The STL file format
The STL file format is the standard input file format used by all our 3D printers. Most, if not all 3D CAD software packages can export directly to STL.
3D Modelling Libraries
Not every printable model has to be built from scratch. Several online libraries exist that contain thousands of free to use models on everything from cups to working models of engines!
Sites with thousands of dedicated 3D models (already in STL format) such as: http://www.thingiverse.com/
There are also several websites that contain highly detailed CAD models such as: http://grabcad.com/
These CAD websites however contain files in all types of formats and thus must be converted to STL using modelling software before printing.
3D Modelling Software
Free and Open source Software:
TinkerCAD: The simplest and most basic of all 3D modelling software. Accessible directly from the browser.
Blender CAD: Primarily more of a 3D sketching and modelling tool. Not recommended for precise engineering work. However, Blender CAD contains a few advanced modelling tools not available in other free software.
- Google Sketch-up: The most popular free to use CAD package, it is customisable via user made apps that can be installed free. The most advanced package listed
Professional 3D Modelling Software:
IronCad is a top tier package designed specifically for 3D printing. It remains easy to use yet contains all the nessesary features. The complete package features FEA and engineering drawing tools.
3D Printing Software
There are several software packages that help interface the model with the 3D printer. With options such as sizing of the model, position on the print surface, the percentage fill of the model, the structure and quantity of support structures and many more!
Free and Open Source
A few free to use software packages are also available on the internet. The major ones being:
A simple and easy to use software with limited options. Gets the job done.
Download link: https://www.makerbot.com/desktop
Far more complex than Makerware. With options to control nearly every build condition such as support structure, specific heating of build areas, simultaneous printing of different materials and many more
Download link: http://replicat.org/download
The Mankati comes with its own software, optimised for use with the Mankati series of printers.
Download link: http://www.mankati.com/download/
The UP Series
The up series comes with its own software appropriate for use with any UP 3D printers (the UP Mini and the UP Plus 2)
Download link: http://pp3dp.com/index.php?option=com_jdownloads&view=viewcategory&catid=1&Itemid=90
The Kevvox 3D printer also comes with its own custom software called K-Studio. Due to the high resolution industrial work capable from the Kevvox, it comes with powerful integrated software to fully utilise the Kevvox's special features.
Download link: http://kevvox.com/3d-printers/software/
All listed prices exclude GST.