10 Best 3D Modeling Software For Beginners
Are you looking for the best 3D modeling software for beginners? Then you're at the right place because in this post we will share some 3D modeling softwares that are best for beginners.
Just like in any other field, learning is very important for you to master 3D modelling. Even if learning is key, you need to practice what you have gained in the real world so that you can be able to design real models on your own.
For that, you need 3D modeling software that is capable, easy to use, and beginner-friendly.
There are thousands of 3D modeling tools available on the internet, but you can't just choose any random tool for designing, do proper research while choosing a 3D modeling software because you can't change the software frequently and if you choose the wrong software, then it's really going to affect your work process.
You can have a look at our article about key things to look at in 3D modeling software to understand the things you should consider before choosing a 3D modeling software.
Things to Consider Before Choosing a 3D Modeling Software
- Smooth learning curve
- The simplicity of the interface
- The time it takes for one to create something complex/professional in the program
- The ability of the tools to be reused
- Availability of learning materials
Smooth learning curve: the 3D modeling process is difficult and adopting 3D methods requires training and experience. Even if you're familiar with 3D modeling, you’ll still experience some difficulty while creating 3D models.
So, look for a software that has a smooth learning curve, meaning a software that has a consistent user interface and the procedure flows logically from start to finish.
When you choose a software that has a smooth learning curve, the designing procedure becomes simple and you can create complex designs in a flow.
The simplicity of interface: Interface plays a vital role in any software/tool because the interface is a place where you create designs. When the interface is simple, you’ll be able to create designs easily.
But if the interface is complicated, then creating designs becomes difficult because you probably won’t use the proper tools at the right time.
The simplicity of the interface also saves your time. You can use distinct features easily and the saved time means you can complete many tasks in a day.
The time it takes for one to create something complex/professional: Everybody gets some complex work in their life from time to time and sometimes it takes a lot of time to complete such work.
You will also get some complex work in your professional career. If you're working as a freelancer then there are more chances of receiving complex work from clients.
If you take too long to complete those works, then you will not be able to attend to other works that you have. But the right software can help you in handling this situation. With the right software, you will be able to easily complete the works you’ve received.
So, look for software that takes less time to complete something complex/professional.
The ability of the tools to be reused: If you choose a tool that you can use for only one purpose, then you’ll have to choose a different tool for other objectives you want to achieve. So, choose a tool that can be used to achieve different objectives.
When you use SelfCAD, you will have access to tools that can be used to perform different actions and which can be reused whenever the need arises.
For instance, you can use Edit Details Tools to edit different shapes such as polygon, spiral, gear, triangle, etc.
Availability of learning curves: You're going to use a tool for creating 3D models, and for that, you need to learn something about that tool/software.
But the question is, how will you learn how to use the tool? Keep in mind that you haven't used that tool before. You can learn something from YouTube and Udemy, but that's not sufficient.
The software that you're purchasing should provide some learning curves from where you can learn about the features and procedures of the tool.
While choosing software, always look for the availability of interactive tutorials.
These interactive tutorials are the easiest way to learn how to create quality 3D models for freelance designers, businesses, and students.
With the help of these tutorials, you can create some outstanding 3D designs and will also get to learn about the interface of software.
So before choosing a 3D modeling software, check if the tool is providing some learning curves or not.
These are some basic things that a beginner should consider while choosing 3D modeling software. Now, let's come to our principal topic i.e. best 3D modeling software for beginners.
10 Best 3D Modeling Software
- 3D Slash
- Fusion 360
SelfCAD is an affordable 3D modeling software that can match any skill level. Whether you're a business person, freelancer, or student, you can use this software.
SelfCAD lets you create objects, scenes, and 3D designs in less time than when you’re using traditional CAD software.
SelfCAD is best for beginner 3D designers because its interface is very simple. SelfCAD has been designed in such a way that it has a simplified interface that makes it easier for beginners to navigate. The tools are arranged in clusters based on their use and this makes it easier for one to locate any tool.
SelfCAD has a lot of great training materials that can help you as a beginner. There are interactive tutorials, YouTube videos and 3D modeling beginner courses on Udemy that allows one, regardless of their experience, to get started on 3D modeling with much ease.
SelfCAD is affordable. Users are given a 10-day free trial where they have full access to all the tools. After a 10-day free trial, you can either continue with the free version, with limited access to tools or you can subscribe to any of the following packages.
Free: Forever (with limited features).
SelfCAD Pro Monthly: $14.99.
SelfCAD Pro Yearly: $139.99.
SelfCAD Perpetual License: $599.00 (Lifetime access)
Onshape is a product design platform that combines 3D CAD, PDM, collaboration, and analytics tools in the cloud.
This software has a lot of features. You can do a lot of work using just this software. You can create 3D CAD designs, manage the data of your team, and can also get analytics and reports of your work.
The best feature of Onshape is its speed. You can instantly deploy it on any computer or mobile device, enabling the team to work together globally and rapidly. Because of its data management system, the team can independently experiment on each other's designs without affecting work.
Also, it doesn't require downloads, installation, or license codes. You can access Onshape's platform with any modern web browser.
If you're a business owner or handling an organization, then you must have an IT team working under you to handle software issues and incompatible file types. But if you're using Onshape, then this problem will not occur and your team can focus more on designing and spend less time dealing with these issues.
These are some features of Onshape. Now let's take a look at the pricing of Onshape software because pricing is also an important factor while choosing a 3D CAD software.
The pricing is:
Standard: $1,500 per user per year.
Professional: $2,100 per user per year.
Enterprise: Contact team (Full and light user provisioning available).
Tinkercad is a free, easy-to-use app for 3D designs, electronics, and coding. It's used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make just about anything.
This tool is best for students who want to pursue a career in 3D designing and also for those who have an interest in 3D designing, modeling, and printing.
Tinkercad provides some of the best lesson plans through which kids can learn a lot of things such as art, design, language arts, robotics, science, technology, etc. They have provided online tutorials for children of different age groups.
Teachers can also use this tool to teach students in engaging ways because Tinkercad is a new way to teach core skills and abilities in the most fun and engaging ways.
Basically, this tool is for students and teachers, so if you're a student and you don't have money to purchase the premium softwares, then you can start your 3D designing journey using Tinkercad.
Pricing: Tinkercad is free to use, you don't have to spend a penny for using this tool.
BlocksCAD is mostly used by students and teachers. Students use it to learn 3D designing and other computer science courses, while teachers use it to teach students.
The interface of this software is so easy to use that even young students who are still small in age can use it easily. Because of its user-friendly interface, students and teachers have to spend less time getting started and more time on important tasks.
Basically, BlocksCAD is an education technology company dedicated to creating tools that help students of all age brackets pursue their love of science, technology, engineering, and art.
So, if you're a student or a teacher, then this software is the best for you. It especially suits students because they can use it with minimum effort and it helps them in learning new skills.
Pricing: BlocksCAD is free to use.
Model being designed in Blender. Image source: Macupdate
Blender is a popular 3D modeling software. If you're searching for the best 3D modeling software then you must have heard this name before.
Most beginners start their 3D modeling journey by using this tool because this tool is free to use and the best part of this software is, you can get a lot of tutorials about this software on YouTube and Udemy.
Blender supports many types of CAD features such as modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, composting and motion tracking, video editing, and 2D animation.
It's difficult to find so many features in a single tool, but Blender is providing all these features to you, and the best part is this software is free to use.
There are many free 3D modeling software available on the internet but free software doesn’t provide a variety of features. Blender is totally different because you get a lot of features in this free software.
Blender is also downloadable, you can download it on your PC, MacBook, or laptop.
Pricing: Blender is free to use.
6. 3D Slash
3D Slash is easy-to-use software. The unique part of this software is its interface. The interface of this software makes it look like you’re creating a game. You get to create a design in a fun way.
There is a unique feature called team features that is available to students and teachers. With the help of this feature, teachers can create student accounts on the teacher dashboard and no email address is required for students.
Teachers can view the real-time files created by students, and they can share that file with other students and teachers.
Some of the unique features of 3D Slash are:
- The model with high precision
- Project pictures or text on your model and use them as a decal!
- Insert rounded shapes, .stl, or .obj files into your model
- intuitive to pick up, no training required
- Team feature designed for school
- Quick to navigate
- Very light files even run on Raspberry Pi
Pricing is as follows:
Premium: $2 per month.
Schools: $12 per month.
Professionals: $20 per month.
7. Fusion 360
Model created in Adobe Fusion 360. Image source: platform.europeanmoocs.eu
Fusion 360 is a cloud-based CAD/CAM tool for collaborative product development. People that can use this software include Machinist, Mechanical Engineer, Industrial Designer, Collaborator, Electronics Engineer, etc.
Fusion 360 has a lot of features and that's why this software is suitable for everyone whether the person is a student, business person, or freelancer.
Some of the significant features of Fusion 360 are:
- 3D design and modeling
- Data management
- Additive manufacturing
- Generative design
- Fusion 360 extensions
These are some of the prominent features of Fusion 360 software. You can use the software for different purposes. If you're an engineer you can create 3D designs related to machines, electronics, and do so much more.
If you're a freelancer, then you can use it for creating different designs. Since freelancers receive orders from different clients and all the designs are also different, this is a good option for them.
The pricing of Fusion 360 is:
Free Trial: For individuals who are doing home-based, non-commercial designs.
Custom: Contact an expert
Model created in Google SketchUp. Image source: Sketchup
SketchUp is a 3D modeling computer program that has a wide range of drawing applications that include architectural, interior design, civil and mechanical engineering, film and video game design, etc.
This software is mostly used in construction work. Civil and mechanical engineers use this tool for creating building and machine designs. With this software, you can design delightfully and easily collaborate with your team.
SketchUp is very professional and has been used by professionals for a very long time. It was developed by the startup company @Last Software of Boulder, Colorado, co-founded in 1999 by Brad Schell and Joe Esch.
The price of SketchUp varies according to its use. The pricing is as follows:
- SketchUp Free: $0
- SketchUp Shop: $119/year
- SketchUp Pro: $299/year
- SketchUp Pro: $299/year
- SketchUp Studio: $699/year
- For Students: $55/year
- For Educators: $55/year
As the name suggests, FreeCAD is a free and open-source general-purpose parametric 3D CAD software. Parametric modeling allows you to easily modify your design by going back into your model history and changing its parameters.
If you find it difficult to create designs then this tool can help you a lot. You just have to create 2D designs and you can use them as a base to create 3D designs.
FreeCAD is intended for mechanical engineers, but it also expands to a wider range of uses such as architecture and electrical engineering.
Key FreeCAD features:
- FreeCAD was primarily created to design objects for the real world
- A powerful solid-based geometry kernel
- A widely parametric environment
- The user interface is coded in easy-to-use Python
- FreeCAD allows you to import and export files
FreeCAD is downloadable in various operating systems such as Windows, Mac, and Linux.
OpenSCAD is a free software application for creating 3D CAD designs. This software is available for Linux/UNIX, MS Windows, and Mac OS X.
OpenSCAD provides two main modeling techniques, first, there is constructive solid geometry and second, there is extrusion of 2D outlines. Besides 2D paths for extrusion, it is also possible to read design parameters from DXF files.
This software doesn't focus on the artistic aspects of 3D modeling but instead focuses on the CAD aspects. So, this is a great application for creating 3D models of machine parts but not good for creating computer-animated movies.
These are the 10 best 3D modeling software for beginners. Every software has its unique specialty. Some are paid software while some are free.
If you have money to purchase a paid 3D modeling software, then go with them because they provide much more features than free software.
But, if you don't have money (most beginners have this problem), then go for free software, learn to design 3D models and work as a freelancer to earn money, then purchase a premium tool like SelfCAD or Onshape to do some professional work.
Tell us in the comment, which 3D modeling software you like the most, and why?
Enjoy powerful modelling, rendering, and 3D printing tools without the steep learning curve.
Check out more done by our designer on the tutorials page.interactive step-by-step tutorials