There are plenty of great 3D printers out there these days. But you need the right software to help you design your projects before you can get to that point.
If you’re a Mac user looking for the best way to create your 3D designs or get started in this hobby/profession. You may also want to look into one of these high-quality programs.
3D printing is a growing field gaining momentum over the last few years. With all the new printers available today and more coming soon it has never been easier to get into this exciting world.
- Best 3D Printer Software for Mac Users. Our Top 8 Picks!
- FREE 3D Software for Mac Users
- Paid Software
- Can You Do 3D Printing With a Mac?
- Does Apple Have 3D CAD Software?
- Can You Do 3D Modeling on a Macbook?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
But what kind of software are you going to need? Well, we’ve put together some recommendations to help narrow things down. Here is our list of the top eight best 3D printer software for Mac users:
Best 3D Printer Software for Mac Users. Our Top 8 Picks!
There are tons of freeware and paid options available for Mac users. It makes it easy to get lost when looking for good and reliable software that meets your needs like price, capabilities, and compatibility with your 3D printer.
Listed below are some of the best software:
FREE 3D Software for Mac Users
MagicaVoxel is a free voxel art software for Mac operating system and Windows. The software includes all the custom controls you need to create your 3D models. Such models include primitives, brushes, filters, etc.
The voxel editor comes with some cool features and has been around since 2015. The program lets you import and export. vox,.qb, and .kv6 files, with built-in rendering and model exporting features.
The UI is pretty simple and easy to use. You can create and edit models and choose from a variety of colors. You can export it in various file formats when you’re finished with a model.
The free program is available for download and easy to use when creating models. It also helps in branching support structures on voxel files for all platforms.
Mac users can also export models in many file formats such as OBJ, STL, and PLY.
The only downside is that it does not have animation functionality.
Blender Modeling Software
Blender is a free 3D modeling tool and animation software for Mac users. It’s also compatible with Windows, OS X, and Linux. The program is a collection of several features.
The features make it easy to create complex models by combining basic shapes. It also can create 2D images from imported 3D models.
It is a powerful, famous, easy-to-use 3D graphics software whose blender foundation develops as an open-source tool under GNU General Public License.
The software is ideal for developing interactive 3D application forms such as computer games, animations, visual effects, and so on.
It is distributed for free under the GNU GPL license and is thus available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Linux platforms. It also has a strong community support base.
The support base ensures that it’s updated with new features and is well-maintained.
The modeling tools are free to use and available for download on the Blender website.
3D Slash is simple yet powerful design software that helps you create 3D models and customize them according to your needs.
It has a Minecraft-like interface that allows you to draw cubes and change them using additive or subtractive tools.
The best part about this software is that it does not need any prior knowledge of 3D modeling. You can learn 3D modeling as fast as you can move your fingers using this tool.
The number one benefit of this software is that it’s an intuitive program that’s easy to use and learn. You can design objects in different ways, including the ability to copy other objects or the option to add blocks one by one.
It’s also available for free for all users. It’s great for beginners and fun for children and professionals.
Cons: The free version has limited options and capabilities and does not support custom mode. If you want more detailed functions and custom settings, it costs extra to upgrade.
The Wings 3D is a free open source and cross-platform 3D modeler software compatible with MAC computers. The software supports polygon modeling, subdivision surfaces, and NURBS surfaces.
It also supports constrained modeling, which includes the ability to draw rectangles and circles. It allows for the creation of symmetric models. The program also permits a hierarchical node system to organize the content in the workspace.
It is the best software and has several tutorials that one can use to learn how to use it, and its user interface is simple, thus easy to use. The program also supports a wide variety of plugins and external renderers.
The only downside is that it doesn’t have an inbuilt repair function. It also doesn’t fix errors such as holes, gaps, flipped normals, reorienting face normals, etc.
TinkerCAD (used also for video editing)
TinkerCAD is a free, web-based application that offers a simple interface for basic design and video editing. This program is great for beginners because it has a low learning curve.
The features are easy to understand, and you can start creating basic 3D designs. You can work in 2D or 3D, but the 2D has limited space.
There are many models available in TinkerCAD’s library, so if you’re not a fan of designing your objects, you can use those already made by other users.
The main benefits of TinkerCAD are that it’s free and browser-based, so you don’t have to download any software to use it. It also has a very intuitive user interface.
The downside is that it doesn’t have all the features some users might need. The Main features it lacks include exporting files in high resolution, motion tracking, or printing in many colors.
Another example is there is no provision for measuring objects or making precise measurements. There is no way to lock an object in place once you’ve placed it.
It is great software, but it’s not intended to be 3D printer software. Still, it’s a powerful CAD platform that can be used to create 3D printed objects.
It has been around for years and is designed for 2D drafting and drawing. It works in 3D as a bonus for AutoCAD users. There are a lot of things to like about AutoCAD :
- It is powerful and has features that are easy to automatically adjust
- It supports many file types and exports STL files
Apart from being compatible with macOS, it’s also available on all major operating systems (Windows and Linux).
Users can design anything from small parts to expert in-house development or even entire cities.
On the flip side, the software can be difficult to learn if you’re not familiar with computers or computer-aided design programs in general.
It also requires an investment in time and money that might not be worth it if you only want something simple like “3D printing” your favorite character from an animation movie like Big Hero 6.
Mac users who own 3D printers might want to check out some of the software available. These are just a few of the programs available for Mac users.
It’s a digital sculpting tool that has both 3D modeling and a 2D printing process. It comes with animation tools used to create films, video games, and artwork models.
The program includes customizable brushes, lighting, symmetry tools, and PolyPaint, letting users paint directly on their model’s surface.
ZBrush runs on both Mac and Windows computers. It has a small footprint and doesn’t require much hard drive space or memory. The program also produces high-quality models and prepares them for 3D printing efficiently.
Downside: Artists who have worked with other 3D modeling software may find ZBrush difficult because it uses unique technology. Although it’s intuitive after a learning curve, it doesn’t work the same way as other programs.
It’s also expensive at $795 per license to buy outright or $39 per month to rent it from Pixologic’s website.
If you’re a Mac user looking for software that’s compatible with your 3D printer, Mudbox may be the solution for you.
Mudbox is a sculpting tool that allows you to use brushes to model and add detail to 3D objects. It’s easy to learn and use, so whether you’re a novice or an expert, you’ll be able to get your project off the ground and into the air in just a few minutes.
Another benefit of Mudbox is its flexibility, user-friendly interface, and data management. You can work on several projects at once, so if one doesn’t work out, it won’t stop progress on your other projects.
The only downside of Mudbox is that it can be difficult to get the hang of at first with a steep learning curve. Once you’ve mastered the basics, though, you’ll be able to create complex designs.
Can You Do 3D Printing With a Mac?
Of course, you can! The only thing is that many 3D printer manufacturers don’t seem to know about it.
Most of the big brands offer only Windows-compatible software, and some offer no software. If you’re shopping for a 3D printer with Mac compatibility in mind, that’s a problem.
Things are getting better, though. Some 3D printer manufacturers don’t include any software, but they make it possible to print from Macs with other programs. Others provide OS X-compatible software with their printers.
Several open-source programs are also available that work on Macs and PCs alike, including ReplicatorG and Cura LulzBot Edition.
One of the best ways to find out whether a 3D printer supports Macs is to check the manufacturer’s website for information about the provided software.
If it’s not listed, look for a link to the software download page or contact customer service for clarification.
Does Apple Have 3D CAD Software?
Apple has been slowly but surely making a name for itself in the 3D printing world – not only does it have its line of 3D printers, but its software is also the stuff that dreams are made of.
If you’re currently a Mac user or planning to switch from PC to Mac, here’s what you need to know about Apple’s 3D software options.
Apple’s main 3D product is a computer-aided design (CAD) application called PowerMill.
It’s not just a CAD design program; it also offers computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) capabilities, which means it can create tool paths for machining parts and assemblies.
It features advanced editing tools, and its powerful simulation abilities allow users to check designs before they go into production.
PowerMill comes with two other programs:
With PowerShape, you can create shapes and edit models using surface and solid modeling techniques.
PowerInspect lets you measure parts created by PowerMill or other CAD systems quickly and accurately.
Together with PowerMill, these three programs offer a complete CAM system that lets users create high-quality finished products from their designs.
Can You Do 3D Modeling on a Macbook?
Can you do 3D modeling on a MacBook? Well, yes and no. Yes, because there are certainly some great options out there for Mac users to design their creations, and no, because not all of them are as user-friendly as Apple addicts may be used to.
One of the most popular apps in the marketplace is SketchUp. It’s not specifically tailored for Macs, but it does well enough for basic models.
If you’re looking for something more complex, your best bet is Blender – a free and open-source program with very powerful features but requires some patience and determination to learn how to use.
Several paid apps work well with Macs, like Cheetah3D and Modo.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Cura Work on Mac?
Although Cura is not compatible with Mac OSX, it could be made to work on Mac OS X. The software is open-source, and many users figured out how to get it working on their machines.
The process depends on the version of OSX you’re running, so check out the instructions for your specific version (or one before yours, if you have a newer version).
Does Creality Slicer Work on Mac?
A creality slicer is a slicer software that is compatible with Mac. You can modify and edit your 3D models.
You can use this software to slice your 3D designs into layers and export the multiple files to G-Code, which directly gets sent to your 3D printer.
Which Rendering Software Works on Mac?
The best 3D printing software for Mac OS X is MeshMixer. It’s really good news if you’re a Mac user. It’s not just a 3D printer program but also has a huge set of mesh own tools.
There you have it, the best 3D printer software for Mac users, in a nutshell. It all depends on your budget, level of expertise, and desired features.
Some are free to use, some offer free trial versions, and some are standalone that allow you to print wirelessly. There are also several that come bundled with other software or hardware (often a 3D printer).
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