How to Design in the Computer for 3D Printing
Additive manufacturing allows the creation of complex internal structures rather than simple, solid-block components — an improvement over traditional CAD tools which cannot always create models to rival the true capabilities of 3D printers. New tools are becoming available in specific arenas, as in the case of medical implants that must be customized to fit an individual’s bone structure while also allowing complex lattices and other forms of fabricated non-solid models.
Within Medical Software
Beyond high-end and special-purpose CAD software that require extensive training and practice to use properly, much more user-friendly and available alternatives have been recently developed for home users. Options include the SketchUp package originally developed by Google, Blender, and a host of other applications that can be obtained for little or no cost.
Public school teachers in the SOLID Learning program often use the browser-based TinkerCAD program because it is free, does not require a client installation on their computers, and has a simple, easy-to-understand user interface.