In most cases, the world over, people or machines first model objects in the abstract before creating the physical product. CAD (Computer Aided Design) comes in handy in this computer age.
Tinkercad is a free online 3D printing and design tool ideal for teachers, hobbyists, designers, kids, and people from all walks of life. It will help you make prototypes, toys, Minecraft models, jewelry, home decor, and more.
The renowned CAD software is easy to use and beginner-friendly. Tinkercad is web-based, and you can always work on your project online in piecemeal from wherever you are.
However, using Tinkercad comes with some downsides. Firstly, Tinkercad is online-based, meaning you can’t work on your designs offline.
Tinkercad is not ideal for complex design modeling; for instance, it doesn’t have the tools for creating 2D, revolving, or extruding designs. Besides, it is only suitable for beginners with basic designs.
Therefore, if you want a printing and design tool that works offline and can handle more complex tasks, you should explore Tinkercad alternatives. Here are some outstanding options on the market you will like.
Best Tinkercad Alternatives
AutoCAD is a leading CAD software for precise 3D and 2D drafting, modeling, and design with surfaces, documentation features, solids, mesh objects, and more. Its main strength is the ability to automate tasks like drawing, creating tables, adding objects, and counting.
AutoCAD has seven toolsets for plant design, electrical design, mechanical design, architectural drawings, adding scanned images, 3D mapping, and raster image conversion. I couldn’t find these features on Tinkercad.
Most architectural and structural engineers prefer AutoCAD to other CAD programs since it effectively and accurately makes high-quality designs and models quickly.
AutoCAD allows you to create, annotate and edit drawings via mobile, web, and desktop devices. This allows for versatility and convenience when working on your projects.
You can do much more with AutoCAD empowering your teams with its collaboration, automation, and machine learning modules in a customized workspace that maximizes productivity with different APIs and apps.
The latest AutoCAD updates let you gather drawing ideas fast. You can also export or exchange your work between Autodesk products.
An AutoCAD subscription will cost you $5,595 for three years, $1,865 annually, and $235 monthly.
SelfCAD is an improvement of Tinkercad since it has more technical and organic modeling tools. For instance, developing complex shapes is easy with the SelfCAD sculpting tool that allows you to pull, twist and bend shapes.
SelfCAD has very friendly and complete modeling tools that can fillet, taper, chamfer, loft, and revolve. You can make screws, gears, nuts, and many other possible pieces in a move.
It is a desktop application, meaning you can continue working offline even when your internet disconnects.
This platform is ideal for professional modelers and comes compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems. You can easily download and install the one made for your laptop.
SelfCAD contains an inbuilt slicer that allows you to slice 3D models for easy printing; hence you can refine, build, and slice centrally for an enhanced workflow.
Besides, SelfCAD is easy to learn and use, with several brushes that can alter shapes in just one click.
In terms of cost, SelfCAD is free for the first project only but costs $14.99 a month or $599 for a lifetime license.
SketchUp is easier to use than Tinkercad once you acquaint yourself with the workflow; begin with some 2D profile or shape, then create a shape using the pull/push tool.
SketchUp gives you control over shapes by letting you create numerous models so long as you’re ready and willing to learn.
SketchUp allows you to make complex shapes easily; plus, you can export or import STL files ready for printing in 3D. This simplifies your work.
You can use the shape or the line/draw tool to define profiles for your 3D models. This also helps you add more details to such profiles. The application shows you all properties and dimensions of your models, giving you more room for creativity, customization, and high-quality, precise models.
The support team at SketchUp does a brilliant job. You can link with them via their social media platforms or email. For tutorials, visit the help center page on their website.
In terms of cost, SketchUp charges $119 for the Shop plan, while for Professional and Academic plans, you will pay $225.
Explore the best free SketchUp alternatives in this post.
4. 3D Slash
3D Slash presents modeling as an abstract exercise, like chiseling a stone block. You use a hammer to remove a block at a time and a trowel to add the block.
3D Splash has several exciting functions you won’t find on Tinkercad. For instance, imagine you projecting pictures on your work surface as a stencil to create a model of text, logos, or any other object in real life.
This program is basic and easy to use despite its unique approach to modeling that can change your thinking.
In 3D Slash, the blocks represent pixels. The more blocks, the higher the resolution. So you need to work as many blocks as possible to increase the resolution of your model; otherwise, a few blocks will present a blocky image that might not depict your model.
Another reason 3D Slash is a good alternative is that it has both web and desktop versions in sync. So the changes you make when online on the web will be reflected when you decide to work online and vice versa.
The desktop version is more powerful and contains more tools rarely found in web-only applications.
The company has an active support team that will always attend to your queries, plus their website has a section for tutorials.
3D Slash has a free version limited to basic functionalities. However, if you want to do more complex work limitlessly, you can buy the school, premium, or professional versions at $12, $2, and $24, respectively. You will get wider color varieties, heightened resolution modeling, collaboration extras, and many more.
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As a Tinkercad alternative, LibreCAD is a free 2D CAD software for Linux, Apple, and Windows based on Qt, a leading multiplatform UI and application development framework.
It is interoperable across Windows, MacOS, and Linux operating systems and handles concepts comparable to AutoCAD, thus making it easier to use for people who already have experience using AutoCAD.
Like other beginner-preferred alternatives, LibreCAD can introduce you to 3D modeling since it is open-source, free, and operates across multiple platforms.
The application has isometric views with a simple user interface that will make your modeling experience fast and easy.
LibreCAD is scalable and can help you avoid many complicated tasks in designing a 3D object. For instance, it is possible to import and extrude LibreCAD DXF in Fusion 360.
Leopoly is a free web-based CAD platform that is easy to download and use and has a YouTube channel flooded with tutorials that will teach you what to do at every step of the modeling process.
In Leopoly, form-shifting, block modeling, and sculpting are some of the methods used in operation, features that TinkerCAD doesn’t have.
Leopoly has a block editor with a color wheel and blocks only. You’ll understand the functionality of the sculpting tool the moment you look at it so you can learn modeling on your own.
Leopoly has VR and 3D designs that are fully customizable, making them among industry leaders in digital landscapes suitable for various projects.
Their intuitive tool makes 3D modeling easy for everyone, whether novice, corporate, or professional.
With Leopoly, you can automate, simplify and digitize the production of implants, wearables, and healthcare products on a large scale utilizing 3D printing and scanning.
Leopoly’s Shapelab uses polygon mesh sculpting technology that instantly empowers you to become a 3D model guru with tools that can make high-quality usable models professionally.
Blender is a CAD program often used in modeling scenarios that require organic low-detail activities. The application offers a lot of features that people often overlook.
Blender is a free public modeling program for macOS, Windows, and Linux systems, making it easy to continue your work without an internet connection. Blender can work with several polygons since it’s desktop-based.
If you need to make simple structural designs that you don’t need to 3D print, Blender will serve you right. It has a comprehensive collection of tools to make transforming, editing, and creating your models a fun experience.
Blender has an object tracker with a production-ready camera, an add-on that Tinkercad doesn’t have. You can import and track footage while masking to see live camera movements in 3D. This helps you eliminate the urge to click in and out of applications.
Blender is big in 3D and 2D animations, making it the most preferred in art, video games, and commercials. Besides, it is easy to learn and create a lot of artwork.
Blender tops the list of free CAD programs. It has most of the features present in paid software at no cost. Plus, you can install it on any computer.
There are several tutorials on YouTube on how to use Blender, and the company has an official channel on the same platform.
Creo’s CAD products support PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) with 3D and 2D design kits (Creo Direct and Creo Elements).
Creo has several modules, including Creo Augmented Reality, Creo Sketch, Creo Simulate, Creo View, Creo Illustrate, Creo Schematics, and more. These modules are designed to meet all your distinct modeling needs in product development. Tinkercad doesn’t have these functionalities.
Creo is straightforward, free, and easy to use, with a user-friendly interface ideal for 3D modeling, parts, engineering CAD, assemblies, and drawing.
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Meshmixer is ideal for 3D printing tasks. However, the triangular mesh manipulation will let you make 3D models within the program.
Ideally, in most CAD programs, including Tinkercad, you can model in 3D, but Meshmixer gives you a direct interface to the 3D printer to the extent that you can review pending prints.
When preparing a 3D print with Meshmixer, you can utilize hollowing, interior tubes, channels, and support structures.
Being a free software for the Windows operating system, Meshmixer can automatically handle common issues associated with 3D printing, such as optimizing repair and aligning surfaces and print beds.
Initially supported by Autodesk, you can still contact the latter when you need help. Also, numerous training manuals and videos can help you get around your challenges.
10. Paint 3D
Paint 3D is free software that comes pre-installed with the Windows operating system. As the name suggests, Paint 3D allows you to paint in three dimensions. It came as an improvement of the initial Microsoft Paint.
Paint 3D reimagines Classic Paint and introduces a new feel and look with an array of new tools and brushes. You can create 3D models and 2D masterpieces and work with them from any angle.
Paint 3D allows you to make cut-outs from photos you like, then create stickers to cover your models, courtesy of the Magic Select tool.
This software gives you the power to set the scene. Besides, you can try various textures like soft grass and hardwood while choosing lighting and filter options to showcase your art best.
Another exciting experience with Paint 3D is copying and pasting 3D models into Office applications like PowerPoint, Word, and the Mixer Reality Viewer application.
With the new Tube brush, you can create volumes of short dollops and long ribbons, choosing from stars, triangles, circles, and more.
You can create basic 3D shapes like spheres and cubes, then cast them into your object in a few easy steps. With this Tinkercad alternative, you can export STL files and later 3D-print from your local computer.
Microsoft provides plenty of learning and support materials for Paint 3D, including community forums, blogs, and video tutorials. You can try it right away from your Windows computer.
Vectary is a 3D CAD modeling software with a unique user interface comprising boxes and arrows surrounding a highlighted object.
The program is easy to use upon understanding how the boxes and arrows work. You can access Vectary online via your web browser.
The power of Vectary is its ability to allow you access to several capabilities and functionalities to achieve photorealism. The concept of Vectary arises from the fact that it can create photorealistic photos.
If you want to view your model, either do an HTML page or download it. Vectary has a free version to learn and start doing your models without worrying about the cost.
This Tinkercad alternative makes creating 3D visuals intuitive and easy. The webGL real-time renderer delivers visual feedback instantly.
Since it is online, engaging and participating with your friends or colleagues is easy by creating a link to your website, presentation, or online tool.
Further, Vectary allows you to have unique 3D experiences with floating UIs, animations, and no-code interactions. It makes it easy for you to understand complex ideas. You can also teach your audiences, making them understand, participate, and engage in 3D modeling.
The program has practical tools to fine-tune designs, whether created with the modeling tools available on the online editor, imported from external sources, or developed from ready-made templates from the 3D library.
The Vectary team is active online on their social media handles and can easily offer support when stuck. They also have many videos on their YouTube channel that fit beginners and professionals. You can also visit the blog page on their website for more insights.
Apart from their free package, they charge $15 for the pro version and offer customized enterprise packages. The monthly costs are billed annually.
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Magicavoxel is a program that artists use to quickly make fantastic voxel art with a standard pool of 3D modeling features. The program is an eight-bit lightweight voxel editor for art and an interactive path renderer.
The program is file-based, whereas Tinkercad is web-based. It is easy to install and run, simple to use, and does not require much of your computer’s resources.
Magicavoxel uses cubes to create 3D models, just like 3D Slash as a voxel-based model maker. However, you will notice that Magicavoxel is ideal for professional designs since it is more graphical.
The program has three major commands: paint, attach, and erase. You attach boxes to your model and then modify them using other commands. You may also brush modes like face, voxel, center, line, and box to perfect your model further.
If you are looking for a program to help you understand and create 3D models, then you can try Magicavoxel.
13. Rhinoceros 3D
Rhinoceros 3D can develop, edit, document, analyze, translate, and animate Nurbs curves, solids and surfaces, point clouds, subdivision geometry, and polygon meshes. So far, several 3D specialty products have been crafted using Rhinoceros 3D.
The platform has no imaginable limits on degree, complexity, or size. Any existent limit might be off your computer hardware. However, you can install it on your computer since no unique hardware component is required.
Rhinoceros 3D has sophisticated tools better than other 3D CAD programs costing up to fifty times more! You can model any shape that crosses your mind.
The program emphasizes the accuracy required to model anything from jewelry to an airplane. It is compatible with all kinds of designs, including drafting, analysis, animation, CAM, illustration, or rendering software.
Rhinoceros 3D is file-based. It works with 64-bit systems compatible with graphic co-processors, making it easy to work with large point clouds and increase 3D scanning speeds. I couldn’t identify this capability in Tinkercad.
Rhinoceros 3D is easy to learn and simple to use since it allows you to focus on creating your 3D model without interruptions or challenges caused by the program. Most 3D CAD programs freeze when executing huge designs.
Rhinoceros 3D is an excellent product design, architecture, and 3D printing software. This software is available with licenses of $995 for new purchases and $595 for upgraded versions. It also has a free 90-day trial.
The licenses are permanent and there are no maintenance fees.
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Onshape CAD is cloud-based and easily integrates CAD, analytics, and data management. The program focuses on reducing time to improve and market innovation.
Onshape allows for remote access for engineers and designers worldwide connected to the internet through any device, be it a mobile phone, computer, or tablet.
The program’s agile design approach allows you to build product designs faster and run hardware product sprints seamlessly, giving it an edge over Tinkercad. Plus, designers can collaborate in real-time on projects from wherever they are and join heads to deliver high-quality designs.
Onshape offers unmatched stability, speed, and reliability, thus eliminating data loss and crashes typical of computer-based CAD programs. So don’t worry about data safety and the predictability of your project.
The customer support team at Onshape is impressive. You can register your support ticket from their portal on the user interface, and their staff will diagnose and resolve your issue quickly, usually within a day.
Onshape costs $1,500 for the standard plan and $2,500 for professional plan. The enterprise product is bespoke and highly customizable.
15. Solid Edge
Solid Edge gives you flexible design tools that help you edit design elements without disarranging the whole craft so you can work on specific tenets of your model design.
Solid Edge’s synchronous technology and parametric feature make it one of the top alternatives to Tinkercad in CAD modeling. It is a solid modeling software usually best for modeling compact objects.
The program is made to run on the Windows operating system to give you a 2D orthographic visualization option admired by mechanical designers. Solid Edge is known for its ability to handle sophisticated 3D CAD models professionally with profound results.
Solid Edge is packaged as a dynamic enterprise product development program that has a flexible licensing plan billed monthly. The basic package will cost you $83, while you will pay $200 for the complete package. Their advanced package costs $251, while the ultimate package costs $361.
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Tinkercad is a CAD software for beginners with many alternatives offering better experiences and actions. You can learn more sophisticated alternatives that will help you do the task in good time. For this list, select the alternative that fits you.
However, from my in-depth analysis of the 15 Tinkercad alternatives, AutoCAD is the best. The aspect of automation and seamless collaboration makes 3D modeling and printing effortless. Besides, you can perform numerous tasks at once!