Looking for a FREE 3d cad design software?

Many people starting out in 3d CAD design often load up Tinkercad because its a FREE 3d modeling software. You can download Tinkercad here: https://www.tinkercad.com/

Have you used Tinkercad?

What is your overall experience of this FREE 3d CAD design software?

I’ve never touched a CAD program before i got a 3D printer but first dipped my toe into it with TinkerCAD. Some of my earliest designs or remixes were in TinkerCAD and I love the way it works. It really just made sense and i wished some of the features in it were in other programs.

I eventually started using Fusion 360, also made by Autodesk, and loving this now too. It’s amazing how these programs can let anyone make anything even without any prior experience in CAD.

Would highly recommend anyone giving it a try if you have ideas you just want to make into 3D models.


Fusion 360 is great, even for beginners like me. It has all the features needed for 3d printing design in the free hobby version. There are lots of great tutorials to get started as well. I’ve just started the Learn Fusion 360 Or Die Trying series: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=y5tp4QXciK4
I have made several toys for the kids and some functional household parts too. Couldn’t believe how easy it was to make something like a screw and nut.

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I second fusion 360, their free tier is hard to beat. There are a lot of tutorial videos on YouTube that’ll help you get started.

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Freecad; Open source, everything you could possibly want at a price that will never change $0.00



Highschool here in Regina use Fusion 360, so my sons knew it before they started using it there.

I’m using FreeCAD for most of my designs.


I use Sketchup not quite as powerful in comparison to Fusion360 but it works for my brain.

How steep a learning curve would you say fusion 3d is?
Really liking Tinkercad just wish it had a few more easy features like rounding edges.

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Got my printer just a short while ago and decided I needed a holder for an SD card extension. I fired up TinkerCAD and found it very easy to use and intuitive. After much fiddling with my design (no fault of tinkercad) I made my first custom designed print and it actually worked! I now have the holder mounted to my 3D printer using 3D printed mounts and metal screws.

Not horrible, but it does have company sized features, so it can be daunting. Some excellent YouTube tutorials, https://youtube.com/c/ProductDesignOnline, https://youtube.com/user/cadcamstuff, have helped me transition.

I tried Fusion360 on my PC but it is terribly slow. Does it require better video card? I have 32GB RAM so it is not the memory.

I remember doing a bit of research on Fusion 360 performance, it appears from the forum posts that Fusion 360 cares more about CPU performance since it is a single threaded application as opposed to GPU performance. Although they did mention that was under the assumption the GPU wasn’t bottlenecking in the first place. (Some of them said they were running it fine off of Intel Integrated so maybe it’s your processor?)

I like Tinkercad, it’s been great to play around with to learn some basics of creating things in 3D. But personally, I prefer Microsoft’s free 3D Builder app. I just find it easier navigate on my laptop (without a mouse), and I also find it’s easier to split models up using 3D Builder than it is in Tinkercad, which I do a lot of.

That said Tinkercad is great and I know I have much so more to learn about it and all its features. To anyone that has access to LinkedIn Learning (which is available for free to current students of most post-secondary institutions), there is a two hour course called Learning Tinkercad by Kacie Hultgren which seems like it really goes into all the ins and outs of what Tinkercad has to offer. I’ve only watched the introduction to the course so far but already I’m amazed at what can be accomplished with Tinkercad - definitely more than the simple stuff I’ve done with it so far lol! I’m probably going to sit down and watch the rest of the course this weekend.

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So is fusion 360 free? Or is it a one year trial? It seems to say free for non commercial use but it appears to be a one year trial

If you promise to not make money with it you can get a free account, Fusion 360 Plans & Pricing | Fusion 360 | Autodesk, then follow the things to click on. They have student accounts too, or at east they did, there were a few changes.

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My go to is FreeCad
Also use qcad for 2D

Last night I stumbled across MatterControl, but I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet.

I use Sketchup and quite like it, It may not be fancy but it works for my brain!

Looks like its only free for a year now. Guess you have to put a new email every year