Design Like a Pro: 8 Best (Freemium) 3D Modeling Software in 2024

TechHarry

Best Free 3D Modeling Software

3D Modeling is changing the world with its infinite ways of creating something useful and unique. From small to big industries, every company has started empowering the 3D printing and modeling industry.

3D modeling is a way of creating 3-dimensional objects using a modeling tool. Software used in 3D modeling helps you create computer graphics so that the 3D modeling machine you use can easily identify the models and start creating them.

Following are the best free 3D modeling software along with their useful features and links,  from where you can download those softwares.

So, without wasting any time, let's get started.

Best Free 3D Modeling Software (2024)

1. Tinkercad

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2. Vectary

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3. MeshMixer

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4. SculptGL

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5. ZBrushCoreMini

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6. SketchUp Free

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7. Wings 3D

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8. Autodesk Maya

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1. Tinkercad

Tinkercad Features

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Tinkercad is the best free option for starters & professionals in the field of 3D printing. It is a browser-based 3D printing software with an automatic block-building concept that allows you to start developing models from basic shapes & structures. Tinkercad also has tutorials for novices to get started and get the designs they are looking for. Tinkercad is one of the top tools for beginners to create free 3D models. It is based on Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) that helps users create complex models by combining small and simple objects. It provides a user-friendly interface, which is compatible with teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers as well. In case you are stuck in any problem with the software, Tinkercad also offers community articles, FAQs, and live chat & email support to get you out of any issue.

Features:

  • 3D Modeling (basic)
  • Shape Libraries
  • Boolean Operations (combine shapes)
  • Import/Export (limited formats)
  • Online & Browser-based
  • Electronics Simulation
  • Code Blocks (simple)


2. Vectary


Vectary is another great alternative for free 3D modeling software in 2024. It is a web-based mesh and parametric modeling software. They claim to be the "easiest online 3D and AR design tool". Vectary offers lots of advanced features such as easy access to projects from any device, file cloning, design system options, custom libraries, and real-time rendering with AR capabilities. Vectary Pro is best suited for professionals and companies to enhance visual explanations, team workspaces, and an integrated 3D design hub that helps users store designs, share project links, and showcase products in an immersive way.

Features:

  • Price: Freemium
  • 3D Modeling tools
  • Scene creation and editing
  • Material and texture editing
  • 3D Configurator creation (for customizing models)
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Cloud-based platform (no installation needed)
  • Asset library and import/export capabilities
  • AR/VR preview options (for some plans)



3. MeshMixer

MeshMixer Free 3D Modeling Software

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Autodesk comes with a lightweight 3D modeling software called MeshMixer. The official website calls it a "Swiss Army Knife" for 3D objects that allows you to edit, add to, merge models, and more without any effort.

Features:

  • Price: Free
  • Direct Modeling
  • Sculpting
  • 3D Printing Optimization
  • 3D Measurements
  • 3D Patterns & Lattices
  • 3D Sculpting Surface Stamping and more


4. SculptGL

SculptGL 3D Modeling Software

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SculptGL is free, open-source, and another web-based modeling software quite similar to the above-listed modeling softwares. It offers very basic features like brushes, texture imports, and rendering. It doesn't offer any beginner's tutorials but it's easy to play it around and it's free, of course.

Features:

  • Pricing: Free
  • Standard sculpting tools: Brush, Inflate, Smooth, Twist, Drag, etc.
  • Multiresolution sculpting
  • Voxel re-meshing
  • Dynamic topology
  • Import/Export of various 3D file formats (OBJ, PLY, STL)
  • PBR Vertex Painting (color, roughness, metalness)
  • Support for pressure-sensitive tablets
  • Symmetry mode
  • Undo/Redo functionality


5. ZBrushCoreMini

ZBrushCoreMini 3D modeling and Sculpting software

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ZBrushCoreMini is a small version of a popular & very powerful modeling software, Pixologic's ZBrush. While it doesn't have many powerful features but its basic features are quite intriguing in spite of its mini version. It has many modeling tools for beginners such as brushes, viewer mode, view selection, texturing, rendering, and many more.

Features:

  • Price: Free
  • 8 Different Sculpting Brushes
  • Beginner's Sculpting
  • Base Mesh Creation
  • 2D Illustration
  • Importing & Exporting Models
  • DynaMesh (automatic retopology for maintaining mesh quality)
  • Masking and selection tools
  • Polygroups (grouping mesh sections for targeted edits)
  • Texturing 
  • Export capabilities (limited formats compared to full ZBrush)


6. SketchUp Free

SketchUp Free

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SketchUp is a popular CAD software with lots of professional tools in it. The free version of this software is a web application that is a browser-based edition for beginners. SketchUp offers easy designs with thousands of online pre-made objects, cloud storage and sharing, and more amazing features.

Features:

  • Price: Freemium

  • Basic 3D modeling tools (Push/Pull, Line, Circle, etc.)

  • Solid tools (limited in SketchUp Free) - for creating complex shapes (may not be available)
  • Push/Pull for extruding shapes
  • Grouping and component creation (for organizing your model)
  • Layers (for managing different parts of your model)
  • Warehouse extension (access to a free 3D model library)
  • Viewport navigation tools (Orbit, Pan, Zoom)
  • Shadow casting
  • Section Planes (for viewing model cross-sections)
  • Freehand drawing tools (for sketching ideas)
  • Limited rendering capabilities
  • Export to 2D formats (image files) and limited 3D formats (may require extensions)


7. Wings 3D

Wings 3D

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Wings 3D is an open-source mesh modeler, that features advanced tools without worrying about being a beginner. It is used as sculpting software that simply creates polygon flat CAD objects. It also has some relevant commands which are used by a context-sensitive right-click menu. It also has an AutoUV feature that helps you insert map images and textures into your 3D model.

Features:

  • Pricing: Free

  • Intuitive Interface
  • AutoUV
  • Standard tools
  • Advanced tools
  • Tweak and Sculpt
  • Edge Loop and Edge Ring selection and navigation tools and much much more

8. Autodesk Maya

Autodesk Maya is one of the most popular 3D modeling and computer graphics software. It is widely used for creating 3D animations, models, and simulations. It has several amazing features, such as modeling, animation, shading, lighting, and rendering. Maya is widely used in the entertainment, architecture, and product design industries. Autodesk Maya is available for a 30-day free trial and with educational licenses at discounted rates for students, teachers, and institutions, making it more accessible for educational purposes.

Features:

  • Pricing: Paid Subscription

  • 3D Modeling (advanced)
  • Polygon Modeling
  • NURBS Modeling
  • Sculpting
  • UV Editing
  • Rigging (animation)
  • Animation
  • Dynamics & Effects (simulations)
  • Rendering
  • Motion Graphics
  • USD workflows (data exchange)
  • Pipeline Integration (connects with other software)


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