Creating 3D models and printing them is no longer an obscure techy concept for computer engineers, but it still requires a decent amount of experience to create 3D models effectively. Like all things, working with 3D models is easier with good equipment — software in this case.
Whether you’re starting with CAD Software or looking for 3D model software specifically, there are plenty of options available. Here are the major categories:
- CAD software: computer-aided design software helps engineers design new models of 3D projects. It is most commonly used in the manufacturing industry.
- 3D model software: computer software that is used to mold different types of 3D models creatively. This is most commonly used in the entertainment industry.
One important thing to note: not all of the following software options include tools that allow you to slice or repair files. You may need to find separate software for those functions. If you’re in a hurry to create your 3D models, and less concerned about learning how to build and print, you may want to talk to a freelancer first.
Get Some Help on Your First 3D Model
If you need 3d printing services, but you don’t have the time (or the money) to learn the software, you can always use a freelancer to do the work for you.
Fivver is a website where people from all around the world post their services for sale on a platform. It’s simple and affordable freelance.
If you need an affordable but high-quality 3D Modeling expert, I’d recommend Fivver. You’ll get better results, and you’ll save a ton of money.
Want Good 3D Models? Start with Good Software
3D printers can be complicated devices (to put it mildly). Read all the reviews before you buy. Overly-complex programs can be more frustrating than helpful, especially for beginners.
And ask yourself the questions below — make sure that you have clear answers before you purchase anything.
Which Industry Are You Working In?
Answer this question before you do anymore window shopping: what industry will you be working in? Different industries use different tools.
Work with the software known to be the industry standard; it makes collaboration with others a lot easier.
What Type Of 3D Models Will You Be Creating?
There are many different types of models that you can create. Some software will have different features than other software and are better suited for creating specific models.
Figure out which types of models you will be creating most often and pick software, to begin with, that is geared towards those models.
Do You Need CAD Software to Create 3D Models?
While they are incredibly similar, there is a big difference between CAD Software and 3D model software. CAD Software is used by engineers to create drawings of 3D models.
These are often used for manufacturing processes where precision is of the utmost importance. 3D model software is more commonly implemented by designers and other people who work in the creative industry.
These are the types of software that you see being used to create all of the video games and movies you watch today. If you are looking for software that will be more compatible with creative work, then you should use software made specifically to create 3D models.
If you need something that will be very precise, then use CAD software.
Work With Professionals
If you are just getting started in an industry, then often the best thing that you can do to get your feet wet is to ask around. The internet doesn’t have all the answers.
If you have coworkers who are talented and have been working in the industry for a decent amount of time, ask them what their recommendations are.
They will often be able to tell you what they wish they had learned when they were first starting out. Follow their advice, and you should be golden.
3d Modeling is going big in New York City, and this new software from Morphi; there is just further proof of that. It is an app that is designed to be used on tablets primarily. You are able to create 3D models intuitively.
The software is included with a full library of different models. It is a free download for the base version of the application. There are additional models and tools available for purchase on the app store as well.
If you happen to be enrolled in school, they have a student discount for the purchases.
This software is both simple and powerful and includes developing in both artificial and virtual reality. Use your tablet, Mac, or Windows computer to create any 3D model you need.
It is intuitive enough that almost anyone should be able to pick it up and start using it easily.
Create 3d Models with this software that was made for use in educational settings. The developers of Blockscad made it to be a transition point for beginners to learn more in-depth Software later on.
The various commands will be represented visually in a way that is incredibly easy to keep things organized.
There are a ton of YouTube channels, including some by the developers themselves, that have tutorials on how to use the software, so it is accessible for anyone to learn.
It only costs $149 a year.
The blocks-based interface is one of the easiest for beginners to get started with. It is so easy that even children can get started using it. The technology that powers the software was first created for use in the educational industry.
It includes cloud options, so you will not have to ever worry about losing your files. Easily visualize all of the models that you need in 3D.
Create 3d Models on the cloud with this modeling software first invented in Hungary. Made to be supremely simple as far as the learning curve goes, there are tons of options with Leopoly.
If you are looking for software to use as a designer, it is a great starting point. This software also includes the ability to design and virtual reality as well. People of all experience levels will find something useful with this tool.
Take advantage of the powerful digital sculpting tool and use it to show how creative you are. The software even includes a polygon mesh-based sculpting application called shapelab.
4. 3D Slash
3D Slash was invented by a one man in 2013 who was inspired after watching his children play mine craft. It uses little blocks similar to the video game.
It includes all of the tools that you need to model things in 3D, though with a resolution up to 0.1 mm.
If you are looking for software that will be as easy to use as building something out of Legos or enjoying playing mine craft yourself, then this is a great starting place to learn.
If you are an educator who is worried about intimidating a student trying to break into this industry, this is a great choice for them. This is the type of software that goes to show you that learning and creating can still be fine.
It is very easy to get started and has the depth and advanced features you need to work in-depth on projects. There is a whole suite of features included to enable the function of teams for school settings.
This is top-of-the-line modeling software that allows you to create 3D images, and it is available for free. It’s primarily aimed at people who have no experience working with this type of software.
The model library includes a set of basic shapes that you can start from to work with.
It is integrative with third-party printing services. It is limited in its design because of its simplicity, but it is user-friendly for computer averse.
This is open-source software that lets you create parametric 3D models. It is fairly straightforward, but that very characteristic makes it perfect for people that are just getting started working with parametric models.
You can easily work through your model’s history so you can go back if there are ever any mistakes. This tool also can function great as a training tool later on in your professional life.
Take whatever the idea that you have is in your head and put it into reality within a couple of minutes. You can use this to work with code, electronics, or models.
It is very intuitive and easy to use and includes many tools inspired by Minecraft because of the ease of use of that game and how complex you can make it.
7. Sketchup Make
First released in the year 2000, Sketchup Make has been used for architectural design for nearly 20 years now. It is free and includes a wide selection of tools for anyone that is involved in the construction industry who needs to plan their next architectural project.
Few things will allow you to go from the drawing board to a final model quicker. It is incredibly versatile and has a great range of functionality. If you want to become a serious cat developer, this is the place to be.
If you need positioning centric information to help with your models, then this is the software to use. You will be able to easily implement any of the ideas that you are struggling to design without the difficulty.
Sculptors, a product of Pixologic, will love this application. It lets you use sculpting as the basis of your 3D model manipulation. You can use any type of mesh or brushstroke.
Working with the software on a device with touchscreen functionality will fail almost as if you are working with something out of clay. It is great for creating new characters in your next big media project.
It is no longer actively developed, but you can download it as long as you have a compatible operating system.
This is probably the software that is the most creative on this list. It is made for people who work in the creative industry and perfect for people who want to create models for movies or video games.
Experience the moldability of clay as you create new characters for your next big project with the 3D sculpting feature. Once you have created the model that you are satisfied with, you can start using the 3D painting to add any type of textures or colors onto the surface of your 3D match.
9. Fusion 360
If you are looking for a cloud-based 3D CAD program, then Fusion 360 from Autodesk is your tool. The cloud allows teams from all over the world to work together on the same project with ease.
The entire history of the model will be stored remotely, including every change made by every user. There are an incredible amount of options available with enough tools for any professional.
It is a subscription-based service though, so you will be paying for it monthly.
This is a perfect solution for educators. It comes complete with online curriculum created by industry professionals, but written for the novice.
Their online courses are constantly evolving along with the industry — designed by educators who work in universities around the world, each course has been battle tested in a classroom setting.
This 3D model software was first designed as a tool that you could use to create 3D models and share them. It includes mesh modeling, subdivision modeling, and parametric plug-ins for a rather comprehensive solution for beginners who have limited experience with this type of modeling.
Save your projects in the cloud so you can retrieve them anytime from anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection, and share your creations realtime with others around the world.
Collaborate on the next augmented reality project you have with people from around the world on this great design platform. You do not need to download anything at all — it’s all browser based.
They have an extensive library of models and templates. It can create photorealistic renders and HCR environments more accurately than almost any other competing software in its class.
This cloud-based CAD software has some of the most advanced features of all the tools on this list. The people who designed it created an application perfect for collaborative work.
If you need to work on a project with others, it’s important to actually learn how to use this software. The real-time analytics feature in the software makes it so that you can track things as they progress.
This is probably one of the most comprehensive software packages on this list. It has an extensive range of features that few professionals will ever exhaust.
This free software belongs to the Autodesk software family. It has some key differences from typical software because it does not allow you to create things from the beginning.
It will allow you to help with different tasks such as animation, severing, fulfilling, and more. It even includes the ability to AutoCorrect issues with your models.
Meshmixer uses advanced technology to make 3D scanning easy by using triangle meshes. Your models and then use the re-meshing tool to finish things up.
It is free and available on both Windows and Mac operating systems, so it is one of the most accessible software options for beginners. And while we have you, be sure to check out our latest post on WordPress themes.