Plasticity alternative to the blender: for artists and hobbyists with 3D printers


Complicated workflows and overloaded menus frustrate you in the process of printing your 3D object. Plasticity throws a lot of baggage overboard.

KI Midjourney Collage is there

(Image: KI Midjourney | Collage c’t)

April 3, 2024,



Reading time: 10 minutes

Those who own a 3D printer often delight those around them with small, more or less useful objects. Sites like, AND We supply templates for battery boxes, housings and figures as well as other dust collectors made of plastic and elastane. But: there are no ready-made print files for everything. Then it’s time to design it yourself.

With free TinkerCAD, many hobbyists learn and practice designing objects in three-dimensional space. Often you create a 2D sketch first, then pump (“extrude”) the painted surfaces into basic shapes and fit them together like puzzle pieces. After a bit of trial and error, the first special wall hook, absolutely unique in the world, is quickly ready.

But at some point you realize that you need more powerful design tools. For example, if you want to change the pattern of a mug so that it becomes larger without also increasing the wall thickness. This doesn’t work with TinkerCAD. When you zoom in, all dimensions grow equally, including wall thickness. However, such tasks can be performed using parametric programs. In SolidWorks (Download), Fusion360 (Download) as well as Blender (download) and FreeCAD (download), you can set individual parameters or define dependencies on other objects in the project. This means that the manipulation is limited to certain properties.

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