Say goodbye to the days when 3D printing could only be done with high-tech computer software and programs. Those days are long gone. All thanks to 3D mobile apps, there’s no need to worry when you have 3D projects lined up.
In the last few years, there’s an increasing popular demand with 3D printing. and developers have seized the opportunity to create amazing Android apps that make printing your 3D models a breeze. We’ve compiled a list of the top 7 best 3D printing apps for smartphones.
It might be difficult to determine which 3D printer software to download on your phone or tablet depending on your hardware and what you want to get out of your 3D printer, so here we’ll look at some of the best-rated applications for the most major operating systems, how they operate, and what their best use is.
Table of Contents:
- What is 3D Printing?
- what is a 3D Printing App?
- Top 7 3D Printing Apps
- Get, Set, and Print
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is 3D Printing?
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is the technique for creating three-dimensional solid items from a computer file. Simply put, additive manufacturing technologies are used to create 3D printed objects.
An object is built in an additive technique by laying down successive layers of material until the object is complete. Each of these layers can be viewed as a cross-section of the item that has been lightly cut.
Subtractive manufacturing, which involves cutting or hollowing out a piece of metal or plastic with a milling machine, is the polar opposite of 3D printing. When compared to traditional production methods, 3D printing allows you to create complicated shapes with less material.
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What is a 3D Printing App?
3D printing apps are the first or third-party program that allows you to design, download, change, and monitor 3D printing projects on your smartphone or tablet.
Simply said, 3D printing apps are software that connects to your 3D printer and allows you to change settings, halt and restart projects, and even monitor the condition of the 3D printer while it is printing.
Not only do 3D printing apps take care of the condition of your printer but they also allow you to realize your designs. These 3D apps also allow you to make your designs in the app itself and then straight print them.
While the majority of 3D printing apps are meant to make everyday and individual 3D printer use easier, some are geared for experts or industrial use, allowing for more difficult or professional-quality designs and prints.
Top 7 Best 3D Printing Apps
If you’re new to the 3D printing business, then I suggest you try out the Qlone 3D printing app. This app is a beginner-friendly 3D printing app that includes in-app user manuals that walk you through all of the functions, from initial setup to file exportation.
One thing that makes Qlone stand out from the rest of its competitors in the market is its offering of the printable ‘mat’ which works as a QR code. Basically, this ‘mat’ tells your smartphone’s camera where to focus.
The scanner can disregard anything outside of a defined space using this mat, lowering the chance of anomalies or unwanted background form scans.
Depending on your device, Qlone can also scan at 4K resolution, making it suitable for individuals who want to scan models for more complex and intricate 3D printers.
- By deleting undesired parts and smoothing the surface, you can improve the model’s quality.
- By pressing or tugging a certain location and adjusting the transition, you can improve or change the shape of your object.
- Enhance the mesh details or scale your model for 3D printing, and reduce the mesh for a smaller file size export.
Makerbot’s Thingiverse is a community for discovering, making, and sharing 3D printable objects. Thingiverse is the world’s largest 3D printing community, with hundreds of thousands of 3D models available to print directly from your Android device.
In this community, users can share the 3D models they’ve developed. Other users can alter the current 3D models to create their own unique versions. You can like products, save them to your collections, and share them easily via social media or email.
You can also go through collections and provide comments on the designs you like. Thingiverse promotes these kinds of community activities, making it one of the top apps for 3D model enthusiasts.
- It’s incredibly easy to share images of your prints with the community because photos can be published to Thingiverse from the app.
- Your phone can be used to update your profile and cover photos.
Printing 3D models can sometimes be a time-consuming process. Especially if you have no prior technical experience.
To solve all your 3D printing issues here comes AstroPrint which is one of the best 3D printing apps. To begin, go to 3D designs on a web browser, search for a design, download it, slice that design, and then upload the GCODE to a 3D Printer to begin printing.
All of this is done in a flash using the AstroPrint app. It operates by slicing a user’s submitted STL file, adding support, and saving the g-code to the user’s online account.
The user may then use their 3D printer to access, download, change, and print their models wirelessly. AstroPrint is a cloud-based platform, so all of your saved designs are accessible from your phone, tablet, and computer.
- Start and stop the printing process easily
- Examine your print bed visually
- Receive information regarding the status of your print jobs.
- Print from Thingiverse or other online repositories.
- To slice and print, utilize the AstroPrint Cloud Slicer which uses the CURA Engine
Printoid is one of the most advanced 3D printing apps and printer management solutions available. It’s compatible with OctoPrint.
OctoPrint is a 3D printing management system that runs on a set-top box like the Raspberry Pi. When you connect it to a standard 3D printer, it gives you network access and control, as well as the ability to manage print files.
Printoid replaces the standard user interface with a significantly more capable one. The app offers two plans: Pro and Premium. There are extra capabilities in both versions, including the ability to control the 3D printer, such as loading files, initiating and pausing prints, receiving notifications when prints are complete, and so on.
- A 2D visualizer for previously sliced GCODE files, a 3D visualizer for both GCODE and STL files, and unlimited print profiles for numerous printers and Octoprint servers are included in the Pro edition.
- The Premium version includes features such as keyboard functionality for devices with attached keyboards, print progress and control widgets, and more.
- It also enables corporate customization, such as the addition of logos and other elements.
eDrawings is a CAD viewer for viewing native eDrawings files as well as assemblies and drawings. It’s an email-based communication tool that makes it a lot easier for users to share product design information.
The free version allows you to open 3D (EASM, EPRT, SLDASM, SLDPRT) and 2D (EDRW, SLDDRW) files from any source, including email attachments and cloud storage services. Measure your designs, see cross-sections of your models in XY, YZ, or ZX directions, and make markups that are all included in the Pro version.
Users can load and exchange files via email with eDrawings, allowing them to interact more effectively with everyone engaged in product development. This includes folks who aren’t accustomed to using CAD software to interpret and comprehend 2D and 3D drawings.
- Zoom, pan and rotate your 2D or 3D CAD data using multi-touch
- Animate 3D standard views
- Browse your 2D drawing sheets
- View your designs in full screen and double tap to fit them on the screen
- Sample files are also included
OctoRemote is another OctoPrint remote control application. It’s a native program, considered one of the best 3D printing apps just like Printoid, that puts an intuitive OctoPrint interface on your phone or tablet.
You can use OctoRemote to control and monitor numerous 3D printers via OctoPrint servers, upload and download data, and control and monitor your 3D printer’s hot end and bed temperature.
You may also use the camera viewer to keep an eye on the printer, change the print head, operate the extruder, and add custom controls using inputs and sliders. It may not have as many functions as Printoid, but if you have OctoPrint, it is still a very handy program.
- OctoPrint servers allow you to keep track of and control many 3D printers
- Upload and download files
- Monitor and regulate the temperatures of the hotend, bed, and chamber
- Check out the live webcam feed
7. SketchUp Viewer
Thousands of 3D models are stored in this application and that is why it is considered as one of the best 3D printing apps. In the 3D project warehouse, you may also develop and share your own creations. You can open or download models directly from 3D Warehouse, Trimble Connect, and Dropbox using SketchUp Viewer.
You can also use Android’s ‘Open With’ option to open models, such as when opening a document. Email attachments with SKP files.
The software also makes it simple to open models from Google Drive and other file storage apps thanks to Android’s Storage Access Framework. Moreover, you may even use Augmented Reality to view your 3D creations.
The program contains a Select tool and an Entity Info window where you may access information about edge lengths, face area, solid volume, and component and group information.
- For manufacturing and architectural drawings, you can switch between perspective and orthographic cameras.
- For circling, panning, and zooming, you can use multi-touch gestures.
- Control the visibility of elements of your model by turning layers on or off.
Get, Set, and Print
These applications are redefining consumer and common people’s mindsets as 3D printing becomes more common and mainstream. 3D printers are becoming more affordable, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to print your own 3D printed design right now.
Hopefully, the listed best 3D printing apps for Android will help you have a hassle-free and fun 3D printing experience!
If we have missed any of your favorite 3D printing apps or if you want us to discuss anything interesting, tell us in the comment section below.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it possible to 3D print from your phone?
You may work on your 3D printing projects from anywhere. There are 3D printing apps for Android and iOS as well as desktops and laptops, with some of them not even requiring a download. You may browse files on the move, design when you need to, convert photographs from 2D to 3D files, and more with a 3D printer app.
2. Is it possible for me to 3D print myself?
To 3D scan yourself, utilize photogrammetry, which is capturing multiple photos using a phone or regular camera, then sending them to 3D reconstruction software, such as Meshroom. After that, you can use the Blender program to fix up the model’s flaws before 3D printing it.
3. Is CAD required for 3D printing?
CAD is a necessary part of 3D printing. A 3D printer will not be able to manufacture a prototype or product without the instructions provided by a CAD file. The CAD file instructs the 3D printer on how much material to deposit and where it should be placed.
4. Is 3D printing difficult?
3D printing is difficult, particularly for beginners. To master it, you’ll need creativity, arithmetic, and computer-aided design (CAD) skills. 3D printing becomes easier provided you have the requisite hardware and software, modeling abilities, and a grasp of how this technology works.
5. Is SketchUp free worth it?
Sketchup free isn’t the simplest design program to learn, but it’s a strong 3D modeling tool with a lot of cool features. SketchUp Free is a free 3D design program that we consider to be one of the greatest house design programs available.