5 best 3D design software to download today

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  • Good 3D design software is a crucial part of investing your creativity in digital production.
  • Most of the 3D design software here is available for free download so that you can at least try it out.
  • The first on our list is an Adobe product, a great 3D design software for PC.
  • We also have CAD and mechanical engineering tools listed in our selection.

3D design software

Having the right 3D design software is crucial in helping you create the perfect 3D model.

A 3D model represents an object in a 3D graphical plane and the corresponding development process is known as 3D modeling.

Used in industries such as 3D printing, interior design, architecture, cinema, games and animation, 3D models are essential components of digital production.

As you all know, 3D modeling has evolved tremendously with the advancement of technology. Therefore, its use has now transcended other industries including medicine and architecture.

If you are looking for a good 3D modeling software, you will quickly realize that there are tons of 3D design apps for PC.

Adobe Dimension CC

Part of the Creative Cloud suite, Adobe Dimension is the way to bring new dimensions to your design and is the perfect example of the features important for 3D design software.

High-quality models, materials, and lighting let you quickly create engaging 3D content just by dragging and dropping a graphic or vector image onto a 3D model.

Integration is everything, and Dimension offers seamlessly seamless integrations to help you create photorealistic images with perfect depth, texture, and lighting.

Compose 2D designs from Illustrator, import models from Adobe Stock and other third-party apps, or export your scenes as layers for further refinement in Photoshop.

Let’s quickly review his main characteristics:

  • Drag and drop function (apply 2D graphics and images created in Photoshop or Illustrator on 3D models)
  • Perfect lighting (apply multiple light sources, change the color, size, shape and positioning of lights)
  • Scenes with photorealism (automatically match your 3D design with any background image)
  • 360 and AR (360-degree views and immersive AR experiences in Adobe Aero, XD, and InDesign)
  • High-quality images and interactive 3D content from a single Dimension file
Adobe Dimension

Adobe Dimension

Create the perfect 3D model with all the cutting edge tools you need to be integrated into a unified workflow!

You can’t try to talk about professional image editing, 3D design and modeling, and don’t mention Adobe’s Photoshop CC.

Now you might be wondering if there is a difference between free and paid 3D animation tools? Of course it does, and you might also be wondering what this paid solution does on this list and one of the first too. It’s simple.

If you need the best tool, look no further than Photoshop. To a newbie to 3D design this tool may seem overly complex, but once you get the hang of it it will definitely be a pleasure to work with.

Photoshop is, for all intents and purposes, a tool for beginners when it comes to 3D modeling and design, especially when compared to other professional and industrial tools.

This is not AutoCAD when it comes to functionality as its 3D design functionality is rather limited, but it allows (versions prior to PS CC 14) the import of external files and their adaptation for manipulation and 3D printing.

There is a 7 day free trial and after that you need to purchase the license.

Adobe Photoshop CC

Adobe Photoshop CC

Adobe Photoshop is professional photo editing software, but it’s also a great 3D design tool for your PC.

Daz Studio is free, feature-rich 3D modeling software that may not be easy for beginners but offers advanced features for professionals.

Is it for engineering or design purposes? Well, it allows users to create fantastic 3D art with GPU accelerated realtime rendering and realistic results. so you can go either way.

Can you use it for film / animation production? Along with 3D morphing, posing, animation, and rendering features, Daz Studio offers in-app interactive tutorials for a higher learning curve.

The software supports Windows and Mac OS X and is available as free software.

Let’s quickly review his main characteristics:

  • 3D morphing, posing and animation features
  • Detailed and interactive tutorials
  • Compatible with major operating systems
  • GPU-accelerated real-time rendering
Daz Studio

Daz Studio

Create stunning 3D artwork and learn advanced drawing techniques with free tutorials from Daz Studio.

3DS Max is a modeling and rendering program that offers a ton of 3D modeling tools and even lets you animate characters for games.

The tool offers more features like modeling hard surfaces, texturing to create outstanding designs, creating animations for realistic effect.

There are also a lot of incredible learning tools which you can use if you want to start from scratch to learn 3D modeling. AutoDesk 3DS Max is available for Windows, Linux and iOS.

What file formats does it support? AutoDesk 3DS Max supports all major CAD file formats including. SLDPRT, .SLDASM, .MODEL, MDL, SESSION, EXP, DLV, DLV3, DLV4, Adobe file formats and many more.

Let’s quickly review his main characteristics:

  • Wide range of 3D modeling tools available
  • Compatible with major operating systems
  • Detailed and interactive guides and tutorials to get started in 3D
Autodesk 3DS Max

Autodesk 3DS Max

Along with 3D modeling and character animations, this program offers a comprehensive set of design tools.

SketchUp is one of the best and highest rated 3D design software out there, although it’s not as popular as the ones at the top of our list.

Available in free and paid versions, SketchUp can be used for a wide range of drawing applications such as cinema, video game design, interior design, architecture, civil and mechanical engineering.

What kind of modeling can you use? This 3D design software supports third-party plug-in programs, allows modeling of surfaces in different styles and also offers drawing layout features.

There is also an open source library called 3D Warehouse where users can collaborate and contribute models.

Let’s quickly review his main characteristics:

  • SketchUp for Web (primary 3D modeler that runs in your browser, no download needed)
  • Cloud storage (10 GB of Trimble Connect cloud storage)
  • Viewing the mobile model with the SketchUp Viewer app
  • Interoperability (import SKP, JPG, PNG file types and export SKP, PNG, STL file types)
  • 3d warehouse

?? Get SketchUp

We’ll end our list here. We hope the information listed above has helped you decide which 3D design software to download to your computer.

It should be mentioned that performing animation tasks on your computer requires powerful hardware.

Make sure your computer has a reliable GPU card so that it can run 3D animation software properly.

In choosing the right 3D modeling software, it is important to first determine the purpose for which you want the program. Indeed, most of these programs are oriented towards engineering or art.

Converting files is also a very important factor to consider. If you intend to 3D print the part you are designing, keep in mind that 3D printing uses the STL file type.

While the cost comes with more features, there are plenty of free 3D design tools out there that can get the job done precisely.

Most of these free tools are best suited for beginners as they come with built-in apps and tutorials for learning.

The list above highlights some of the best free 3D design software available on the internet.

Frequently Asked Questions


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