5 Must Have Hardware for 3D Printing with CAD Software

3D printing forms parts in layers from CAD (computer-aided-design) data. 3D printing uses files that come from CAD software after which the files are exported and transformed into triangulated vertices and surfaces. The exported file is in STL (standard tessellation language) format. Slicing of the STL file then happens into hundreds or thousands of 2-D layers and the 3D printer synchronizes the 2-D layers to form a 3-dimensional object. Thinner layers indicate a finer resolution compared to thicker layers.


3D printing has revolutionized the manufacturing industry by offering manufacturers lower costs, design freedom and minimum lead time. There are multiple hardware components involved in 3D printing with CAD software and some are a must have like the CAD mouse. Here are 5 must-have hardware for 3D printing with CAD software:

Graphics Card

If you have a computer that has a fast processing speed, you do not need to stop there. You need a fast graphics card as well in order to ensure that your CAD system runs fast. Graphic cards communicate with your CAD system in a language known as OpenGL so you should ensure they are running at optimal speed.

CPU (central processing unit) processor

If you are doing 3D printing using CAD software, you need the best processor available. You should get the fastest GHz processor that you can easily afford. They use a multi-core processor to render or solve. Vendors of CAD use multiple cores and CAD systems are developed with multiple core architecture.

RAM (random access memory)

You can purchase RAM at very affordable prices hence there is no excuse for not having this one. The best 3D printing with CAD software requires a large RAM space hence you need to buy it in large quantity. RAM space of about 16GB (gigabites) to 32GB is ideal in this case and you should go for that.

Hard drive

Your hard drive is where you store your files and you need it to run faster if you are to store files on the RAM of your desk. The moment you run out of RAM, your hard drive carry out file swapping through its virtual memory. There are hard drive models in the market with hybrid SSD and HDD that will help you load large file assemblies.

3D Mouse

If you are involved in 3D printing, you need a 3D mouse to control 3D movements. For some computers, game controllers and some computer pointing devices may work as 3D mice. Standard computers use a 3D mouse in the form of a basic mouse which has a button. Multiple companies manufacture 3D ring mice devices worn on the user’s finger and allow for wireless input. You can, however, search the market for the best mouse for CAD. There are many designs for you to choose from and you should check with your vendor.


In conclusion, 3D printing with CAD software is an endeavor that requires you to use the best pieces of hardware in the business hence; you should strive to get the best. Quality does not necessarily mean expensive hence you should not be afraid of spending, provided you get value for your money.

This is post from a guest author about hardware for 3d printing with CAD software.

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