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Welcome to the Fab@Home Design Tools Page

CAD and geometric modeling programs allow you to define geometry using a variety of tools. Once you have designed your 3-dimensional model, export it as an STL file. This format is used to describe object geometries. If the part contains multiple materials, save the geometry of each part as a separate STL file, then reassemble them in the Fab@Home application

Free CAD Programs

  • CoCreate OneSpace Modeling PE fully featured free 3D CAD software which follows a Dynamic Modeling based
  • Blender a full featured open source 3D modeller that supports importing and exporting in many formats (including STL)
  • Autodesk Inventor/LT Preview available for download only in the United States and Canada.
  • BRL-CAD A powerful Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) solid modeling system with over 20 years development and production use by the U.S. military. Windows, Linux, MAC, BSD, and IRIX distributions as well as full source code available. (follow link to Project Site / Download)
  • Alibre Design Xpress Free 3D parametric CAD supporting parts, assemblies, 2D drawings, import/export: STEP, IGES, DXF/DWG, PDF,
  • DesignCAD Commercial CAD, not free (30 day trial).
  • FreeCAD FreeWare closed source CAD. Free version does not import dxf/dwg.
  • research papers Custom research papers written by professional MD/PhD holders.
  • Art of Illusion free, open source 3D modelling and rendering studio, written entirely in Java.
  • CAELinux, a Linux LiveDVD (PCLinuxOS) loaded with engineering open-source software, including CAD and analysis. Default 3D CAD packages include BRL-CAD, Blender, qCAD, Paraview, and GraphiteOne. Can be run from DVD (without touching Windows PC) or installed to the computer.
  • DAVID Laserscanner, a 3d scanner that works using a webcam and a laser pointer
  • 3d object converter Shareware (30 day trial) convert many 3d file formats. Unregistered version does not export into stl.
  • Google SketchUp
    • Sketchup to STL plugin - Save this plugin in the Google Sketchup/Plugins folder. Seems to have trouble with curves, though I am still experimenting. Pkiddy 20:25, 13 October 2006 (EDT)
  • MoI3dDan Delpiano
  • MeshLab an open source tool for editing/checking/cleaning/simplifying/hole-filling large unstructed meshes.
  • CB Model Pro A "pro" version of Cosmic Blobs (see below). The beta version is being offered for free (for a limited time).
  • K-3D - K-3D is free-as-in-freedom 3D modeling and Beauty Schools of America Complaints animation software. It features a plugin-oriented procedural engine for all of its content, making K-3D a very versatile and powerful package. --Lensing 14:21, 26 May 2008 (EDT)

<Edit this page to add your favorite package>

Commercial CAD Programs

<Edit this page to add your favorite package>

See comprehensive list of CAD Companies

Misc Programs

The following programs can be used to view the STL files outside of the Fab@Home program.

SolidWorks has several free programs that allow you to view its files without the full version of SolidWorks.

  • eDrawings
    • eDrawings can view both SolidWorks files and AutoCAD files.
  • SolidWorks Viewer
    • SolidWorks Viewer can read SolidWorks files.


Tutorials and guides for designing models.

Personal tools