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Fusion 360 is a popular software for creating a file of a 3D model to print the object physically. Wheater at home, with the help of a service bureau, or in a factory, 3D printing is becoming more and more popular. The innovative manufacturing technology offers many different advantages compared to traditional manufacturing technologies. But what is 3D printing? Additive manufacturing or 3D printing adds layer after layer of material to create the desired product.
On the other hand, traditional manufacturing approaches usually need a mold or a material block to start the production process. Many materials include resins, metals, filaments, or powders. But before the actual printing process begins, a 3D file of the object is needed. With Fusion 360, it is possible to create 3D files. They are essential for the 3D printing production chain.
If you want to know more about how 3D-printing works, check out our ultimate 3D-printing guide.
Fusion 360 was almost unbeatable as it provided many features and used to be free. So we looked for alternatives that are free as well or offer many of those features at a reasonable cost. We have the Top 10 programs that may be a new option for you.
Blender is open-source software that is widely used. It offers an incredible catalog of tools and software to create impressive models and let your imagination run free. This software is compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. However, if you want to use Blender, it is advised to have experience in 3D software.
The significant advantage of Blender is that it is free, and there are no extra costs involved.
As implied in the name FreeCAD does not charge its users for using the software. For the parametric 3D modeling software, no other experience is needed and can be used immediately to create complex models. The software is especially interested in engineering or architecture projects. It can be used by anybody: home users, designers, programmers, and even educators.
It runs on Windows, Mac as well as Linux.
Like FreeCAD, SolveSpace is parametric 3D modeling software that can be used as a2D and 3D CAD program. It is perfectly suitable for elaborate good mechanism designs and impresses with great drafting tools.
SolveSpace is free and can be used on Windows, Mac, and Linus.
Another free software as a Fusion 360 alternative is Solid Edge Community Edition. Solid Edge is usually a paid software. However, the community version is free. It is directed towards more experienced CAD users. You can easily switch between direct and parametric modeling. It also offers excellent simulation features. Solid Edge Community Edition is only available for Windows.
This free software is based on SpaceClaim, a 3D CAD. Its intuitive setting is excellent for beginners and offers an extensive online library. Compared to SolveSpace and FreeCAD, it is no parametric software but uses direct modeling. It only runs on Windows and has the option of add-ons for purchase.
Onshape is a bit of a hybrid solution, as it offers a free version for non-commercial use, but the professional version costs about 1,500$ per year. This software is known for its real-time collaboration tools and advanced features. The software initially targets professionals, so the user interface is quite complex to understand. As it is browser-based, you can access it no matter which operating system you use.
SketchUp is browser-based software, a well-known 3D modeling program used mainly by architects. An excellent choice for other creators as well as beginners for its user-friendliness. A free version is available, but it does not offer all tools, and it cannot export STL files. The paid online version costs per year 120$ and the professional desktop applications cost 300$. Find out Sketchup alternatives.
Initially, CATIA was developed internally by Dassault Systèmes for internal work. However, it is now used in many industries such as aerospace, automotive, high tech, and architecture. It allows the user to create complex and very accurate models. It has a practical collaborative environment, as the cloud version of this software is now available. CATIA is addressed to professionals as it is a complete software with a wide range of advanced tools. CATIA can only be used on a Windows computer.
Maxon created Cinema4D as a 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software. It is excellent for the generation of visual effects and for animating objects. Cinema 4D is widely used in the production of advertising and TV commercials and y architects to visualize a project. The program offers users a wide range of texturing tools and lighting systems. Cinema4D costs about 719,00$ annually and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Inventor is like Fusion 360, an Autodesk software that runs on Windows and is aimed at people with an advanced skill set. Inventor is designed especially for the production of mechanical parts. It is capable of both 2D and 3D design, as well as photorealistic renders. It could be considered the logical step from Fusion 360 to change to Inventor. It should be regarded as though it is more difficult to use.
The license of an Inventor is quite expensive as it costs about 2,200$ per year.
We hope that we gave you a few alternatives to Fusion 360. There are some great options out there to consider. Of course, you can always stay with Fusion 360 if you like the interface and are happy with it, but maybe it is time to make the next step. When you take a step toward a new software, check out our different tutorials for more information.
If you have the perfect software already and are ready to hold your creation in your hands, you can simply upload your 3D file to our site, choose the material, and we will do the rest.
If you want to use 3D printing and have questions concerning this topic, our expert team at Sculpteo is happy to help! If you want to learn more about 3D printing, we encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter and check out our extensive Learning Hub with many interesting articles.
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