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2022 Rankings

Best 3D Modeling Software

Last updated on November, 10

Want to up your CG content and keep your audience reeling? The best 3D modeling software can boost your creative juices once you get a full range of tools perfect for any modeling design you want to develop. Try one today!

Best 3D Modeling Software illustration

16 services ranked

Our ranking methodology

#

1

Blender logo

Blender

4.95

450 reviews

Free

Library

Free

Projects

Unlimited

Project Sharing

3D Export

Free Trial

#

2

Shapr3D logo

Shapr3D

4.28

409 reviews

price starts:

$ 20.00

per month, $239.00 billed annually

Visit Website

price starts:

$ 20.00

per month, $239.00 billed annually

Library

Free

Projects

Unlimited

Project Sharing

3D Export

Free Trial

14 days

#

3

SOLIDWORKS logo

SOLIDWORKS

4.24

59 reviews

price starts:

$ 60.00

billed annually

Visit Website

price starts:

$ 60.00

billed annually

Library

Free

Projects

Unlimited

Project Sharing

3D Export

Free Trial

60 days

#

4

FreeCAD logo

FreeCAD

4.04

150 reviews

Free

Library

Free

Projects

Unlimited

Project Sharing

3D Export

Free Trial

30 days

#

5

Sketch Up logo

Sketch Up

3.97

214 reviews

price starts:

$ 55.00

billed annually

Visit Website

price starts:

$ 55.00

billed annually

Library

Free

Projects

Unlimited

Project Sharing

3D Export

Free Trial

30 days

#

6

VECTARY logo

VECTARY

3.7

44

30

74 reviews

price starts:

$ 12.00

per month

Visit Website

price starts:

$ 12.00

per month

Library

Free

Projects

Unlimited

Project Sharing

3D Export

Free Trial

30 days

#

7

Ansys 3D logo

Ansys 3D

3.62

150 reviews

Custom

Library

Free

Projects

Unlimited

Project Sharing

3D Export

Free Trial

30 days

#

8

SelfCAD logo

SelfCAD

3.43

46 reviews

price starts:

$ 14.99

per month

Visit Website

price starts:

$ 14.99

per month

Library

Free

Projects

Unlimited

Project Sharing

3D Export

Free Trial

10 days

You’re seeing 8 of 16 Best 3D Modeling Software

Frequently Asked Questions on Best 3D Modeling Software

What is 3D modeling software?

With the advances in technology, it has been easier to make realistic 3D objects on your computer with 3D modeling software. With these programs, you can create those buildings, product prototypes, characters, and real-life effects with your mouse and keyboard. See your ideas come to life by visualizing them with 3D modeling software!

Why do you need 3D modeling software?

3D models have been around for a long time and have been used in different fields to improve work. By creating models that you can rotate 360°, you can easily see all your model’s sides on your screen. That way, you can notice errors before applying them in real life. You can also make these models move following physics, giving a life-like reaction to your design.

Save Materials and Avoid Any Errors

Creating a mock-up design for your products will save you materials and avoid many errors during production. You can also make your 3D models go into simulations to see how they will function in real life without the need to produce one. You can also print your 3D models using a 3D printer, making prototype production easier with 3D modeling software.

Recreate Any Architecture

Working with buildings might be challenging; it can be hard to fully see what the building would look like in the end. With 3D modeling software, you can easily recreate any architecture you have in mind. It is the best way to see how your building will look on all sides before starting construction.

Add Realistic Looking Designs and Backgrounds

Have you ever wondered about how those cool explosions or outer space scenes are made? They are possible with CGI! Adding realistic looking designs and backgrounds and effects can add more flair and excitement to these scenes. Plus, you can create out-of-this-world characters, such as dragons and warlocks, by using 3D models.

Design Your Characters

From mobile to computer to game consoles, most games use 3D models to create their characters, environment, and effects, giving everyone a more enjoyable in-game experience. With 3D models software, you can fully design your characters, from the way their hair moves against the wind to creating magnificent scenes that can attract your players.

Use in Advertising

Create those near impossible-looking commercials and image shots on your own! Many advertising agencies right now use 3D modeling software to create those impossible shots of their products. You can easily create laborious looking scenarios or effects on your products and use its video recording function on the software to make your unique commercial.

What are the core features of 3D modeling software?

3D modeling software may use more than one kind of 3D modeling technique to create a model. It enables you to create a 3D model that perfectly matches the function you intend it to have. With these features, making a 3D model is easier and faster. The best 3D modeling software would perfectly fit the function you intend it to have.

3D Rendering

Have you wondered how you can share images of your 3D models with other people? Or maybe you created a 3D scenery you want to save as an image instead? It is possible by rendering: turning your 3D models into 2D images without losing details, such as shadows, textures, and lighting. It is an easy way to share your 3D model with everyone.

3D Compositing

Did it cross your mind how 3D effects in Hollywood movies are done? It can be done by composting or adding several rendered 3D models to an additional set of images to produce a more cohesive composition. With this feature, you can easily incorporate your models into pictures or videos, making it look like your 3D model exists in real life once you export your file.

Simulation Tools

With the use of simulation tools built inside 3D modeling software, you can easily recreate objects interacting with each other similar to how it would act in real life. By using physics equations, you can make a model interact with fluids, air, or gravity. You can also tweak the settings if you are looking for weird or extreme scenarios for your work.

Skeletal Rigging

If you plan on creating game characters, you can make their move more realistic by rigging or creating a skeleton for your models. The best 3D modeling software for characters has these features to bring them to life, from simple stickman-like rigging to more complicated rigging involving detailed movements.

General Animation Tools

If you are starting and are still unfamiliar with making your characters move, animation tools in the software can help you. With preset movements available, you can make your characters do basic animation, such as walking, sitting, or running with just a click. Even those free 3D modeling software can be your best option when trying these functions out for starters.

Asset Library

If you are having difficulty creating a 3D model from scratch, you can look up a base for your model in the asset library found on your software. The vast amount of assets you can access make your experience in 3D modeling software easy and the best for you if you’re still a beginner and want to avoid exhausting yourself.

Video Capture and Editing Tools

If you’re creating tutorials or guides for people, you can easily have your progress recorded as a video when you enable video capture on your 3D modeling software. It can also allow you basic editing, such as cutting parts on the video, before exporting it to your computer without the need for third-party software.

Intuitive Interface

Using 3D modeling software becomes simple with a highly intuitive interface that even beginners can easily understand. Navigating through options with an organized menu can significantly help you access tools and functions to efficiently create your 3D model.

Collaboration Tools

Several 3D modeling software has built-in tools and dedicated extensions that allow you to share and collaborate your work with other creators. It helps you coordinate with other people in editing your 3D model without closing your software and opening another one.

Third-Party Integrations

Found an app with a unique function that’s not in your software? You can integrate it into your existing 3D modeling software so that you wouldn’t need to switch programs. A lot of 3D software allows you to incorporate third-party apps and plug-ins to help you add more functions and options to your work.

Technical Support Services

If you find yourself encountering an error or just lost in the software, do not fret! 3D modeling software has different support services that can help you navigate and solve technical issues you have. From dedicated forums, community hub, and direct contact support, you can reach out to the developers to help you resolve your problem.

What are the types of 3D modeling software?

There are different types of 3D software that you can use based on your specialty or knowledge. Knowing the types of software available and its function can help you know which one you need in your work.

Basic 3D Modeling Software

If you are just new to making 3D models, this kind of software is perfect. Basic 3D modeling software offers the most basic features you need for 3D modeling. It might have limited functions and features to offer compared to other software types, but it is the ideal program for you to get familiarized with creating 3D models.

Architectural Design Software

See what your designs would look like when finished with 3D modeling software, specially created for architectural structures. With this software and its different features, you can easily visualize the final look of the building you have in mind. That way, you and your client can use it to discuss adjustments.

3D Game Designing Software

Creating 3D games is now more accessible with the use of this type of software. From character creation to the game environment, 3D game designing software can give you funny cartoon-looking designs to realistic-looking ones. You can also find various assets for almost any kind of aspect of the game that you need to create that one perfect game for you.

3D Art and Animation Designing Software

Telling a story using 3D models can help build the atmosphere of the plot of a story. Using this type of 3D modeling software lets you create unique characters and environments that tell a story that you cannot do with the traditional media. You can also incorporate 3D models into real-life scenes to create CGI scenes that are impossible to do in reality.

Product Designing 3D Modeling Software

With 3D modeling software, you can easily design and picture what your product will look like exactly. You can check for design flaws and have it undergo testing on the computer without the need for multiple trials and errors of fabricating a lot of prototypes, saving you time, effort, and materials for building one.

Who needs 3D modeling software?

Kids Interested in 3D

If your child is showing interest in creating 3D animation or characters, you can let them experience producing one with 3D software specially designed for them. You can encourage your young ones to use the best free 3D modeling software for 3D printing if they want to see their ideas come to life.

Students

Make your presentations and school works unique and outstanding by making 3D models for your work. There are many 3D modeling software best for beginners if you want to try your hands at simple designs. This software can give you enough features to do basic designing to help you get used to 3D modeling.

Architects

Viewing how buildings and structures will look once done can be effortlessly done with 3D modeling software. You can use this software to create mockups of buildings, both inside and outside. You can choose from several available 3D modeling software that best fits architecture to match your needs for modeling these structures.

Interior Designers

Using 3D modeling software to show how a room will look can help you show your clients how the final design would appear. You can create models of the furniture or use existing models from the asset library to recreate the idea you have for the room. It makes it easier for you and your client to talk about how the interiors will be designed by having visual samples.

Artists and Animators

3D models have been used extensively in the entertainment industry to produce creations beyond your imagination using computers. There are animated movies and shows that utilize 3D model technology to create. You can also add visual effects on real-life videos to manipulate CGI rendering to make your story more convincing.

Game Designers

From mobile to PC to game consoles, a lot of games use 3D models. Utilizing 3D models brings your players to feel that they are inside the world of the game. Whenever you are an indie game designer or a professional working for a huge company, having the best 3D modeling software for game development can help you work faster and easier.

Product Designers

You can now create your products with all the necessary details regardless of how small or large it is with 3D models. You can design your product first on your computer and have it undergo simulations to test the design for any malfunctions. Ensuring that your 3D modeling software is best for 3D printers can help your printing process smoother and hassle-free.

Medical Field Specialists

With the advancement of technology, medical practitioners have incorporated 3D technology to help their patients improve. 3D modeling software is used to recreate your patient’s organs from laboratory tests to have a more accurate diagnosis. Plus, 3D modeling software is the best for printing prostheses that will surely fit your patient snugly and perfectly.

What are the steps on how to choose a 3D modeling software?

Step 1: Know your knowledge about 3D modeling

It is necessary to know how familiar you are with creating 3D models. If you are still starting to get into 3D modeling, it will help you find the software to give you an overview or have simplified terms. 3D software with basic features can be a good start, or you might want to go to a more advanced 3D modeling software if you’re an expert.

Step 2: Determine the kind of 3D modeling you want

Knowing what you want to do with your 3D model will help you select a 3D modeling program specialized in what you need to do. Several 3D modeling software specializes in specific fields such as game design, animation, architecture, product designs, and more. If you are not sure, you can select one that can do a little bit of everything.

Step 3: Look for the best 3D modeling software that suits you

Once you know what you want, you can search online for the software that will fit you the most. Some work best as 3D modeling software for games, and others are best used as 3D modeling software for home design. There are also some 3D modeling software with student accounts, which is the best option if you are a student who needs to use it for school work.

Step 4: Compare software features and reviews by other users

Make sure that your experience in 3D modeling will be exciting and fun instead of having your software malfunction or crash. You can rely on reviews from other people who already used this software for their work.

Step 5: Get the latest version of the software

Although some of the best 3D modeling software in 2018 is still functioning, it’s always best to opt for updated programs. That way, you can use the most updated and modern features offered by 3D modeling software. Check if the programmers of the program regularly update and fix bugs encountered by its users.

Step 6: Check if it runs smoothly on your computer

Another thing to note is if the software can run on your computer. Some software requires powerful processors, dedicated video card, and huge RAM to run smoothly and avoid lagging. Knowing that your device is compatible with the 3D software is a must to keep you away from unnecessary delays once you work on it.

Step 7: Download and enjoy

Now that you have everything you need, all that is left is to download and install your 3D modeling software, and you are good to go! Have fun experimenting and exploring the wonders of creating your 3D models.

What do I need to run 3D modeling software?

All you need is a working PC, which is the primary tool you need to run 3D modeling software. Depending on the minimum requirements of these programs, some software may not run on your PC. If you find yourself unable to use the software due to incompatibility, you can go for an alternative 3D modeling software with lower minimum requirements for processor and RAM. You can also update your computer’s processors instead.

What is the best 3D modeling software for my needs?

There are many 3D modeling software out there, free or paid. You can do your research on different features you want to get on your software. Some 3D modeling software best suits engineering, while others work best as a 3D modeling software for product design. Choose the one that will provide you with all the features you need to make your ideas a reality.

What is the best 3D modeling software for games?

If you are a game developer and would like to use 3D models on your games, a 3D modeling software with a variety of features more specified to character designing will suit you. There are tons of software that caters to creating characters and environment models to help develop games.

Can I turn my 2D design into 3D?

Yes, you can! You can export your 2D design on your 3D modeling software, acting as a base or sketch for your 3D model. You can slowly add more polygons and shapes around the 2D design until you have formed what it should look like as 3D.

Is it possible for 3D modeling software to create characters for me automatically?

Several 3D modeling software has the feature of automatically generating characters based on the input you made. It can vary from just creating a basic design to even character movements. The results might not meet your expectations, so prepare to modify the generated 3D model if you find it lacking.

Can I print my 3D model?

Of course! 3D models are now easier to print because 3D printers are now more accessible. You can choose between laser cutting or 3D printing for your 3D model. There is a lot of 3D modeling software best for 3D printing to save your work into a file type compatible with your printing mode and wait for the machine to do its job for you.

Can I modify my 3D model using a different modeling software?

If both 3D modeling software shares the same file extension, you can modify your design in several 3D software. Ensure that you have the best 3D modeling software that can save your work in different file extensions. Yes. In this case, you'll need to use CAM software to convert the final STL or OBJ into another format compatible with your desired 3D printing software. However, some 3D printers might not be able to accommodate the geometry of that specific CAD model file type. It always depends on which program you're working in and what type of printer firmware/software you are using.

Do all 3D modeling software have an asset library that I can use?

Most paid 3D modeling software have their asset library included once you purchase them. There are also asset libraries for open-source 3D modeling software that is best for your job if you do not look for intricate models. If your software doesn’t have one, there are websites online where you can download assets and import them on your software instead. Make sure that these assets are compatible with your software to make them work.

Can I make my unique animation movements for my 3D character models?

Of course! You can add and modify existing motion paths and create rigging and visual effects for your models to give them more life. While simple 3D modeling software can limit the amount of movement you can give your characters, you can use a lot to add them separately instead.

Can everyone view the 3D models I made even if they do not have 3D modeling software?

People who do not have 3D modeling software installed on their computer cannot view your 3D model file since they do not have a program to read these kinds of file extensions. If you want other people to see it, you can render your work into an image or a video to make it accessible for people who don't have 3D modeling software.

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