3D Drawing Online Free: Everything You Need To Know
3D drawing and 3D modeling are incredibly popular among graphic designers, architects, artists, and many other professions. Drawing allows you to draw models of both fictional and actual objects and create geometric elements in all three dimensions: width, height, and depth.
3D drawing, be it online, or offline requires you to understand the visual perspective and analyze different parts of 3D objects in detail.
It's a process used in 3D modeling, or CAD (Computer-Aided Modeling), which makes 3D modeling somewhat of a broader concept. It refers to the use of computer graphics to produce digital representations of various objects and textures. Quite often, 3D models are created based on 2D sketches.
Why Do You Need 3D Drawing?
Even though digital technologies have already become extremely common in all industries, the majority of design-related sources are still filled with 2D images. “Drawings, sketches, and other bidimensional images are still crucial for creative design and art,” notes Samantha Ross, a designer at an academic writing reviews platform. This platform offers a faster way to communicate new visual ideas than 2D images.
3D modeling is usually associated with high-quality CAD models, used as the final design used for production and engineering. It is a time-consuming process, which relies more on technical details rather than creativity.
There is still a huge demand for 2D artists and designers, so there’s no surprise that many people think that learning 3D isn’t necessary. However, the truth is that 3D drawing is a valuable skill that will expand your creative capabilities.
3D drawing can help you learn how shapes behave in the real world and analyze surfaces by viewing them from different angles. Besides, 3D drawing and 3D modeling enable you to create more detailed and realistic objects than in 2D.
If you want to start with 3D drawing, you certainly will appreciate our list of the best free online 3D drawing tools. Not only are these solutions free, but they also don’t require local installation. Therefore, you can easily try different solutions and choose the one that meets your needs and preferences.
5 Great Tools for 3D Drawing Online
SelfCAD is an online 3D modeling and drawing software developed for both beginners and professionals. It has a unique user interface that makes it easy for even novices to get started with much ease and without taking much time.
SelfCAD aims to bring 3D modeling and 3D drawing to all people regardless of their experience. This has been achieved by the reduction of its learning curve and also bringing everything under one roof. That is, one can model, sculpt, slice, and even render all under one program.
Before SelfCAD's development, 3D drawing was only for professionals who learned and studied 3D modeling as part of their curriculum. Self-study of these programs was difficult, which is why average users had trouble learning traditional CAD software. Also, it didn't help that each of those programs was strictly niche-based. They were developed for use in a particular industry.
But with SelfCAD, users of all levels can get started with much ease. Once you learn SelfCAD, you don't have to learn another program, as you can use it to design both simple and complex designs. In addition, thanks to its versatile toolset, you can use it in almost every industry.
SelfCAD has simple and easy-to-use drawing features that have gained appreciation from 3D artists, especially the freehand drawing tool and the real-time boolean drawings.
Some of the drawing tools available in SelfCAD includes:
- Brush drawing
- Spline drawing
- Circular drawing
- Eclipse drawing
- Rectangular drawing
- Text drawing
- Donut drawing
SelfCAD also has powerful and interesting 3D Sketching features that you can combine with a 3D drawing.
Check out the video below to learn more about SelfCAD's drawing tools.
- Smoothie 3D
This is a simple yet helpful tool for both artists and designers. You can create 3D models by using primitive elements like cubes, cones, or cylinders and detail those models by applying strokes. The app supports rotation and translation in three dimensions and features a variety of symmetry options.
One of the best features of this online app is that it enables you to create 3D objects over 2D images. For example, you can import an image, build simple geometries on top of it, rotate, and stretch it to achieve the most realistic results. The app itself is easy to use, so it will be a good choice for beginners
It's another easy-to-use tool thanks to its neat interface. Although this tool will be especially appreciated by those already familiar with 3D modeling, SketchUp is still easy to learn. Even beginners will be able to create a simple printable 3D model in just a few hours.
This free web app offers drawing layout features and enables you to render surfaces in different styles. A great thing about this solution is that it features an integrated exchange repository where you can choose from among over two million models and import them directly to your project.
If you need even more functionality than the online app can offer, you can opt for a Studio or Pro version, available for macOS and Windows. In this case, you’ll be able to install various extensions for all of your creative ideas.
Another 3D drawing tool that can help you create models and concepts of mechanisms or buildings, but modeling living beings can be a tricky task, especially if you’re new to 3D design. If you want to create 3D models of animals or people, a great approach is 3D sculpting. SculptGL is a digital equivalent of working with clay.
While many similar solutions are tricky to learn, SculptGL allows you to quickly get started, offering all the necessary basic tools so that you can quickly get used to the sculpting workflow. When using SculptGL, or one of many many other apps in this niche, you shouldn’t try creating high-resolution meshes from the very beginning. Instead, you should increase the level of details gradually.
You can use larger brushes to design the overall silhouette first, then switch to smaller brushes for details like fingers or muscles, and then use even smaller brushes for tiny wrinkles, scars, and other details.
This is another great online solution that enables you to create 3D models, customize them, and prepare them for printing. It is easy to use, so it will be appreciated not only by people who already have some experience in 3D design but also by beginners.
It is an online 3D sculpting app that enables you to work with predefined shapes and offers a vast variety of tools for drawing, sculpting, embossing, etc. while keeping easy access to all tools and commands. Leopoly also gives all users access to an integrated library of projects, where you can choose those that look interesting to you and use them as the basis for your own designs.
This solution is innovative not only because of its interface but also because of its great collaboration opportunities. Just like other solutions from our list, Vectary is an online tool, so there’s no installation required. What stands out is that this app supports parametric modeling. It enables you to quickly change the mesh with selections and sliders that are used in professional CAD programs.
Perhaps the only disadvantage is that Vectary doesn’t rely on precise modeling, so it might be not the best choice for engineers. 3D artists, however, will certainly appreciate this app’s usability. In Vectary, you can also save all your projects in the cloud to collaborate with others.
It is a good tool for quick reiterations of your designs. It offers great functionality, but you should keep in mind that a program with such capabilities that runs in your browser can take up a lot of memory. The free version enables you to create up to three projects, and if you need more, you can choose other tariff packages that cost $7.50 a month.
Even if your main focus is 2D art and design, mastering 3D drawing and modeling will certainly offer you a competitive advantage. 3D drawing will help you expand your creative capabilities and better understand the nature of shapes and textures. It can be time-consuming, and 3D modeling software can be difficult to learn and expensive. Fortunately, there are many web applications that enable you to practice 3D drawing online.
All the apps from our list are slightly different, so you can try them and choose solutions that correspond to your needs and goals. Some of these programs are more focused on sculpting, while others enable you to create paintings in a 3D environment, but all of them have one thing in common - they are easy to use, which makes them a good choice for beginners, while some of them will be appreciated even by experienced 3D artists who want to quickly create designs from their browser.
Enjoy powerful modeling, rendering, and 3D printing tools without the steep learning curve.
Need to learn 3D Modeling? Get started with interactive tutorials.