3D printers are getting more attention and gaining popularity among public these days. Now, there are dozens of companies selling 3D printers all around the world. With continue research and development, the price of 3D printers declined at a rapid pace and seems like they are on a roadmap to becoming general household items in near future.
This article covers a free 3D meshing software which you can use to edit and create 3D objects for 3D printing. This software allows you to design and preview a 3D object layer by layer which you can directly print to a G-Code-based 3D printer or save for later.
Also read: Free 3D Sculpting Software For Windows
Free 3D Meshing Software to Create Objects for 3D Printers:
MatterControl is a cross-platform open-source 3D meshing software available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. The Windows version also has a Touch Mode for touchscreen devices. In this software, you can create a 3D object from scratch or open an existing 3D object file (MCX) and slice it to view all the layers. It uses MatterSlice as the default slicing engine with two more third-party options; CuraEngine and Slic3r.
MatterControl has a neat and elegant interface with three panels at the top along with opened design projects. These three panels are:
- Store: To buy 3D material and get inspiration and how to guides.
- Library: A library of your shapes, projects, and folders.
- Hardware: Options for the 3D printers and printing materials.
Now, let’s go through the main highlights of this 3D meshing software.
MatterControl has a Library where you can add and manage all your 3D shape collections. It offers a set of primitive objects which are completely customizable. You can add these objects to the workspace and modify them as per your needs. The Library has a History folder where you can access all your previous shapes, designs, and projects along with print history.
The 3D workspace of this software has a little box at the top right corner with 6 sides. With this box, you can move the workspace around at any desired angle at any axis. Left to the workspace, it has a toolbar of shapes from where you can drag and drop shapes to the workspace and customize accordingly. And, right to the workspace, it lists a layer manager from where you can adjust layers and customize the properties of a selected layer/shape.
From the shape properties, you can adjust the color and dimension of a selected shape. You can also transform, rotate, scale, and mirror the shape and make it a new component as well. In this software, you can add up to 5 different material for 3D printing and choosing a material for each shape from that shape’s properties.
Here is a list of operation that you can perform in this software:
- Lay Flat
- Make Support
- Subtract and Replace
- Fit to Bound
- Linear, Radial & Advanced Array and more
Along with 3D meshing and designing, you can print a 3D object straight from this software. In the Hardware panel, you add a 3D printer and set it up for printing jobs. You can also add up to 5 printing materials here depending on the compatibility of your 3D printer.
Download MatterControl from here.
MatterControl is a decent software to create and modify 3D objects and print them to a 3D printer. This software is absolutely free and easy to use. You can use it to make custom 3D models for science projects, hobby, decoration, household use, etc.