5 best free 3D CAD software

Free 3d cad software allows you to design and model objects in 3D. Using 3d modeling, you can explore design ideas and visualize the ideas through animation, simulation and rendering. In addition, 3d CAD enables you to create, evaluate and communicate product designs easily.

In the current world, designers, engineers and artists use 3d modeling software to create complicated designs and products. If you are looking free 3d cad programs that help you to do your own 3d model, here I have listed the most popular programs you may give a try.

Here are our other posts: 13 best Free CAD Software – AutoCAD Alternatives, 13 free trial DWG ViewerFree 2D animation software5 free rendering softwareFree graphic design software

Blender

Blender is one of the popular and full featured free 3D cad software comes with a complete and great variety of tools. Using Blender you can model, animate, render and shade any 3D creation. It has fully customizable and scriptable interface.

Main features of Blender

  • Support solid modeling and include a range of 3D objects including mesh, NURBS, surfaces, Bezier and B-Spline curves, metaballs, vector fonts, etc.
  • Creates professional grade rigs and transform any model into posable character
  • Support full multi resolution Sculpting capabilities which allow creating organic looking characters
  • Create complex Non Linear Animations (NLA), independent movements, gestures, poses, complex actions, etc. Each action can be altered or recorded individually
  • Integrated advanced rendering engine and related tools
  • Support Raytrace Rendering that allows creating stunning visuals
  • Features Physics and Particles which enables you to set up and control how complex and dynamic materials interact with each other
  • Include node based shading system
  • Integrate Realtime 3D/Game creation engine
  • Support camera reconstruction, realtime 3D preview, object tracking and motion tracks
  • Save all scene data in a single file, has support for other 2D and 3D formats, powerful built-in database
  • 2D file format includes TGA, JPG, PNG, OpenEXR, DPX, Movie, IFF, AVI, PSD, etc.
  • 3D file formats include 3D studio, DXF, Lightware, AC3D, STL, OpenFLight, MD2, Motion capture, VideoScape, Extensible 3D, etc.
  • Support file compression, digital signature, encryption

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Max OS X, Linux and FreeBSD (support 32 and 64-bits)

Website: Blender free 3D cad Program

Google SketchUp

Google SketchUp is another best free 3d cad software that allows you to explore design ideas and experiment with 3D. Using SketchUp, you can draw all kinds of models including home, school projects, cars, spaceships, barns, etc. The software is provided in two versions: SketchUp makes and SketchUP Pro. The professional version has many more advanced features intended for architects, designers, builders and engineers.

Key features of Google SKetchUP

  • Allows to draw, modify, rotate, measure, scale and move 3d geometry
  • Support dimensions and text tools
  • Has good texture library and create new textures
  • Add pre-made entities such as cars, trees, doors, windows, people and create new components
  • Support casting real-time shadows for any location on earth
  • Perform walk-throughs and simulate movie camera
  • Use organic modeling (Sandbox)
  • Import and Export 2D images including JPEG, PNG, TIF, TGA, BMP
  • Import 3D models including SKP, 3DS, DEM, DDF file formats
  • Import Google Earth terrain in 2D and 3D but can’t allow placing models in Google Earth
  • Create geo-located models and place them in Google Earth
  • Export walk-throughs and animations as AVI or MOV files
  • Allows printing models and export raster images and more…

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.7 or newer

Website: SketchUp Make 3D modeling

FreeCAD

FreeCAD is an open source and free 3d cad software that uses parametric modeling system to model designs in 3d. In parametric modeling you can easily modify your model by going back into your model history and changing parameters. The software is designed particularly for mechanical engineers and product designers. But it is still applicable in other engineering fields, such as Architecture. If you are new to 3d modeling, you can start with freeCAD.

Key features of FreeCAD 3D modeler

  • Allow complex 3D operation on complex shape types
  • Support full parametric model (shapes are created and modified based on properties)
  • support and add plugins to the core application to get additional functions
  • Import and export in standard formats including STEP, IGES, OBJ, STL, DXF, SVG, etc.
  •  Include sketcher, rendering, robot simulation, architecture modules
  • Allows to put 2D views of 3D models on a sheet
  • Support customization of Graphical User interface
  • Easily pilot from scripts and allows to build own modules
  • Can run from command line application
  • Compound (ZIP based) document save format
  • See the site for more features

Compatibility: Multi-platform (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux/Unix

Website: FreeCAD 3d Modeler

Sweet Home 3D

Designed for home interior design, Sweet Home 3D is an open source and free 3d cad software which allows you to draw house plan, arrange furniture on it and see the results in 3D. You can use the software by installing on your computer or use it online within browser.

Main features of Sweet Home 3D

  • Draw different types of walls (straight, round, sloping)
  • Insert Windows and doors easily
  • Add different types of furniture and equipment for each room
  • Allows to change each type of entity color, and texture
  • View both 2D design and its 3D simultaneously
  • Create photorealistic images and videos and customize its colors, lights and effects
  • Import home blueprint to draw on it, 3D models, textures
  • Print and export standard file formats such as PDF, bitmaps/vector images, videos and 3D files (PNG, MOV, OBJ, SVG)
  • Can make it more powerful using plug-ins
  • Multilanguage support

Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS X 10.4 to 10.8, Linux and Solaris

Website: Sweet Home 3D

Sculptris

Sculptris is a free 3d cad software that works similar to Blender. The software is particularly designed for sculptures and every type of artist. It creates stunning 3D models and designs.

Key features of Sculptris

  • Create 3D sculpture
  • support dynamic Tessellation that frees the designer from model’s geometry
  • analyze the surface to ensure the availability of enough triangles
  • easy and interactive interface and navigation
  • Immersive Interface
  • Built in with sculpting brushes, optimizing brushes
  • support texturing and painting (alphas, mask system, materials)
  • Support automatic UV creation, projection painting and bump painting
  • works with ZBrush and enables to import mesh to other sculpting applications

Compatibility:  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.5/10.6 (requires latest and powerful graphics card)

Website: Sculptris

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