A lot of people don't even know they have a good 3D tool natively installed since Windows 10 on their computer : Microsoft's 3Dbuilder.
I think it's a great tool for many tasks and I use it nearly for every print project. But there are a few things that are annoying and could be made better.
Here is a summary of things it's good at, things that could be improved and what I'm using it for.

Manifoldness C

I use it to check my model for manifoldness before to print. I always do it for complex models when I'm unsure.
3D builder will automatically detect if your mesh is manifold after importing it. And if it's not it will ask you to repair it for you.
But you don't really have the choice here... so you have to let it perform this repair before being able to do further tasks in 3Dbuilder.
From what I have seen so far, it's doing a good job at repairing defects and usually ends up with a manifold mesh.
Being able to perform other tasks without accepting automatic repair could be great.
And to have some control over the repair strategy (semi-automatic repair) would be welcome.

Import I

The repairing task we just talk about is automatically done after import.
While 3Dbuilder is good at importing several file format, it has a big drawback ! At import orientation and scale of the model is respected, but the Z origin of the model is ignored. And this is very annoying if you need to reimport back your mesh in your original scene (SketchUp, Blender, or whatever) or when you need to import several parts in 3Dbuilder with respect to their relative positions. To overcome that last problem (importing 2 different meshes), save your meshes in one same file (STL or OBJ) and import it in 3Dbuilder.  You will be able to separate them while keeping their relative positions.
And if you need your objects to keep their original Z coordinate, add a plane at Z0 (Z = zéro) and include it in your "single file export". 3Dbuilder will suppress it with its automatic check and repair and your meshes will be at their respective Z positions.

Cutting I

This is one of the task I use a lot and that 3Dbuilder will do quiet well. If I need to cut big prints in several blocks that will be printed separately for example.
But placing the cutting plane accurately is not easy even by typing numbers (entering values). Because Z distance of the plane is relative to the Z center of your object (half of its height).
Thus making it very difficult to cut at a precise height without having to do some math... annoying !
One more thing : while the cut section looks good, a closer look at the wireframe in the cutted region will reveal it's not perfectly flat.
Other tools are making a better job at cutting if having a perfect cut at a precise place is crucial. But if you don't care too much, doing it in 3Dbuilder is fast and produces an acceptable cut.

Cuts performed in 3Dbuilder

Booleans C

3Dbuilder is good at boolean operations. Which is something SketchUp really miss !
So using it for all your booleans could be great. But if you have read the "Import" section above, you know that importing 2 different files with respect to their relative position is a problemAnd you know how to overcome this... unless read again.
When substracting only select the mesh you want to substract.
As the following image shows, 3Dbuilder can perform even complex boolean operations.

Booleans in 3Dbuilder

Engraving C

Engraving text or images is one of the task 3Dbuilder does really well ! I really like how easy it is to use. It's fun, intuitive and responsive. And the result usually looks very good.
I use it for most of my engraving tasks.

Engraved logo example


While 3Dbuilder has an easy-to-use hollowing feature, I don't recommend using it for 3D prints.
The interior surface will be voxelized wich will dramatically increase your print time and puts stress on your printer (shaking) !
Let's take this example...
If I make this 10cm high 3D sculpture hollow in 3Dbuilder and then bring it into Cura, it will calculate a 9h50mn print time. The same sculpture made hollow in another software, wich results in a smoother interior surface, will print in less than 6 hours under the exact same print settings. This is 40% of extra print time with 3Dbuilder's hollow tool !
That's why I don't recommend 3Dbuilder for this task.

Hollowing in 3Dbuilder vs other softwares

Scaling and orientation C

I use the scaling tool a lot when I want to change the size of a print. It's easy because all you have to do is modify the height of your model (Z axis). Just don't forget to tick the lock for uniform scaling.
Orientating the model to be perfectly flat on the build plate is another thing that's great in 3Dbuilder ! It's fun to watch and play with and will show you if your model will be able to stand after printing. From my tests if it doesn't stand in 3Dbuilder it won't in real life.
But it can also be annoying in some cases and being able to disable physics ang gravity would be very welcome.

Copies and duplicates D

3Dbuilder offers a "Copy/Paste" and a "Duplicate". But in both cases the copy is generated at a different coordinate from the original.
It would be great to have a "Paste in place" like in SketchUp. It's a very important and missing feature IMHO...

Other C

Being able to Drag-and-Drop from one 3Dbuilder window to another is something I like and find usefull.
Measuring a distance is also something I do from time to time.
And I also like playing with colors and materials to have instant nice "renders".

Screaming hand V2
Painted and viewed in 3Dbuilder


If you've never played with 3Dbuilder I strongly recommend you to try it !
It's as easy as "Right click / Open with..." on one of your mesh.
You will probably use it more often than you think.