BioRender Like Software: BioRender Alternatives For Your Research

Exploring other BioRender like software can be quite enlightening if you’re delving into the world of scientific illustration software. 

Each tool has its unique perks and limitations, making it crucial to find one that aligns perfectly with your research, or scientific communication needs.

The best alternatives to BioRender are:

  • Adone Illustrator
  • Inkscape
  • Affinity Designer
  • Canva
  • Power Point
  • Google Slides & Draw
  • Smartdraw
  • Chemix
  • Ventr
  • Edrawmax

Best Biorender Like Software

SoftwareKey FeaturesCost
Adobe IllustratorAdvanced tools, full customisation, high-resolution vector graphics for detailed scientific figures$239.88 to $251.88 annually
InkscapeFree, open-source, robust vector graphics capabilities, ideal for customising diagramsFree
Affinity DesignerOne-time payment, similar toolkit to Illustrator, can open and edit Adobe Illustrator files$69.99 (One-time payment)
CanvaWeb-based, easy-to-use interface, integrates with Google Drive, requires payment for advanced featuresFree to start, paid upgrade
PowerPointPart of Microsoft suite, vector-based drawing tools, scalable diagramsFree, optional paid version
Google SlidesFree, web-based, easy-to-use interface, suitable for straightforward scientific presentations and postersFree
SmartDrawWeb-based, rich template library, drag-and-drop design features, integrates with Microsoft OfficePaid, offers a free trial
ChemixWeb-based, vector graphics editor designed for lab visuals, high-resolution images, no attribution requiredFree
VectrFree, user-friendly, web-based, basic vector graphics editing capabilitiesFree
EdrawMaxWide range of templates and icons, supports extensive diagram types, high-resolution outputsFree version, paid plans
*Prices correct at the time of writing.

Suppose you find BioRender does not have what you need, or is too expensive. In this case, here are another 10 alternatives you can consider to create the scientific illustrations you need:

Adobe Illustrator

This is the gold standard for graphic design, including scientific illustrations. This software makes the job of creating scientific illustration easy, with very high customisation opportunities.

With Adobe Illustrator, you have advanced tools and full customisation at your fingertips, allowing for high-resolution vector graphics ideal for detailed scientific figures.

While it does come with a steep learning curve and a yearly cost of $239.88 to $251.88, many in the life sciences regard this expense as a worthwhile investment for the quality it delivers.

BioRender Like Software


As a free alternative, Inkscape offers robust vector graphics capabilities. This open-source platform is fantastic for those who need to customise diagrams without the financial outlay.

Do be prepared to spend some time mastering its nonstandard design features. These features can be cumbersome, especially if you are not comfortable around complicated user-interfaces.

It’s an ideal choice for researchers committed to open-source solutions and those who prefer not to engage with the SaaS platform costs.

Affinity Designer

For a one-time payment of $69.99, Affinity Designer presents itself as a budget-friendly alternative that doesn’t skimp on functionality.

It’s capable of opening and editing files from Adobe Illustrator, making it a versatile tool for scientific graphics.

Its similarity to Illustrator in terms of toolkit makes it easier to transition if you’re already familiar with Adobe’s offering.


Known for its easy-to-use interface, Canva is a web-based tool that helps create professional science figures with minimal fuss.

It integrates seamlessly with apps like Google Drive, enhancing workflow efficiency. While it’s free to start, access to more sophisticated templates and features might require a paid upgrade.

Canva is best for those who need quick results with accessible tools.


Often overlooked, PowerPoint is a potent tool for creating scientific presentations and simple scientific posters.

It’s part of the Microsoft suite, making it a familiar choice for many in the scientific community. With vector-based drawing tools, you can create detailed diagrams that are scalable for any size.

The software is free, though paid versions are available if you’re looking for more features.

Google Slides and Google Drawing

Google Slides is a free, web-based presentation software. It allows users to create, edit, and share presentations online, working collaboratively in real-time with others.

As an alternative to BioRender, Google Slides offers a simple, easy-to-use interface with basic design and drawing tools suitable for creating straightforward scientific presentations and posters.

BioRender Like Software

While it may not have the specialised scientific templates or advanced graphic capabilities of BioRender, its accessibility, and cost-free nature make it an attractive option for those who need to quickly assemble presentations.


This is a web-based design tool that excels in creating complex diagrams with ease. It offers a rich library of templates and powerful drag-and-drop design features.

While not free, SmartDraw allows a free trial to test its capabilities. This allows you to try before you pay.

Its integration with office tools like Microsoft Office enhances its appeal to professionals who need reliable, versatile software.


Tailored for lab visuals, Chemix is a web-based, vector graphics editor that excels at producing crisp, high-resolution images for scientific use.

It’s a free tool that requires no attribution, making it attractive for creating and sharing lab diagrams and biological diagrams without fuss.


A free platform that provides basic vector graphics editing capabilities. Vectr is user-friendly and web-based, offering flexibility and accessibility for those new to graphic design.

While it might not boast the advanced features of Illustrator, it’s sufficient for creating straightforward scientific visuals.


Known for its wide range of templates and icons, EdrawMax supports extensive diagram types from flowcharts to complex network diagrams.

It offers a free version, with more advanced features available in its paid plans. This feature allows you to test, before you pay.

This makes it a good choice for those who need versatile tools capable of high-resolution outputs for varied scientific documentation.

BioRender Alternatives: Scientific Illustration Software

Exploring alternatives to BioRender offers researchers a variety of tools tailored to different needs and budgets. From robust platforms like Adobe Illustrator to free tools like Inkscape, each option presents unique benefits and capabilities.

Whether you require advanced vector graphics, simple diagramming tools, or web-based collaborative features, the landscape of scientific illustration software is rich with possibilities.

Choose the right tool to enhance your scientific communication and streamline your research visualisation process effectively.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.