At WeCreate we have both an Ultimaker Original and an Ultimaker 2. These are very useful prototyping printers that can help in streamlining your design. 3D printer are best used when other tools can’t create the required geometry.
Workflow for 3D Printing at WeCreate
Google Sketchup is a free 3D drawing package. There are lots of instructional videos on YouTube for this tool and you can quickly create models for your designs.
When finished with your design, you can export the file as a .dae file. File -> Export -> 3D Model and chose the *.dae option. .dae is a 3D interchange file format.
Blender is an open-source free 3D creation suite of programs. It has more advanced features and as such may not be suitable for the absolute beginner.
Cura is the software that provides the interface to the ultimaker 2 for 3D printing. You can load your 3D model via this software and then set up the print parameters for your print job.