3d design drawing software

The best way to learn 3d design drawing software is to implement and observe the rewards. Fewer horror stories, more knowledge gained, passing test after test, becoming an expert. Learning is easy when you have the right tools for the job. There are a few different programs available but how does one choose which tools to invest in? That’s a question I asked myself not too long ago, and our answer was simple. You research the facts on each individual product, see what their intended purpose is, shop around for reviews online, compare pricing options and finally make your decision by implementing new software into your daily routine and seeing exactly where it excels and where it could be personalized to fit your learning needs.

3D Design Drawing Software is a program for drawing 3D models in 2D space. It was developed for creating 3D virtual products, interiors, games and animation. Within a year it had mastered the expert skills of drawing three-dimensional images that can be rotated and zoomed in a manner similar to real objects. The program has been widely used by designers and artists throughout the world to make intricate drawing.

3d design drawing software is a program that helps you to draw 3D models, which are used for creating video games and movies.

The program has many features that help you to create drawings of any complexity and size. You can easily create a complex model by using simple tools for drawing. The program has all the necessary functions for creating models, such as:

  • Selection of basic shapes;
  • The ability to change the color of objects;
  • Creating shadows;
  • Adjusting the transparency of objects;
  • Changing the lighting;
  • Adding textures to objects;
  • Creating reflections on their surfaces;
  • Adding shadows and other effects in order to make them more realistic.

3D design software is a type of computer program used to create 3D models. These models can be used to design virtual objects, environments or systems. 3D design software is used by architects, engineers and designers who want to create accurate visual representations of their products or designs.

Users of 3D design software may have different levels of skill and experience with the software. The most basic level of skill is typically required when using the most basic features of this type of program. However, more advanced users may need advanced skills in order to manipulate existing objects or add new ones into the file being worked on.

3d design drawing software

3D modeling can have a dauntingly steep learning curve, and booting up many of the advanced CAD software commonly used to create digital objects is sure to leave total newcomers totally bewildered. The most celebrated tools, like SketchUp or Blender, will present you with an intimidating array of tools and unfamiliar control schemes that could force anyone’s hands to raise in defeat.

But fear not! Even the most advanced 3D modeling software can be accessible given the right introduction.

Many excellent programs, even from the best CAD software developers, are freely available and geared specifically toward users just starting out with 3D modeling. UIs are more approachable, documentation more robust, and tutorials are shoved in your face ready to walk you through each step of learning the software and creating your first 3D model. With time and practice, that collection of mind-boggling tools will start to look pretty intuitive.

It’s best to consider the sort of modeling you’d like to do before settling on a program to start with. Many of the best 3D modeling software cover multiple methods of design, but not all – and some are better for one kind than others. For example, will you focus on sculpting and mesh modeling? These are highly artistic “soft modeling” methods used to design organic-looking models using digital brushes that mold virtual clay or wireframes. Or, would you prefer more traditional CAD design methods, “solid modeling”, and parametric design? These are employed by architects, engineers, and product designers. Beginners have plenty of options for both, and we’ll list them below.

Know that beginner 3D modeling software, though simple and more limited in features, are still plenty useful no matter your skill level. The skills you gain learning through entry-level software will be largely transferable to more advanced software, and even seasoned designers will pop into Tinkercad from time to time to design a quick print; so you’ll still be learning practical software and skills while getting to grips with the basics. Let’s dive in!

SoftwarePlatformSpecializationUse Cases
TinkercadBrowserDirect Modeling, OpenSCADEducation
VectaryBrowserMesh Modeling, Parametric ModelingProduct Design, Graphic Design, Animation
MeshmixerWindows, macOSDirect Modeling, Sculpting, Optimization3D Printing Optimization/ Repair
SculptGLBrowser, Windows, ios, androidSculptingDigital Art, Animation, Game Design
ZBrushCoreMiniWindows, macOSSculptingDigital Art, Animation, Game Design
SketchUp FreeBrowserDirect ModelingArchitecture, Product Design
Wings 3DWindows, MacOS, LinuxMesh ModelingArchitecture, Product Design
LeopolyBrowserSculptingDigital Art, Animation, Game Design
BlocksCADBrowserOpenSCADEducation
BlenderWindows, MacOS, LinuxSculpting, Mesh ModelingDigital Art, Animation, Game Design

The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners

Tinkercad

Image of The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners: Tinkercad
(Source: TinkerCAD)
  • File Formats OBJ, SVG, STL, PART
  • Platform Browser
  • Specialization Direct Modeling, OpenSCAD
  • Use Cases Education

With a simple, bright interface and plenty of educational resources, Tinkercad is specifically designed for those with no prior CAD experience. In addition to being one of the most accessible pieces of 3D modeling software around, it can also be used right in your browser.

Don’t let the colorful look fool you. The Tinkercad software from Autodesk is simple but powerful, allowing you to use primitive shapes, such as cubes, cylinders, and spheres, to realize your ideas in CAD by means of drag and drop. You can move, rotate, and scale each shape and assign them to be a solid or “hole”. Grouping shapes allows you to create the intricate 3D models you’ll find in Tinkercad’s gallery.

There are plenty of tutorials by Tinkercad itself that are basic and slowly paced. If you find yourself frozen in most CAD interfaces, the Tinkercad learning page is the place to start. It features short, individual lessons for every aspect of the interface, and a list of lessons that walk you through a variety of simple models. For more involved lessons, the “projects” section will guide you through model-making in more detail. The tutorials are especially suitable for children.

Tinkercad also provides users with the ability to design, program, and simulate electronic assemblies, as well as a feature called Codeblocks, which uses lines of code to create 3D objects with OpenSCAD. It’s a great all-around tool for learning modern maker tech.

What’s it good for? Entry-level students and people with no experience using 3D modeling software.

Where can I get it? Tinkercad

The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners

Vectary

Image of The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners: Vectary
(Source: Vectary)
  • File Formats OBJ, DAE, USDZ, GLB, gITF, STL
  • Platform Browser
  • Specialization Mesh Modeling, Parametric Modeling
  • Use Cases Product Design, Graphic Design, Animation

Vectary is a browser-based mesh and parametric modeling software that claims to be the “easiest online 3D and AR design tool.” It certainly manages to include some great features in its simple and easy-to-learn interface.

The software has a focus on rendering as it’s targeted at graphic design, product design, and game design professionals, but can be used for any 2D or 3D modeling application.

Using Vectary’s simple tools requires just a basic knowledge of design concepts. Its UI is approachable, but it adds a lot compared to the simplest modelers like Tinkercad. Users can leverage an assortment of pre-rendered 3D typography, web headers, and other pre-made models. Be aware: many of these aren’t free.

You’ll be prompted to follow the program’s integrated video tutorials on launch, asking that you follow the “Getting Started” tutorial that covers 3D modeling basics. Other tutorials are around to help you learn how to use each of Vectary’s features, but past Getting Started, there aren’t a lot of guides for those just starting with 3D modeling.

Vectary comes with a very unique sharing and collaboration tool that could be appealing: you can create teams that make working together on projects much easier. The feature is locked in the free tier, however, and requires a $12 monthly subscription. The free tier is great, though, and aside from collaboration and project limits holds very little back. Be aware that in the free tier you can only have 10 different projects saved at the same time

What’s it good for? Mesh and parametric modeling in the browser with more flexibility than simpler programs and integrated animation, AR, and rendering.

Where can I get it? Vectary

The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners

Meshmixer

Image of The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners: Meshmixer
(Source: Printlab)
  • File Formats OBJ, STL, 3MF, AMF, DAE, PLY, WRL, SMESH
  • Platform Windows, macOS
  • Specialization Direct Modeling, Sculpting, Optimization
  • Use Cases 3D Printing Optimization/ Repair

Meshmixer is a lightweight 3D modeling software developed by Autodesk that should be in every maker’s toolbox. As the software’s website puts it, it’s a “Swiss Army Knife” for 3D objects that allows you to manipulate, add to, splice, merge models, and more, with ease.

The program is mostly used to tweak, repair, or optimize existing 3D models, but also has sculpting and solid modeling tools built in. The tool selection is simple but offers enough variety to get you intimately familiar with the tools you’ll need for either form of 3D modeling.

Since Meshmixer is tailor-made for 3D printing, not only can you design and repair 3D models in the program but also add support structures, orient models, and use Meshmixer’s variety of unique optimization tools to prepare your design for printing.

There might be a slightly steeper learning curve with Meshmixer in some places compared to software made especially for beginners, but there’s a manual by Autodesk to learn any unfamiliar terminology and get your footing. The program is a little dated at this point and not being updated, but it’s completely free and will always come in handy – so you can’t really go wrong. While the latest Windows version is available for download on their website, the macOS version is unfortunately no longer available due to a “security issue” in the installer but can be downloaded from third-party websites.

What is it good for? Beginners who want a simple tool that will remain useful later on.

Where can I get it? Meshmixer

The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners

SculptGL

Image of The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners: SculptGL
(Source: Modular4kc)
  • File Formats SGL, OBJ, PLY, STL
  • Platform Browser, Windows, ios, android
  • Specialization Sculpting
  • Use Cases Digital Art, Animation, Game Design

SculptGL is a freely accessible, open-source, browser-based sculpting program. Like most sculpting programs, it simply pops a lump of digital clay into your workspace and lets you mold it with a variety of tools called “brushes”.

It’s a very basic software that includes the sculpting bare essentials; brushes, texture imports, and rendering. If you want to do anything more, even so much as play with light on your rendering, you’ll need to step it up to another program. Still, SculptGL is great to get a feel for sculpting without any commitment whatsoever.

Since it’s so limited, SculptGL doesn’t have a lot of tutorials. There’s a small YouTube series covering the features and a community tutorial or two that choose it specifically for its approachability. It’s a good starting point to sate your curiosity for 3D sculpting.

You can also download a standalone version for offline use, but it’s exactly the same as the online one.

If you look to use a pen tablet for sculpting, Ginier also developed an ios and android enabled version of the program called Nomad Sculpt. Android users can enjoy the tool free of charge while ios fans will have to fork out $14,99.

What’s it good for? Curious experimenting with sculpting or quick practice with a lightweight browser program.

Where can I get it? Stéphane Ginier’s website

The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners

ZBrushCoreMini

Image of The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners: ZBrushCoreMini
(Source: Pixologic)
  • File Formats OBJ
  • Platform Windows, macOS
  • Specialization Sculpting
  • Use Cases Digital Art, Animation, Game Design

ZBrushCoreMini is a stripped down version of Pixologic’s ZBrush, a powerful and popular sculpting program among many advanced and professional designers. Don’t let that scare you off, though. CoreMini is made with beginners in mind, so it’s easy to learn for those with little 3D modeling experience.

Like many other sculpting programs, you’re given a lump of digital clay to edit using brushes. ZBrushCoreMini keeps things simple with a selection of eight basic brushes that add to, smoothen, subtract from, inflate, pinch, and polish your model. the program also includes four of Pixologic’s “Vector Displacement Meshes” (VDM). These are brushes that enable you to instantly create a complex shape on your model, and there’s a huge variety of shapes included. This gives you a very helpful foundation when you’re just getting used to sculpting. Having trouble making a decent ear? Just pop one in with the VDM and start customizing it.

It’s worth noting that CoreMini is restricted to non-commercial use, limits you in polygons and file types, doesn’t allow imports or renders (though includes live ambient occlusion), and restricts you in a few other ways. The great thing about getting started with it is that transitioning to the more advanced Zbrush software down the road will be easy once you’re ready. ZBrushCore, the next tier up from the free CoreMini software, is just $10 a month for a subscription, or $180 for a one-time purchase.

Pixologic offers a good variety of tutorial content with ZClassroom and you’ll be prompted to check it out upon installing ZBrushCoreMini. They have lessons for all the basics, but the top tutorials are for the full ZBrush program – so scroll down to the smaller ZBrushCore selection to see a more familiar interface in your lessons.

What is it good for? Beginners interested in learning digital sculpting, especially those who want some help from VDM brushes.

Where can I find it? Pixologic

The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners

SketchUp Free

Image of The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners: SketchUp Free
(Source: SketchUp)
  • File Formats 3DS, DWG, DXF, FBX, KMZ, OBJ, VRML, XSI, SKP, PNG, STL
  • Platform Browser
  • Specialization Direct Modeling
  • Use Cases Architecture, Product Design

SketchUp is a sketch and extrude CAD program considered one of the best professional software on the market. The free version, SketchUp for Web, is a great browser-based edition that’s easy for beginners.

Sketch and extrude programs like SketchUp are essentially direct modeling programs where you draw a 2D shape and then add depth to it with the “extrude” tool. Of course, that’s a simplification and SketchUp can get very exact, but it’s what you’ll see at the onset. Alongside parametric software, sketch and extrude programs like SketchUp are probably what most people think of when you say “CAD”.

The simplified web version has a selection of just the most common design tools and an approachable, user-friendly interface. There’s a handy integrated “instructor” that will tell you how to use each tool, and access the helpful SketchUp Warehouse where you can find pre-existing models to work with.

As such a professional mainstay, there are plenty of SketchUp tutorials available for new designers to check out. SketchUp Campus offers great, detailed courses for free, like SketchUp Fundamentals, and you can find anything they may not cover in the array of community tutorials on YouTube and various blogs.

If you’re interested in using SketchUp’s more advanced programs, this is definitely the place to start as you’ll be familiar with the software’s core tools and interface. SketchUp for Web comes with 10GB of cloud storage and no strings attached for use.

What’s it good for? Beginners looking to hone their 3D modeling skills on a navigable interface without too many limitations.

Where can I get it? SketchUp

The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners

Wings 3D

Image of The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners: Wings 3D
(Source: Wings3D)
  • File Formats NDO, 3DS, BZW, DAE, GLB, EPS, SVG, JSCAD, IWO, IXO, OBJ, RWX, STL, WRL, X
  • Platform Windows, MacOS, Linux
  • Specialization Mesh Modeling
  • Use Cases Architecture, Product Design

Wings 3D is an open-source subdivision modeler (AKA, a mesh modeler) that offers advanced tools without being so intimidating as to scare off new users.

Mesh modelers can feel like sculpting programs, but simply show users the “mesh”: polygonal flat faces that make up a CAD object.

The Wings 3D software uses a context-sensitive right-click menu that only shows relevant commands according to the user’s current selection. This unique feature makes the program incredibly approachable for beginners despite all the advanced options available in it. Going a step further, just hovering over commands will describe their function so you’ll never be at a loss as to what tools actually do.

Wings 3D is equipped with some surprisingly advanced, yet intuitive, features. AutoUV, for example, enables you to map images and textures onto a 3D model. You can find a full feature list on the Wings 3D website. Though the features it does have are excellent, it doesn’t give you a full suite. Rendering and animation are absent from Wings 3D and you’ll need another program to take care of that for you. But for 3D printing, you should be fine with Wings 3D alone.

As a project that’s been around since 2001, Wings 3D has a pretty large community that has developed in-depth tutorial content. You can find a list of some of the best on the website.

What’s it good for? Beginning or advanced users looking for a large selection of tools with a clean interface that’s easy to navigate.

Where can I get it? Wings 3D

The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners

Leopoly

Image of The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners: Leopoly
(Source: Leopoly)
  • File Formats OBJ, STL
  • Platform Browser
  • Specialization Sculpting
  • Use Cases Digital Art, Animation, Game Design

Leopoly is a free browser-based sculpting program that offers a very simple selection of tools. The simplicity makes it a great entry point for beginners and students looking to learn the art of 3D sculpting, customizing, and 3D printing their own models.

You can jump into sculpting from scratch with a ball of digital clay, or with a base shape like a human body or face, without even registering for an account. Tools are limited to seven brushes and a variety of paints. Letters and patterns can be generated and embossed on your model, and the “mix” tool allows you to add new primitive shapes to merge, subtract, or intersect with your existing model.

Newly created models can be easily prepared for 3D printing and sent to a 3D printing service bureau, so Leopoly is handy if you’re looking for someone else to 3D print your designs. There’s also a fully integrated library packed with user-made models that can be built upon or added to your design.

zSpace, the developers behind Leopoly, do have some tutorial content but it’s sparse. Their content is limited to a short document that guides you through your first model. There are some user tutorials, but watching more detailed sculpting tutorials based on programs like zBrush and just using Leopoly in your browser is probably fine. With that, Leopoly is a great lightweight sculpting solution.

What’s it good for? Students and beginners looking for a free, accessible sculpting tool with zero commitment.

Where can I find it? Leopoly

The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners

BlocksCAD

Image of The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners: BlocksCAD
(Source: BlocksCAD)
  • File Formats XML, SCAD
  • Platform Browser
  • Specialization OpenSCAD
  • Use Cases Education

Like Tinkercad’s implementation with “codeblocks”, BlocksCAD is a 3D modeler that simplifies OpenSCAD scripting for beginners through a colorful and appealing interface.

OpenSCAD is a unique form of 3D modeling that uses scripts to generate renderings. It’s less visual than other modeling methods, but makes precision relatively easy. It might be an attractive form of modeling if you’re intimately familiar with coding, or if you’d like to introduce someone to coding with instant gratification from renderings.

BlocksCAD was originally developed to ease kids into 3D modeling through scripting, so it makes a great educational tool. It manages to visualize the experience of script-based modeling somewhat by dragging-and-dropping colorful blocks representing commands. Those blocks are stacked together like LEGOs to create the model script. You can render the 3D model at any time to have it appear for inspection.

Unfortunately, you can’t save files as an STL directly from BlocksCAD, but you can save the code. To 3D print your models you’ll need to take the colorful BlocksCAD script and copy it into OpenSCAD itself to get more file formats.

The tutorial integrated into BlocksCAD is as basic as it can be, directing users to drop their first primitive shape into the code and render it. There is a BlocksCAD YouTube channel with some more detailed lessons, but just the basics. As the program is aimed at beginners, there isn’t a lot of community content, but any OpenSCAD lessons will also apply here.

What’s it good for? Students and beginners looking to learn or try their hand at 3D modeling with OpenSCAD scripting.

Where can I get it? BlocksCAD

The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners

Blender

Image of The Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners: Blender
(Source: Blender Guru)
  • File Formats DAE, ABC, USDC, SVG, PDF, BVH, PLY, STL, FBX, GLB, OBJ, X3D
  • Platform Windows, MacOS, Linux
  • Specialization Sculpting, Mesh Modeling
  • Use Cases Digital Art, Animation, Game Design

Launching into Blender for the first time, you might laugh at the suggestion that it’s great for beginners, but bear with me.

Blender is a completely free and open-source 3D modeling and animation program. It’s among the most powerful of its kind and is used by highly skilled professionals to create even full-length animated films like Netflix’s Next Gen. It’s freely available to anybody and the last program you’ll ever need – but the interface can be very intimidating.

We’ve included Blender on this list for a few reasons. First, it offers some of the best variety in 3D modeling methods. Second, as such an immensely popular and open-source program, the community is massive and beginner resources are plenty.

Just the Blender subReddit has over six times the members of the next largest 3D modeling software. The community has a healthy mix of veteran artists showcasing their work, and total newbies sharing the results of tutorials they’ve followed. Said tutorials are also plenty, and many are perfectly approachable. Arguably the most popular, the donut tutorial by Andrew Price (Blender Guru), takes users through the interface, hotkeys, and design process to render a wonderful looking donut and cup ‘o joe.

Though Blender comes with a larger learning curve than any alternatives featured on this list, its enthusiastic community and wealth of detailed tutorials excels it beyond other professional programs that may require users to have some measure of education in digital art.

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