How to Use Your Mac With a 3D Printer

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Printing 3-Dimensional stuff is not completely new but it is still out of reach for the majority. Therefore, the technology necessary to operate it is not too commonplace.  If you are lucky enough, you got yourself a 3D printer and have a Mac to operate it with.

So, basically, you have to find yourself a good 3D Modeling Software.  There truly are many options out there to choose from.

What to Consider when Choosing a Software

When the offer is pretty large, zeroing down on one decision can be tough.  But then, you can still make an educated decision and not be haphazard about it.  So, here’s what you might want to consider:

  • Availability.  Is this software available for Windows only or for Mac only, or for both?  It might sound silly, but make sure you find this out first since it is heartbreaking to go over a trailer only to find out it is not for Mac.
  • Customer Support.  Some software is free and that is a good thing.  But then, premium features might include customer service, which is probably not available for the free version.  Do you feel confident enough as to dismiss personalized customer service?
  • Beginner or Pro?.  Some software specifically addresses beginners while others are designed for more seasoned users.  Locate yourself in one of these groups and decide what is best.
  • Learning Curve.  If the learning curve is rather steep, do you have the time and disposition to climb it?
  • Type of structure you want to build.  Some software programs are pretty good at creating and printing geometrical and architectural designs, while others are best at creating organic structures.
  • Popularity. The Mac user community is a large one with pretty valuable content.  You can check out forums and communities to get a scoop on what is hot when it comes to 3D printing software.

The Best 3D Modeling Software

Once you have crossed out your considerations, let’s get down to the software.  Based on popularity, there are two names that top the list and have remained there for several years now:

  • Blender.  This program has the largest 3D printing community.  Its free open-source software and the fact that it allows users to explore so many features have made it as popular as it is.  However, it is considered to have a pretty steep learning curve so it is not suitable for beginners.
  • SketchUp. Sketchup is more user-friendly and provides a great platform for beginners.  Its interface helps create awesome geometric designs.

As runner-ups to the above two, we will also suggest you explore Fusion 360 which is gaining popularity as it made itself free for enthusiasts, students, hobbyists, and startups.   AutoCAD and Maya are two are also worth a look.  They might have some more specific functions but we invite you to explore them.

What You Will Need

You will obviously need to install your 3D printer just like you would do with a 2D printer.  Make sure you have the needed format for modeling and printing.

Last but not least, make sure you get the highest-quality filaments.  We recommend you get them from 3D Printing Canada.  You will get the best to ensure that your project rocks!