10 free softwares for 3D modeling

David Boström3D-skrivare1 Comment

CAD-model in the 3D-modeling software Autodesk Fusion 360

We at Wematter love CAD software because they are the ultimate tools for creating drawings and printing designs for a 3D printer such as our own Gravity SLS. To get started with 3D modeling and Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools quickly, we recommend starting with free options. Today there are plenty of different free 3D programs to use but choosing the right one can be difficult, especially if you do not know what sets them apart. Below we have listed some of the most popular free programs on the market today. Click on one of the images or titles to get started with each program. For more information, you can subscribe to our newsletter or read more about us at Wematter here.

Programs for 3D-design engineering

Logo of the 3D-modeling software Autodesk Fusion 360

1. Autodesk Fusion 360

(Windows, Mac)

Autodesk Fusion 360 is the software we recommend for creating your job file for a 3D printer. It is free at hobby level or as part of studies when the program is not used commercially and otherwise the turnover must be less than SEK 1,000,000. Fusion 360 supports cloud-based file sharing, version control and import/export of the most common CAD files.

Logo of the 3D-modeling software Onshape

2. Onshape

(Web browser)
Onshape is a cloud-based CAD system developed by SolidWorks creator Jon Hirschticks and can be used either through a web browser or an app in your phone. The system processes real-time data, which means that several modelers can work on a design simultaneously and see each other’s changes directly.

Programs for Free form modeling/sculpting

Logo of the 3D-modeling software TinkerCAD

3. Autodesk TinkerCAD

(Web browser)

TinkercCAD is a really competent modeling program for the beginner. It’s good to get started with and you can create really competent models for 3D printers.

Logo of the 3D-modeling software Blender

4. Blender

(Windows, Mac, Linux)

Blender is an open source free 3D modeling tool that has become incredibly popular in a short time. The program is used by both amateurs and professionals. Blender has a large community and many free resources to get started, but the program has a high learning threshold.

freecad program logo

5. FreeCAD

(Windows, Mac, Linux)
FreeCAD is an open source free program for parametric 3D modeling. Because of this, you have complete control over your model. The program works for both beginners and advanced modelers.

openscad program logo

6. OpenSCAD

(Windows, Mac, Linux)

OpenSCAD is a free program that is based on programming your model and then generating it like a program from a program code. This means that you have full control over the model so use OpenSCAD if you like programming!

3dtin program logo

7. 3DTin

(Web browser)

3DTin is a browser-based program for modeling not entirely unlike TinkerCAD. It’s free as long as you share your designs under Creative Commons attributes. When you have made your model, you can export to standard formats such as .STL, OBJ or similar so you can print them in your 3D printer.

sculptris program logo

8. Sculptris

(Windows, Mac)

Sculptris is the best free program for modeling in digital clay. Here you can unleash your artistic talents and create organic models that you can decorate your home with.

Fusion 360 program logo

9. Autodesk Fusion 360

(iPhone, iPad)

Inventor is a well-known name within professional CAD programs and Autodesk has made a downscaled version called Fusion 360. It contains many tools that can only be found in professional parametric CAD programs. If you are a Apple user and are looking for a more ambitious program, try Fusion 360.

Programs for Architecture

Sketchup program logo

10. SketchUp

(Web browser)

SketchUp is based on drawings and dimensions adapted for architects, designers and engineers. The program is easy to get started with and contains a variety of ready-made models. You can find our guide for exporting files from SketchUp here.

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