A lot of software is involved in 3D printing. Modeling software and slicing software are only two of the types of programs regularly used in the 3D design and 3D printing process, and there are so many different kinds of each that it can be overwhelming trying to pick one. A nice alternative, then, is to find a software that combines modeling, slicing, and other capabilities into one program.
SelfCAD was founded in 2015 and launched in 2016 by Aaron Breuer, the company’s CEO. It’s an online software that allows users to model, sculpt and slice in one program – with no downloads required. It’s browser-based, so all you need to access it is an Internet connection. Work can be saved in the cloud, although there’s also an offline mode so that you can continue working if you lose your Internet connection.
“SelfCAD can benefit both first-time users and experienced modellers,” Sammy Ekaran of SelfCAD tells 3DPrint.com. “For beginners it has many simple features like shape generators as well as the access to thousands of (ready) to print 3D objects from MyMiniFactory. And advanced users can enjoy the accessibility. SelfCAD features some unique features (Magic Fix – preparing the model for 3D printing), slicer and sculpting – features that are often missing in other programs. So you can import an object to SelfCAD, modify it and export it as an stl to continue working in your usual software.”
SelfCAD is definitely beginner-friendly, offering an online training course that promises to have you comfortable with 3D design in just a few days. Magic Fix, which Ekaran mentioned, ensures that designs are indeed printable, and the program’s generators easily enable the creation of advanced shapes and the quick conversion of 2D shapes into 3D shapes. There are also several drawing tools, including freehand, spline, polyline, and eraser drawing, plus advanced polygon detection features.
You can also sculpt in virtual reality with SelfCAD. The program gives you the tools to build a strong foundation in 3D design, while simultaneously enabling you to use your creativity. It also gives you an education in what the company calls the “intricacies of 3D printing,” such as layering and adhesion issues.
“All designers will be able to get their ideas and images out of their heads and to check out the performance in reality,” the company states. “Visual simulation is definitely a powerful and versatile technique allowing for realistic and quick rendering. SelfCAD 3D software provides users with almost limitless drawing capabilities, high precision, identification of structural inadequacy, compelling imagery and time-saving experience.”
Starting to learn how to 3D design and/or 3D print can be an intimidating experience, but it doesn’t have to be. SelfCAD works hard to make the process as easy as possible, without leaving users feeling like they need to switch to a more advanced type of software once they’ve mastered the basics.
SelfCAD can be purchased for $9.99 per month, though the company also offers a 30-day free trial. If you’re interested in a trial, you can check it out here.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.