TinkerCAD is a beginner friendly software that used across many schools to teach students about 3D modeling. The software is Web-based so it is easy to get started. It looks like a basic tool but it has many functionality with it.Mostly, users can play with various simple shapes and try to combine them in different ways. It also helps in making other models like circuits. To extend its functionality further, the models can be exported to Fusion360 to create animations and simulations. It is also available for mobiles and tablets.
3D Slash is another beginner-friendly software that has a very unique way of functioning. The software allows the user to work with pixelated graphics and help the user to control the details, makes it easy to use and feels like playing a game. For total beginners the guides on their website are helpful, and once you get the hang of model making you can make many other sharp things out of it. The free is very limited but lets you use the Web-version and online storage. With the paid version which starts from 2 USD per month lets you download a desktop version.
It is an open-source application which is capable for intermediate learners and Architects. This software is free to use and with it, it is capable of doing some heavy work. The software is specially made for people in the Engineering field, as it is more capable of designing metallic and moving parts with mathematical details. It supports Python scripting which users can avail to make their model logical. As the application is a bit advanced, new users may come across a learning curve.
SketchUP, a 3D modeling software that is focused on Architecture work but capable of doing other things. You will have to learn a bit to navigate around but after a short period of it will be intuitive. The application can create complex geometric shapes, supports plug–ins, visualizing in 3D, has a big web-based library etc. Pricewise, it is on the pricier side which starts from 119 USD per year, but there is a free version available that is not bound by time. This software can be suitable for people advancing in their field, especially Architects.
Blender is an application which can be used by beginners to experts. The software brings effectiveness at no cost of money. It is capable of doing things from 3D modeling to rendering animated/simulated projects. It does have a learning curve because it is packed with many tools and the interface can be unintuitive. It gives you excellent control over your structures whether they are geometric or organic. It is integrated with Pipeline tools, supports Python scripting, is integrated with game engines etc.
Fusion 360 is another capable software that can do more than just 3D modeling. When it comes to modeling the strength of this product lies in Geometric and Electric models. It is made with keeping collaboration in mind, it has other features like upto 50 formats support, Automatic Assembly “Explosion” etc. It has a Mobile app for reviewing the design as well. The pricing for this application starts from 72 Euro a month to 1,631 Euro for three years. It is compatible with Windows and MacOS and the mobile version is supported for both iOS and Android.
OpenSCAD, brings a logical way of bringing the models to life. It was primarily developed to promote modeling with the help of coding. But users can also use the Drag & Drop method to build the models. For this users should have an intermediate knowledge of scripting to understand and utilize the functionality of this software. This software is completely free to download not only for Windows, Mac and Linux but also BSD: Users can download it with the help of their respective Command-line interpreter.
Wings 3D, this software excels in sculpting, especially characters. The software is not modern looking or user-friendly but once you get a hold of it, you will find it relatively easy to navigate. It gives you a lot of control over your models and you can tinker with the model using welding, cutting, bridging and more. The menu is context-sensitive, meaning that every time you right-click different selections you are presented with different options. This subtle time-saving convenience makes it helpful specially to the beginners. And it is free to use. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
BlockCAD has children as their primary focus. The software is designed for children and has stressed on ease-of-use. The software is entirely cloud-based and offers features which are useful for children and educators. Children can create simple models like snowmen and learn upto make jewelry models. The application does not have a Drag & Drop feature; instead , kids have to use code blocks to make a model. The educator also can avail the feature of controlling student’s accounts. With it, this software offers tutorials and other helpful lessons that can guide children to learn it further.
OnShape is one of the applications which is able to perform in every criteria. It is good at modeling, scripting, collaborating etc. The tool is Web-based but offers a great range of functions, it also can help in Project Management. The application has a free version which offers many functionality in itself, the subscriptions are expensive and they can go upto 1,500 per year. This software does have some issues but most of them are minor ones.