Is it there an open-source free CAD to design stl. files for 3D printers hosts?

Hello Community,
Thank you for accepting me here. I’m looking forward to use Linux Mint 20 in all possible tasks and endeavors that I can during the rest of my life. I’m 66 years old-timer. I am a maker of 3D printers and drones though my background is more that of a self-made tech builder, counting with the help of open sources, tutorial sites, and videos on the net.
Since I’m not a one skilled like you guys and have tried to run solid-works with wine on Linux Mint with no success, I would like to know if there is an open-source free CAD to design stl. files for 3D printers hosts such as Repetier or Ponterface. Your suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Victor


this site (link: says that Repetier is open source. the installation guide from Repetier is linked below with instructions on how to install it in linux with a few prerequisites:

All you need is .NET framework 4.0 or a recent Mono installation, if you are running Linux. The only other requirement is a graphic card with OpenGL. For a good rendering performance OpenGL 1.5 or higher is needed. With lower versions you may have speed issues with live preview.


Hi Victor,
Welcome to It’s FOSS
I think I can say “bem-vindo” (welcome in Portuguese)… :wink:

FreeCAD is open-source and here you could read more about FreeCAD licenses
Do you really need open source programs or can you use, for example, a free online 3D program, like TinkerCAD?

Thank your for your answer. I tried that already with no success. I think I’m missing something. Do you know a free CAD program to design and produce stl. files for my homemade 3D printer?
I still have that 3D printer working with a small laptop with Windos XP.

Hello Tech_JA,
Thank you Jorge Augusto for your suggestions. They are very appreciated.
I just downloaded FreeCAD. its website says that it can produce stl files. so I’m going to tinker with it and will see what happens. I’ll keep you posted of my advances. Thanks again.

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i don’t have a 3d printer so i can’t recommend anything. the link below lists all kinds of options, in case that might be helpful.

if you want to try troubleshooting what your system was missing, i might be able to help check that out.

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This looks really good. I’ll check all that over and will let you know what I find. Thanks so much.

when i find a new program that sounds interesting, i often run a web search for “how to install program_name in ubuntu”. since linux mint is based on ubuntu, you can widen your search to pages that might not be mint specific.


I just remembered:
A few years ago, I designed some pieces on Tinkercad and printed them on the 3D printer with the MatterControl program.
(tested on Win)

I just visited the website and the program has evolved a lot: now MetterControl is all-in-one, with the part design module included and it’s open source and exists to Linux

When I tested MatterControl, I also tested Cura (tested on Win) but it also exists for linux


You asked me if FreeCAD and TinkerCAD could produce .slt files for your printer …

FreeCAD is harder to learn than TinkerCAD.
I send to you this file of one of the pieces I made to test my printer, and it was designed on TinkerCAD, so you can test it on your printer

(dim: 25mm x 5mm x 10mm)

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When I read your last message, I had already downloaded FreeCAD because I noticed that it could produce STL files. Since I have a basic knowledge of Solidworks, will try to learn FreeCAD because it is now in my hard drive. However, if it is harder as you mention, will try TinkerCAD. It would be only a matter or uninstall one and install the other. Anyways, I’ll try to print your stl. cube? and will keep you posted.


I downloaded FreeCAD from your link. I hope it is not too hard to learn how to use it. I have a basic experience with solid-works, it may help.
Thank you.

I just started to learn howt use FreeCAD but I’m a little lost with the tutorial on youtube because the instructor has the 0.19-21775 version and I downloaded the version 0.18.4. Question: should I uninstall my version to install de newer one?

Hi @Bioethical,
The version is a stable version and was published on 26/10/219 but FreeCAD has a development version (it can be unstable and with errors) that is updated regularly. I used to use the development version.
You can have both versions:
The development version is available on AppImage format, which means that you don’t need to install the file, just give it permissions to be executable.
The last Develpment version, 0.19.2252 was published on 26/9/2020

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did you end up finding something that worked for you?

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Yes, I did. With J.A. recommendations and your website, I ended up downloading FreeCAD, then designed an easy part which exported to STL files and I am about to 3D print while we speak.
Also, on my other computer, I’m studying how to install Repetier on Linux, this time with no mistake. Thanks.


if you run into any problems with the repetier installation, feel free to start another post to see if someone can help troubleshoot. sometimes the terminal output error messages can be a bit hard to interpret, but with some additional steps hopefully you can use something you are familiar with.


21 posts were split to a new topic: Installing MatterControl 3D Printing Software