D Printing on Linux.
We will start right off the bat by one of the most famous and versatile solutions for 3D Modeling. Blender has the advantage, compared to the other big names such as SolidWorks, to be free and Open-Source, enabling a lot of people to work on various projects with it. The huge community behind it also ensures a constant flow of new models and addons to use, which is a great way to improve your skills. From 3D Printing to 3D Animation, you can make almost any design if you take the time to do so.
Do not hesitate to take a look at our Blender tutorial for more information and precious advice on this software.
FreeCAD enables you to make parametric 3D designs, which makes it particularly efficient for mechanical or engineering designs. It is fairly easy to learn, so you could even use it if you never used a 3D Modeling Software before. Being Open-Source also makes it particularly customizable. For example, you can add new functionalities or automatize processes directly by writing scripts.
You can look for more information on the FreeCAD website.
HeeksCAD is a good way for people who are new to 3D Modeling to learn how to handle this kind of software. It offers all the common functions you would need to make basic (yet good) 3D models. Just like FreeCAD, you can use parametric designs to create and modify your objects. You may encounter difficulties if you try to realize complex models (a lot of the usual tools are not available yet), but again this is not the main goal of HeeksCAD.
OpenSCAD is a 3D Modeling software that enables you to work on solids in two different modes. Indeed, you can either use constructive solid geometry, where you define your design as a result of primary operations (such as sums or subtractions), or use a classic extrusion technique, where you make 2D designs that you then turn into 3D. Either way, the software is fitted to export STL files, and has a good community behind it to support you whenever you have issues.
Please look at OpenSCAD website for more information.
If you are not looking for esthetics but pure efficacity, then Solvespace is made for you. This software provides you all the tools you would find in a big name of 3D Modeling Software, such as SolidWorks or AutoCAD. Even if the interface is minimalist, the huge amount of possibilities it offers is more than enough to compensate. On top of this, it is a quite small software, and needs only 6Mo to be installed.
The learning curve is quite rough, but if you are confident in your skills, there is no doubt that you’ll be able to make almost anything with this software.
Find more information on Solvespace on their website.
Wings3D is a good alternative to classic 3D Modeling Software. It is very user-friendly, all its commands are made to be clear and intuitive. The actions you can take depend on the context and the object you are working on.
As it is not a parametric modeling software, it is difficult to use Wings3D for engineering or mechanical designs. However, you may find everything you need for every other project, so do not hesitate to give it a try.
You will find the download links and more information on the Wings3D website.
Last but not least, VariCAD is a license-based 3D modeling software. However, it is very affordable compared to other software, and offers precise tools to design mechanical parts. For example, besides the classical tools you would find anywhere, predefined ISO parts are available for screws or bolts to make sure they fit with their real use.
Being one of the only software you can purchase for Linux platforms, VariCAD surely fills a niche in the world of 3D modeling software. Do not hesitate to give it a try by visiting their website.
And that is all for our Top 7 3D Modeling Software for 3D Printing on Linux. Overall, the solutions you will find cover every aspects of 3D modeling, as long as you put in the time to learn to handle them. You may also have to use several of them at once, in order to fully reach your goals. However, all of them are good alternatives to the software you would find on other platforms. Furthermore, as most of them are Open-Source, you can count on the help of the whole community to support you in your project.