The best programs for 3D printers

Over time it is becoming easier to acquire 3D printers even at non-prohibitive costs. These “little” gems of technology are becoming more widespread and advanced. If you too are one of those who have decided to buy a 3D printer, you will surely be looking for 3D printing programs in order to fully exploit the potential of these devices.

In this article, we have collected the best programs for 3D printers in order to facilitate the choice of the program to use to create objects and print in 3D according to your needs.

The best programs for 3D printers

We are going to start this guide with the best programs for printing 3D models, both those created by you and those found on the net.

Although normally a 3D model is first created and then printed, almost always those who have purchased a 3D printer, especially for the first purchase, immediately attempt to 3D print by choosing from the many free 3D models available online.

Best programs to print 3D models

Ultimaker Cura (Windows and macOS)

Cura Ultimaker

Ultimaker Cura isamong the programs for 3D printers, the most popular solution for printing 3D models, is recommended for all beginners and not, often the program comes on CD with the 3D printer you buy. The program is free, it is available for Windows and Mac, to download the latest updated version, just go to the official website.

Ultimaker Cura is compatible with an infinite number of 3D printers from different manufacturers. Once you have downloaded the executable adapted to your operating system from the manufacturer’s page (.exe for Windows and dmg or .app for Mac), a double click is enough to launch the installation procedure on both systems , the installation does not present any danger or difficulty .

After the installation is complete, you can start the program, the wizard will start the printer configuration, if the device is connected to the PC via the network, turn it on and it will be detected and added. If, on the other hand, the printer is connected via a USB cable, in the procedure it will be necessary to choose the right model of 3D printer (the list is really long).

Once you have finished the first configuration you are ready for the first impression, everything is very simple and the software is in Italian, in case of difficulty the web is full of tutorials on the program.

Home page : Cura Ultimaker

Repeater Host (Windows, macOS, and Linux)


Repeater host it’s definitely there best alternative to Ultimaker Cura, is a program much appreciated by veterans for its very familiar interface. It is also a good solution for beginners who speak English, because Repetier Host offers fantastic guides that allow you to quickly learn even the most advanced functions.

Very appreciated by users is the Easy Mode which allows to visualize the 3D model and the progress of the printing, the path and the filament.

This 3D printer program is also available for free on the project website and is compatible with Windows Linux and Mac. To start using it, just download it from the official website.

Home page : Repeater host

PrintRun (Windows, macOS, Linux)


More advanced users really appreciate PrintRun, as it allows full control over the printing processalso offers a joystick with which you can directly control the printer.

Also in this case the web is our friend and there are many tutorials in different languages ​​that help you to master this program, which is objectively very powerful but less easy to use than the other solutions presented.

PrintRun is a free and open source software developed in Python, you can download the executable for Windows and Mac for free from the download page of the project website. Moreover, the application is available directly in the repositories of many Linux distributions.

Home page : Draw

MatterControl (Windows and macOS)


MatterControl is a solution that has many fans, is free and supports a large number of printers. fans appreciateparticularly modern and user-friendly interface.

MatterControl is available for free on Windows and Mac. The software supports a large number of 3D printers.

Home page : MatterControl

Best programs for creating 3D models

Now let’s move on to the illustration of the best 3D model creation programs, we will also offer you some interesting free proposals so that you can also practice without having to pay a license fee.

Tinkercad (online)


Tinkercad is the ideal solution for beginners, it is a free web application created by Autodesk (the study that deals with the development of Autocad). Tinkercad was designed with the idea of ​​providing powerful tools for 3D modeling even for novice users.

The application to use requires the possession of an Autodesk account, to obtain it you just have to register for free on the site.

By using it you will see how in a few clicks it is possible to obtain excellent 3D models which can then be exported in the most common formats and printed with your 3D printer.

Home page : tinkercad

FreeCad (Windows, macOS and Linux)


FreeCad is a professional solution completely free which requires a little practice to be well mastered, fortunately the Web is full of tutorials.

Once practiced, it’s really powerful, as it supports parametric editing which allows you to modify individual elements of a project with a few simple commands without touching the treble.

FreeCad is a free and open source cross-platform project (it is available for Windows, Linux and Mac) and is one of the best alternatives to AutoCad. You can freely download the executable directly from the project website.

Home page : FreeCad

AutoCad (Windows and macOS)

Automatic CAD

When we talk about 3D modeling software, we cannot fail to mention AutoCad, the industry leading solution for years. Even today AutoCad comes used by countless professionals and is one of the most popular apps for creating templates.

AutoCad offers a large number of functions and for this reason it is certainly not among the lightest modeling programs on the market. But precisely these functions lead many to prefer it to other solutions.

However, unlike other freeware, in this case using the program is need to buy a subscription, the cost of which is decidedly considerable. If you want to test the quality of AutoCad yourself, you can always take advantage of the 30-day free trial license.

Home page : AutoCad



In the years Blender has become the essential application for 3D modeling enthusiasts and it cannot fail to be included among the best programs for 3D printers. The tools go far beyond simple modeling by supporting: rigging, animation, compositing and rendering. It also offers advanced features for UV mapping, fluids, coatings, particle simulation, and creating 3D apps and games.

Just Blender has a huge community behind it, which shares tutorials, documentation and teaching materials, as well as 3D models.

Blender is freeware, so it’s free and open source, it’s available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Home page : Mixers