The 3D Printing .STL War

3D printing gets a lot of press and that’s because the things you can make with a 3D printer can be remarkable. 3D printed bones, ears, corneas, pizzas, houses, space stations, solar panels, planes, cars, jewellery, tech accessories, cats its almost limitless what can be printed but we aren’t actually creating them on the 3D printer we are creating them on 3D modeling software.

3D models and STL files

3D models and STL files

Behind the limelight of the 3D printer there is a rapidly increasing list of 3D modeling software companies all wanting a piece of the STL export world. There is literally an abundance of 3D modeling software out there, you are spoiled for choice. You have Blender a super powerful free 3D modeling and animation download for Windows and Mac; Grasshopper a graphical algorithm design plugin for the paid for Rhinoceros 3D as well as a host of powerful 3D apps such as 123DScuplt+ and Tinkercad, the choice is incredibly.

Of course in the world of the Oculus Rift its only a matter of time before we see totally fluid fully functional AR 3D modeling which is very exciting for anyone who feels detached from the object while using a mouse. For a glimpse of what’s to come have a look a this Sketchup plugin by AR-media.

With paid for software competing with free software who is going to win the STL export war? Or is the 3D modeling industry simply going to be divided with free touch screen graphical modeling for hobbyists and paid for software for engineers and designers?