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30 Apr 2024

SelfCAD Software: 9 Reasons Why You Should Use it

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There are many 3D modeling software programs available, but the majority either have a steep learning curve or are expensive. Finding the one that balances ease of use and affordability is challenging. SelfCAD is one such tool that solves this issue. Unlike its counterparts, it has a user-friendly interface that allows even beginners to get started easily. When you launch the software and navigate through the interface, you will realize that all menus and tools are well arranged, and you can spot them easily and they are grouped based on their uses and this makes learning easier. Each tool also has a tooltip option, which is a short video showing how it works. You can find it in the bottom left section of the interface after you have selected the tool.

It offers three pricing plans, including a free version with limited features that you can use to test the program before subscribing to one of its plans. There is also a cloud-based version of the software that doesn’t require high-end memory or computer hardware to access it. You only need an internet connection to launch the software, and you will be ready to start creating your files. There is also a downloadable version that you can install on your computer and it is synchronized with the online version.

Below, we break down the key features of SelfCAD.

1. 3D Modeling and Modification Tools

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It comes with various 3D design tools to cater to a wide range of needs. Whether you are working on simple geometric shapes, complex designs, or organic sculptural forms, SelfCAD has all the necessary tools to bring your ideas to life. One of the 3D modeling tools of the software is the 3D shapes, such as cubes, spheres, cylinders, and many others, that you can modify to create your intended file.

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In addition to basic 3D shapes, there are generators where you can find shapes, spirals, gears, and even text options to create your 3D designs. The software comes with various deformation tools that any traditional CAD modeling software has, like skew, taper, bend, and inflate, as well as modification tools like extrusion, add thickness, inset, resolution, cut with profile, Chamfer, and others. There are also boolean operations tools for combining or subtracting shapes as well as advanced selection tools that you can use to select vertices, edges, and faces before modifying them.

These tools allow you to fine-tune and refine your designs at every stage of the design process, whether you want to make minor adjustments or modify entire sections of your file.

2. Freehand Drawing and Sketching

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The software also comes with freehand drawing and sketching tools that you can use to design intuitively from scratch. You can draw or sketch your ideas creatively and later turn the sketches or drawings into 3D models with ease. Unlike parametric modeling, which requires precise measurements and predefined parameters in all the stages of design, with the drawing and sketching tools, you might also require measurements, but it’s not a must. This encourages you to experiment and innovate, helping you push the boundaries on what’s possible and even find new design solutions

In addition to that, you can also import 2D drawings using the reference image tool to the software and then use these tools to trace around it and later turn them into a 3D model.

3. 3D Printing Tools

SelfCAD comes with all the necessary tools for creating your 3D models and even preparing them for 3D printing. One of the tools for 3D printing in SelfCAD is the magic fix, which addresses the issue of non-manifold errors in your designs and ensures that your files don’t have holes, overlapping faces, or even disconnected surfaces that can cause issues during 3D printing. The magic fix tool automatically identifies and repairs these errors, as shown in the video below.

SelfCAD also includes an in-built online slicer that is compatible with most FDM 3D printers and has all the features of a standard 3D slicer like Cura. The video below shows how you can slice your STL files in SelfCAD.

If your designs require supports, you can also add them in SelfCAD.

4. 3D Sculpting Tools

In addition to its CAD modeling capabilities, SelfCAD also excels in sculpting tools useful for organic and freeform design. The sculpting brushes, you can manipulate designs in a virtual clay-like manner and this flexibility enables you to sculpt intricate details and even refine shapes with ease. You can do this by pushing, pulling, smoothing, and it’s a great approach when designing characters and artistic sculptures.

5. Image to 3D Model Feature

With this feature, you can turn images into 3D models with just a few simple steps. Once you select the tool, you will be redirected to your computer, where you will locate the image and import it into the software. Once you import it, you will then see the settings appearing, which you can adjust until you perfect 3D model from the image.

6. 3D Rendering Engine

SelfCAD also comes with powerful 3D rendering software that you can use to bring your designs to life with stunning photorealism. You download it and then start rendering. You can add textures, simulate the behavior of light and materials, and generate images resembling real-world scenes. You can also do UV mapping to accurately project textures onto the model's surface to ensure that the textures align correctly and maintain proper scale and proportions.

7. Support for Various 3D File Formats

SelfCAD also supports most of the common 3D file formats. You can download files from 3D model repositories like Thingiverse and then modify them in SelfCAD using the modification and deformation tools of the software. For example, you can import an STL file and simplify it.

In addition to support for 3D file formats, you can also import 3D scans and clean them in SelfCAD and prepare them for 3D printing.

You can check out the 3D scanning for 3D printing to learn how to edit 3D scans in SelfCAD.

8. Resources for Learning

The software comes with many resources to help users learn the software. One of the resources are the interactive tutorials.

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If you don’t like learning by watching videos or reading manuals, you can use interactive tutorials as they show how the various tools of SelfCAD work by actually designing 3D models. You can choose the tutorials based on your level, that is, whether beginner, intermediate, or advanced. You can also choose them based on the tools used in designing the 3D model or by tags. If you would like to show someone something, you can also record your own interactive tutorials and then share the link with them easily.

There is also SelfCAD Academy, which is great for those who like to learn by following step-by-step courses. You will learn the basics of 3D modeling, how to navigate a 3D workspace, how to convert 2D images to 3D, how to 3D sculpt 3D models, and even how to prepare designs for 3D printing. If you would like to learn using videos, there are various YouTube videos that you can use. Examples include the 3D modeling tutorials for beginners and the 3D modeling 101 series playlist.

9. Affordability

What truly sets this software apart from other professional programs is its affordability. While some professional 3D modeling software requires you to pay a lot to use the software and some also require you to pay for plugins and other hidden charges, SelfCAD is cheaper, and it comes with a range of pricing plans, and there is a free version that you can use to test it before purchasing. The premium version costs $14.99/m or $139.99/yr.


Regardless of your experience in 3D modeling or the kind of design you would like to create, SelfCAD can help you bring your ideas to life. Whether you are a beginner who is just starting in 3D modeling or a seasoned professional who would like to create complex 3D models, SelfCAD has all the necessary tools you would like to bring your ideas to life. You can sign up for the free version and test it and see if it’s the best tool for creating your designs.